Doggy Diaries – Mentally sharp

Now that it’s gotten hot here in the desert, I’ve gotta get creative in finding ways to keep Jayden occupied since getting out doesn’t happen as much.

Luckily he is a very cerebral dog and doesn’t mind being lazy. We are peas in a pod! As long as his mind is being challenged, he is happy and fulfilled. He is also very good at letting me know when he’s bored. He’ll bring me a toy or a bone or just get hyper when I walk by. One of the things I absolutely love about him is when he behaves like a total goof.

I’ll kneel down on the floor with him and he goes to his favorite place under the breakfast bar where his crochet mat is. His tail thumps agains the wall so hard you’d swear it must hurt.

He starts breathing all hard and makes little playful snarly noises and then he puts his head on the floor, butt in the air and nips at my hands before summersaulting over on his back for a belly rub.

It is just impossible to ever be in a bad mood around this dog.

The normal obedience routine has long been abandoned. He started to anticipate each request and when I’d call him to me, he’d just amble over. With this dog, I’ve gotta constantly switch it up and now, since he never knows what I’m gonna ask for, he comes bounding to me when I call him.

Every afternoon, I put any leftover kibble from working into his Kong Wobbler. Rather than running through a few sits and downs before letting him have it, I decided to make it more interesting about two weeks ago.

I had him sit stay in the kitchen, and I walked into the foyer. I set the Wobbler down and the rattling made him come running. I playfully told him no and put him back in a sit stay in the kitchen.

I set the Wobbler down and he didn’t budge. I called him to heel but he went right for the Wobbler. Nope, Jayden, heel. All this while trying not to laugh.

I set the Wobbler between my feet and told him to stay, then backed away from the Wobbler.

He waited for the release command before attacking it. Now I do some variation to this when I give it to him and he’s so bouncy when it comes out I swear he’s part kangaroo.

Another awesome thing I taught him about a month ago was to find the Wobbler. Since I have no idea where it ends up when he’s done with it, I need his help finding it. He picked up on it pretty fast, but was rather unreliable about doing it when I asked.

Until he understood that I would get that last piece of kibble out for him if he found it. That last piece of kibble is like getting that 27th out for him. Sometimes he gets it, sometimes it’s elusive.

So now when he’s done with it, he finds me. I asked if he finished it. He wags. I say, show me, and he goes right to it, batting it with his paw so I hear it and he gets that last kibble. On days where he’s gotten it all, he just gets extra love. 🙂

I’m so grateful that he likes to be mentally challenged. On days where it’s too hot to go out, every day for now until the monsoons come, unless we’re going out in a vehicle, these little games keep him challenged and happy.

I haven’t written many diaries posts because life with Jayden is so routine and easy, there just hasn’t been much to report. He’s still just perfect and that’s really all there is to say!

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