We’re back! As you may have noticed, Ranger and I took a blogging hiatus over the holidays. Ranger got to spend some happy Labrador time at the grandparents’ house, chasing four wheelers and going on long walks in the woods with his boy, and I got several naps and way too much fudge and pralines.
I am quite blessed to have in-laws that love Ranger and also respect our rules for baby and dog safety, such as having active, alert adult supervision any time the baby and dog are in the same room. My husband and I got to take some time off from baby-holding to explore the outdoors, so prepare for a glut of Labradorable pictures of Ranger in his natural setting – ponds, dirt roads, and mud.
Ranger spent a lot of time snoozing on his bed while the baby played under her new playgym from Grammy. I really recommend bringing a “place” for dogs when they visit relatives so that you can send a dog TO somewhere you want them to be instead of them constantly hearing “move!” or “go away!” as people shuffle about. Ranger’s blanket cue generalized remarkably well, and he happily bounced to his bed when asked. However, I noticed that he doesn’t STAY there very long with more distractions around, so that is something we will definitely work on. I have been having Ranger release for treats usually, when I need to spend more time rewarding him while he is on the bed, so that staying on it is even better than getting off of it.
If Ranger had any nervousness around people, I would have brought his crate too, but he knows the property and family well and there is enough room in the house that he could find some space to himself if he wanted to. As usual though, his preference is to Velcro himself to the closest available human and then fall asleep immediately, to be awakened by some sort of furry magic if they feel the need to arise and walk into another room.
Our visit went well, we all got a needed break, and Ranger is now back to practicing his skills. We spent today reviewing his Sit, Down, Back Up, Blanket, and Stay cues, and he was elated to have his training time happening again. Tomorrow it will be back to business with dedicated training and more updates on all the wonderful ways Ranger is learning to be a happily integrated family dog!
And as promised… the first Labrador a la Pond picture.