a Taj MuttHall Dog Diary: First 24 hours of Luke

Monday, June 08, 2015

First 24 hours of Luke

Added more at the end June 9, 9:45 a.m.
Just trying to capture some notes--an inventory of where he is--while there's a brief peaceful interlude. In general, I'd say that he has the training that one might expect of maybe a 4-month old puppy, but he's maybe 12 months old (waiting for confirmation on age).

...  hmmm, I wonder why it's so peaceful and where he is and what he's doing? ... Oh, he just came downstairs from my bedroom and isn't carrying anything, so I guess that's good.
  • He's mostly good enough in the house that I'm letting him wander around on his own.
  • Big problem with that is getting up on kitchen chairs to find things on the table, paws on counters, etc.  I've been trying to keep things clean because of Chip anyway, but things feel so chaotic all of a sudden that I'll set something on the table and go quickly into the other room and forget.
  • He was supposed to know how to use a doggie door, but seemed completely unclear on the concept for the first couple or three hours yesterday. But if I lifted one corner about half an inch, he'd come through.  So I finally figured out that he was distracted by it being in a sliding glass door that he could see through (vs a solid door or wall). So i covered the glass alongside the door and voila, he started getting it. Then I uncovered the glass again and we're fine.
  • The only trouble with that is that, if Luke isn't under my close supervision or in his crate, he's happy to run out when Chip starts barking at the dog next door and join in. Just NOT what I need, 2 of them.  Which means I also need to do something about Chip, sigh.
  • He grabs grabs grabs grabs my hands and wrists and even arms and toes and sometimes at my face. As in, with his teeth. Not hard, but OMG what a challenge that is proving to be.  Working out how to approach this. Interestingly, it seems to be better if I reach under to rub his chest sometimes, but mostly not. Have been told that it's because he wants to be close to you and/or affectionate and/or play. But, jeez, needs work.
  • And completely unconcerned about jumping right up into or at my face.  Or, since I'm lying on the couch and using the computer, just right on top of me. Ouch and ouch and ouch, getting bumped and thumped and whapped.
  • He's learning very quickly to sit before being released from the crate or to get his meal. Dogs find these things to be highly motivating for learning, yes indeedy.
  • He has had his meals in a Leo Genius toy and the other big red egg-shaped thing. Figuring them out very quickly. However, he left some of his meal behind in the Leo for dinner this evening.
  • Worked a little on not grabbing at food in my hands. Has had some background in that previously but needs a big refresher.
  • Worked a little on nose touches to my hand. Getting a lot of tongue and mouth, too, but I think starting to focus in on the nose touch with little effort, so he might have had some background on that.
  • After a little griping, he does seem to settle down OK in a crate.
  • He does not like going into the crate, probably because he gets shut into them often. I need to spend time on some crate games, and ASAP, because I don't want to be fighting with this, and I still need to be able to crate him for some peace or when I'm out of the house.  I tried just a little last night, and it was a battle just to try to get him positioned in front of the crate!
  • He's housebroken, definitely. At least that's OK!  There was one accident while he was still figuring out the doggie door, so that's why I made sure that he could use the door correctly (although I swear he'd been out less than half an hour before).
  • He generally seems to understand what are dog toys.  Except that the pile of toys he'd accrued this afternoon included one of the shoes that I'd kicked off before hitting my couch office.  And the cell phone that fell out of my pocket while trying to do something with him on the floor. And my computer mouse when I raised my arm (leaving it on the couch) to fend him off.  
  • He throws water all over the floor from the water dish! I think because he just leaves in such a hurry (he's a busy guy).  But his rescue person did point out that he's a water dog, with his feet in the ranch water bucket. And sure enough, once this morning I found him with both front feet in the water dish in the kitchen.
  • No good name recognition (he came to rescue as Luther and she changed it to Luke--which I completely agree with, but that means that he hasn't had much time to understand it).  I get virtually no response when I say his name unless he's right in front of me and there are no other distractions.
  • Doesn't really bring toys back when thrown. Maybe. Eventually. 
  • Does love to play by himself, which is nice, too.
  • Is clicker trained, so responds well to it. I'm using "Yes!" along with it to get him used to that alternative sound.
He and Chip are figuring out how to play with each other.  I think. Yesterday Chip wanted to hump him and climb on him and lie on him and I kept removing Chip, and sometimes Luke would come back at him to play, but more often not.  Today Chip's not being quite as pushy and they did run around together a bit and play a bit.

Chip is also being a bit grumpy at times even when Luke isn't doing anything.

But Chip seems exhausted for the 2nd day in a row (well, 3rd, with visit at our overnight spot's dog house), and So. Am. I.

Haven't had time to do more than glance at the photos that I took on our trip and afterwards. Ack ack ack.


  1. So much work. But he sounds smart. Of course sometimes that's worse! :) Hope he figures out what the rules are quickly and settles down some. He's young right? I hope it all works out!

    1. Yes, about 8 months I think. So basically I'm starting with the skills of a young puppy, not of what one would hope for in an 8-month old. So I'm doing an inventory of where he is, as much as anything.

  2. New pups are a lot of work. Roxy, Wiley and Flick were not housetrained when they came to me, and neither were any of the foster dogs I've had (usually young to middle-aged adults), so you're doing well there at least. The puppy mouthy and jumping up things is hopefully something that will disappear with training, but they can be taxing. Flick destroyed a couple of pairs of shoes when she was younger :(

    We've always had an issue with our dogs fence running with the neighbor dogs behind us (it's a rental and there have been many different dogs by now). Something about that yard and its set up with our fences. I simply can't allow them out unsupervised, which is annoying as heck.

    1. I am pretty spoiled on the housetraining; Boost and Tika and Jake and Remington and Sheba, come to think of it, were all pretty much housetrained when I got them. Just had to monitor housebroken for MY house. Which, it turns out, I also need to do with him! He's confusing his doors.

      I might have a kludgy solution on the fence chasing/barking; will see when it's implemented.