Via is changing. She is starting to look like a dog instead of a puppy. Her ears are staying up except the tips flop on some days. One of my students suggested that I superglue tooth picks inside her ears.
My puppy is a 36 lean pounds. If that “common knowledge” idea is correct, her adult size will be 72 pounds. She is already taller than Blue was at 16 weeks. She looks like a preteen with the long, awkward legs and huge ears.
She lost her first deciduous tooth this week. It is a top middle small front tooth. The Kidlet found it in the water bowl and saved it. The kid, 8 years old, asked if the Tooth Fairy will bring Via a dog biscuit.
Via has been wandering further away from me when we do our daily off leash hikes. She is very interested in the environment and will stop and watch a jogger pass where she used to not seem to notice them.
She still comes promptly when called or if I walk the other way so I don’t think she is entering adolescence yet. I will continue to provide her with new experiences with other people, dogs and places. I did not think it was possible but the older that Via gets, the bolder and more outgoing she gets.
She sees other dogs and gets very excited. With Maisy she gets over excited – aroused even. She barks, spins and whines. Maisy is OVER playing with Via. We have started working on Look at That! and I fed fed fed for her calmly watching other dogs with out commenting.
I had been feeding Via four times a day. Last week she started leaving most of her breakfast so I reduced it and will cut it out totally by the end of the week. She has very clear preferences in raw food. She loves – inhales – duck, venison and elk. She eats beef with gusto. She will eat turkey and pork. Chicken she will eat if she is very hungry. She will not eat raw liver of any type. She is even uninterested in liver if I brown it in butter. She will eat it but not happily if it freeze dried.
Baths, brushing, clipping nails, cleaning ears, having teeth examined, and so on, continues. Via still believes that grooming utensils are a food group. The other training is going well. She responds to her name, even when I whisper. She recognizes the platform as a cue to get on it. She is doing well at going to and staying on her mat. She’ll go to place on anything I put on the floor and call Mat. Since she finally has enough body control to do a tucked sit, I have started requested sits at doors. We have also started working on fold back downs. She downs to get the crate door to open. And she continues to be quiet and happy in a crate. She LOVES to ride in the car.
Yesterday before class at the Dog Loft, Via *asked* to go outside. Well, I asked HER and she answered. She was doing the “I got to poop high stepping got to find a spot to go right NOW” dance. I said, “Outside?!” and she RAN to the door. I must admit to being quite pleased.
I have been sending her out alone to potty at least once a day. I stand in the window and watch her. I also get other people to potty her as often as I can. She had gotten to the point where she would not go if she could not see me. I had become part of the potty picture. I *think* we have moved beyond that except she would not go for Crystal on Sunday.
Via spends much of her time biting and grabbing everything that she can reach. This is normal puppy behavior. One of my friends who trains her dogs in Mondoring is very excited about Via’s love of biting. Mondioring is an F.C.I.-authorized international protection sport developed in the late 1980s by representatives from every major country with a protection sport.
We are still working on bite inhibition. I remind myself daily that Via has very sharp teeth and a weak jaw. This means that she can cause me to be uncomfortable when mouthing or puppy biting me, but can not cause severe damage. I also remind myself that it is NORMAL.
Via will be a great dog someday.