Say hello to Zuko! This sweet boy is 10 weeks old as of this writing. He’s a purebred American Staffordshire Terrior (a.k.a. Pit Bull), and he’s getting lessons in basic obedience and manners. He and his humans live on an acreage, and he’s going to be learning how to play and run around outdoors without bothering the big 2000-pound bulls on the other side of the electric fence that surrounds the property. So, while he’s learning his manners and other important lessons, recall is going to be our top priority.
Zuko and his human, Nicki, have already had a couple of lessons, and so far, they’re doing a great job. In our last session, Zuko was very clear about not liking the leash – he was really fighting it – so we’re giving a little extra time to helping him learn that the leash is his friend as well as a guide. He gets quite upset that he can’t go wherever he wants, when he wants. But he is, after all, a puppy, and we all know how puppies prefer playing and exploring to having to sit still and focus on any one thing for longer than a blink.
So far, Zuko is learning to come when called, “sit”, “down”, and “off”. He’s doing a pretty good job on the recall and a great job on the sit command. He doesn’t quite get the “down” command, and “off” seems to encourage him to do the opposite. But, he’s only 10 weeks old; with time, patience, and consistency in practice, he’ll eventually figure it all out.
I’m enjoying working with Zuko and his human, and I look forward to continuing our work together in the weeks ahead. Zuko is really smart, and once he understands what’s being asked of him, he does an awesome job of putting that understanding into practice.
Have a great day, and remember to stay calm and lead on…