Saturday, August 25, 2018

Zorro 17 weeks

Big week for Zorro!

Last Saturday he got to attend his first puppy seminar! It was a full day of working on baby foundation agility skills. We used food as his motivator for the first part of the day. I learned that kibble isn't quite as rewarding to Zorro "in public" as training treats or cheese. Not really a light bulb moment but something that was good information. The second part of our day we infused some toy work into our exercises with success! Food remains the highest value motivator for Zorro, of course. I also began using Molly's old lotus ball and he really loves that.

I really enjoyed myself the whole day and Zorro was not over worked and remained happy to play our games until the end of the day. The biggest victory was his crate manners. He was not completely quiet for sure and towards the end of the day there was more and more "singing" but he did worlds better than I thought that he would. Instead of his normal wire crate I brought one of the plastic rough tough kennels inside from the car. A lot less outward visibility. I am doing a lot more "choice" work now for crate entrances (rather than putting food inside of the crate and closing the door after Z walks in.) This is a weak area of mine, I am not patient in this way!

And speaking of crates, we have transitioned to being in a large wire crate for my work days instead of the ex pen. I had been noticing that Zorro is no longer using his litter pan at all and rather just "holding it" until somebody comes home to let him outside (usually this is Vince since he comes home in the afternoon.) Zorro had a great week in the crate. In the beginning of the week there seemed to be more restlessness and frustration screaming than usual, but most of Wednesday and the rest of the week it was business as normal. Our routine is still a half stuffed medium sized Kong, a puppy chewie and the treat and train filled with kibble for breakfast. My goal in the next few weeks is to move the treat and train to the top of the crate rather than inside, and to diminish the amount of kibble and give Zorro a large sized Kong filled with his raw diet instead. (this is what he gets in the evening.)

We are also officially in teething mode! Zorro has lost four of his puppy incisors and there are adult teeth pushing right through. I also noticed his front premolars are growing in. This is so exciting, I cannot wait for the baby needles to fall out! So far Zorro is not doing any inappropriate chewing. I have so many bones and toys littered around the house that he always has something to grab onto. He particularly loves Benebones.

Monday was Zorro's vet visit for his final distemper vaccination. I also chose to do a lyme vaccine so Zorro got the first part of that. He weighed in at 14 pounds. Zorro absolutely loved everybody at the vet office and again got to enjoy a little plastic tube full of peanut butter and did not notice either of the two vaccines. I had been noticing Zorro licking and nibbling himself for the past few weeks and even noticed some red spots on his belly, chest and thighs. The vet says it is a little staph infection and he is on a low dose of oral antibiotics for the next two weeks. It is already clearing up well! I was reading about it and it has the nickname "puppy pyoderma". Really unsurprising given the feral filthy life I allow him to enjoy! And I definitely started noticing the itching when we started doing our hiking. I thought it was agitation from all of the new vegetation he was being introduced to, or mosquito bites. After five days of the antibiotics it has cleared up and his itching has diminished significantly.

8 weeks vs. 17 weeks!
Around the house behavior is really shifting. This is the first week I feel like I can relax a little bit and not follow him around everywhere. He definitely has the idea of needing to go outside to potty. There is still some attraction to trying to potty on the couch. He used to not hesitate to potty on the couch or the dog beds or throw pillows (weirdo!) but now he is almost comical about it. I think he is for sure working out that it's not allowed. He will get up there and rub himself all over the couch and then do a lot of suspicious walking around which gives me plenty of opportunity to get his brain and body back on the proper track: outside! But really: he is going to the door and circling then looking at me. Things really seem to be clicking. He does like to follow me around but is becoming less needy that way. He self entertains with toys so appropriately, settles down for some "me time" chewing a bone or playing around with a toy. A lot less barrier screaming when I walk out a door without him or there is a baby gate between us. He may whine but even that is diminished.

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