Entering Adolescence

IMG_2285Wade’s passing 6 months now, coming up on 7. This stage in a puppy’s life is known as the “I’d like to kill you” phase, (technically referred to as adolescence.) At around 6 months, puppies begin to realize that they are independent beings, and that they could possibly make it on their own without you.

This sense of, “I can do whatever I want, I don’t need your help,” can be one of the most frustrating parts of puppy ownership.

Just remember, it’s all a part of puppy development.

They’re not going to have that sense of independence forever. If you really did leave them to their own devices, they’d be in bad shape. They’ll soon realize it and come to their senses.

The night is darkest just before the dawn… Or something.

9-11 months is the ‘terrible two’s’ of puppy ownership. After that, it gets easier.

Wade Times Two

Wade has now more than doubled in pounds since I first met him.

Day one, Wade weighed 12 measly pounds!

IMG_2164Wade weighs 30 pounds now… And he’s going to double AGAIN by the time he’s done growing!

His 4 month birthday just passed without much of a fuss. He’s starting to lose his baby teeth, and so far I’ve only found one. (I’m keeping a close eye out for those canines! Maybe use them as sewing needles in the future… Kidding.)

Wade has a few tricks under his belt now. He can sit, stay, lay down, shake, wave, and roll over. I’ve been slacking on his formal training recently, but I have been maintaining his basic obedience.

Working with more and more people and their dogs, I’ve been noticing some trends…

Plus, puppy class is adorable!

Plus, puppy class is adorable!

One: Not enough people bring their puppies to any sort of training!

I’m not just saying this because I’m a dog trainer.

Even if your puppy has excellent basic obedience skills and hasn’t had an accident in the house, you should still go to some form of puppy training. It’s a fantastic opportunity to meet other puppies, and the socialization is in the best possible environment. It’s invaluable to hear what your local trainer has to offer, and get that puppy to meet as many other dogs as possible! Dog parks are great, and dogs of friends and family are fantastic, but your puppy should meet tons of new and unfamiliar dogs! Puppy classes are perfect because it’s a very safe environment to meet other dogs.

Two: Puppy classes aren’t enough.

The entire world is your dog’s classroom. It should be learning everywhere it goes! Your dog should be learning throughout it’s life! Never stop training your dog. Every minute you spend together, you can be teaching your dog something.

Wade reminds me every day to enjoy life... He sure does!

Wade reminds me every day to enjoy life… He sure does!

Your dog will teach you everything it possibly can. Return the favor.

I’m not suggesting you constantly train your dog new tricks, (although I’m definitely not discouraging it,) I’m suggesting that you constantly be working toward something new. Work toward a quicker sit, a longer stay, a more distraction-filled environment, keep challenging your dog!

Wade’s Tummy Problems…

Well I messed up. I’ll admit it. Wade paid for it… So did I, in a way…

I switched Wade’s food too fast.

This stuff works. (Anything that is specifically formulated for pets and uses enzymes seems to be effective.)

This stuff works.
(Anything that is specifically formulated for pets and uses enzymes seems to be effective.)

Rookie mistake! I know.

It was an honest accident. I bought a giant bag of puppy food, thinking it was the same one, and it wasn’t. I figured, “they’re the same brand, basically the same thing… The new one’s just not grain free.”

Sorry Wade.

It was a normal night. I fed him his new food, (mixed with… a little bit of his old food.) That night, I came back from a night out with friends to discover that Wade had made me a rather large present of… Well… Loose stool.

I didn’t think much of it, (stupid,) cleaned it up, made a huge mental note to get some pet cleaner with enzymes, and slept on the couch with Wade.

3am: I’m awoken to sounds of a puppy attempting to throw up on my face. (I wish I was exaggerating.) Got up to take him outside, and discovered three piles of more loose stool.

An hour of scrubbing the carpet later, and we were back to bed.

The next day, I fed him plain white rice with some low sodium chicken broth, hoping that would quickly end our woes. He threw it all up.

So I called the vet, (they told me he might have Parvo,) and quickly realized, “Why am I calling the vet?”

One happy pup!

So I just went and bought his old food. He’s been fine ever since.

