On this Follow Up Friday, we wanted to follow up on Duke’s progress now that it has been four months. (The four month mark was last week on Black Friday, but I was out shopping! So we’re updating now!)
Since we brought Duke home at the end of July we have been posting periodic Check Ins to share the process of adopting a rescue dog and bringing a new dog into our home. Especially our first dog!
Last we checked in, Duke had sit and stay down. I was worried about the ground being too cold for his sit & stay outside but we’ve been keeping it up inside. I’m still trying to introduce “heel”. We’ve had mixed success. Mostly it’s my problem, not Duke’s. He does well with it, it is just so exhausting for me to be always monitoring and correcting. I would really love to get him into some training classes, but that probably is not in the cards for us until at least next summer due to our busy schedules and a potential cross country move.
So, four months in, he’s got all of the commands down that we’ve pushed hard for him to learn. Now it is really up to us to decide what we want to be next.
At the three month mark he had had a few accidents in the house that hadn’t been a problem for the first two months. I’m happy to report that he is no longer having accidents, at least in our house. We visited Sam’s mother’s house for Thanksgiving and Duke was just peeing all over the place! He’s never done this before at her house and we’ve been there quite a bit since we got Duke. She fosters dogs that can have accidents, so I don’t know if he was smelling things and then felt the need to pee over it? Or if he really just had to pee? Anyways, it hasn’t happened since we’ve been home, thankfully!
So, four months in, it just goes to show that housebreaking isn’t something you can always forget about after the first few weeks home. I’ve learned to never say never in this department!
Walks & Outside Behavior:
He’s been doing well on our walks. He’s just as excited as ever about going outside and squirrels and such which causes a lot of pulling but he is able to get it under control quickly. I think the answer to the pulling is all in training, not in some magical piece of equipment. We are loving his slip lead still. We haven’t done much off leash practice since our trips to the beach are no longer. I’m sure he would do better than we think off leash, but why risk it? He’s also starting to play with other dogs at the dog park which has been cute to watch.
So, four months in, we’re really the ones holding up any progress here since we’re not 100% on top of the pulling training or practicing off leash behavior much.
When we’re home, he’s great! When we’re not home, he’ll get into anything that smells good that is within reach. So we are fastidious about making sure nothing is in reach. Last we checked in, this was the same! We are slacking off more about where he was allowed in the house and where he wasn’t. We’re starting to reinforce limits during meal times and encouraging him to sleep at the bottom of the bed.
So, four months in, again we are waiting on us here! Duke is great at picking up on the signals we are giving, but if we don’t give any signals he just cuddles up right next to us. His inside behavior is not destructive in any way though, which is wonderful. He just wants to be with.
His only real medical issues are when he eats something he’s not supposed to! Like last Friday, when he ate a Chocolate Brownie CLIF bar. After multiple calls to vets and poison control hotlines, he turned out to be just fine. Got a little hyper, but that was it. Freaked me out to no end though!
So, four months in, I still haven’t learned to not freak out over everything little thing and Duke is still eating things he’s not supposed to, despite our due diligence. Where there’s a will there’s a way!
No news to report here! He’s still on the same brand of limited-ingredient, grain included food. We bought him a small bag of Fruitables treats, but mostly he just gets peanut butter! That is until our Zuke’s shipment arrives!
I’ve never included this category in our check ins before but now that it is December, weather is becoming an issue! Duke does not like to go for walks in the pouring rain. We go out to the closest tree, he pees, and we come back in and wait for it to stop raining. He’s done well in the light snowfall we’ve had. I can’t wait to see how he takes to playing in the snow one we get some serious snowfall. He gets chilly on cold days and starts to shake, but a sweater and keeping moving usually solves any issues.
So, four months in… not much to report! Other than the humans need to step it up for any training to continue. The main thing to happen since our last check in is the switch up of chew toys, which you can read more about here! Also, even though we’ve had Duke for a decent amount of time and have developed a strong, trusting bond, life with Duke isn’t quiet or boring by any means! There’s always a worry about something he ate, planning for his exercise, and good old cuddling to be done!
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