A 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.