It may seem silly to some, but I’m writing this blog to document a special day in Nathan’s life. If you’re a parent you’ll understand my need to always remember this moment.
As you’ve already read, Nathan is now potty trained. He pretty much did it all himself. We’ve had two accidents in the last 4 days since we threw away the diapers. Not bad at all! His big “prize” for being potty trained was getting to pick out two fish. We’ve been bribing him to go potty with the idea of fish for several months now. So when he finally started going on the potty he made sure to remind us of our promise. We set up the tank the first day of potty training as a visual reminder and motivator for success. It worked like a charm.
And because he’s potty trained now (excluding night time), we took him to PetsMart to pick out his fish. Y’all. This kid was SO EXCITED. We pointed him to two different tanks with fish that we were told would be super hard to kill. (If you haven’t heard, I’m terrible at keeping fish alive.) We let him pick two fish out of those tanks to bring home. He held that bag of fish in his lap the whole way home and talked to them. We couldn’t make out everything he was telling them because he was speaking so softly. But we did hear: “Hi fishies. I’m going to take you to your new home and put you in your new aquarium and you can live at my house.” 🙂 He was so sweet to them. He told them he could pee and poop on the potty now and that he was a big boy.
Then he asked me if he could eat them.
I’ve also discovered it’s nearly impossible to take a good picture of fish. Oh well. You get the idea. The yellowish one is named Nemo and the orange one is Marlin. (Care to guess what his favorite movie is?)
Kenya and I took almost a year off from our dog training … oops! We still work on what she already knows, I just haven’t taught her anything new. And I really need to because there’s some things I want her to do/not do once Nathan arrives. That doesn’t leave us much time. Thankfully she learns quickly!
Here’s what I want to teach her:
- Not to jump on people (especially me and Nathan)
- Easy! (when she’s being too rough. She already pretty much knows this)
- To walk on a leash without pulling me across the street!
- To actually obey when I tell her to “go lay down”
But to brag on her a bit, here’s all the words she knows!:
- Go lay down (and sometimes she listens)
- Daddy’s home!
- Do you wanna go for a ride?
- Where’s Jazz?
- Do you wanna go see Grandma? (this gets her most excited!)
- Time for bed
- Let’s go outside
That’s 16 words/phrases she knows. Go puppy!
It’s been awhile since I’ve had a post dedicated to my animals. So, here goes. 🙂
Say hi to Kula. He thinks he’s king of the baby clothes. This is his favorite place to lay: on the loveseat cushion, right on top of the baby clothes. Spoiled cat.
“What is that thing in my face?!”
And here’s Koda. He hates the camera flash and refused to pose for a picture.
Until I turned off the flash. Then he was fine. 🙂
And now for my sweet puppy. She doesn’t like to hold still for the camera!
Unless she’s distracted outside.
I don’t like that WordPress won’t let me individually post pictures. 😦 Nevermind. I figured it out.
I woke up this morning and looked over at Craig’s side of the bed to see if he was up yet. Well, I couldn’t see him because there was a cat in the way. Kula was curled up between the two of us, under the covers, with only his head peeking out. So cute! He usually plants himself next to Craig’s hip and sleeps there all night, but I guess he got cold and decided to benefit from our body heat. Koda was (and still is) where he usually sleeps. Under the covers between Craig’s feet. I tried to get a picture, but as soon as I walked downstairs Kula followed me, and then I couldn’t get my camera to work. Oh well.
Our cats are smart. And spoiled.
Her training was on hold for a bit because of the AVP tournament. But we’re back on schedule now and working hard!
Here’s what she’s learned to do:
Come (still needs a little work)
Tell me when she needs to go outside (she rings a bell)
Jump (we have a jump outside for her. She’s up to jumping about 2 feet now! And she LOVES it.)
What we’re working on:
Walking on a loose lead
Shake (I know, I know, it’s dumb. Oh well. 🙂 )
No bite. (She’s at her play bite stage and her teeth hurt!)
I still can’t get over how smart she is and how much she loves to learn. She loves when I work with her on stuff.
