Sun, 29 Nov 09 (prt 2) - trial and error

Jax gets friendly with Mum (Elsie), the third human in the household. I think they get on!

Well, yesterday afternoon and evening was a mixed bag. Liz and Mum went out shopping for Mum (major expedition these days now mum is pushing 91). I was left home alone with the Jax-meister. The afternoon was a mix of play, explore and sleep (thats the new routine!). Around 4.15pm we had a torrential rainstorm and the noise of the rain on the windows scared wee Jax to the point he was scrambling to get up to me on the sofa whimpering constantly. So I lifted him up and he immediately nestled down and shoved his head under my armpit. And there he stayed for about 20 mins until the rain and noise passed! There's never gonna be anyone around with a camera at moments like that. He stayed fast asleep on my lap whilst I watched the Arsenal v Chelsea game - good boy! (Chelski won - boooo).

Even so the experience unsettled him and the rest of the day's toilets were about 50/50 between proper toilet area and the wooden floor. We're spotting the signs though, but he seems to be so quick - sniff, sniff, wee! Before we can react. Oh hum. Early days still. I've papered some of the floor outside his pen toilet to see if this helps. Fingers crossed (lots of that now!).

I'd tried him in his crate and pen with the door shut a couple of times already at meal times and he just whimpered endlessly - which is a tad off-putting when trying to have a family meal. And its difficult for family members not to talk to him to calm him. Anyway, come dinner this evening, I popped him in the crate with his favourite chew toy and closed the door. I stood outside for a few minutes and nothing. He was fine. I stayed in the room and let Liz do all the ferrying between table and kitchen. I switched places with Liz so I was sat next to the crate, and all was OK. Jax played a wee while and then slumped down for a deep sleep. Great!

Time was getting on and he was still sound asleep. Afraid he wouldn't stand a chance of going back down later at bed-time, I woke him. We had a fuss, something to eat and drink, a pee in the pen (hooray!) and then he was alert and playful so brought him out to get to know Mum a little better. Mum has her own sitting room and spends most of her day in there. We haven't introduced Jax to her room yet, so we have to take advantage of meal times and the odd occasion Mum joins us. At 91 Mum isn't that agile and finds it difficult to bend down to reach him. But after a wee bit of fuss from her we lifted him on to her lap - what fun! They had a great time fussing one another but once he got too playful we brought him back down and got him loose on chew toys.

Then came bed-time. Liz and Mum had gone off so I settled him in to the crate and closed the door. I stayed in the room for half an hour until he was asleep and crept upstairs. All was quiet. But not for long. At 11.30pm he woke and started whining. Nothing too loud or yelping and 20 minutes later it was all quiet again. Hooray - time for me to sleep!


  1. What a brill new dad you are Stephen! I note that you are using behaviourist techniques based on reinforcing the behaviour you want repeated and ignoring that which you don't. So it's great that you are around so much,as it can be difficult to work when there is no-one there. But will he interfere with your work? Yes he will!!
    I guess you don't mind the odd interruption from Jax though as it will pay off and lead to a contented dog who knows his boundaries.
    I should have known that you would wholeheartedly throw yourself into the Jax learning project but you are obviously learning too! And enjoying the little pup in the process of his training.
    Good luck and have lots of fun.

  2. Hi Mama. Yes your right of course. You know me only too well, I don't do things by halves. I'm enjoying time with Jax. I've taken this week off work to start the training. The main aim is to get him settled in his crate/pen by next week when I'll be upstairs in the office. If I can get that far and start toilet training and a few basic commands of what is right and wrong I'll be making good progress! When back at work I'll be breaking regularly for toilet training, etc. We'll get there!