One thing we’ve worked on since the day he arrived: First thing in the morning, as soon as I get my leg on, he obviously needs to go out and pee and I don’t want to have to futz with the leash. So we go out on the porch, I light up the grove right next to the porch, he picks a tree and has a pee, then he very promptly comes back in and has a biscuit. At the very first we did it with the leash and I swear this dog was so out of his comfort zone I had to unzip and show him what was expected, but he quickly got with that simple part of the program.
We’ve been doing that long enough now that it’s an expected start to the day, and as often as not he’ll bully me to get out of bed and get with it. If nothing else, he wants his biscuit. But this morning he trotted out to the grove and then stopped, sniffed around, and found something else between the porch and the tree that needed covering up. And no sooner was that done than he looked up and started to growl, and even from the porch I could see the hair rising on his neck, and he started to slink forward as well as a canine version of Peter Dinklage can slink. Torso Boy was going to war.
I called him back and he came to his senses, and by the time of the biscuit part of the program he seemed to have forgotten all about it. But maybe not, because a couple of hours later when we went out for a more substantial walky he nosed around and then went off the normal path and straight to some fresh scat in the middle of the yard, not far off from where he’d been looking earlier. So we probably interrupted some small nocturnal predator. I can’t identify the scat except that it wasn’t coyote: At a guess I’d say a badger or something similar. We have badgers and woodchucks and such, but I almost never see them because I’m not nocturnal. I do see a lot of small weird tracks in the mornings, though seldom so close to the cabin.
He’s not very well clued in or suited to life outdoors in the desert, but he’s not stupid and he’s not a wimp.