I feel like it’s been forever since I’ve actually blogged here. We’re moving apartments at the end of the month and I’m spending more and more time at the training facility, so time has been short. I’m very excited about moving; we’re moving almost entirely for Maulkin. The new apartment is about the same size as our current one, but it has a huge, fully-fenced yard and it’s in a nice, quiet neighbourhood.* It’s near several parks, and Maulkin and I will be able to walk to busy roadways to work on his sound sensitivity in manageable doses. It’s also about a 15 minute walk to the training hall, so Maulkin will be able to come in for brief training sessions or stay home if I’m working all day. He’s actually been doing amazing with the puppies during daycare days, and he’s almost learned to settle in the office when I’m filing or doing whatever. He’s been barking a bit when people come in, which we all think is a developmental trait, but I think I’m getting it under control.
I’ve been considering getting a Manners Minder or other food dispenser to help with Maulkin’s new watch dog behaviour and mild separation anxiety.** I think it’d also help him settle into the new apartment more easily. The only problem is they’re all extremely expensive, especially if they have to be shipped to Canada. The cheapest one I can find is the PetSafe Train ‘n Praise, but it looks like it dispenses tons of food instead of just a few pieces. Anyone have a spare Manners Minder they’d like to sell? :P
In fun, sports dog news: We’re FINALLY taking a disc dog class starting this Thursday! I’m extremely excited to be trying a new sport with Maulkin. I feel I’m really holding Maulkin back in agility, but disc will be a more balanced sport for us.
*We currently live along one of Toronto’s main roads. They’re expanding the subway in our area, so it’s full of noisy construction besides being normally heavy with traffic. A very bad place for a sound-sensitive dog.
**My mentor doesn’t even think it’s separation anxiety per se. Maulkin becomes upset and can’t settle if we’re not at home (but especially if we’re at a strange place) and he can hear or see me without interacting with me (so if I leave him in another room or crated or tethered in the room with me). He’s generally fine in a crate if he can hear, but not see, me; but sometimes he’ll still become upset. If I leave him crated in a room by himself, he settles after a few seconds and is fine even in a strange place (provided there aren’t other people or dogs in the room; he can only settle in his crate around people or dogs in a familiar environment).