I’ve missed a lot of weeks of writing. Feels like this fall is filled with too much of everything, covid on the rise, vaccination passports to do a lot of normal activities and a lot of divide amongst people. More anger and division than I ever thought I’d see. So writing has taken a far back burner. Everything just feels heavy…like everything is sucking the energy and joy out of the simple things in life.
Kane turned 1 this past Saturday. Feels crazy that he is already one. He often acts like a little puppy, but is definitely testing boundaries fairly frequently. He has a touch of separation anxiety. It’s not terrible, but we are really working on it. I talked to a trainer about building his confidence, which helps with that, as well as helps him meet new people confidently. They suggested scent detection. So we started that. I can honestly say it is the most interesting class I have taken with any of my dogs. Kane absolutely loves it, and in my opinion is pretty damn good at it. He caught on really quickly and now cries when he has to wait for his turn in class, and is even more excited when we start getting ready to do it at home. I love seeing how dogs noses (and brains) work when they are trying to find something. It’s really amazing.
For this class (and training style) he has wintergreen on a cotton ball in a spice style jar (that has vents on the top, but a lid to seal when not in use). In class it’s hidden in certain containers and we have to figure out (by how our dog tells/shows us) what container it’s in. At home we do that, but I also just hide the jar so he has to show me where it is. I have also gotten my husband to hide it outside and then I just follow Kane to find it. That’s always really neat for me. Because I don’t know where it is and have to trust that he knows what he is doing.
I don’t think he has grown in the last couple of months, hopefully he continues to fill out in the next year, but if not, that’s okay. We love him for who he is. And I know that smaller dogs do live longer generally. So maybe his size will work in our favor and he will live to be 15 or 16.
Rosco is 10 1/2 and although he is slowing down and is a little stiff and slow he is still healthy and happy. Hopefully he keeps going strong for many many more years.
I need to get back to my once a week posts. I miss it, and enjoy it when I’m doing it.
Kane has a perfect recall…until his nose catches a good smell…then his ears turn off. I managed to catch him twice when he was ignoring me, and correct instead of rewarding. When he does it right he gets a big reward, but ignoring me is not a safe option. And if he doesn’t catch on to that it may limit his off leash excursions. I saw a post about a training game. Essentially you drop a treat, call them and start running away. When they catch you give them a big treat, then drop another and do it again. I will definitely be giving that a try.
His swimming “lessons” have definitely paid off. He LOVES the water and is definitely capable in the water. He runs out of the lakes and soughs like a crazy dog though. I’m sure he’s thinking “man that’s cold, what happened to the pool water”. We all laugh at him, but I’m just happy he goes in and can swim.
We have also set up Brogan’s pool. He absolutely loves it. Tonight while it was getting filled he would pick up the hose and get squirted in the face. Another good laugh. He is absolutely the best for comic relief.
He will also stick his head under the water to get the ball out of the pool.
Tip over is slowing getting changed to “bang” for play dead. He can do it perfectly in a calm environment, but as soon as it’s busy or exciting he can’t. So we will continue to work on that for a while. He is definitely learning, but I won’t add another in until he has that one perfected.
All in all he is turning into a pretty great guy. Doesn’t have any mastiff look to him yet, but we are still hopeful it will come…And no matter what he grows up to look like I think he is pretty darn handsome.
We are definitely in the teenage “years” with him now. Haven’t introduced any new tricks because some days it’s like he can’t remember how to do the basic commands. So we just continue to reinforce all the things he does know how to do. I know we just need to be patient and consistent while he figures out boundaries and what he can and can’t get away with, but some days it’s really frustrating.
His recall is still so good if we are off leash and he isn’t 100% confident about where he is or where we are going. But in the yard and house he has very selective hearing, unless you have treats, then he has the best hearing in the world. I guess we should be thankful that he is food motivated. Brogan never was, so it made him harder to work with.
