Monday, January 12, 2015

There's No Place for Frustration in Puppy Training...

...But Shit Happens

This would not be a very valuable training puppy blog if it were all champagne bubbles and caviar dreams.  Today was just a roller coaster day as Buster did some things fantastically and then drove me absolutely batty with the inexplicable.

I had an early appointment with a guest on the East Coast.  I was up at 5 am, got everyone fed and even had time to play with everyone a little. Buster and I headed for the office. We arrived early enough for a walk and insure that Buster had the opportunity to take care of business.  He happily availed himself of the opportunity.  Back at the office he was a little noisy as we conducted a recorded interview, but five minutes in he was sound asleep in the corner of my office.

Afterward we went for a brief walk and I got another 90 minutes of work completed before he was up.  We had a walk planned for noon. It was 11:15.  Okay, let's just walk.  We walked for 45 minutes and met my wife for lunch.

Buster is interacting with most people in a much more positive way.  He met up with several people who see us walking and stop to say 'hi'.  I have not quite figured out what makes him leery of a person.  There were a couple of people we ran into that he just did not want to approach.  One group had five people in it with a women squealing to say hello.  Buster seem confused, but tolerant.  When the waiter quietly and calmly brought our food out to the patio, Buster barked at him.  There just doesn't seem to be any rhyme or reason to his reactions.

The afternoon was spent editing.  We got back at 1:30 and Buster slept until 3:45.  But, then he was up.  He paced from room to room, grabbing this toy then that.  He tried chewing on a the file cabinet, then the chair leg, then got tangled in an electrical cord.  I got the message.  My day was over.  I packed and we headed home.

The power was out when we got home but I had a few chores I needed to get done outside while Buster and Rusty burned off some energy.  I was getting my stuff done when I look in the direction of one of our mulberry trees.  There was Buster digging a hole in a spot I had caught him digging a few days ago.  I had filled the whole with dog poop thinking that might discourage him.  No such luck.

I grabbed his leash, lead him over to the hole.  I pounded the hole with my fist while yelling "NO, NO, NO".  I had done this same procedure the first time he dug here.  I let him loose and he looked remorseful for about 30 seconds then bounded off to play with Rusty.  I felt that I had caught him in the act and let him know I disapproved, so what he did afterward was out of my control. I refilled the hole with dirt and smoothed it over.

Twenty minutes later Buster is back at the same spot digging.  Well, this time I lost my cool.  I hooked the leash on him again and this time we hustled over to the hole.  I made him lower his head as I pounded the ground (I don't believe in striking the dog, just the object of his obsession).  After three good whacks of the ground, I scooped him up and put him in his kennel for a time out that lasted 20 minutes.

Somehow I think this digging thing is going to be a big problem for him.

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