It’s been stupidly hot here the last few days. Too hot to go for a walk during the day and by the time it’s cooled down at night it’s too dark to go anywhere. Gotta love Germany for the lack of street lights! So we’ve been doing short walks around the block for toilet purposes, a game of fetch outside the flats around midnight and doing plenty of training. It’s far from ideal but if I’m too hot to want to move or eat then how must Spen be feeling inside a fur coat? He’s been spending almost all day lying on the bathroom floor which is probably the coolest place in the whole flat. Apparently damp towels make it even better since when I have a shower he then steals the towel from wherever I put it, makes himself a nice bed of damp towel on the bathroom floor and lies on it.
Anyway, the main thing we’ve been working on over the last few days is “go to your mat”. I use a towel for this as I find it’s more portable than a mat large enough for Spen to lie on. The end goal is to get him lying on the mat and staying there no matter what is going on around him. The goal at the moment is to get him to lie on the mat. That’s going well actually. He doesn’t find it particularly fun, he much prefers things where he has to move quickly and jump around. But it’s too hot for that so for now I’m using fairly boring biscuit type treats for when he’s on the mat doing anything but a down and cheese or meat when he’s lying on it. So far so good, he seems to be experimenting with what works. He’ll offer a down beside the mat then when that gets him nothing will move over a few inches so he’s on it and gets his click and treat. Or he’ll sit on it, get a boring treat then lie down and get something good. He’s even trying approaching it from different angles to see whether that changes anything, last night he walked around the bed, jumped up onto it then took a flying leap to land on his mat and lie down lol. We’ve also built in a bit of distance, he can go to his mat and lie on it with me half a room away, next thing to add in is duration. At the moment he’s rewarded as soon as he lies on it but I think it’s time to start upping the stakes there and waiting for a second before clicking.
Oh, and a bit of an update on the stroppy teenage thing. So far so good, his attention to me while out is picking up again and he’s been off the leash outside the flat a few times in the last couple of days. I’m actually wondering now whether it could be something to do with more dogs using the area due to having new neighbours with 2 dogs and the weather bringing out all the dogs who usually don’t see light of day. We’ve been mobbed by several of those already but that’s a rant for another day I think. I think it helps that I’ve found a treat he really likes, gouda cheese. Normally we have cheddar and he’s a bit “meh” about it but I bought a packet of gouda slices the other day and apparently they’re much more to his liking. So much so that he tries to actually steal them.
We’re going to have the vet out as soon as he can get out to us. Noticed that Spens ears are looking disgusting. I dunno whether they’re just dirty or whether he has infection in there so I think a vet check is in order. There’s no discharge or anything and he doesn’t seem to be in pain but I don’t want to be putting stuff in there and making any infection worse if there is one. Fingers crossed it’s not an infection.