Journey Training Journal

Journey’s Progress

Journey has been here a couple weeks now and is making a lot of progress so far. We’re still working on housetraining, but he’s reliable with pooping outside now, and is having less pee accidents inside. After the first few days here, he seemed a little cautious about some of the different sounds and smells here in the city versus in the country where he was born and raised until coming home. An example of this – for some reason, trash bags and dumpsters make him uneasy.

We are working on this daily by leaving full trash bags around the house with treats hidden on and under them, so that he will approach the bag to find the treats, and he’s no longer afraid of the bags – success! The dumpsters… we’re working on it. There are 800 smells coming out of those and he doesn’t quite understand it. So we changed our daily walk routine to include a trip around the dumpsters and we’ve been using them almost like weave poles, going in between and around each one, and he gets a treat for walking by and ignoring them.

Today we charged the clicker and started a mini training session, working only on watch me, sit, and down. We will do another session with the clicker when it’s dinnertime – a hungry puppy is an easily trained puppy!

Journey, 14 weeks



Introducing Journey!

After about 8.5 hours in the car, we finally arrived at the breeder’s house. We were introduced to a lovely Berner girl around 5 months old, which just made us want to meet our baby even more. We went to the puppy area and there we got to meet a few puppies – one of them was Journey, the others were the breeder’s keeper pups from the same litter. I didn’t know for sure which pup would be mine before I arrived, all I knew was that it was going to be one of two boys. Let me say this – the minute I met the puppies, I knew which one was mine, even before asking the breeder “So which one is he?”. I felt an instant connection with one particular pup and it was confirmed – that puppy is my Journey! He’s everything I wanted and more! Very sweet and well mannered, bold and brave and curious without being a troublemaker (well… that we know of so far!). We met his parents and several other lovely Berners and it was definitely love at first sight! By the time we were done with contracts and stuff and we were ready to go, it was pretty late and after dark so we ended up not going to hubby’s cousin’s house in Madrid as originally planned, because Madrid was still a 3 hour drive away and his cousin has to get up pretty early for work. We called around trying to find a dog friendly hotel, but they were all either in Madrid city center, or too pricey for just a few hours sleep, so we decided that we would just start driving and when we got too tired to continue, we’d stop at a rest stop and sleep for a couple hours before continuing on.

Journey is an awesome passenger – very quiet, slept most of the way and no accidents or car sickness! We stopped a few times to let him potty and feed/water him, and of course slept a couple times for a few hours.

We made it home around 3pm and it was time for Journey to meet Karma…

That didn’t go quite as expected. She barked at him once (anyone that knows Karma knows that barking is a very very rare occurrence, so rare in fact that we joke that she is mute) and after that pretty much outright ignored him. We went for a walk with both dogs before bringing Journey into the house, so they could smell each other and settle. Apart from Journey the barracuda trying to sneak a bite out of Karma’s bowl while they were eating dinner, which resulted in a first class snark from Karma, she refuses to acknowledge he exists and he seems to be ok with that for now.

We did our evening walk right in time for the doggy meetup at the park, so Journey got a bit of off-leash playtime with other dogs while Karma also played (with everyone EXCEPT Journey).

He’s currently in his crate for the night, with a few toys and an antler from Auntie Gill, and after only a couple minutes of whining has settled right down for the night.

He’s VERY smart – already walks on leash (although he crosses in front and back of you and trips you up haha) and sits on command most of the time, is an ace at the elevator, comes when called and has even figured out which bowls are his in the kitchen. A cute story – he grabbed one of the cat bowls earlier, and walked over, waved it up and down with his mouth and then set it down in front of hubby. Journey looked at the bowl, looked at hubby, then back at the bowl again. Hubby asked him if he was hungry and he picked up the bowl and set it down again a bit closer. I guess that was a yes!

Right, so on to the good part!

Meet DeVael’s Anything Is Possible otherwise known as Journey.