Dog Training

I took my new little dog to a training class to get some help with the basics of getting him to be a well-mannered pet.

The training course is six weeks long and run through the local Petco.

Copper is in the Adult Dog 1 course with another little dog named Licks.

Copper and Licks are both little scaredy dogs and spent most of the lesson hiding under their respective owners’ chairs.

Fortunately the lesson was mostly about the basics of what we as owners could do to correct undesirable behavior at home.

For example, Copper has a strange habit of digging into the couch when we sit down. The trainer thought this might be because he isn’t getting enough exercise due to him being crated during the day while we’re at work.

Copper’s house training has been progressing, he no longer pees in the house, only poop. In general we’ve been doing the right stuff but the trainer still had some tips.

We take him out and reward him for pooping, but what if instead of pooping he wanders around the yard?

The solution makes sense. Take him out in the yard on a leash and keep him in the “bathroom area” of the yard. Pretty soon he realizes what we want him to do and then he gets rewarded! Success!

Copper also got some homework to work on before his next class in two weeks (the classes are normally every Monday, but we’re taking Labor Day off).

His homework is to learn how to pay attention. We teach him this by holding a treat for him by our face and saying, “Look.”

If he looks we say, “Good dog!” and give him the treat.

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Here’s Copper working on his “look.” Also a shot of my toes.

As this continues we wait longer and longer between saying, “Good dog!” and giving him the treat until he stares at our faces for ten seconds.

After the ten second point, we start doing it without the treat or in more distracting environments until he stares at our faces for thirty seconds without a treat.

He’s managed maybe two seconds of staring with a treat before the cat distracts him.

Since we’re supposed to do it without distractions we’ll have to train him without Lucky in the room in the future.

-GoCorral

Home Wish List

All the majesty of note paper made for teachers.
All the majesty of note paper made for teachers.

While cleaning out one of the moving boxes I found an old list of stuff my wife and I made.

The list is of things we wanted in our house and the list was made before we started looking for our house.

So here it is!

1. Two stories Check!
We got this one! Bedrooms and office on the second story. Everything else on the bottom floor.
2. A block or more away from a main road Check!
The reason for this one was to let the cats go outside unsupervised without worrying about them being run over on a main road.
3. A two car garage Check!
We won’t necessarily park both our cars in it (once we get another car), but its nice to have the option.
4. A big kitchen with a counter Check!
Our old place had a tiny kitchen without an island counter. Getting a big place to make meals feels great!
5. A dining room Check!
The old apartment had a tiny little section for the dining table that wasn’t really its own room. Our new house doesn’t have a dining room either, but it has two large places where the table can go (we’re using one of them).
6. Laundry Check! 
We’ve got a washing machine and a dryer! No more lugging clothes 300 feet to the laundry building in our complex or hoarding quarters like they’re more valuable than gold.
7. A backyard Check!
Yep! Got a real nice backyard that’s good for playing in with kids or for having meals during the summer.
8. A front yard Sort of.
We have landscaping in the front but I wouldn’t really call it a yard. Too many bushes and things. We could change it to have a yard though!
9. Solar panels Check!
The solar panels are sort of leased through a company. We don’t own the solar panels. A company does and they sell us the electricity they produce for about the same amount that PG&E charges. We then get reimbursed from PG&E for any excess electricity the panels produce. Odd way of doing it, but we are contributing to renewable energy with the panels!
10. Hardwood floors Sort of.
I’m allergic to dust which crops up in carpeted floors. Hardwood doesn’t collect dust the same way. We’ve got carpet on the second floor, but the bottom floor is tiled. That’s good enough for me.
11. Dance studio Sort of.
Not really present in the house. Instead we have a big mirror in the entrance hallway to the house that serves pretty much the same purpose. There’s plenty of space to dance there with a mirror to look at yourself even if it isn’t an official dance studio.
12. An office Check!
Yep! Writing this post in the office right now.
13. A big bath tub attached to the master bathroom No. 
Can’t have everything.
14. A pool No.
We didn’t get this one either, but that was a conscious choice. We looked at a house with a pool and it took up most of the backyard which we also wanted. Plus, the maintenance on a pool is pretty expensive.
15. Painted blue with white trim No.
We like the colors, but it isn’t blue with white trim. We could still repaint the house in the future.
16. A big tree for a swing or a tree house Check! 
The treehouse is actually a playhouse, but its basically what I wanted. All good!
17. A better HVAC system than our apartment Check!
Our old apartment had wall AC units and a heater that didn’t work (heater wasn’t that big an issue in Davis). One of the rooms never got AC. The new house has central heating and AC that both work great. We’ve also got a whole house fan which is a much more energy efficient method for cooling the house at night.
18. A fireplace Check!
Got a fireplace in the back living room. We haven’t used it yet but we probably will sometime next winter.
19. Big bedroom closets Check!
The closets aren’t as big as the walk-in one at the old apartment, but they’re still big enough for us.
20. Close to where my wife works Sort of. 
The house is about a mile and a half from the school where my wife works, so not as close as we originally wanted. This ended up being a good thing as my wife wanted to avoid seeing her students outside of school. Just a little tough to always have to be “on” as a teacher at the grocery store. We live in a different neighborhood than the school so none of the kids are around here.
21. Space for a garden Check!
There aren’t any planter boxes yet, but we’ll get some.

And that’s it! We got most of the stuff that we wanted and it feels pretty good.

-GoCorral