I was thinking about Zelda's vocabulary this morning, and decided to make an update here for the record. Note I do not think any of this is extraordinary, it's just what it is, and Listeme and I have a tremendous and growing interest in training and we're having a blast with Zelda.
Age: just over 12 weeks.
- Clicker marker; tiny treats cut from: store treats, cheese, hot dog, pizza (for extra-special); verbal praise ("good girl", "yay!"); pets and caresses
- Verbal marker for correction: "uh uh uh", "no", "quit", "off", "leave it", and imitation of a puppy scream (to deter biting), imitation of pack leader growl (to deter face biting, face jumping). We're concentrating on "leave it", since it seems like an important one for a puppy's safety.
Words she knows and (almost) always responds appropriately (if used in context):
- Place (her bed or any dog mat/dog towel in any room)
- Touch (outstretched hand tapped with her nose, no teeth)
- Outside? Go outside? Outside!
- Dinner, hungry
- Nite-nite, bedtime
Words she is learning:
- Leave it, quit, uh uh uh
- Where's your...?
Words we're starting to work on:
- Say hello (paw wave)
She has a really great temperament and personality! She entertains herself now for up to an hour at a time without getting in trouble. She begs to go out for poop, but will occasionally (very rarely really) sneak a pee in a corner. If we're watching carefully enough we recognize the behavior in time.
We don't have a fenced-in yard and it's winter, so getting her out for enough exercise has been a challenge. Last night she went to bed (crate) before she was really tired, so we got her back out again and let her run the Basenji 500 for half an hour. At a certain point she just turned and walked toward the crate very softly.
The biggest deterrence problem right now is her interest in mauling the cat. It's just play, but the cat has been hurt once. So we are reintroducing them gradually, concentrating on gentle treatment. I think she'll transition naturally as she outgrows the puppy phase (cross fingers).
Edited to add: another command we're working on is "Trade." We use this to offer a preferred toy in exchange for an item she has purloined such as yarn, masking tape, a plastic fork, food packaging, etc., etc., etc. Or I should say, we hope the exchange is preferred.
Posting this for another:
Zelda's breeder placed two adult males in Dorchester, Mass., just two weeks ago and they both escaped from their fenced yard this week. One is red and the other is brindle. She wanted this posted wherever it might help. Listeme & I can pass info along.
No vids from this weekend, but here are some pics of Z's progress.
I wish I had gotten a movie of her chasing snowballs. I never thought she'd act like a real snow dog! She (almost) didn't want to come back inside!
Some more vids from today's walk:
In which Zelda momentarily points/stacks. Very momentarily.
In which Zelda's head snaps around upon hearing her name called. NOT!
In which Zelda wants to go thattaway and figures out what's stopping her…