Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Nubble Knows the Routine

It's funny how dogs quickly pick up on our routines. SSD Nubble certainly knows his puppy raiser's work-day routine. Every morning, they do a little bit of training before Donna gets ready for work. Nubble then curls up on his favorite spot on the couch and relaxes. As soon as he sees Donna in her uniform shirt, he hops off the couch and goes right into his crate. Donna hasn't had to cue him to go into his crate for at least three months!

If you've been following Nubble, you know that stairs are a real challenge for him. One year ago, he would pull Donna up the stairs. Today, he will walk calmly beside Donna as they go up the stairs. How did this change happen? Lots of practice! They would practice stairs any chance they got. In fact, it got to the point where Nubble just assumed they would be going up any stairs they came across. Once Donna realized this, she eased up on practicing so that Nubble wouldn't start to get stressed every time he saw a set of stairs. The big breakthrough came in February. Nubble finally went down Donna's basement stairs! They have also been practicing going up those stairs. Last time, he walked up, stopped midway and turned around to go up backwards, then changed his mind and walked the proper way up the rest of the stairs! Now Donna can sometimes stop midway up the stairs and Nubble will continue going up the correct way. Great job, Nubble and Donna!

Nubble has been going to puppy classes in our Northeast Puppy Raising Program and in Harrisburg to help him get used to being around other dogs. He has made wonderful progress! At the Harrisburg puppy class, he would bark at some of the dogs, particularly SSD Taz, but last week, both dogs made it through the entire class without barking! And when Nubble does bark at another dog, he now does a much better job re-focusing and ignoring the dog. Although he still isn't too sure about puppies SSD Ben and SSD Cassie in the Northeast, he and Donna are working on it.

Nubble certainly enjoys going to puppy classes! When Donna and Lindsey go to classes in the Northeast, they take the turnpike. Puppy class is located about 1/4 mile off the exit. Nubble relaxes in the car, but as soon as they go through the toll booth, he lets out a little excited whine. He knows he's going to puppy class, and he's happy! Last week on the way home from the Harrisburg class, Donna and Lindsey took the turnpike. When they got to the toll booth to get off the turnpike, Nubble looked around and let out an excited whine, but he seemed confused. As soon as he realized they weren't going to the Northeast puppy class, he laid down and went back to sleep.

Nubble enjoys shopping, and regularly goes into stores with Donna. When they go into pet store, though, he has a tendency to pick out his own stuffed animals from the lower shelves. And while Donna puts the stuffed animal back, Nubble grabs another one! Our volunteer trainer in the Northeast suggested putting Nubble in a down-stay while Donna is returning the toy. So far, it has been working very well. Donna has also become more aware of Nubble's environment, and they practice "leave it."

This past weekend, they went to the Berkshire Mall. It was packed because there was a car show inside. Despite the crowd, Nubble did very well with greetings.

He has certainly come a long way!


  1. Yay Nubble! Yay Donna!!!!!!

  2. Way to go Nubble & Donna!!