|Chilly little Kaline in Juno's Hallowe'en t-shirt. Dad's getting him pajamas for Xmas, hehe.|
But today I've been doing a bunch of short training sessions with Kaline, and it definitely put me in a better mood.
First, though, an update on his neck. After a few months of being naked as much as possible but using the prong collar when a collar was required looking like the solution to the problem, it turns out it's not. Kaline had a tiny spot of very short hair on the back of his neck for a while, with an irritated follicle in the middle of it. Since it wasn't growing, I didn't really worry. Well, now it's growing. It's where the chain rests on the back of his neck. The hair on the front is still fine, grown in nicely, but he's got a couple irritated follicles there too. Cue despair.
Just kidding. I worked Kaline in the Infinity collar and his flat Tigers collar on Monday, and he worked pretty well in it, though he was pretty spastic in Trader Joe's. Thank goodness we were only there for about 10 minutes. He was trying to smell stuff, swinging his butt around randomly, etc. Then in line he did a perfect block, even leaning gently into the backs of my knees. He's a dog, not a robot, he's a dog, not a robot ...
|Mom found a hidden stash of Christmas collars, yay!|
Anyway. Tuesday I made a call to Paco Collars, based in Berkeley. I told them Kaline's issues, and they seem confident that one of their collars will do the trick. (Kay will end up working in the Infinity plus Paco Collar, until he progresses to the point where he can just work in the flat, like Juno.) I believe the word used to describe the lining of the collar was "buttery." Sounds delicious. So we are going to head up there on Saturday and hope they have a ready-made black Deluxe collar that will fit the wee man. I think they will. Not cheap, but if it finally solves the neck issue, I'll be happy. I know a ton of Dobermans wear Paco Collars, so it should work. Fingers and paws crossed.
Back to the training. Since the weekend, Kaline has gotten way better at doing the treadmill. He has now had seven total fifteen-minute sessions on the treadmill. On the first and second ones, he threw a fit and needed a lot of help to stay on. Three and four, he threw a fit but was able to stay on by himself. Five, he only put up a token fuss and walked nicely after that. Six, he got on by himself. And the rest is history.
It's really nice to know that that is now an option when Kaline needs to burn off some energy, because at least for now, roughhousing with big sis is no longer an option. He's got two little hairless tooth-marks on his neck. And I think we all know how insane I am about his neck (see above). He loves to have Juno chew on his neck, and she loves to oblige, so ...
We also worked a bunch on the fridge, because he was backsliding a little. Today, our new maize-and-blue tug came from Alex, a friend who is raising money for her future SD from Laughing Eyes Kennels. Both dogs love it, and Kaline is already starting to pull on the long middle part of the tug (on the rope toy, he refused to use anything but the little fringey strings at the bottom, which obviously led to the thing slipping abruptly out of his mouth a lot).
His take it is getting pretty good—he'll go for the blue bone on the floor—and he did very nice hold and out today. He walked around the kitchen with the bone in his mouth (I held my hand really close to his mouth in case he decided to drop it) and even did a sit-down-sit sequence with it in his mouth.
While Juno gets her turns on the treadmill, Kaline gets to practice his down-stay and settle, which is going nicely. I really want to just take a day and go to several different places with him and a book, and just work on settling under chairs/tables for extended periods of time. Super exciting, I know.
Juno did such a cute hold yesterday at training. Anne had left her bait bag way far away and was packing up her car. When I went to go grab Juno's leash (she'd been working off-leash), I saw the bag and told Juno to take it. She did, and she carried it all the way from that little area of the park over to Anne's car—where she sat and politely gave the bag to Anne. Yay.
I think the only other thing Kaline has really been focusing on is finding heel and finding front. Finding front is a lot harder for him, but we'll get there!