Working with Syrus

Syrus - 2A few weeks back, I wrote a post on how I have comfortably settled into a day to day routine that involves watching re-runs on television before dinner. While that hour, or so, after work may not have seemed like much, its tough to adjusting to doing something else in place of that activity. Since adopting Syrus, my after work activities involve letting him out of his crate and hanging outside with him to take care of business.

After a few minutes he is all finished and we head back into the house for a couple of minutes. Once I finish up doing anything that needs done (sorting mail, setting something aside for dinner, etc.), we head right back outside so that the puppy can stretch and burn off some of that energy that built up from simply chewing on a toy while my wife and I were working. A couple of tosses of a toy, some serious sniffing around, and about an hour and a half, we head back inside. The pooch gets fed while I start getting ready for dinner (or while my wife makes dinner).

Once everyone is fed, we head back outside for a business break before taking a walk around the neighborhood. This is the longest part of the day, as Syrus has his nose to the ground sniffing far more often than he has his head up paying attention. There are frequent stops while he tries to inspect a bush or fire hydrant, then we get back to walking again. A mile to mile and a half walk can quickly turn into a hour and half session due to our frequent stops.

From the discussion I had with the kennel coordinator, it seems Syrus and a few other dogs were driven to a park and let loose. I get the impression that they were not taken out for structured walks, thus my pooch has no idea how to walk with me on a lease without sniffing and inspecting anything and everything in sight.

Fortunately, this may come to an end soon enough. Not making any ground teaching Syrus on my own, I’ve signed us up for a Basic Obedience Class at a local Dog Training club. In April I will be attending an orientation (without Syrus) to get briefed on how the class will function. For seven weeks after that, we train for an hour, one day per week in group of twelve to thirteen dogs. Once the weekly training comes to a close, all dog in attendance should be able to Sit, Down, Come, Stay, and Heel.

In addition to formal instruction, we become club members and are given discounts to other programs as well as access to the grounds for additional training on our own. While I don’t expect this class to work miracles, I am looking forward to the things that my wife and I will learn along the way with our new family member.

Did you struggle with any one
area with your last pet?

4 comments On Working with Syrus

  • Interestingly enough, I’ve begun to try to teach my cat to sit on command and shake hands on command. 🙂

    I’m sure Syrus will learn quickly with the routine you already have set in place. 🙂

  • The hardest part I had was trainging my dog to go outside. Once this was obtained the rest was easy.

    The dog smelling everything is his way of learning the neighborhood much like when you moved in driving down side streets and all that.

    Eventually his curiousity will be satisfied and he will stop being so “nosey”.

    The hardest part of becoming a dog owner is the first 6months but after this period of getting to know each other the years of happiness will be worth it.

  • I think the classes will help you a lot. Not so much in technique (I know you’ve read hundreds of page online) but in making you feel confident that you are doing the right things.

    I might rub so people the wrong way, but… The routine you set now will be the routine Syrus knows. If you’re going out to let him explore, then let him sniff around. If you’re going for a walk to walk I would make him stay on task. I would keep walking even if he wants to check something out. I think you should be walking him, and he should pay attention to where you are going. I’m not sure how to differntiate the two for Syrus. But a certain phrase or codeword before he walk might work.

    I also believe training is quality time.

    I am by no means a trainer, but I am an owner. And if what I said makes no sense to you, don’t feel bad ignoring it completely.

  • I’ve struggled with our Blue Heeler in one area… If she senses the smallest amount of fear in someone, she will exploit it. She hates insecure people, period, and will not tolerate them. If you walk into my house like you own the place, she immediately respects you.

    Very strange, and after 10 years, this behavior is unbreakable!

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