Since Sonny’s still wee (lots of wee, as it turns out), training starts slowly. At ten weeks old (and 16.3 pounds at last weigh-in), he’s now made the typical transition from sleepy little snugglepuppy to bitey little piranha puppy. Here’s what we’re working on:
Housebreaking — pretty good. There have been a few little accidents, but nothing major, and we typically catch him in the (very speedy) act. Can I tell you how happy I am to have non-carpeted floors for a change? And as much as I’ve always sung the praises of Nature’s Miracle, I gotta tell ya, Simple Solution smells a heck of a lot better. And it’s cheaper.
His name — he seems to know it, and responds pretty well to being called unless there’s some really powerful distraction in the way (like Truman the Instigator). But I’ll bet the neighbors are tired of hearing me call “Sonnyyyyyyyyyyyyy!” in a high voice, clapping and making kissy noises.
Sit — this one’s coming along nicely. Like most puppies, he’s quickly learning anything associated with meal time.
Down — always more of a challenge than “sit,” but also coming along, with the help of a little kibble.
Stairs — though his legs are still short, he’s doing pretty well going up and down the front steps that lead to his potty spot (an unused parking place in front of our house). The steps are more like big landings, however, so he’s better at those than he is at the indoor stairs that lead to the second floor. They’re steep for such a little man, so we’re working on those in small increments. I’ll put him a couple of stairs up from the floor and encourage him to come down, or put him a couple of stairs from the top and encourage him to climb. They’re carpeted, so that helps. He’s seen Truman go up and down, so he knows it can be done. And for the last day or so, when I bring him inside from relieving and take off the leash, he’ll wander over and put his front paws on the first step, sometimes even climb two or three. Brave little puppy!
Grooming — we work on that in short sessions every day, with a brush provided by GDF that has soft bristles on one side and dull-tipped wire ones on the other. And this is all I’ll say about that: “Brush is FRIEND, not FOOD.”
Other house manners — this dog is a hoover. Wants to sniff, sniff, sniff EVERY FLOOR in the house, and eat every last molecule he finds. He also finds a number of forbidden furniture pieces and shoes delightful to the palate. Fortunately, he is actually deterred by bitter apple spray. But what I really need is a holster to carry the spray bottle in, because when the piranha strikes, it is inevitably in the other room.
He sure is a cute little thing, and he seems to be not only confident but also pretty sharp. I continue to give thanks, however, that he is not criminally insane like Truman was at that age…pretty sure I’d already lost a pint or so of blood by the time he was ten weeks old.