He has one more week in his 6 pack of “introductory swims” and since he is continuing to improve and absolutely loves it we are going to get him another 6 pack. He is so funny, when I make the appropriate turns to get to the pool he starts to cry, and he can’t get in the building fast enough. Getting in the pool takes a little coaxing, but once he is in he seems to love it. He has more confidence than skill, so I’d like to make sure that matches before he is swimming at the lake. He thinks he can just jump in, then gets sidetracked from swimming to try to shake the water out of his ears. That doesn’t go well when you are over your head 🤪
I have continued to do weekly pictures of him and Rosco so that we can document his growth. He is still getting taller each week, and is perhaps starting to fill out a bit, but definitely doesn’t have much “mastiff” look him yet. Perhaps in time we will see more width and less height, and a little bigger head, but if not, that’s okay. We absolutely love him. He is so affectionate and cuddly, and goofy with people he knows. His confidence is getting better with new people, but I think that will be a work in progress for a very long time.
He has become a real “road runner” and as soon as you grab keys for anything he races to the door so he can come. He is a great traveler, so I’m happy that when my job goes back to normal and I’m on the road more we won’t have to worry about him. We have also stopped kenneling him when we leave. He has been a great little guys with that. Nothing has been destroyed or stolen, I’m sure he spends a lot of time crying, but he cries about everything that doesn’t go exactly his way, so I don’t judge that for success or failure.
Kane is officially 6 months old. He has suddenly decided that he is brave and independent, which means he doesn’t always have the best recall…
I expected that, so we just continue to work on it. He is still pretty good, but went from 100% to 90%. We will get back the missing 10%, we will just have to work hard with him. Teenage years are tough with puppies. And it’s easy to get frustrated and angry, but we are working on making it a big deal when he does it right…And correcting him when he doesn’t.
We have also continued with his swimming. He is learning to love it. He cried and almost dragged me into the building when we got there this past week. I hope that by the end of classes he loves swimming and is capable enough that we don’t have to worry about him at the lake.
We are continuing with daily training sessions. Tip over is coming along nicely, so we may add something new in the week. He will be a little trickster soon.
Kane also had a play date last weekend with a boxer puppy. He had so much fun, but it definitely showed that although he has a lot of energy he is no where near where a boxer is. He was exhausted in 1/2 hour and his friend Jax still had energy to spare.
We have also been working with normal grooming things, he loves his baths, tolerates ear cleans and nail trims and teeth brushing. With practice and consistency I’m sure he will love them all.
Kane is officially baby teeth free…which means we are really working on his tooth brushing. He is okay with my finger and toothpaste (specifically formulated for dogs) and okay with the finger brush. We haven’t moved onto the dog toothbrush yet, but will in time. I always brushed my 2 rottie’s teeth and they both loved it and then with Sloan’s health issues I didn’t even try…then 2 puppies next meant I was too busy keeping them out of trouble to think about dental care 🤪. However I think it is very important to do and your vet clinic can definitely help you get started.
The other thing we worked on this week is nail trims. He used to be such a sleepy puppy that I could just do it as soon as he was asleep and he didn’t even wake up. That changed in the last couple of weeks 🙄. So I was getting my husband to hold him and feed him treats while I trimmed his nails. This week I figured I’d try something different. I waited until he was really played out and then put peanut butter on a spoon and while he was busy licking that I quickly cut all his nails. I was done before he was done his spoonful.
A few warnings about using peanut butter…
1. Make sure it isn’t a sugar free variety and check the ingredients to be 100% sure it doesn’t contain xylitol. As that is extremely toxic to dogs.
2. Please please don’t follow the video that was going around showing people wrapping their heads in saran wrap and smearing peanut butter on it and then cutting nails. In my opinion that is putting yourself at so much risk to get your face bitten. If you accidentally cut a quick or scare them while doing it your face is right in their biting zone. Smear the peanut butter on the floor or put it on a spoon like I did, but never put it on your face.
Since Kane should stop changing so quickly now I’m going to start including tips and tricks we have learned throughout the years. Hopefully some of our experiences can help someone else with their dog/puppy.
Wow, he is 5 months old. It’s hard to believe how fast the time has flown by and how quickly he is growing. He is still struggling with meeting new people, but we are working on it as much as we can. He will get there eventually because I do see improvement.