“Sit”. We haven’t figured out how to sit AND look at the camera yet. 😉
And here’s some pictures of our cats since they’ve been getting left out of my blog lately.
Kula is king of the chair upstairs. Can’t you tell?
And Koda loves to watch the birds outside the window.
Kenya now knows how to stay! We’ve been working on it for the last few days and I think she’s got it figured out now. Here’s what I did:
Once I put her in the sit position I said “Kenya, stay” and stayed standing in front of her. If she didn’t move for a few seconds I would give her a treat and lots of praise. If she moved, I would tell her “no” and put her back in the place I originally gave the command and I would give it again. I repeated that until she learned not to move. I then repeated the process, but took a step backwards, leading with my right foot. (Always walk away from a dog in “stay” using your right foot. When teaching “heel” the dogs learns to follow your left foot, so don’t confuse her by stepping away with your left foot!) If Kenya did not move when I took a step, I walked back to her and gave her a treat and praise. We did this a few times and then I started adding more steps in. She eventually got to where I could walk out of the room and she would stay. Then I started making her stay for longer periods of time. We’ve gotten up to staying for about 20 seconds. I haven’t yet tried anything beyond that.
Later on today I will start adding distractions into the training. She can “stay” on and off leash, but only in the house. We’ll start working on “stay” on the leash out back today. If she does well with that we’ll move to the front yard. Once she masters that I’ll start having her “stay” when we go out on walks. When she masters that I’ll start having her “stay” when Craig tells her to. If she can do that, I know she can do it for anyone! haha.
We’ve also started working on “down”, “come”, and walking on a loose lead. I’ll post about those later.
Kenya can now sit whenever and wherever. It took longer than I expected because after her surgery, the vet wouldn’t let me do ANYTHING with her. Not even simple training. So we didn’t get to work on “sit” much until her stitches came out. She’s very smart and picked it up quickly.
Here’s what I did. I had to adjust a little from everything I’d read because she’s not really food motivated.
The articles I read online suggested having her stand in front of me and holding a treat over her head until she backed up to the point of sitting. I thought this method would have been good for her because it wouldn’t have required me to touch her. Well, I tried this and it didn’t work at all because she could care less for the treats. So we took a different approach.
I put her on her leash so she couldn’t walk away and had her stand beside me. I then placed my hand right above her tail on her back and applied a little pressure. Once she started lowering her behind I said “sit”. Once she sat, I said “good sit” and praised her like crazy. We did this step for about 10 minutes and then took a break. Later on, I did the same step a couple times and then tried it with only pressing on her back with one finger and saying “sit”. We did that for about 5 minutes and took a break. Then I tried it without using my hand at all, but with her still on lead. She did great. So I took off the leash and started having her sit in different places in the house with different distractions. This helped build her confidence and helped me to know that she will listen to me even when distracted. I now have her sit before she gets petted, before going through a door, and before eating. She has learned to associate “sit” with positive feedback from me, and something good for her. Every now and then I’ll give her a treat when she sits so that she’ll have a little more motivation.
She’s even gotten to the point where she sits when she wants something, whether I ask her to or not. That’s when I’ll say “good sit” so that I can acknowledge and praise her for it even though I didn’t give the command.
The next step will be to get her to sit for Craig. She’ll do it for him when we take her on walks, but other than that she doesn’t get close enough for him to do any sort of obedience training with her. Although she did come up and sniff him the other night and didn’t run when he pet her. We’re making slow progress.
I finally got my pictures upload. So here’s some new ones of Kenya.
After surgery, when she had to wear that stupid cone on her head. She hated it.
She chewed through that bone in about 2 hours. We now use Nylabones because they’re indestructible.
It’s a Kenya-ghost.
And here’s Kula, making sure Kenya stays far away. 🙂
I can’t find the cord for my camera. The one that connects it to my computer. I have SO many pictures to upload. And I can’t do it. 😦
There was going to be a Kenya picture update today. But not if I can’t find this darn cord!