Today marks three months since we brought Duke home! I did a check in at two weeks and six weeks – these check ins have been a good chance to reflect on Duke’s progress and our goals for him as well as to share with you all our journey adopting Duke!
Duke is doing awesome with sit, he’s totally mastered it. He doesn’t always deliver though, but I have a feeling that it has to do with the fact the sidewalk is so cold on his butt when he sits down! (We live in New England, it’s already getting into the 30’s for our morning walk.) He’s done so well on stay. When he does his business, we’ve been practicing a sit and stay while I pick it up & he’s doing so well. But I’m worried about losing it since it’s been getting too cold for Duke to sit. Maybe I’m babying him by thinking his butt is getting cold, but if it was me, I wouldn’t want to sit on the ground!
I’m starting to introduce “heel” in an effort to improve his pulling, but I don’t have much patience to keep it up our entire walk. Baby steps!
For the first six weeks, Duke never had a single accident. However, since then there have been three! Three smelly piles of poo on three separate days. The first two occurred in the same week. The third was a week after. It has been very sporadic. I thought the first accident was due to the fire alarm going off when he was home alone, and scaring the poop out of him – literally. But that theory is losing ground the more it happens. I don’t know what to do about this one – I’m worried he thinks it is okay since he’s done it a few times, though we’ve tried to reprimand him.
Walks & Outside Behavior:
The pulling is still an issue. We got a slip lead collar which makes me feel more in control, especially since it is only four feet long. He can’t wear a harness due to skin issues, so I think training and the slip lead are how to help the pulling for the time being.
He’s spending more time off-leash and doing well. We’re taking baby steps still with this one though.
Anything within his reach that might be remotely edible is dangerous. But I’ve gotten the hang of keeping things out of his reach – especially after I saw him jump to reach things on the back of the counter! He also had a few weeks where he was getting into the trash (and he even ate some which had us worried sick, but he passed it a few days later). Now, I take the trash out a lot more and we installed child locks on the under sink cabinet where we keep it.
He spends most of the time when we’re not home sleeping (or getting into trouble – but hopefully not!). When we come home he either plays with the Kong or cuddles with us. He is obsessive with the Kong, so we try to limit how long he plays with it when we’re home. It usually goes away around 9 PM to prep for bedtime. One night, we let him take it to bed by accident, and I woke up in the middle of the night and when I rolled over, I bounced it off the bed onto the floor. Duke woke up to the sound of the bouncing Kong and proceeded to play with it until I could take it away and then I hid it under my pillow until morning. Ridiculous!
The bumps on his back are still gone. He’s got what we refer to as acne on his chin, but it doesn’t bother him and none of the vets we’ve seen have been concerned by it. He tends to get rug burn on his belly from scooting around under the couch all the time but it heals up quickly.
We’ve taken him off of the grain-free diet per the vet’s recommendation and he adjusted well to the switch. He eats in the morning & at night. He doesn’t beg for table scraps or reach for them when we are around. (When we’re not around he’s more willing to try things! He hasn’t gotten any treats since the jerky recall, even though we never fed him jerky treats. I’m just so nervous & we’re running low on our old brand of treats. The peanut butter is working for now.
So after three months – we’ve adjusted well. Duke has fully adapted to our lives and schedule in the best possible way. He’s become a bit more adventurous in terms of seeing what he can get away with – such as eating the trash and the accidents. We’ve also discovered he’s developed a strong sense of trust with us. He is more wiling to approach people and be friendly when we are guiding the interaction and by his side. We’re trusting him more by letting him off leash. He’s developed a unique relationship with me and a different one with Sam. He comes to each of us to get various needs met. (I’m the cuddle buddy, Dad is the play buddy.) He’s added nothing but happiness to our lives & I’m thankful every day that we found each other!
Q: Do you have any suggestions on how to discourage the accidents or handle them if they occur again while we’re not home?