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Dexter update

by Kyler Laird last modified 2008-08-02 12:54

Dexter is a good guy.

date: 2008-08-02 (3459 days ago)

I haven't said much about Dexter lately but he's been a great dog.  I thought I'd jot down a few of my notes about him.

Dexter is quiet at home except when the other dogs bark excitedly.  He'll join them but he's quick to stop.  He occasionally wakes me by nosing me at the side of the bed (if Morgan lets him get that far).  He has been very good about tapping the back door to go outside when he needs to relieve himself.  He has always been perfect about going outside to eliminate.

Dexter doesn't try to leave through the front door (house rule) and has caught on to waiting until called to come through the garage (another house rule) to load into the Jeep outside.  He still can't jump into the Jeep but he puts his front paws on the bumper and waits for me to lift one of his rear paws so he can push the rest of the way.  I think he'll be able to jump into the Jeep on his own after he loses a bit of weight.

Dexter mouths people occasionally but it's soft.  I like that he has such control but I'm still discouraging it.  I keep a close eye on him around new people, especially children, but he has been doing a great job with them.  He'll even run alongside - but not chase - the children.

I continue to feed Dexter by hand.  I put the food in position for him to eat, wait for him to look into my eyes for a few seconds, smile, and finally say "Yes."  He's definitely learning to look at me when the food is placed within reach.  He was triggering on my mouth movement as I'd start to say "Yes" so I added a very deliberate smile.  I'm hoping that he's associating my smile with an upcoming reward.  Speaking of "smiles," the dogs all eat from down stays in a close line and Dexter was giving a classic "vertical lip retraction" whenever another dog would look his way while I was feeding him.  Instead of reprimanding him I turned away and closed my hand over the food anytime he did this.  I haven't noticed him doing it anymore.

Beyond food, Dexter seemed to guard/hoard other resources like the water in the pool and even me.  These behavior seem to have ceased.  Yesterday he was having his typical crazy time in the pool but shared it with Artemis and then Judo without any qualms.  He's in his usual position this morning, lying in front of me (on the couch) while I type, but he's not keeping the other dogs from approaching.

Dexter and Marley continue to play like best buddies.  Dexter gets along so well with other dogs that I really don't give it much thought.  He does occasionally mount other dogs but it's very mild.


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