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We picked up our new buddy Walter on Saturday morning and I wanted to share with you all how it was going so far! :wave:

Overall
So far he's done pretty darn good and he's learning the ropes pretty quick! Zero potty training issues :whoo: and his old owners trained him not to get on furniture and he abides by that well over here too so far. He's doing great learning to wait for permission to go through doors, which is something he was NEVER asked to do before. He gives lots of space and waits for eye contact and an OK to head out or in the doors. I'm not really working on obedience with him outright just yet, so I'm not overwhelming him forcing him to wait in a sit or down at this point. He's still learning the gate but we've only practiced that one a few times. This dog is also a fetch guru...not only does he bring the ball/toy back but he drops it at your feet and takes 2 steps back and waits!! :rockon:

Crate/Sleeping
He came to us already crate trained and he did great throughout the day in little spurts of getting used to his new crate. Rested calmly and quietly. His first night we started with him in the crate after some deliberation (debating on keeping him in our bedroom with our other dog vs. the crate). We weren't sure how mischevious he'd be so we went with the crate, which was downstairs (away from our bedroom) in our office area. He threw a little whining fit at 5am which lasted about an hour off and on and was ignored. (I knew it wasn't a potty issue becuase he went to the bathroom at 230am when we went to bed...we were up late because I was out playing a gig...I'm a musician on the weekends.) Other than that he did great.

The second night (last night), since he seemed pretty darn well behaved in the house and we knew he'd need to be crated today while we're at work, we decided to let him try out the bedroom floor, which is where we'd eventually like him to sleep permanently. We closed the door so he didn't have access to the rest of the house. He did amazing. He laid right down next to the bed on the floor and we didn't hear a peep from him until I woke up at 530 this morning. Our resident dog seemed to have zero issue with sharing the floor space. Not a peep until the morning stretches and yawns from both dogs. We were really happy with how it turned out.

**My only issue is that I would like to have him be able to spend his nights in the crate if we want him to, for example if my brother stays with him for a weekend or whatever when we go on vacation. So, I hope we won't be confusing him by trying to teach him to sleep in more than 1 location while he's still so new to our home? Can anyone advise?

Jumping/Greeting
For those who may have read the thread about our deciding to adpot Walt...this was a known issue going in. He has lots of energy and he's 100% friendly but he has NO greeting manners and basically loses his mind when new people are around. My brother (who lives with us) and my wife and I have been doing the 'be a tree' method when we come in the door. He's not really showing improvement yet but it's only been 2 days and we've had limited attempts at practice. We're being patient but persistent!

We're also doing everything we can to reinforce calm behavior. No attention or petting or even eye contact unless he is calm. After lots of practice, he's doing pretty well sitting and waiting calmly before clipping on the leash. Here's the rub...we need to develop a procedure for letting him out of his crate upon returning home from the store or work or whatever. He will sit and wait with the door open until you allow him out, but then he DARTS out and is off like a bolt of lightening. Is it just a matter of waiting longer for him to settle himself inside the crate before opening the door? Should we wait a while after getting home before we even acknowledge he's waiting to be let out? Our other dog waits and when we open his crate door he stretches and yawns and says hello...so at least we have a good role model! :)

Car Ride/Vet Visit
Well...the car ride is the one place where Walt is already a superstar. He basically takes a nap and is a joy to take in the car. At the vet...well that was another story! We took him to the vet the afternoon we brought him home so it was a lot to take in for him I'm sure. A little embarassing for us for sure too. He was barky reactive like crazy...pulling...etc. Very friendly but a total nut. Our vet says he's perfectly healthy and seems very trainable and that she thinks he'll be a good fit for us because she's seen how well our other dogs behaved. That was a good vote of confidence!
 

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Try looking up "crate games" and reinforcing the sit-and-wait in the crate before he can leave. You don't want him to learn that either the door opening OR putting on a leash means he can leave the crate, you want him to leave when you motion for him to or ask him to.
I doubt he will just pick-up on staying in the crate without specific training since getting to leave the crate is self-rewarding behavior.

I would let him out of the crate right away when you get home since he probably legitimately has to pee, but you can ask for a sit-stay in the crate while you leash him and then a sit-stay right outside the crate before you go to the yard.
 

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Try looking up "crate games" and reinforcing the sit-and-wait in the crate before he can leave. You don't want him to learn that either the door opening OR putting on a leash means he can leave the crate, you want him to leave when you motion for him to or ask him to.
I doubt he will just pick-up on staying in the crate without specific training since getting to leave the crate is self-rewarding behavior.

I would let him out of the crate right away when you get home since he probably legitimately has to pee, but you can ask for a sit-stay in the crate while you leash him and then a sit-stay right outside the crate before you go to the yard.
Thanks for the tips!

After about a half a day on leash in the yard we let him out there off leash with our resident dog with our supervision. There hasn't been one single hint that these 2 don't get along...so we're not planning on leashing him to go pee and we probably won't really be putting on the leash while he's in the crate...so at least that's not cause for concern.

He's actually doing pretty well with waiting for a cue to come out (even with the door open) but my issue is that he's sitting and sort of waiting to 'explode' out of the crate as opposed to actually being calm before getting released. Since we're trying to reinforce only calm behavior...isn't this an issue? I would love to get him to chill and come out slowly with a stretch and a yawn rather than come out racing through the house!

But you're right...he will surely have to go the bathroom and I don't want to wait around for 10-15 minutes for him to settle himself before letting him out to pee. I guess we'll have to find some kind of compromise...

I will look up 'crate games' too!
 

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The leashing him up part is for training rather than because you actually NEED to in your own house/yard. Crate games is a step by step crate training to help the dog feel comfortable in his crate AND to have commands to enter and exit the crate. Leashing will keep him from racing through the house while you are still working on training.

Think of it like this- if you are out traveling or camping or staying with someone else, you don't want him rushing out the door of the crate (or the car) and into a bad situation like traffic, the woods, whatever.
The manners for waiting before exiting the crate are the same basic idea as not leaping out the car door as soon as it is opened or not running out the front door (door bolting)- since he's already got a handle on the waiting at a door, you should be able to connect that to the crate concept.

You can ask for "down" in the crate instead of "sit" so it makes it harder for him to rush the door.

If he's just really really urgent to pee and can't settle in the crate, you can let him out and let him rush outside and then come back in after he relieves himself and do a 5 minute crate training session once he can actually focus on what he's being asked to do rather than the demands of his body.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
The leashing him up part is for training rather than because you actually NEED to in your own house/yard. Crate games is a step by step crate training to help the dog feel comfortable in his crate AND to have commands to enter and exit the crate. Leashing will keep him from racing through the house while you are still working on training.

Think of it like this- if you are out traveling or camping or staying with someone else, you don't want him rushing out the door of the crate (or the car) and into a bad situation like traffic, the woods, whatever.
The manners for waiting before exiting the crate are the same basic idea as not leaping out the car door as soon as it is opened or not running out the front door (door bolting)- since he's already got a handle on the waiting at a door, you should be able to connect that to the crate concept.

You can ask for "down" in the crate instead of "sit" so it makes it harder for him to rush the door.

If he's just really really urgent to pee and can't settle in the crate, you can let him out and let him rush outside and then come back in after he relieves himself and do a 5 minute crate training session once he can actually focus on what he's being asked to do rather than the demands of his body.
Great points, we will work with the leash when we make sure he's not bursting at the bladder seams. Thanks! :)
 
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