Sonic has been a good boy, as you all know that we started our clicker training late due to him lack of interest in food to start with, he is very much into toys, he will play with any toys you present to him and he is a great tugger just like his daddy. Sometimes I think he is more of a mama's boy but lately, I can see Sing in him. He tugs just like his daddy :)
So, we are a late starter on clicker, from week 12 until now, week 14, we have done a few basic tricks, such as ... sit, down, left & right, rollover, paw, creep and hand touch. Some of you may know that he is not a human-oriented dog. He will approach you when he wants to but for the first 12 weeks in his life, I can never catch him! He would not allow me to touch him, let alone pick him up. This is why whenever we go out walking, I have to have a lead hanging on his collar or harness, that is for me to be able to catch him when we finish our walk. He is brilliant with his recall though, eventhough I cannot catch him, I have no problem calling him back to me. I always take a toy (mainly different kind of tug each time) whenever we go out walking. I used the tug as a reward when he comes back when call. He is 100% respond to my recall when we are out but not at home in the garden with the cat around. If the cat is not around, he is brilliant! How can steal the "value" of the cat?
He is very confident little man, no problem taking him anyway, to people's house with dogs or without dogs, walk on the High Street ... so long no one suddenly approach him unexpectedly, he is fine. He is bomb proof as I can see. When we were camping at Axstane a couple of weeks ago, we had thunder and lightning, all he did was stood on the caravan step looking for the sounds, no sign of fear or anything, hopefully he will be good for the Bonfire Night to come.
I have done a lot of work since he was 8 weeks old, that is for me to be able to touch him and pick him up. I spent a lot of time, maybe 5-6 times a day but very short period, not more than 5 minutes. I sat on the floor with either food or toy (depending what he wants but gradually move from toy to food and clicker when he realised food is great) for him to approach me and I gently touch him and we process from there. Or, when we play tug, I will try to gently put my hand on his side ... I want him to know that my touch is not that horrible ... there were no improvement between week 8 to week 12.5. I was rather sad, how did I bred a puppy that don't like me? Especially when Scara joined our family, she was so affectionate, like a puppy should be. That made him stand out even more. I have been thinking to rehome him at week 10 but I knew he is the one I have been waiting for so long, so I want to hang on ... at week 12, I was heart broken. I cannot have a puppy that won't let me touch him, hug him and pick him up. I beginning to seriously thinking about finding him a home ... I have been seeking a lot of advices from friends and people I trust and they all knew how much I love my little boy and they wanted me to be patient (that is the thing I lack of!). At week 13, I had a secret whisper with Sonic and after that, things changed. He will let me touch him and stay there to let me put a lead on his collar. HOW WONDERFUL is that? You won't believe I have tear in my eyes. Now, we can go out walking with lead off. HOORAY!! That is a big milestone for us!
We are set for the routine ... in the morning, normally after his breakfast while he is fresh and awake after a long sleep at night, we will spend 10-15 minutes to refresh all the tricks we have learned so far, then follow by a play with different toys. He will then have a nap for about an hour. Then, in the afternoon, just before the lunch feed or right after the lunch feed, depending on the day, we will have a game in the garden for 5-10 minutes. Mainly just racing up and down the garden with toys. I am hoping to develop that into "circle work" later. He then will have another long nap, normally between 2:30 to 5:00, when he wakes up, we will do tricks in the garden follow by play, just like our morning routine but outdoor. Then, just before bed time, we will have a little play for 5 minutes.
I have taken some videos during our training for the last couple of weeks but I just haven't got time to edit and upload them; I took a couple this morning as you can see my focus is very bad, it is either too far or too close that you can't see his head. These are un-edited video clips ...
This is Sonic doing his morning routine tricks, in this little video you can see him doing ... sit, down, left & right, rollover, paw and creep. As he does not like the direct contact with me (yet?), so our paw is me showing him my fist and he will give me his paw, this way, I don't have to shake his paw but hopefully in the future we can have a proper paw in my hand:
This is Sonic on Rocker Board and Elephant Trick. I decided to buy a Rocker Board & Wobble Board Combi, they arrived yesterday. When I first show it to him, he straight on it like he knew what he is doing. Such a clever little boy. I am very proud of him showing no fear on the board. This is the 2nd time he is on the Board. I started teaching him the Elephant Trick a couple of weeks ago but I didn't do anything for 10 days due to the stress of the house chaos. We only just returned to re-do the trick and he performs better after a long break!
And here is the clip of our morning play routine, please excuse him with the pink toys. I bought them when I have litter of puppies and it seems that all my previous litters were girls :) He has to make do with them.
And finally, this is one of our many afternoon routines: