JJ seemed to enjoy his first xmas!! He certainly enjoyed opening all the presents even though he didn’t know why we were having a mad present fest this particular day! 🙂 (must have thought it was his birthday!)
This was the first day they played in the same room with food in treat dispensers, but of course it doesn’t give them as much space to fling their toys about without getting in each others way.
I let them take turns having a go at unwrapping their big present to introduce the concept of them taking turns to do something.
I often get them to sit or stand and pose for photo’s I think it’s good for basic obedience, they are learning sit, stay and wait.
As I only got JJ in November, this first month has just been about settling in, learning our routine, building the relationship up between him and Inca and learning the basics ie toilet training , basic obedience and learning to walk alongside my chair/scooter.
Of course I also use sign so he’s learning the signs as my speech isn’t very consistent and depends on my muscle tone. Sometimes it comes out clearly, other times I struggle to get words out at all. I find it harder when having to speak longer sentences with more than a few words strung together as of course it’s taking alot more co-ordination between my speech muscles and breathing which are all affected by the Ataxia. Due to this I’m also starting to use a whistle for recall as sometimes I can get a whistle sound out and he comes in instantly but again its not consistent, so hopefully a whistle will help.
So far he has learnt the following commands/sentences in speech/sign:
sit, stay, down, wait, no, ok, on, off, ride, pick it up, pull, give, off the road, on the path, on the grass, wait for Inca, paws up, paws off, toilet, tell and most recently ‘socks off”!
Most importantly the relationship between them is improving which I need for him to be able to learn from Inca directly, so she will tolerate him been in same room as her when she is ‘working’ and so he won’t pester her and be trying to jump on her or play when she’s trying to do a job for me.
Inca doesn’t seem to growl and snap at him as much outdoors even when he tries to kiss her as they’re walking along side by side! .. Due to heavy rain I haven’t been able to get into middle of a field with him to let him off lead safely away from cars. I was worried he would either take off over ground I couldn’t follow him on or pester Inca and it end in a fight and I wouldn’t be able to get to them.
They have been playing in the garden seperately cos as soon as Inca came to see what he was doing, he took it as she wanted to play and would go charging up her and she’d get nasty with him, same if I let them out to toilet together so neither dog would end up actually going to the toilet. Inca was also snapping at him if he had a toy in his mouth, although she showed no interest in playing previously other than with toys that have her food in!
I feel we’re ready to take the next step now so once JJ’s whistle has arrived and we’ve had a bit of training around house and garden, I’m planning to take them a little further where there’s an enclosed tennis court we can go in to start with and see how they go on off-lead together in there with lots of treats and a couple of balls!! 🙂