Levi had a busy early Sunday morning: he went to the lake! With the temps in the 90′s F here, we are doing the outside-only stuff early in the morning. Evenings are still in the 80′s F.
So baby blue boy was out the door at 7:30 am. He had a long walk since I missed the access road, but we got to an area where he could walk into the water for a cool down.
He didn’t like the drop off that took the water from mid leg to chest high, but he stood still while I wetted him down the rest of the way.
Then we found this shady spot to sit and watch the fishing and families around. He was a bit shy of them, so he got a bunch of treats when someone walked past, and we did a tiny little sit/down clicker practice–I was hoping it would help him regain his curiosity.
I think he was getting tired by the time we reached the lake, since he’d happily met walkers on the nature trail. He even pulled the leash trying to catch up with them!
The trail has dips and inclines, which I filed away for future harness work practice (pull, brace). I’ll get his vest and little harness ordered next month, and start him wearing it at about 4 months old. (He’ll be 3 mo this coming Friday).
While he toddled along I watched his movement: the topline stayed straight, the back didn’t roll, his gait was smooth and easy…WOW I love his conformation. That good solid movement will protect his joints from excess wear during his working career and beyond.
You can see in the pic he woke up skinny Sunday morning–he’s growing, as Dane pups are famous for.
Since I’ve had to switch him to a junk and filler-filled food to safely provide him quantity of kibble, he’s been better about the rampant biting and chewing.
The Science Diet is a food I dislike because of the junk and filler, but the minerals are more than low enough to safely feed him 1/2 cup of kibble every 3-4 hours to keep him feeling full. It’s also corrected the early stage knuckling over and front foot turn-out he was starting to show.
I don’t like how his coat looks on the Science diet, so I’ve continued adding salmon oil. And I don’t know that he’s getting enough protien for good muscle condition. Still, he needs quantity for more manageable behavior right now, and it’s not like I can’t switch him back to a better quality food later.
I have noticed that Levi is “braver” in public when Mom’s with us, and yet, more nippy and frustrated when she’s with us at home. Not sure what to make of that, other than making sure Mom’s with us for the more difficult social outings.
I can’t seem to get my brain to multitask: watch his body language, watch where we go and what’s around us, interact with people, AND use the clicker. Yeesh.
It’s easier if someone else is there to interact with people so I can focus on Levi better. At least until the click becomes more habitual to me again.
Appearantly, I need to practice in less distracting places first too!
We’ve gotten the “down” down pretty good, though he still wants his lure. I’m just waiting him out: he auto sits when there’s food, so I wait until he guesses he’ll try a down, then he gets a click and treat.
And I’ve also ordered some recorded sounds and puppy relaxation tapes. The recorded sounds are designed to be very life like, and since we will use them at home, I can focus on the “hear that” with a click and treat. (Less distracting for us both!).
Another new thing Levi’s learning to to stop with only his front feet on a different elevation: either up on something or down on something. It’s practice for his harness, the step ups and downs.
He’s also (YAYA) sleeping through the night for the most part. He will not leave me alone though–demands to be on the bed with me.
I guess I let him for now, until he’s reliably housebroken and more secure, then he needs to sleep on the loveseat. As he gets bigger, he’ll take up too much room for more than a short nap. Overnight, I need the bed to rest comfortably or my health deteriorates.
THE NOT FUN STUFF: As for his frustration behavior, despite his good morning, Sunday afternoon was awful. He can go all night without needing out but whizzes everywhere when frustrated, even by his food or on his toys when he’s in one of his “moods”. uhg.
With the bite inhibition, I haven’t gotten the tether yet, and the usual methods aren’t helping all that much. So Sunday when he drew blood yet again after I blocked him from chewing the chair for the umpteenth time, I smeared the blood on his nose.
He hesitated, and eased off after that, but when he went for the arm again (he vocalizes too, like a frustrated puppy), he got a good taste of blood. Boy did he have a very surprised look on his face. He stopped immediately, and I wimpered rather than yelped which arouses him more.
Levi soon stopped the nipping and wandered a few seconds, then chewed his bone. I wonder what he was thinking? Some instinct echoing in his little brain? But the blood had more effect than all the training so far. When he nailed my ear during a nap, he again stopped as soon as he tasted the blood.
“Maybe he is going to get a clue about it now?”, I was hoping, but by Sunday afternoon, that hope was shot. I finally just set up the expen in the kitchen, and if he’s doing this for attention, he’ll learn fast it has the opposite effect.
We’re going back to the vet Monday, to see if he still has his bladder infection. I know he still has trouble with his ears’ yeast infection.
I’m gonna have them check for worms, and get him on heartguard, which prevents/treats hookworms and roundworms too, in addition to heartworms.
Oh little boy, will you be good so we can have lots of fun and enjoy each other’s company!!