Jake update – how our new family member’s doing.
It’s been almost a month and a half since Jake came to live with us! It’s kinda flown by. Things aren’t quite as overwhelming as when we were first adjusting to having him in our lives. All’s been well with vet visits, and the animal hospital we take him to has been great so far (Dr. Ibey is great with dogs and was really lovely with Jake)! He’s waaaaay less fussy with food now, we’re past the point of accidents in the house, he will play quite a bit (loves tug of war and fetching a couple of toys in particular, but not every sort of toy), and he’s really good about knowing his boundaries in the house (not allowed in the kitchen, he can only come up on the end of our bed if invited). A big help was that he’d been previously crate trained so once we got him a small kennel for our room he had his own space to be in for naps and sleeping at night & a safe space for us to know he could be in while we were out.
The main challenges we have facing us now are just behavioural/training issues. We’ve been taking him to obedience classes at A Leg Up training here in the Annex which is run by Lisa – she’s really fantastic, patient & knows her stuff. She’s really understanding of the fact that Jake’s new to us & also has a lot of ingrained behaviour seeing as he’s almost 5 years old. So although he may have struggled to stay focused in the classes (especially when intimidated by other larger dogs there, or distracted by late arrivals to the class), he’s learnt a couple of good things and it’s been just as important for me learning about how to properly deal with training him!
So far, he’s about 70% good on “sit”, “down” & “stand” and maybe 25% on “stay”. (We have gotten him to the point where he won’t start eating the food we put down for him until he sits & waits til we say okay though!) Walking was a very being dragged along situation for me and Adam for a while, but around 75% of the time Jake will walk in the heel position beside us which is a huge change! He’s still easily distracted by people/dogs/smells though. He seems to startle easily – unexpected people will set him off barking especially – so that’s going to be a big task to work on.
We’re off to Winnipeg for a vacation tomorrow & Jake will be flying will us in the cabin in a soft-sided carrier. I’m nervous about travelling with him, but excited for our friends and family there to meet him, and for him to get a little vacation to live in a house for a bit & have some play time in the backyard at Adam’s parents house.
It’s nice to see how fat he’s come in this little amount of time, so we’ll revisit his progress in another month or two for comparison! Until then, you can follow on Twitter or Instagram for all the cute pictures of him you could possibly handle!