Sunday, January 23, 2011

Let's Play!

Cash Playing with cousin Sassy (7 months), Miley, and Savina
         Instead of marching by, time seems to zip forward during the busy seasons of life!  Cash has been with us for over a month now, and Zeus gone just under that amount of time.  Cash has made some major improvements in his behavior and acclimatization as a “house” dog.  The first and most noticeable is that Cash (now neutered) has quite marking things and is fully house trained!  This is a vast improvement over our first few days were Cash had to wear a male-dog diaper inside to keep him from marking random bits of our domestic life.  Cash has also learned “sit,” “down,” “wait,” and “off.”  In learning these behaviors, he is learning to read people and respond to them fully.  Cash is still a rambunctious puppy, but we no longer have to worry about him scaling furniture to get to food.  He patiently waits for his meals and knows to “sit” before his bowl is placed on the ground.  Often now, he will simply lie down and snooze while we prepare his dinner.
Snoozing away...
      Our cat, Amadeus, who is 12-14 years old, disappeared for some time and we worried we would never see him again.  He has been returned to us after spending time with our neighbors.  I honestly thought Cash would never do well with cats, BUT he is great with Amadeus!  Cash does not chase or bark at ‘Deus.  Cash seems far more interested in finding the cat food or eating “kitty-crunchies” from the litter box than in the actual cat.  ‘Deus is a very dog-savvy cat and usually gives us clear indicators of dogs that think cats are chew toys.  ‘Deus feels comfortable enough around Cash to walk calmly on the ground, eat in front of Cash, and sleep with Cash in proximity.  I think with other cat-savvy dogs and with cats that are dog-savvy, Cash would do just fine!     

     One of my bigger concerns in placing Cash was his tendency to “mouth” humans when he was trying to get them to play.  My husband and I have been working diligently with Cash to teach him this is not acceptable behavior.  We have been using a combination of techniques to extinct this behavior and he understands it is a no-no and will not get him the attention he is demanding.  He will occasionally still do this if he has not been exercised and is over excited and wants someone to play with him.  Prevention is the key with this behavior!  Cash really needs about an hour of exercise a day and individual attention “working” for treats or playing ball.  Again, I feel confident that an individual or family that has prior dog, or N. breed experience, will not have troubles with Cash. 
Startled awake by the flash!
     Cash has also proven to be a GREAT outdoor partner.  He does “wander” a bit on leash, but does not pull his walker one direction or another.  We have recently had him out hiking in slick, muddy conditions and on icy, rocky trails.  He was wonderful about waiting patiently as we picked our way through the conditions.  He loves to go for walks and has great trail greeting manners with other dogs and with people. 
Cash is such a wonderful combination of “on-the-go, ready for an adventure” and calm, “let’s take a nap” energy.  He is always game for going out and exploring, but then once you are home he is ready to settle down for a nap or relax with a chew toy.  He is super sweet, goofy puppy!

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