Monday, October 17, 2011
Dickens The Domesticated
I've been asked to do an update on Dickens and his integration into our pack. I haven't been writing much lately because there hasn't been much to write about. At some point Dickens dialed the crazy way down and decided to go with the flow. Since then life has been easier for all of us.
I've been stepping up the training to include the exercises Dickens will need to get his Canine Good Citizen certification, the first step toward being approved to visit hospitals and care facilities. Recently we've been working on stand on command. So far this has consisted of me telling Dickens to stand, offering him a treat as an enticement, and then watching him take the treat and sit down again. When he does this I take his collar in one hand and reach under his belly with the other and lift. While Dickens doesn't mind being touched, he dislikes being handled, and he immediately flops over on his back.
A very welcome change in his behavior concerns the dogs on the other side of the fence, who Dickens regards as an affront to his very existence. I used to have to break up the barking contests by hauling Dickens into the house by the collar. Now I call him and he comes running, no doubt having decided it's preferable to the old method. The cookie he gets doesn't hurt, either.
The couch drama seems to have ended, too. When I leave the house I put two dining room chairs upside down on the cushions, and there have been no problems.
A note about Daisy. She has figured out that Dickens is sometimes all bark and no bite. She is less hesitant to snap at him if he plays too roughly, or if he tries to steal a ball from her, or if he simply gets too close to her while she's relaxing. Dickens has become more deferential in matters of toys, too, probably as a result of a well-timed nip or two on the nose. All in all, a welcome development on both sides.