The Perfect Dog

Napoleon, helping Aspen learn a solid 'place' command with distractions

Napoleon, helping Aspen learn a solid ‘place’ command with distractions

It has been a while since I have given an update on my boy, Napoleon. So, I’m posting one now. The last time I wrote about him, we had a successful off-leash excursion. We still struggled a bit with some kids on skateboards, and sometimes (rarely) some whining in the crate.

Those 2 items have been addressed and handled. He is now off leash 90% of the time, and I don’t bring him on a leash when I go to clients’ houses either. When I take him on walks, I have complete control over him without a leash, or any equipment.

We have worked hard on his obedience and recalls, and I now I have 95% confidence that if he was adrenalized and I didn’t catch his energy levels in time, that he would still come back. He just recently passed his CGC test and is now a Canine Good Citizen of the world! Yay, Napoleon!

Now, our one last issue that I had to pick and choose my battles was feeding time. He would get so excited he would jump up and down repeatedly, shake, run into walls, and run you down to get his food at dinner time.  This has been a challenge since we adopted him 2 years ago. Now, he will sit, whine and shake until you walk towards the back door to open it up to put his food down. Since we feed raw, I always feed outside.

I can’t wait for him to be calm every single time (it was taking upwards of 4 hours for a calm dog, and even then, I didn’t achieve the level of calm I wanted), so this has been a challenge. We have tried switching up the feeding time, we have tried a place mat, where he cannot move off of the mat at all – tail included. That Is what I wanted him to focus on instead of feeding. He can do that no problem, but the shaking and whining is still a problem.

So, I have separated preparing the food in the morning, and feeding at night. So, they are 2 events, and that has seemed to help with the adrenaline at dinner time. I choose to wait to feed until he is calm at nighttime, then walk upstairs (no words) and get his food out of the freezer). He comes upstairs and follows me calmly and I open the backdoor to let him outside, again – calmly. Then, I come back in, get his food, go outside and put it on the ground. He gets excited, but sits automatically (no words, again), and I walk away.

This has REALLY helped and was our last hurdle to become my ‘perfect’ dog. There really is no such thing, but I’m bias, and I love my dog, and he has worked very hard for that title. He deserves it.

What an improvement, huh? He can walk himself on the treadmill now, I just have to turn it on for him and turn it off when he’s done. He ignores cats, dogs, and other people when we are on our off-leash walk. This also includes skateboards.

Such great progress, and I’m so happy for him. He has worked hard and gets a beef heart for dinner tonight. Yum!

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Napoleon, resting after a long day.

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