Monday, August 31, 2009

Gone camping - August 13, 2009

We decided to take Niko camping for the first time at 11 weeks old.  We were quite confident he would be a good camping dog, given that he's been sleeping through the night and has remained quiet until we let him out of the crate.  Prior to this trip, we had some fear issues with his harness. He would run away and screech when we try to put the harness on him.  We bought the Easy Walker harness after consulting with our puppy class teacher and with a few sessions of clicker training, Niko allows us to put the harness on him no problem.

We packed the car up with Niko's crate and bed, because we were not sure whether we would let him sleep in the tent.  The car ride was probably the longest for Niko to date.  He is a curious and happy puppy on car rides. He loves to look out the window and when he's in the passenger seat with me, he lifts his front paws up to the door and stands upright to look out. He did wonderfully on the ride. He even found a passage to his bed in the backseat and took a nap! 

We stayed at Keuka Lake State Park for two nights and Niko received lots of attention from other campers. Kids, adults, and dogs loved meeting him.  Niko chased fireflies at night and enjoyed chewing on the firewood .  He was very good at not getting too close to the fire. He LOVED rolling around in the grass, digging, and sniffing around.

We took Niko with us down to the lake to go fishing and snorkeling.  Unfortunately, he did not enjoy being in water. We tried easing him into it, but he squealed, scratched and tried to jump out of our arms. He pretty much ran into the brush area and played and hid in the trees while we enjoyed the lake.

On the first night, we kept Niko in the crate right outside the tent.  On the second night, he slept in his bed by my side in the tent.  He was so good and it was comforting to have him by my side.  This is a picture of him waking up that morning: 

Niko had another great first experience under his belt. He is a natural camper! When we were packing up to go home, he enjoyed his last moments by the bench- 

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The Beginning

We found an ad in the paper for Shiba puppies in July 2009.  We took a 90 minute drive to meet the puppies.  There were 4 puppies in total - 1 girl (sesame), 3 boys (1 all white, 1 sesame, and 1 black and tan).  The black and tan male was the most playful and biggest in size.  We thought he was a little too wild and may be hard to train. So, we chose the male sesame for being cuddly and calm.

On the ride home, we decided to name our new addition to the family, Niko.  We put him in a big box with holes and towels.  When we looked back, he had his nose poking out of a hole.
It was adorable. We could hear him sniffing and he finally settled down and laid on his side with his legs stretched out like a deer on the road  : )
This is a picture of him coming into his new home that first night:

Niko was 8 weeks old when we brought him home.  He hasn't had a potty accident since the first night and is now crate trained.  We can tell when he needs to go outside and we always take him out when he needs to go.  For the first few nights we left him in the crate, he howled and whined several times a night.  We did our best to ignore it.  On the fourth night, we got him a heartbeat pillow(to mimic his mom's heart) and also covered his crate with a big towel.  After that night, he remains quiet all night.  In the morning we can hear him move around in the crate, but he never cries anymore.  He has learned to love his crate because we leave treats and toys in there. He even goes in it all by himself!