Wednesday, September 8, 2010

One Week In

So we're one week in with our *new addition* to the home. Things have settled out a lot since that first day that I was met with a terrified, shaking, sad dog. He now greets us in the morning, and after work, with a wagging tail and looks forward to his snuggles and attention. He spent the weekend being cared for by my parents, and he took to them as well, so that is now four strange adults under his belt that he has developed the beginnnings of a trusting relationship with.

He is still coexisting with my own dogs quite well. They don't really interact with each other, aside from the occasional bum/facial sniff, but they are all for the most part relaxed with each other and he has developed an interest in watching them play, sometimes resulting in a wagging tail and so far we've had one brief play bow and a little "garuff" of interest.

Since we now have the foundation of a working relationship, he is learning to lay down and to target my hand with his nose. We will be soon starting on Karen Overall's Relaxation Protocol as well, which he will derive a lot of benefit from I think. All of these behaviours will come in handy in the future both in terms of working out in public and if he is deemed rehomable. Regardless, though, he enjoys his time interacting one-on-one and enjoys learning, and he is a lightning-fast learner, let me tell you! After discovering for myself his intense joy of any and all forms of balls, we are using that as a big reward in different situations. He has more drive to work for a ball than he does with food, although now that he is destressing and his body is returning to a more relaxed state, he is becoming more interested in food as well so we switch up between the rewards depending on the exercise.

His housetraining is perfect. He eliminates quickly outside and has not had any accidents in the house. I'm not 100% sure, but I think he is even *asking* to go out by going to the door, although time will tell how consistent that is.

He did have a a bit of a difficult night settling down last night. He is such a velcro-dog at heart, a real soft dog, that we are combining controlled freedoms with some alone time in his room, as I don't want to risk developing *too* strong a relationship right off the bat that is too dependent on us and results in separation issues. It will come in time, he is just stuck in that middle grey area between fear and trust right now, that will take some time.

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