Friday, May 8, 2009

Rain and more rain

So it's been raining a lot the past couple of days. Not so much fun for puppy owners. Haru thinks it's great fun to try and run away when you dry her off, and attacking the towel is also amusing.

Well quick updates. Haru peed in the house. I jumped in the shower, and while I was gone she peed in the 'genkan' in front of the door. Not a big deal, guess when you gotta go, you gotta go.
She has also started to show signs of being frustrated that the cats won't play with her. She play bows and whines at them, but it's a no go. Even Howl gets annoyed when she starts bowing/bouncing around doing her best impression of Tigger.

The big news around here is that I've finally gotten my lazy ass to track down a clicker and figure out what all the buzz is. Short story is, I'm impressed.

The longer version is I was thinking Haru might be a bit of a handful to teach 'traditional' tricks/manners. I had a much easier time with all my past pups, with even the JRT's seeming easy compared to Haru. She's much more intelligent and attentive than any dog I've ever trained, she's just obviously deciding IF she actually WANTS to do what I'm asking her to.

I was really amazed once I actually took the time to read about 'clicking', and understood the basic premise. For all the non doggy people out there a clicker is a little gadget that looks like a piece of junk and makes a clicking noise when you press it. I won't try to explain the whole 'method' but basically you use the clicker to tell the dog when it's done something you wanted it to (marking the behavior). If you really want to know what it's all about.

Anyway, I got Haru on the clicker last night and it's been amazing. Have her sitting in front of people when she wants attention instead of jumping up on them, taught her to retrieve instead of running off with toys and leaving them, and I even taught her the big no-no... 'sit'. I was told not to teach her sit if I was going to show her. But hell, I'm addicted to sit. Came in handy today when she was covered in mud and preparing to run through the house. I just said the magic word, and she stopped mid lunge and sat. We're working on house, down, and up at the moment. Will try and get some video in the next few days uploaded.

Haru had a few slight issues I noticed from her first day here. She didn't like to be picked up, a bit of slight separation anxiety, she didn't like being touched very much, and she doesn't like leaving her 'territory'. A lot of these 'issues' I figured were just puppy-in-a-new-environment sort of stuff, and my wife and I have done what we can to help her relax and get used to things. She's now fine about being picked up, happy to be touched (by people she chooses), and is crate trained (mandatory 5 secs of whining before immediately falling asleep).

The one stickler at the moment is that she's not comfortable leaving our property. If I take her places in the car she's absolutely fine, but walking away from the house she's not excited about. I was amazed at her sense of direction. She's only been here a few days and from pretty much any given point in the neighborhood she knows which direction home is, and tries to take off running toward it whenever she gets spooked. Basically Haru get's spooked by other dogs. It's time for some socialization. She's only seen other Kai, and none outside her 'pack'. There are a lot of dogs in the neighborhood, and she's pretty much okay with walking around till she hears or sees another dog. Then, she's like Lassie trying to get home.

So, I've got my homework cut out for me at the moment.

Haru is growing bigger by the day, it's quite noticeable actually. I'm going to start her hunting training this week, introducing her to some scents and tracking. I've got the whole timeline figured out, and we should be ready to roll by the time hunting season rolls around this year. I've promised some pheasant to a few friends of mine for thanksgiving, but what I'm really looking forward to is the boar. Should know within the next few months if she's cut out for big game or not. I've always wanted to train a dog for SAR, so maybe I'll get into that sometime as well.


  1. From the sounds of the second paragraph you may need to get her a buddy. :o)

  2. Do you teach her commands in English, Japanese or both?

  3. Brad: It might be a good idea. For now I'm just trying to find her some play dates. She really needs the socialization.

    Meep: It's funny, with Haru everything is in Japanese. All my other dogs I've trained in English. My wife and I were laughing about it last night. We both have started talking in Japanese around the house a lot more.