Friday of the first week of theHanaProject. Here is Hana, enjoying a romp in the snow during a potty break. She "assisted" me in letting out the chickens this morning. She followed me as I climbed over the raised garden beds to check for eggs and loves exploring.
She is becoming better and better at understanding the whole concept of potty training. Yes, we have had a couple accidents but part of that is getting a handle on the input-output schedule. One thing that I have learned is not to rush your dog to potty and then toss it in the crate or kennel as soon as the deed is done. This will only teach the dog that as soon as it potties, the fun is over. You will become frustrated and the dog will hold their urine and pee in the crate instead. Soooo.... have patience and instead show the puppy that the fun times BEGIN when they potty! That means you continue on a walk or exploration or come in and play, but you do not immediately confine it. Some reward that is, eh?
I take her outside immediately after finishing a meal. There seems to be a direct line to "in with the new, out with the old"... and the poop is quite predictable. Writing about puppy bowel movements may seem trite and boring but there are probably people doing the same thing right now, and wondering why they are struggling. Plus, since Hana's owners aren't able to participate in this lovely part of her training, I am able to give them something to be thankful for! She is working for her living already and the food is delivered for following my hand. No free lunch (bowls)! I soak it a few minutes first, so she can eat it easily, and then pair her movements with the clicker. Forward, then back, learning how her body moves. Seated on the floor, I will lead her with the food over my legs as obstacles. Spin, back, forward....down. Nothing has a name yet, it is purely shaping the movements. She enjoys her food and I don't over-feed her, so she is motivated to work for her meals. If one day we reach a point where she decides it would be more fun to go play with toys instead of staying engaged with me, I will end the lesson and put her in the crate without the remainder of her lunch. But for today, she is still all about the chow!
Here Hana is tracking BigFoot. It appears she is curious as to what giant must be out there to have left such gigantic prints!
Hana has met Cooper, who thinks she is just a stupid, boring puppy. He runs away from her to do his own thing, and she pursues him, barking!! Here is discovers that there are Big Dogs in the house....
And here she is, resting after her adventure and playing with toys.