One Week Teddy Report

I have one of those cool inside/outside thermometers and yesterday it broke. The temps hit 80 F (26 C) and, in shock and outrage, the little screen stopped. “That’s it,” it declared. “I’m not going any higher. This is messed up.”

I think it needs a new battery…

We’re not expecting drizzle or anything cold any time soon. Thunder storms that scare the bejeezus out of Dusty T. Dog. That’s it.

As of yesterday, Teddy Bear T. Dog has been my dog for a week. I just got back from taking him to the vet for the rite of passage. “It’ll calm him down,” they say. He’s already a calm little guy, but it’s OK. It might make it a little easier for me to keep his attention for leash training.

Yesterday on our leash walk, I didn’t use the head collar on Teddy, and it was a literal drag. When I got home, I realized that I’ve stopped teaching dogs to heel. I have just made them wear a head collar and called it good. I thought about myself as a dog trainer and I suck. I just train them to live with me and that’s it. With Bear, from her very first night, I got the message that she was an autonomous being, and she would not ever exactly “obey.” I was fine with that. I’d lived with half a dozen Siberian huskies who didn’t obey either. Their style was to cooperate. I’d witnessed what happens when a dog decides to cooperate with me, and it was a lot more pleasant than training in many ways. BUT Dusty was professionally trained, and he’s a LOT easier to live with in some situations than my other dogs. He’s still El Barquero Grande and that could not be trained away.

Dog’s have their natures.

Not that I don’t train them at all. They know sit, down, NO, wait, stop, come, DON’T EVEN THINK OF IT, that kind of stuff. I was feeling bad about myself as a dog trainer of Teddy until I looked up professional trainers online last night and saw all they would teach Teddy that I haven’t is leash walking and staying in a crate. Those are nice features, but wow. $1600 for that? Anyway, at the vet just now, Teddy sat for anyone who told him to, including a little girl who wondered why he liked her so much. “Oh, honey,” I thought, “NEVER think that. Think that you deserve all the love in the world.”

Teddy is a great dog. I’m very happy I found him. He’s sweet, responsive, loving, enthusiastic, stoical and brave. ❤

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11 thoughts on “One Week Teddy Report

  1. I think I would have cried if I’d heard you say that, Martha. What a sweet thing. I hope the little girl remembers that. Teddy is adorable.

    • I didn’t say it. I was afraid it would come out wrong to her mom. Parents can be pretty sensitive. I just told her that Teddy had learned to sit and if she told him to, he’d probably do it and he did. Then I said, “You did great with Teddy!”

      I am thinking of putting the money into training Teddy to be a therapy dog. He’s small, he’s cheerful, he loves people and everyone loves him.

      • Yup. I reread your post. And you are right–who know what the mom would have thought. Wouldn’t that be wonderful for him to be a therapy dog? He has the sweetest little face.

  2. Look at those eyes. He has already seen much of life.

    Maybe teach him “touch”, Martha. That is to touch your hand. First start with a treat in a clenched fist. Mark and reward. Once he has got that down pat, do it with an open hand. Mark and reward. Put your hand it all sorts of places. If he is far from you he can run to your hand and touch it. Then when you are out walking, put your hand by your side and give the command. Mark and reward. When he is good at that, make it a game. Give him a time limit – say 3-5 seconds. No treat if he doesn’t do it in the time limit. Don’t ratchet up too fast. Don/t want to make him anxious about getting it wrong. If he gets it wrong a couple of times, go back to where he was achieving. Sounds just like school, doesn’t it, Martha? 🙂 Then when he is a bit less puppy brain, you can have him sit by your side, walk one step beside you (with heel command), then sit. Mark and reward. Then go up to two steps, etc. Anyway, that’s how I would do it. Ama the untrainable finkie would fly across the yard when I gave her the touch command. I need to get back into training but I have no treats she can eat on her diet. I’ll have to dry some fish. Sorry for the gratuitous advice.

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