Mon, 30 Nov 09 - coming out of his shell

Jax trying his collar for the first time whilst distracted by 'monkey' - a very successful introduction. For more about his toys see here.

Well, Jax's second night was quieter than the first. After the initial 1/2 hour whining he settled down and woke only twice, once at 1.30am and again at 3.30am, each for 15 mins whining - no barking or yelping. He then woke up proper at 5.30am. Liz was due up at 6am to get ready for work, so we left him. He quietened down on and off, but he was still whimpering when we went down at 6.40am for Liz to leave for work. We fussed him for five minutes before Liz left and then I was left home alone with him.

After some breakfast for us both, and some play, we were both back to sleep - Jax in his crate and me on the sofa - from 8.30-9.30am. The rest of the morning was spent with some play, exploring, including voluntarily wandering into Mum's sitting room for the first time, and me sat on the sofa with the laptop and letting him get on with his own company and play.

The main event was the introduction of 'monkey' - a soft plush toy bought as an ant-biting and treat toy. And it worked a treat! As he got more excited with me and his nipping turned to bites, it was a firm 'ah-ah' and withdrawing my hands and introduced monkey. What fun time he then had! Once he had lost his focus on the toy I removed it and he played with other things. When I next played with him, I repeated the monkey toy as soon as his nips turned to bites. And so on. He gets to play with monkey every couple of hours and each time its a real treat.

The other event was introducing him to his collar. Since monkey was such as success, I put his collar on him for a short time during one of the monkey plays. He didn't bother with the collar until well after he had lost focus on monkey. I let him scratch at it a couple of times then removed it. A couple of hours later I repeated it, same routine, but let him scratch at it a bit longer. Once he stopped I removed it. More of this tomorrow.

We managed to get back on track a bit more with the toilet. He still doesn't understand the command, but a bit more diligence from me and all but two pees were in the pen - the other two, not even on the wood. Once on the carpet (a first) and the second in his crate (another first). I only discovered the latter when I was looking for his pee when I knew he'd been unseen. I'd checked everywhere other than the crate and bingo! found it.

It was time for confinement. I'm off work this week and my main aim is to familiarise Jax with being crated so that when I return to work next week he's OK. I work from home so popping downstairs for regular toilet and play breaks will be OK, but he will have to learn to be on his own for a couple of hours at time whilst I'm in the office or out. Thankfully he has already started denning in the crate - he takes most things he can get his mouth on back there! He frequently turns his bedding and has taken to burying one of his chew toys under everything. So the signs are good. So after lunch I kept him in the crate and stayed in the room until he fell asleep. I then tiptoed out of the room and was free for an hour or so do run some errands. I left the radio on as I have the radio on all the time in every room I'm using, so he needs to get used to that too.

I got back about 1.5 hrs later and he spying through the window I could see he was laid down quiet in the crate. On entering he was of course thrilled to see me and got lots of fuss and a long play session before he fell down exhausted and back to sleep. Mum said he whined for about 10 minutes after I had gone (clearly not asleep then but heard me leave) but he was then quiet for the rest of the time.

In the afternoon he voluntarily wandered in to Mum's sitting room where he immediately recognised Mum and was happy to have some fuss from someone else.

This puppy lark is knackering! So at 5.30pm I flaked out on the living room floor and at some point Jax came and lay across my legs as we were both woken suddenly by my mobile and a call from Liz at 6.30pm! At present Jax nearly always falls asleep around my feet or with head in one of my cast-off sandals. I think we've bonded!

It was time for Jax's feed. He's eating well and has visibly gown (I think anyway!) in the last few days. I left him eating his food whilst I went into the kitchen and when I'd come back he'd fully toileted in the pen. Well done boy!

It was clear that Jax was more relaxed today in his new home. He and I have bonded big time and when he went in to Mum's room he came back to me stood in the doorway for some reassurance before going back in to the strange room. His stance and gait has also changed. First he's got used to the different floor surfaces, but he occasionally forgets to change traction when he belts from carpet to wood floor! Hilarious when one side is on the carpet and the other is on the wood - whoops! He's beginning to strut around the main living room now he knows it but as soon as he wanders down the corridor the kitchen and Mum's rooms he proceeds much more cautiously in a semi-cower. But even that is started to change throughout the day. Lets see how is tomorrow in this part of the house.

Liz didn't get home till gone 8.30pm but she was thrilled to see wee Jax and he was thrilled to see her too! He got lots more fuss and followed her around whilst we prepared something to eat. But all the excitement of Liz coming home was too much and he as soon asleep. Long and deep and we had to wake him some time before we went to bed in order to get him up and active and tired again to match us going to bed ourselves. So, by 11pm we had settled him back down in his crate and we were in bed. He woke around 11.30pm and whined for half an hour then silence. But for how long?

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