Thursday 5 April 2012: Prisoner number 666
Jack's crate has been in the breakfast room almost since the day he arrived, but he's been so wary of it that he would actually skirt the room rather than go anywhere near (in fact the floor around it was about the only area which has remained clean during our recent absences). We realised that it was probably a bit too reminiscent of his 'cage' at the rescue centre, & that he wasn't going to get to like it any better without a bit of help from us, & so for the past few days hubby has been putting treats in there for him, but Jack was wise to that: you wouldn't think to look at him that he had a stretchy neck, yet he still managed to extract the treats without setting foot in the crate - & even putting them in the farthest corner or hidden under something, he'd just put one paw inside, then out again so quickly that you'd swear you'd imagined it. So today hubby only let him eat half his breakfast before taking his bowl away & putting it inside the crate, & Jack was so intent on following the food that he didn't even notice where his nose was taking him: he simply finished his breakfast, & then started chewing on the toy we'd put inside with him. We'd already decided that this was to be a 'crate only' toy (although he was allowed to get a brief taste for playing with it yesterday in the hall), so every time he brought it out of the crate today it was taken away from him & put back in the crate; & each time he happily followed the toy. Later on hubby put his favourite blanket in the crate; we fully expected Jack to drag it back out, but instead he gave it a good sniff - just to check that it definitely was 'the' blanket - & then settled down for a sleep. For the rest of the day he's been popping in & out of the crate as if he'd been doing it all his life (& perhaps he has?).
I don't imagine that crate-training Jack is going to go any more smoothly than anything else has done, but we're still pretty impressed at the progress he's made in such a short time.
Things we've learned about Jack:
Food is the key
He knows the word 'bath', & isn't averse to the idea of being bathed. We were talking today about the fact that this was another hurdle we'd no doubt have to overcome at some point, & Jack was doing his 'listening with his head cocked to one side' thing, which always makes us think he's trying to take part in the conversation; so hubby said: "Do you want a bath, Jack?", at which Jack leapt off my knee & dashed to the bathroom. We don't actually have any doggy shampoo as yet, but it's now written on the shopping list ?..
In other news, last night's rain has filled our water butt to the brim; hubby has filled every available container with water from it, & it's already filling up again. Looks like our pond (scheduled for this coming weekend) will be getting plenty of natural water after all - and after all the
nagging reminding it took me to get hubby to plumb it in, he's now talking about getting another, bigger butt, to go on the other side of the bungalow!