When Blue left on transport, Ugg was so lonely! The poor thing!
But we got him a new neighbor, Lady, and he’s much happier now. Neither of them has been “fixed” yet so I am hesitant to let them play in the yard together. But having a neighbor again makes him happy.
Ugg has come a long way on his behavior recently. He has a strong desire to please me, so that makes it easy to train him. I only have to be clear on what I expect of him and he complies. He now understands that it is not okay to stand up, put his paws on my chest and butt me in the face with his nose. He also understands that mouthing my hands or arms are not good things either.
Once in a while, when particularly excited to be let out of his kennel, he will forget and try to grab my arm, but a stern, “No” reminds him. All my bruises have healed up now!
He no longer “attacks” me with affection when I let him out of his kennel. The No Nip Trick worked well to focus his attention elsewhere, so now he knows that when first released he should run out into the yard to sniff, pee and poop as needed. Then, when calmed down, he comes back and we do some calm, affection.
Ugg no longer sees his kennel as “confinement”, but as his “room”. He has not bent anything trying to force the door in quite a while. I still use the chain reinforcement at night and when I leave the property, but just the double latches during the day when I’m here.
When Ugg is in play time, he sometimes tells me that he’s done playing by going into his room, sitting on his bed, and looking at me to say, “I’m done playing now, bring me my cookie.” If I hand him the cookie, he often envelops my whole hand with his big mouth, but he’s really gentle about it. I think he’s kidding around.
If I tire before he does and give him the “In your room” command, most of the time he will comply right away. Sometimes he stands and looks at me with a, “I’m not done yet” look. Once in a while he has not moved his bowels yet and will ignore me until he does that, then gallops over to go in his room. Other times, he is just being obstinate and will go back to sniffing or walking around. if I say, “Ugg, you’re being a bad boy” he walks to his room, “Oh, okay.” He’s not happy, but he complies.
One of his new tricks is to come over and sit on my feet with his back to me, them sit up tall and lean back against my legs. I hold onto him and scratch his chest, he licks my arm. This is our compromise to his jumping on me and mouthing my arms. He wants affection and close contact, this is a more appropriate way of getting it. And he worked this out on his own!
Ugg has become fastidious about not pooping in his kennel. This has happened only once in the past couple of weeks, and that was my fault, not his. It was raining hard and I didn’t let him out on time. A fella can hold it only so long. If I’m running late, he will fuss and bark to remind me that he has needs too. He should be easy to house break, he’s already mostly there.
He still gets upset when I leave the property, but has not chewed up anything, nor damaged his kennel (lately). I think he’s getting used to the idea that I DO come back if I go away.
An adoptive home for him will need a friend for him if he is to be left alone sometimes. And I’d recommend a sturdy crate if he’s to be kept indoors, or a strong kennel if kept out doors while the family is away. As he learns to trust, the separation anxiety will go away and he’ll be less likely to chew up things in frustration. He’s really calm and docile when crated, as long as he is released often enough to see to his bodily needs.
He walks well on a leash using a front-clip harness.