Sunday, September 13, 2015

Anica: Week Four

We're going to head out to an adoption event in a little more than an hour, so (fingers crossed!) this may be the last Anica update before she gets adopted (I HOPE I HOPE I HOPE), but here's what we have to report over the past week:

UTI is now completely resolved and antibiotics have been completed. Anica is now able to go 7 or 8 hours at a stretch without needing to potty (or, if I'm being totally honest, even 9 hours overnight, although I recognize that is less than optimal for a puppy of her age. But I've done it and she's been okay, which is a great kindness and feat of endurance on her part). It's been several days with no signs of recurrence or discomfort, so I think this problem is safely behind us.

Training is going pretty well. Due to various life/work developments over the past week, I have once again been a giant slacker failure in getting Anica as well trained as I'd like, but despite that she's coming along nicely. She walks well on leash (other than persistently trying to get at old pizza boxes and this one incredibly disgusting, partially mummified roadkilled rat which has been on the street for 3 days right next to her favorite potty spot) and has a pretty good auto-Sit when I stop, if she isn't distracted. If she is distracted then that goes out the window immediately, but she just needs more practice and rewards when she's focused; she's making excellent progress overall.

(Incidentally, brief soapbox: you know what I hate? Seeing people collar pop dogs for not Sitting when distracted, especially auto-Sits at stoplights. There's one dog walker in our neighborhood who used to do this ALL THE TIME and it drove me crazy because (a) hello, lousy training; (b) I knew that the dog's actual owner did not expect, request, or reinforce that behavior, so the dog was effectively being punished for failing to do a thing that it wasn't ordinarily asked to do; and (c) this particular dog walker was especially bad about doing that whenever she knew I was watching, I guess to show that she, too, was capable of training her dogs in public. Except not so much, and also: who does that? Collar popping somebody else's dogs to make a point to a stranger? Triple gross.)


I've also been playing various food/toy games with Anica, partly to burn off puppy energy, partly to build up motivators, partly just because it's a dumb idle thing to amuse myself. She's especially fond of the "chase" reward (as simple as it sounds: I throw a cookie along the floor so she can chase it down instead of just eating a static cookie from my hand) and the "find it" reward (also as simple as it sounds: the cookie is nominally hidden so she has to sniff it out instead of just seeing it in plain sight). Anica loves both chasing things and sniffing things, so she is very easily entertained by these games.

Here's a brief session of Sit practice. You can see that I haven't gotten that latency period down too much, due mostly to inadequate practice (but also she'd already been working for several minutes before I taped this clip, so she was getting a little tired and there was a dog barking outside the window that was a bit of a distraction). Also you can see that I'm rewarding with mini versions of "chase" -- not long throws because I didn't want this clip to be overlong, but still useful to reset her between repetitions.

I forgot to mark the last Sit with a "yes." WHOOPS.

And that is pretty much that. With luck, Anica will find a home this afternoon. But if not, that's fine. She's an easy houseguest and we're finally starting to get to the part where training is actually fun. Whee!


  1. Has anyone adopted this adorable girl? Because if not, she's exactly who I've been searching for! I'm in western NY, but would travel to meet her.

    1. Yes, she has been adopted. :)

      And it looks like she's not coming back, so I should probably get around to posting that!

  2. Too bad... glad she found a home, though!