Ivy has learned so much in the seven months that I have been working with him. He has an understanding of about 40 words. That’s pretty amazing to me!! We now work on some combination commands like “go-bring-drop” and “paws up-take” and “off-drop.” He tries so hard to understand but will sometimes get confused and will do just about anything in order to get his reward.
I try to incorporate Ivy’s training into our every day lives. He opens and closes cabinets while I’m in the kitchen. He retrieves his leash and opens the sliding glass door to go outside. He’s always there to pick up anything that I should happen to drop. While doing laundry he is right there to pick up a stray sock or towel. He loves bringing the newspaper or mail up to the house, and he recently insisted on carrying the umbrella when it stopped raining on our walk. I take him shopping with me and he walks very nicely behind the cart. He will settle and wait patiently if I am looking through something. People are always impressed and surprised by his behavior and what he is able to understand.
Ivy is my little shadow and follows me from room to room in the house. He lies at my feet at mealtime and hangs around when I’m working in my office. He never races up or down the steps but steps along with me. He has learned “paws up” and “off” and he’s really enjoying that new privilege… thinking he can now “paws up” whenever he wants. I’m very careful to not leave anything delicious within reach on countertops! In the evening while watching television, Ivy curls up with me on the floor and enjoys some handling and some good belly rubs. He loves to be with me and those big brown eyes are so sad when I have to go out without him.
Ivy has very few bad habits. Once he got over chewing on my carpet fringes and my plants and digging in the dirt in the pots, he settled into being a very sweet, well behaved dog. He is happy to work for me whenever I ask him to. He’s testing his boundaries a bit right now but I try to stay consistent so he knows what I expect from him. He’s been a bit afraid of new things, things that move unusually or sound funny or just don’t look right, but he knows now that he can trust me and I can usually coax him into checking it out.
Ivy is nine months old and he is in the adolescent stage of his development. Although we are having our challenges right now with some growing pains, I have no doubt that he will grow up to be a loyal, dependable, and loving companion to his partner. In addition to being smart he is also a very handsome dog. I always get compliments on his looks.
Before I close I would like to give a big THANK YOU to Ivy’s breeder, Spencer Robinson. He has provided Hero Dogs with a golden retriever with a heart of gold!! Thank you so much!!!