Saturday, January 2, 2010

...And Now, the Bright Side

close-up of Alfie & me

As if to get even with me for sharing about all his shortcomings, Alfie has shown marked improvement in his manners over the last couple of days.  Granted, he still has a mischievous streak about a mile wide, but by limiting his freedoms and giving him more work to focus on, we've seen a noticeable difference.  Yay!!

I thought it'd be fun to share his training progress too.  At 13 weeks, here's what he's learned so far (some of these are kind of obvious, like knowing his name, but when I make a list it always makes me feel better to list as much as possible!!):

  • Alfie
  • come
  • watch me
  • fetch (well, okay...I can take no credit for this; as Tim put it, Alfie came with the fetch software already installed; we just linked the behavior to the command!)
  • sit (which is really a sit-stay, until released; we're working on that part!)
  • go free (release command)
  • down (really down-stay, again, a work in progress)
  • wait
  • off
  • leave it
  • go busy (the all-important potty command!)
  • heel (not too good at this one yet)
  • find the seat (his newest achievement, where he indicates a place I can sit down)
  • go to bed
Alfie in his blue jacket, demonstrating the sit & watch me commandsYesterday Charissa and I took Alfie for a training walk to Walmart and he did beautiful-
ly.  We were so pleased!  I didn't think that New Year's might be a busy shopping day, but it was.  Alfie did quite well in the noisy crowds, even when a little group of teenagers insisted on following behind him for a while howling!  Yes, really!!  We just ignored it and went on.  To Alfie it was just part and parcel of the great new experience and he didn't give it a second thought.  He probably thinks it's normal for people to walk around howling now!  But the best part was when we went to check out.  Even in the express lane, we had to line up behind several others, so I put him in a down to wait.  We had been standing there, chatting and waiting for several minutes when a girl in the next line over glanced down and gasped to see Alfie.  She hadn't even noticed him at first, he'd been so unobtrusive!  That was my proud moment for the evening, as you can imagine!

close-up of Alfie's face with large brown nose and curly chocolate fur

You see, I can be very good when I want to be!


Clive said...

Well done to you both!

There is nothing like when you are out shopping, queuing, sitting in a restaurant and the dog has not been noticed until you move or go to leave! The surprise on the face of other people is always great!

with best wishes
Clive and family

Natalie said...

ooo very nice! you're so good :)

Cassie said...

Awww yay! He's doing so well!