The moral of the story is: Switching your dog to new food is EXTREMELY IMPORTANT!

The proper way to introduce new food is (probably) on the side of your bag of dog food.

Start by feeding your dog 25% new food, and 75% old food.

In about 5 days, move to 50/50.

Another 5 days, you can go 75% new food, 25% old food.

After about two weeks, you can proudly say you switched your dog’s food properly!

Everyone makes mistakes. It happens. The best thing you can do? Tell your pup you’re sorry, and buy him/her a new toy. It’ll make you feel better… (Because your dog has already forgotten about it and forgiven you.)

Month 3

Alright, so I haven’t had Wade for 3 months yet, but he’s now officially 3 months old, (13 weeks to be exact… 96 days to be even more exact.)

The last few weeks have been lacking in formal training, and lacking even more in excitement. I could post tons of pictures of him sleeping though, because that’s most of what he’s been doing. Which is great! Puppy brains grow while they sleep, so he’s going to be one smart pup!

 

IMG_2024

The room is a mess because SOMEONE likes blankets all over the place. I won’t say who.

Wade has also been watching TV.

Yeah, I’ve become the pet parent that plops their dog in front of the TV to fry brain cells in a desperate attempt to get him out of my hair.

I’m kidding.

I’ve never seen it in person before now, but I have heard plenty of stories about dogs watching TV.

In particular, he likes silly shows on Animal Planet heavily featuring dogs. Obviously.

This took a few minutes to set up. He didn't care.

This took a few minutes to set up. He was so focused on the bully stick that he didn’t care about the toys.

In other news, I bought another bully stick today. I was terrified of buying any more after he swallowed one whole last time. He chewed up the whole thing, making it soft enough to be swallowed.

I couldn’t sleep that night, thinking that it would get caught in his intestines and I’d have to sell my organs on the black market so that his organs would be okay.

He was fine.

But nonetheless, I didn’t get any more for a couple weeks.

This time, I got a bigger one. And now he doesn’t care about the rest of his toys, he just wants his bully stick!

I did forget how much bully sticks STINK! I don’t want to think about what the bully stick is made out of, (but if you don’t know, don’t find out.)

It’s always great to find something that he loves to work on, because it gives me a way to occupy his time when I can’t give him my undivided attention.

Next up… Obedience training!

Week 2

Here I am in my second week of puppy ownership.

Wade has been getting better about his social skills. I’ve been physically presenting dogs to him, booty-first, in an attempt to teach him how he should properly greet another dog. So far, so good. He definitely prefers big dogs, and tries to play with little dogs, (unfortunately, the little dogs are usually older and don’t want to play anymore.)

IMG_1969We’re working on some trick training, along with his basic obedience. He knows sit VERY well, hes got a down, shake, high-five, drop it, and “hup!” over a broom handle. Detailed post to follow.

Wade’s new favorite things are his toys. We cracked and bought him some stuffed animal toys… He LOVES them!

Using the toys as rewards is perfect as well. That’s how he learned “hup!”

 

Mostly, I just wanted to post this adorable picture of him…

Wade’s New Behavior

It’s not so much new as it is just becoming significantly more frequent.

Wade likes to pick up anything and everything from the ground.

Rocks, bark, flowers, grass, EVERYTHING!

It’s driving me bonkers.

I’ve just been telling him no, and “leave it,” to let him know it’s not acceptable behavior. It’s a relatively normal puppy behavior, as long as it isn’t an obsession. He’s not obsessed with picking things up. He’s just curious and a little monster.

Other than that, more sleeping. This dog sleeps constantly. It’s nuts.

Exhausted Puppy… And an Update on Socialization

Today was an extremely crazy day for Wade.

He started the day early, heading outside to go potty.

Then he went to my work to play for a few hours while I went to my sister’s graduation.

Then he went to the graduation party.

He has been passed out for HOURS!

I feel terrible, he was extremely over-exerted today and is displaying that fact prominently.

Poor guy!

I’m letting him get as much sleep as possible…

 

In the meantime!

