Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Lola continues to get bigger (and heavier!). She has a vet appt. this Friday and I'll be anxious to see what she's up to. I'm guessing 18lbs.

She's almost sleeping through the night. The past 3 or 4 nights, I hear her stirring & scratching on the sides & the door of the crate, so I open the crate to let her out & she just stays there. So I shut the door again & then she starts crying. So, last night I decided to just leave her when the scratching starts and she goes till 5:00...then starts to cry. I take her out & when I come back, I feel inside the crate & she's peed in it! She's never peed in her nighttime crate. So I guess I'm expecting too much or need to withhold the water earlier. She had been out at 10:30. We're transitioning into the bigger wire crate tomorrow. She just fits in the plastic crate, but cannot sit up the whole way.

Tonight we worked more on eye contact and targeting and started "down". I haven't really added the cues yet, but will start this week. She's holding eye contact for 8-10 seconds before looking away and targeting at about a foot away. I've only had her target my hand at this point, but will add the target stick (or in our case...wooden spoon) later in the week too.

I've really tightened up the reigns on Sherman this week. Tonight I had him hold a down stay for about 30 minutes while Penny & Lola played. Sherman feels the need to intervine during their play sessions, breaking the whole thing up. He shoots across the room and gets in Penny's face or steals the toy they're playing with. Scott & I have taken a liking to calling him the "Fun Police" (a term I stole from Amy R. of PghDogs). We make siren sounds when he's patroling their play. Lola tries to play w/ him but he just puts her on the ground. Penny now refuses to play w/ him. He'll bring her a toy or try to tug on a toy she has...and she just drops it & walks away. He gets what he deserves. He's really been mean to Penny. He does get play time w/ Scott & I everyday so he's not terribly neglected .

Anyway, Sherman's never really been big on Stay. I've gotten him to the point where he'll Sit Stay w/o distractions, but I've never really tested him on the Down Stay. So tonight he laid at my feet while I was at the computer and observed the girls having a blast. 4 or 5 times he inched up in position to pounce, but settled down with one little "Uh Uh!" I've also made him hold the wait longer at doors and while the girls eat. Sherman finishes his meal in record time & really likes to hover around waiting for Penny to spit out some kibble or Lola to leave her bowl to check out something in the living room. He now has to sit on the rug, about 8 feet away from both of them and wait. Once they are done and leave their bowls, I make him hold the wait for at least 30 seconds and then release him to clean up. It's so easy for me to get lazy w/ his NILIF, but his behavior is so much better when I enforce it.