Last time I posted Skipper was just starting to learn some basic commands and learning to focus on his humans a little more. Listening is still not his strong point but the "look at me" command has really helped me get his attention when he's getting excited about something. The result? Well Skipper is getting to spend time with the rest of the pack now.
Although he still doesn't quite understand that it's impolite to stare into another dogs eyes, he's really trying and has come a long way when interacting with the pack.
First we would take all the dogs except Skipper to the top floor of our tri-level and shut them in a bedroom. Then Skipper would get to spend time alone on the main floor (aka - the dog level) and get used to it enough so that it didn't get him overstimulated. It doesn't take much to get Skipper excited. Here's my interpretation of Skipper coming upstairs and checking out the dog toy basket: "OMG - HERE'S A FUZZY TENNIS BALL THAT SQUEAKS! And right next to it is ANOTHER FUZZY TENNIS BALL THAT DOESN'T SQUEAK!!! And OH MY GOD!!!!!! THIS TENNIS BALL DOESN'T HAVE ANY FUZZ BUT IT SQUEAKS LIKE THE FIRST ONE!!!! IT'S TOOOOO MUCH FOR ME. OMG!! OMG!! OMG!!!!!! ARROOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!"
Get the picture? Skipper has a full appreciation for the little things in life. However, after about a minute of taking in everything in the room at full speed, he levels out and kicks back with one of the toys to chew on it. So once he's reached the calm level we started letting Frodo into the room. After a couple successful tries we let Frodo be in the room when Skipper first came upstairs. Since Skippy's been up here quite a bit now it's not quite so over the top exciting for him so we thought he was ready, and sure enough, it went great. Frodo mostly sat on the back of the couch looking worried and constantly trying to catch my eye as if to ask, "you realize there's a giant crazy dog in the room, right?"
So it was a big night for Skippy. He hung out, chewing on various antlers and squeakie balls for about 20 minutes before I took him back down to the rec room for some chill time. I see great things in this guy's future. He is so loving and goofy and fun and at just 7 1/2 years old he's got a lot of years left to give to some lucky human.
58 minutes ago