Wade is a lab mix. Lab something or other. I met his mom, she’s a very VERY small labrador. Wade is one of the smaller pups of his litter, and at 10 weeks, he’s clocking in at around 13 pounds.

The small bit of very unscientific research I’ve conducted, *cough*google*cough* has led me to believe Wade will be around 40 pounds when full grown… I couldn’t be happier.

I also think he’s an American Staffordshire and lab mix. It’d make more sense than a 40 pound mastiff mix!

I’m SO HAPPY that he’s (probably) a pitbull! I absolutely love pitbulls.

 

In even more exciting news, Wade played with his pals at the pet resort today and did great! He’s a bit vocal when playing, but that’s pretty common in labs. He’s getting MUCH better about playing nice with other dogs. It may have just been that he was so excited to see strange dogs for the first time that he ended up getting over-excited and rude.

We’ll see!

Wade’s First Day at Work, (and a Surprising Realization)

I work at a “Pet Resort.” They do daycare, lodging, training, and grooming. One of the biggest selling points for me getting a puppy was that I could take him to work with me every day.

So that happened.

Now, not everyone at a doggie daycare is polite 100% of the time… I wanted Wade to learn that, and instead I learned that my pup might have some social issues right out of the gate.

Impossible. He’s a puppy. He was raised with his litter. There’s no way he’s got social issues already.

But unfortunately, it’s true.

I only say this because I can fix this.

I don’t mean I’m some crazy expert in behavioral issues. This is just something we have to work with, and FAST.

And by social issues, I mean exactly that. Wade can be very rude when greeting other dogs. He can also play too rough and over-step his boundaries. He got into a small squabble today, (no big deal in dog-world, but in an environment like a doggie daycare, it’s a big deal.)

This all could very well just be normal puppy behavior. Solved by more interactions with dogs.

We will see.

So, expect to be seeing quite a bit of posts regarding how to overcome social problems in dogs.

The solution is NOT to avoid other dogs.

 

Wade: Morning 2

ImageThis morning was much better. After a rough day yesterday, we both needed a good night’s sleep.

Wade slept from 11pm all the way until 5:30am. After a quick trip outside to go potty, he fell asleep again until around 7:30, waking up only occasionally to try to play. He got part of his breakfast, (and sneakily, his flea/tick/heartworm preventative) in a Kong this morning.

He cracks me up how affectionate and polite he is with me, (maybe it’s because I do this for a living,) but how much of a little monster he can be to others! We’ll have to keep working on his socialization, and crack down on being polite with others.

 

ImageOn another note, my veteranarian made me pretty mad yesterday. I was pushed into buying some “package” that included most of what he already had. I asked the Vet-Tech, “Isn’t that most of what he already has? The vet said it wouldn’t really financially be worth it.”

She responded with, “No. She’s wrong.”

No. You’re wrong. Wade does not need to be neutered twice, and does not need to be microchipped twice. He’s also already had two rounds of vaccinations, and doesn’t need those again.

The vet also freaked me out, telling me that Wade probably didn’t have enough vaccinations to be going outside. I just about lost it. “I HAVE TO DO POTTY TRAINING INSIDE!?!?!?” That’s not realistic. He’s already been going outside, and he’s doing fantastic! There’s no way I’m messing that up!

After speaking with the shelter, they put my mind at ease. Wade has plenty of vaccinations to be able to go outside safely. There’s no need to have him cooped up all of his life.

I’m a little upset at that vet, and will be returning today to throw acid in their faces and spit on their floor.

Wade’s First Vet Visit

Photo 2013-05-29 05.31.12 PMWade’s first vet visit was today…

Oof.

I don’t know why I wasn’t expecting to be overwhelmed by the trip to the vet. I’m still not sure what vaccinations he’s already had, so I’m reluctant to give him anything until I find out exactly what he’s already had…

Pet insurance seems like a great idea, and I’m definitely going to invest in it.

As a reward for  a fantastic vet visit, (clean bill of health, was very affectionate to the nurses that interacted with him, and had no problem with the veteranarian handling him,) Wade also got his first collar.

He’s been sleeping quite a bit, but plays HARD while he is awake.

Lesson learned: Do not under-estimate the cost of vaccinations…