- When our puppy was selected for us, the breeder asked “are you okay with a big puppy?” I made a not-so-sure noise at the same time my husband said “sure!”
- The breeder also mentioned that around 12/13 months, Buddy may act up. He added, matter-of-factly, “just scruff him and tell him no.” Or something to that effect.
- His partner and fellow breeder mentioned a few months ago that our well-behaved puppies are entering their teenage years but not to worry, they would be back to listening somewhere between 18 months and 2 years.
- Every time I get a puppy I say I’m not going to do that again. And yet, here I am.
- I’m tired.
How many months is it from 13 months to 18 months? Oh yeah, five. I’m not even going to entertain the thought that it is going to take 6 more months than that for him to get out of this stage.
I love this dog to the moon and back. But some moments, I feel like kicking him to the moon and back. Note: I like being flip in my writing, please don’t think I would kick my dog. As a matter-of-fact, I find myself apologizing to him daily as he unexpectedly winds up underfoot and gets stepped on, or I open a cabinet door into him, etc. Today I stepped on his tail on our walk as he was sitting to let a car go by, part of our training. That one was totally my clumsy fault. Moments later he maneuvered in a way that tripped me up in his leash. Luckily, I have fairly good balance and kept myself from falling. The last thing he or I need is a repeat of the summer of the broken ankle. And I told him that.
I’ve taken Buddy into CGC classes earlier than planned, just for some training support. I’m not so sure he’ll pass the test. I was going to wait until he was two. We are working on loose leash walking daily. And it’s not working. Except once in awhile he looks up at me in a perfect heel with his I-love-you eyes to get a treat, before pulling ahead again as soon as he receives it.
You’re playing me, Buddy, you’re playing me.
Just today, I took him to PetSmart to walk around nicely with distractions. Total fail. I spent the whole time holding all 70+ pounds of him back. Dang dog. I’m not very strong. He wanted to interact with a Russell Terrier. That’s the size dog I need. But we can’t get a dog that small in our rural setting. And, besides this spell of bad behavior, I do love that Buddy is big. I feel protected and safe. I have no hesitation about being out on the mountain or in the woods with just the two of us. The other day we walked by a couple of dogs that are on an electric fence. One dog looked like he was on the verge of busting through. He didn’t. But I told my walking friends not to worry, Buddy would protect us. Because I know he would. He does not put up with a dog rushing at me.
However, he loses his mind around other dogs that aren’t threatening, because he wants to play. Right now, though, he plays too rough. (Although, in a rare exception to his non-listening self, he does listen when his doggie friend Addie’s owner and I tell him “NO” when he is being too rough with her.) And he cries like his heart is broken when he isn’t allowed to play with every dog he sees. He’s a big, soft baby in a raging-hormone body.
On top of all that, he’s even a pain-in-the-neck when we are doing something he wants to do. He won’t bring the ball I’ve thrown for him all the way back to me, and we appear to be in a war of wills. After asking him to get the ball and bring it and drop it in front of me – “get it,” “bring it,” “drop it,” “front” – only to have him pretend he doesn’t know what I’m talking about, I turn around and go inside and tell him I’m not playing with him if he doesn’t want to play nicely.
We’re both stubborn.
And yet, he is my velcro dog. He wants me to be a part of everything he does. And vice versa. He loves me and I love him. I just can’t wait for my well-behaved, listening doggy to come back to me. Meanwhile, I’ll keep on reinforcing all the things he knows how to do, not letting him get away with things, until his teenage raging-hormone self leaves the building