Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Smeagol: Day Four Progress Report

Things have been going wonderfully with Smeagol/Joey (we are calling him both. I've said that his name is Joey, but his nickname is Smeagol.) He is settling right in and learning lots every day. I'm on vacation this week, so it has worked out really well that I found him just as my vacation began.

Day One I mostly let him settle in. On Day Two we had our first real training sessions, and he learned "sit" and "show me your belly" in under 60 seconds, and has gotten pretty good with "come here" and "lay down". He also knows "Wanna go outside?"

The other day something happened that scared him. I think maybe Simon knocked him in the head for getting too familiar. Smeagol proceeded to run and hide between Woodrow's legs while he washed dishes.

I couldn't get him to come out from behind his legs for quite awhile. Poor little guy. Otherwise things are going pretty good between him and the cats.

Today we had a big adventure. We took him to the Caloosahatchee Creeks Preserve for his first outing in nature. I wasn't sure how he would do. Well he did great! He seemed to really enjoy it.

We stopped and spent a little time on a bench by the river.
 Isn't he a cutie? We just sat and looked out at the view...

The view is so pretty here. You wouldn't know from this shot that we are right next to the interstate...

As peaceful as it looks, unfortunately you hear all of the traffic on I-75.

As we left today, we saw some bulls by the pasture fence. We decided to stop and see how Smeagol would respond. I've been trying to introduce him to all sorts of situations to keep him well-adjusted and socialized.

He walked right up to this big bull with no hesitation at all. The bull was nervous about Woodrow and I, but he immediately came up and licked Smeagol on the nose!

I had Woodrow go get the camera, and we worked to get Smeagol and the bull together for a shot.

We finally got the two of them together again, but we still couldn't get a shot of the bull licking Smeagol on the nose again (although the bull did do it a few times). 

The bull finally let me pet his nose, too. He was really skittish of Woodrow. I told Woodrow that he probably hasn't had good run-ins with men, what with branding/tagging, castrating, immunizations, and such. But since I had Smeagol, and he liked Smeagol, he seemed to trust me a little more.

So Joey (Smeagol) and I have begun training, and he is super smart and learning fast. Here are our current goals and progress. Those things he seems to have mastered have been crossed off the list:
  • Learn name(he's learned both Smeagol and Joey pretty well)
  • Learn command "sit"
  • Learn command "down" (for laying down)
  • Learn command "show me your belly" (WORKING ON IT. He's very good at this command once he's laying down.)
  • Learn command "sit pretty" (to get him to sit up and "beg") (WORKING ON IT. We did this once tonight.)
  • Learn command "roll over"
  • Learn command "come here" (WORKING ON IT. He's getting pretty at this.)
  • Learn command "stay"
  • Learn command "get in your bed"
  • Learn what "Wanna go outside" means (WORKING ON IT. He's pretty good at this.)
  • Learn what "Wanna go for a ride" means
  • Learn what "eat" means
  • Learn to walk properly on a lead (WORKING ON IT. He's doing pretty well on a leash, when he isn't afraid of the cars driving by.)
  • Learn to ask to go outside (WORKING ON IT. He's getting good at this.)
  • Learn to fetch
  • Become "crate trained" (WORKING ON IT. I got him to willingly eat his dinner in it tonight, to keep the cats away from his food while he ate.)
  • Learn the meaning of "toy" or "baby"
  • Try different foods. Get him to eat rice and veggies and such. (WORKING ON IT. He at apple today and loved it. I tried to feed him rice tonight mixed in with his food, but he ate around it. My goal is to eventually be able to get him on a healthy vegetarian diet with the protein that he needs.)
  • Become good friends with Katy (Mom's dog) so that maybe the two of them can even play together.
Now the next big goal will be Thanksgiving at Mom's with her dog Katy. We'll see how that goes.

He is the greatest little pup I could have ever hoped for!


Libby's Library said...

He's adorable - what breed or mix is he?

Heather said...

The rescue adopted him out as a chihuahua, because that's what his former owner told them. However I say he is a chihuahua/rat terrier or fox terrier mix. He's a very nice little guy, with just enough puppy antics to make us laugh, but otherwise pretty calm and very obedient. Great puppy!