Weeks 12 to 16 are our best opportunity to socialize Kitto well, and so our plan is to expose him to something new, exciting or scary at every opportunity until June 26 when Kitto is 17 weeks old. Every day will be packed with fun. While we still care about training, new skills are getting a lower priority to all-important socialization.
5:30 AM Pretty sit before the kennel door opens (Kitto offers it every time now). Leash on, outdoors to the front yard and… Kitto pees on command. And looks at me with a huge, enthusiastic husky grin. Jaw dropping, YES! You ARE a smart one. And a minute later, #2 as well. GOOD BOY!
95% of potty training issues eliminated. Just. Like. That. Kitto far prefers to go outside rather than use the indoor toilet. Some kids just prefer their PBJs with the crust cut off, too. We accommodate, and everyone is happy.
10:00 AM First walk around the block took an hour and a half (details in previous post). We met many kinds of people. Kitto is gentle and friendly with everyone, but to be extra sure, we have AllProvide on hand to share. Interactions with tiny folk are carefully monitored. Safety: Kitto wears a collar with tags, which is attached with carabiners to his harness. He weighs about 4.5 lbs, and is hard to fit. We like this harness as he can’t get out of it quickly or easily (and not by himself). It is a little bit big, and he can sometimes get both legs onto the same side of the chestpiece. This happens less and less.
5:00 PM The family and I decided to stop work and take Kitto to Cool Creek Park, where we could take Kitto to a playground, a nature center, and introduce him to our beautiful forested trails. Kitto was not quite convinced about travelling in the car in his SleepyPod. He complained for the first few minutes of each of the first four or five trips, even with Alyssa sitting next to him (just outside of this picture). Once he associated wearing the orange harness with going somewhere really fun to walk, he stopped this behavior. Now he curls up quietly as soon as we zip the top closed. He likes to lay down and look up through the mesh and the windows.
We surprised him when we went under a bridge the first time. He gave a half-yelp of fear, and then he was OK. You never know how your dog will react to a new situation, and gentling these reactions is the reason to socialize Kitto right now while it’s easiest.
5:10 PM We arrive at Cool Creek Park. We met a dozen people and their kids at the Big Toy (playground). I invited Kitto to boop the camera and he happily obliged, for Alaskan Klee Kai are merry and he was excited to walk the trails after the rain. Click for more Happy Boops (Thanks, Gilbert Chan!).
6:30 PM At least half of the people we met stop to meet Kitto and ask questions. Some ask to take pictures, too. I needn’t have wondered if we could have him meet 100 people by 16 weeks old. He’s met at least fifty in the first week.
Everyone wants to touch, so we are glad that we are spending significant training time on gentling. Here he “kisses” (touches fingers with a close muzzle) some high school girls and allows “petpet” (we needed to teach him to enjoy excessive petting). One of the girls exclaimed “He’s so cute! I’m so obsessed!” over and over. We feel the same!
On the way home, Kitto went right to sleep in the SleepyPod, and at home, he walked himself to bed for the night at 7:34 PM. We all had such a great time, we’ll just have to do this again really soon.