Merry Christmas! Or Happy Holidays. Or whatever…
Things have been progressing. We have stopped feeding Tierce regular meals – he gets food for obeying commands (especially “Front!”). I have also made efforts to ignore bids for attention in favour of giving him attention when I want to and also when he comes when called. I’m hoping that regular applications of this by both Mischa and I will get him into the habit of looking on us as the source of all things good.
Lastly, I have decided that we will give the dog park a miss. Tierce has been getting bad about demanding toys (sticks, balls, broken pieces of plastic… whatever) that another dog has or is playing with. I think that it’s time to give the dog park a rest and socialize him one-on-one with other dogs without toys to complicate things.
To compensate for the dog park exercise, I am taking up jogging. Tierce seems to get a lot out of running and, with my growing stamina, I hope that we will both get into great shape this new year. I’ve been trying several methods to encourage him to keep a steady pace. One is running in a zig-zag pattern when terrain and safety permit. This makes Tierce think and look to me for guidance. Another is stopping to play with him every so often to keep his interest and enthusiasm up.
My New Year goal (one of them) is to have Tierce used to running, screaming children. He has been socialized with all sorts of children, but is still nervous about being in the middle of a noisy horde of them. I aim to make him used to this by bringing food for him to the local schoolyard and, if I am not carted off under suspicion of being a child molester, getting the kids to feed him.
Damn, I’m tired.