I just signed Copper up for basic training classes, 6 week course. He starts in about a month. If I like the course, I may enroll him in intermediate and advanced. I also got him his name tag to put on his collar.
I'm looking into get a DNA test on him. The pound said he was a Chocolate lab/Plott hound. I'm not seeing any chocolate lab traits in him physically or behavior. My sister's late dog was a lab mix (dumb as h, but did look and act like a lab), lots of my neighbors have labs or mixes. My next door neighbor has a choc lab purebred. I do see lots of hound traits. Not sure where the not liking to get wet comes from. I think this will help not only with his training, but with health related stuff too. From what I've read so far they cost $60 up.....think the most expressive one I found was 200. I'm thinking of going with a swap test. If anyone has had tested their dog(s), what brand did you use? how accurate to you think it was? what did you like/dislike? I open to opinions here.
I've been observing Copper for week. He does, and it's very understandable, have separation anxiety when he knows I leave. Today, I had my son take him to the backyard to do his business while I left. He said Copper looked around for me then took a nap on my bed. Copper was also calmer when I got home (no shaking rear and tail or bouncy). Normally before I leave, I play fetch with him up to an hour. He sees me go to my car when putting my stuff in then I come back for a bit. This helps some, but he's still anxious. Poor Copper has been let down at least twice....maybe more, and I am not going to be added to that list. I see a great dog with some damage that can be fixed with love, respect, and of course training.
Copper also has what I call selective deafness. I know he hears and understands me, but when he's distracted or doesn't want to do something like go out cause its raining there's a higher chance he doesn't obey. If I have treats with me, he obeys 90% of the time. Some things he's still learning like not standing on the window sill, I know its temping being roughly a foot from the floor. He's more interested in whatever he's sniffing or when he sees little dogs or birds (robins, sparrows, etc.)or doesn't want to get wet. Copper points at little dog and sometimes wild birds. I think this may be a hunting dog instinct in him.
If he refuses to go outside with my command, I put him on a leash and take him out. I think he's starting to figure out that I'm the one who makes the rules/pack leader, but there is some resistant....or could be trust issues. When Considering at least 2 previous owners with being in the pound a few times for months in between and no clue if they took the time to train him or what method(s) they used, it does make since. I know part of the trick to to being pack leader is being respected. If on a leash he will pull, I stop and don't continue until he stops pulling and calmly comes back to me either standing or sitting next to me. He's getting better provided he doesn't see or smell something of interest. He will bark/whine when not getting his way, and that needs correcting.
Last night and this morning Nibbler has been within a foot of Copper while laying down and awake. He let the very curious and cautious Nibbler smell him and slowly walk away unfluffed this time. Copper stayed laid down and watched her. I think he's learning the cats are off limits, and at least Nibbler is learning to walk not run around Copper. Moose still rarely leaves the cat zone or his cave. Moose still fluffs, growls, and hisses. Unlike Nibbler, Moose has had some bad experiences with one dog (not my late dog unless getting a long sniff followed by a wet lick counts). Moose teased a large dog thinking a screen door would protect him. Other then going to the littler box, he peers around the corner while we're preparing their food. I think after the cats get used to the idea that a dog is in their house, they should get along fine. I'm hoping when Nibbler starts her frisk attacks again Copper doesn't chase her. I take Copper over to look at the hen and chicks, he glaces then not interested. With a wire cage between them, we let Copper smell the hens. The hens are getting used to new dog and do not trust him yet. Sweet and Sour could take naps on or by, pick threw or scratch threw my late dog's fur. They also would ride him or walk under him. They still miss their old guardian.