The past couple of weeks he has been teething like crazy. Seems like daily we find a new tooth on the floor. Or take it out of his mouth because he is rolling it around like something he isn’t supposed to have. He now has lost all but his canine teeth (The fangs) and those usually come out at about 6 months. Then we will be done with teething.
This week we are working on wait. He is getting better at it, but it will be something that will need continued practice. He catches on to new things quickly, so I’m going to start adding a new “trick” every couple of weeks…or as soon as the one we are working on seems solid. I really enjoy working with him. He is crazy food motivated and very eager to please.
I’m looking forward to summer when we can enjoy longer walks and not worry about slipping on ice. Right now the warm weather has made for icy streets and sidewalks if you try to go in the evening.
We have always been “practicing” for tooth brushing, but I didn’t want to do too much more than rub my fingers all over his mouth while he was teething so much. This week we introduced a finger brush and toothpaste. He did really well with it. It is so important to do a lot of puppy touching when they are young so that they are comfortable with people looking in their mouths and feeling around, same with feet, eyes, ears and really all body parts. It will make it easier for your vet when they go in for exams and vaccinations and it will also make it easier and faster for you to notice any changes or lumps or bumps.
Kane has definitely gotten more brave and WAY more energetic than he was in past. He drives me a little batty now when he is bored. Thankfully it has warmed up and we have been able to do longer walks and he can play outside with Rosco in the yard too. I am also very grateful that he is easy to tire out with training. Working from home means I’m around all day with him. He is a lazy bones in the morning and generally only gets up at 8:30am, which gives me an hour to enjoy my coffee in peace and quiet. When he does get out of bed he goes outside and then snuggles with me until noon. When I get up to make my lunch he figures it must be time to play and wrestle and generally make a pain of himself.
After I’m done eating I usually do a little training session with him and sometimes that plays him out enough for a few more hours of cuddles and sleeping while I work, but sometimes it’s not enough and he bugs Rosco until he comes and plays with him. I’m very thankful that Rosco is such a great big brother and will play with Kane for hours on end.
We also finished our puppy classes this week. I’m sad that they are over, it was an outing for me, and I’m happy to say I learned some new training tricks, which I will share in future posts. Kane also loved them, the first class I had to coax him in, the last few classes he cried to get in because he was so excited for them.
Because he is so young (as all the pups in this class were) the trainer recommended that we all work with our puppies on what we learned, but don’t start another class until they are a couple months older. Which fits with what my plan was. I want to put him in swimming and do that for a bit and then we can figure out what class to do next. I know I was very interested in the scent tracking class that they offered and I think Kane might really excel at agility. However, he is young, so we will make those decisions on what we should explore next when he is a little older and his brain can hold focus for more than a few seconds 🙄
The one thing that we NEED to focus on with him is building confidence when meeting new people. This last bit he has started “bluffing” at new people. He kinda barks, but it’s more a puff when he blows his cheeks up and backs up when he meets new people. If they keep coming for him he barks and backs up. Tail between his legs the whole time. I find if people ignore him he warms up faster, but most people see a puppy and want to say “hi” right away, so I am getting people to offer him treats and get him to sit or shake a paw for them. That seems to work almost as well as people just ignoring him until he comes to them. The problem of course is that due to the covid19 restrictions in our area it is hard to get him to meet new people consistently. The trainer from our puppy classes suggested bringing them to pet stores, which I think is a brilliant idea and I will try with Kane next week. Stay tuned for how that works for us.
The cold has not broken, and this week Kane was absolutely crazy. He was full of energy and trouble almost all day today. He is a bit of an energizer bunny and not being able to get out and burn off some of this energy has made him a little bit of a nut when he is awake.
He is still a cuddle bug when he isn’t racing around like a maniac and he is a sleepy head in the morning, often getting out of bed an hour after the rest of us. It’s kinda comical how tired he is in the morning.
