Habituating

Yes, it’s training terminology. It actually means ‘becoming used to something’, a rather grandiose term.

I’ve been getting Zeke ready for his first steps into the big wide world outside of the back garden. Every day I’ve been building up Zeke’s exposure to his harness and lead, initially letting him sniff them with the presentation of a treat, and building up from there. Yesterday was the first day he had both on, and was quite happily walking around the garden with his lead trailing behind him. Success!

Tomorrow we’ll be venturing into the front garden, with lots of treats. I don’t intend to lead him for a walk, we’ll simply be meandering on his terms. For the first time I won’t be carrying him, so whilst he’s been exposed to all the sights and sounds, it will be a new experience for him to be stood on the ground independently. I’ll let you know next week how we get on.

Last night we had 6.5 hours straight before he woke up to wee. I can really see a light at the end of night time waking. I’m so proud of him.

Character wise, he reminds me a lot of Jake, I think it might be the Labrador traits. Obviously, Zeke is still very young, but he can seem so studious in between the puppy behaviours. He is a quick learner, and I’ve been working with him on safety recall and ‘leave’.

When I’m working at the kitchen table, Zeke lays on the patio door mat watching the birds in the garden. He will squeak to go out, and mostly he goes to the loo. Sometimes it’s just to zoom around the garden, but that’s okay. He’s asking to go out, and learning I will open the door when he does.

Whilst there are fantastic times as I watch him blossoming, it is hard work. A puppy takes over your life, and your days and nights all revolve around their needs. But I know it will be worth it.

Until next time

Jen

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