Weeks 25: Duke meets the family.

As usual Duke has had a busy week; we have had family round. The nieces and nephews! This was a a big test for him. Could he stay calm? Could he be relaxed? He was so good. He was a star. He chilled out, played nicely and was relaxed most of their stay. He was gentle and patient with children. However he didn’t like the water balloons! Water balloons where not his friend. I tried to make sure we took some time the three of us to relax together at the end of each night and give him some individual attention. We took some walks just us and gave him space to retreat to if he had had enough. He’s stopped barking at karl’s dad, thank goodness, and seems less unsettled about people being in the house. 

We took Duke to the beach with the children. I let Duke off the lead while the beach was quiet but kept him on when it got busy. I didn’t want it to be too much for him. He was pretty good. He loves the sea but once he got tiered he was happy to lay next to me and relax. Keeping a close eye on the kids! 

He loves the sea but will only go in up to his belly. No matter what we try he is still too scared! 

Dukes training continues (and I’m guessing will never end). We have been trying him on loads of different leads. I use a small lead when to teach him to stay close. I mostly use it if I’m going to let him off the lead to play fetch. I’m hopeful it will teach him that he need to stay close by; I also feel much more in control when I need to redirect him or when I’m trying to introduce a new command while walking. Since using it there has been much more slack on the larger leads. As intended he stays pretty close-by most of the time and hardly pulls! His exstendable lead is for when I’m not going to let him off; it gives him freedom to roam as it’s not always practical to let him off. 

Thankfully we have a lot less lead pulling these days ! Win! 

We have a new command “back off” which is supposed to get Duke to stop focusing his attention on a dog/animal or person. He’s treated every time he responds to the command by walking away from the person/animal. It’s early days but we will see! My hope is it will help me when he tries to make friends with dogs who are agressive/scared or when he tries to make buddies of runners. 

We have been working on Duke’s impulse control. We have been throwing the ball but telling him to wait rather than fly after it straight away.  Waiting till he is told to go and get it. He seems to be following the command quite well , he loves his ball so it’s a good way to teach him to wait for something that makes him excited. In fact he loves the ball so much that if it’s in my hand there is no way he like take his eyes off me. Unless of course another dog comes along. And even then after he had said hello his focus is back on the ball.

He has been realy good off the lead. Free of distractions he comes back when called. His recall however isn’t perfect still. Every now and then he just does his own thing! But he doesn’t wonder too far and he doesn’t cause too much chaos thankfully. 

We still have a way to go but Dukes come so far and I’m so proud. 

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