Week 3 is a short one. We have had very little time to get training in. I did some treat orienting (this is usually called "loading the treats" by having treats in your hand and teaching the dog to follow your hand, if it does then treats are given). I don't typically do it just that way. I will make the dog do circles, follow me around, and manipulate them into as many positions as he will offer. This could included "down" "sit" or variations of heeling, such as coming in and doing a "J" hook or around the back. I'll lure him through my legs. Just challenge him environmentally, like going over stairs or through objects. I won't say much to him other than little attention getting noises. This is just to see what he offers.
If you've kept up thus far you'll notice I stay away from formal training at this stage. He's coming up on 11 Weeks old which to me is still prime time for him to build his independence and curiosity. The goal is to make EVERYTHING as pleasant as possible, unless its some type of behavior I don't like.
There are a lot of videos online of puppies doing this fantastic obedience and I credit those trainers with teaching those tasks. That just not what I like to do. I can always add control and obedience. I can't give him drive he doesn't have. Therefore in my tiny, little mind it makes sense to let him develop as completely as he can while making his own decisions and not placing large amounts of influence or control on him. I feel like I will get more "dog" out of it. I have ZERO scientific proof to back that up but I have seen the results of my own work. In the coming weeks we will see how it played out.
The wife hasn't been feeling well this week so that is why training has taken a back seat. Bronco and Bronx play with each other and run around the yard so he is still getting exercise. Just not with me. Ella is learning just as Bronco is and she doesn't yell or get as frustrated with him as she used to. She is learning that he is learning and she needs more patience. I'd consider this an inadvertent parenting win. I'll tell people I planned it but I didn't. Same with Charlene, I will tell her I planned it. She's probably not fooled but whatever.
Our experiences this week outside the house was to the vet. We're "ballin on a budget" so we decided to try the Tractor Supply vaccine day to get Bronco his shots instead of a traditional vet. We are big Tractor Supply people, love the store! We waited in line for about 45 mins (I wrangled Bronco and Ella for this trip). Ella played with him and there was a little girl with her mom and dad (and dog) behind us so Ella showed Bronco off to her new friend. The little girl and mom played and pet Bronco without any problem. He was inquisitive to the point of it being a little annoying so I picked him up to get a break. It was finally our turn and Bronco wanted nothing to do with the vet or the tech. He ran to me and wanted me to hold him on the table verses the tech. In my experience, this is a pretty normal response. Dog's associate certain environments with different experiences. I don't know how in-depth that goes but I know its deep enough to affect behavior so its strong. The Vet told me, Bronco has a very strong "Stranger Danger" response and he needs to be socialized and that its a problem.
Now I don't brag about what I know or what I've done so I said ok and moved on but the whole time, as she continues to tell me how bad off he is and how I need to do more with him I was thinking, stay in your lane. Now I respect Vets, that's why, when I go I don't pretend to know what's wrong with my dog. I tell them the symptoms and take their recommendations for treatment. I don't presume to know more than them or challenge what they say. If I have a question I will ask and if I don't like their recommendation I will ask a different Vet. If a client asks me a medical related question I will refer them to a Vet, because that's not my area of expertise. But, this Vet doesn't feel that way. It annoyed me. Maybe more than it should have but enough to make me not want to go back to that Vet again. Just like it really annoys me that you can't hold your own dog for that type of thing. Again, I get it, liability, you don't know if the person knows the proper way to hold the animal, so I don't argue or even ask if I can. This was our experience out. We haven't had any other issues this week. No accidents or NEW annoyances.
We will see what week 4 brings!