Lennon: Free-Ranging Cookie Tester

Lennon has been getting a lot more free-range time of late. Free-ranging is the ability for a dog to wander around the house unfettered.

For us, house-breaking starts with crate training. This often starts in the bunkhouse. Once the dog is comfortable with the crate they may come to our house to sleep (in their crate) at night. I walk the dog to the door to go out and back to the crate when done. As the dog shows the ability for self-control and no antagonism toward the house dogs, he is granted free-range time. At first it is short and I watch like a hawk. Good behavior earns trust and trust yields longer free-range periods and less supervision. In time the dog is granted “house dog” status where he is allowed to free-range all the time except (perhaps) when we leave. Some dogs take advantage of these unsupervised times to get rowdy. Rowdiness tends to result in stuff getting torn up.  Even house dogs who tend to get rowdy while we’re gone get crated.  They don’t mind: their crates are comfy and we’re never gone long.

Lennon is to the point that he is free-ranging most of the day, going in and out as he pleases and snoozing or playing with toys while inside. Sometimes he gets rowdy with another dog and I send them both outside to play. Lennon eats his meals in his crate and sleeps in his crate at night.

Lennon tends to want to go outside as soon as he’s finished eating. Sometimes he stays a while and Marie and I finish our meal before he comes in. Sometimes he’s back at the door quickly and I have been putting him back in his crate. This morning he was allowed to free-range while we finished our breakfast.

He cruised around the table, poking his nose up like a snorkel but keeping his feet on the floor and his head off the table. He tried to get Blondie to play with him, but I shut that down and Lennon went to hang out with the Beagle Girls.

While Marie was getting dressed for work, Lennon went into the bedroom to chew a tri-bone and lounge on a cushy dog bed. He has been allowed in there more and more as he proves himself trustworthy. Early on he was shredding the blankets I putting his crate even though he had chew toys too, so I was leery of letting him lay on the high priced dog beds. But that worry was unfounded as he has yet to tear into any of the beds.

After breakfast was done and cleared away I started a batch of dog cookies. Lennon was, as always, attentive and willing to be helpful: including test testing the product to be sure it’s worthy of sending out to other doggies.  But he behaved well and did not try to force his offer.

I only needed to make one batch today to be ready for Mondays scheduled deliveries. I am trying out a new heart shaped Big Dog cookie. It seems the bones are a bit too big for some people, and you don’t get many in a bag. The hearts are an in-between size and a pleasant shape as well. Reaction has been good. I think I’ll switch to hearts in the bags and offer the bones only in the bulk boxes – for those who want the bigger Big Dog size.

I also have settled on a standard container for the bulk boxes. These nifty small boxes come in a variety of colors, have a toggle-snap fastener on each end to keep the lid on and when empty of cookies make a great little storage tote. If you have no need for them yourself (storing hobby or craft supplies, organizing small tools, hardware, or parts) donate them to a local teacher: these boxes are highly favored for organizing a classroom’s supplies or giving one to each child to keep supplies in. Treat your dog AND help a teacher!

These go for a $12.00 donation and hold 40 of the Big Dog Bones, or 70 of the Big Dog Hearts, or 200 Regular dog treats. This is equivalent to 5 bags for the price of 4. These can be mail-ordered now as well as local hand delivery.

For non-local delivery: http://dougbittinger.com/julian/healthy-dog-treats/

Sales have been good and feedback from the doggos has been all dew-claws up!

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