Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The Perfect Storm

Like a growing child, Vinson continues to move through phases of his puppy-hood. Last week he was suddenly more whiny and vocal than he'd been.

At the same time, Vinson began to really test me on the leash, refusing to move in the direction I wanted to go or using his newly-discovered strength to act like a ship's anchor and refuse to go anywhere.

As you can imagine, these two developments combined made for quite a change (and probably some smirking staff during our daily trips outside!).

It is quite common for puppy development to include what may seem like backward steps - but they are really points on the path of growing up. How many graph's have you seen that don't show both ups and down's on the line to success?

Working at a place full of puppy experts, I spoke to many who confirmed what I expected - Vinson's six-month age is right on schedule for acting out and testing the limits. When the training situation changes and what you were doing stops working, it's time to reevaluate and try a new approach. This is what led to the introduction of the martingale collar, which Vinson is doing very well with.

I suspected the whining might be related to the process of losing puppy teeth. Further examination showed that Vinson had broken off his last remaining puppy canine, but the root is still intact. A staff member here has been checking his tooth daily and expects the remainder to be pushed out shortly by the adult canine.

Finally, we weighed Vinson and his weight-gain compared to previous weeks had increased, cluing me in that he is likely also in a growth spurt and probably hungry.

Lessons learned? Growth spurt + sore teeth & gums + 6-months-old = changes!

After a challenging week, Vinson's behavior has noticeably improved... until the next change!

No comments:

Post a Comment