We have 1 more week of puppy classes left and then we have to figure out what we want to do next. He enjoys it and so do I. It’s an outing for me and a way for him to meet new people. I also love training in class settings because it helps him learn to listen to me no matter how much fun he could be having paying attention to other puppies and people. I’m trying to decide if I want to do more obedience, agility or swimming next. I have to pick something new or we won’t be doing anything, because I think everything is booking up pretty quickly. Apparently everyone got a covid19 puppy.
It’s looking like it might warm up this weekend, thankfully because it’s been a long stretch of not being able to do anything. No one but Rosco likes the cold weather.
He gets his last vaccinations next week. I’m anxious to see what he weighs. He is getting close to Rosco’s height, but is definitely still a lot leaner.
Kane is officially 4 months old, we have now had him in our lives for 1/2 of his. He is turning out to be a great guy. He is catching on to the new things we teach him quickly and is always eager to do training sessions (probably because he is so food motivated 🤪), but no matter his reasoning we love that he is eager to please. His puppy classes are going well. He is showing more confidence and less fear, so although he doesn’t get to play with and meet the other people in the class being around other people and dogs and having to follow commands is helping him.
He still isn’t a fan of the cold, but loves playing in the snow (and ice) if it is mild out.
Rosco has put him in his place more times in the last week than he has before, but Kane needs it. He is a little rough at time and when he gets excited he forgets all semblance of manners. Rosco reminds him he can’t be a complete jerk. We are also working on him not jumping or putting his feet on people. “Off” is said to him often and he is slowly learning that when he sits or stands by people he gets attention but isn’t getting rewarded for putting his feet on people. He will be a big guy and no one appreciates a dog that jumps.
It’s kinda sad that he doesn’t have as much confidence around new people as he should (or I should say I hoped he would). It is really hard to expose him to new people with all the covid19 restrictions, but we are doing our best, and he does warm up after a few minutes. So we are making progress.
He makes us laugh with some of his antics, he still has puppy goofiness and who can help but laugh at that.
I have taken a lot of pictures and tried to document his growth. The above pictures show his trip home and his trip to the vet for his vaccinations. Hard to believe he has grown so much in his few months with us.
Tonight we have puppy classes again, this is the 1/2 way mark and then we will have to decide what we want to do next. There is a place in the city that does swimming, I’m calling it puppy swimming lessons, but I know they call it something else. Regardless of what it is called I really want him to be a confident swimmer, so that is definitely on the list of things to do next.
Last week we also did a little dog park walk, it was pretty cold, so it was just us, a friend and her older dog. So a perfect experience for him. He proved his recall is fantastic no matter where we use it.
Time is flying by…how is he almost 4 months old already?
We went to our first puppy class on Wednesday. He was a little nervous at first but it didn’t take him long to come out of his shell and show off his smarts. There were some things that covid19 affected and some things that were the same as last time I did puppy classes. The one thing that covid19 affected is the puppy free time at the beginning of class. At every other class I have attended the puppies got a bit of free time before class to play and socialize on their own. I loved that aspect because they got to play with other dogs their own age(ish) in a controlled environment. But because there are so many strict rules with covid19 we aren’t allowed to pet each other’s dogs or come within 6 feet of each other, and of course hand sanitizer and masks are mandatory. Kane was eager to meet the other puppies and spent a bit of time crying to let me know that he was disappointed with my “rule” that didn’t let him go play and meet the other puppies…if only he knew how disappointed I was as well.
Covid19 rules and limitations aside the class was a huge success. I learned a few new things to help him build confidence and I also think training in different environments with distractions is so important to having a well rounded dog. This class is focused on positive reinforcement and encourages clicker training. There were a few people that chose not to use a clicker, but the majority of us did. The other thing I like is that the trainer still took time to work with all of our dogs so that they experienced different trainers and realized they have to behave and follow commands from other people.
We came home with “homework” which we have been doing numerous times throughout the day. He catches on to things really quickly. So I’m anxious to see how he does this week.
The weekend was bitterly cold (-30 Saturday and -44 Sunday), there wasn’t much wind, but both dogs weren’t interested in walks…And neither was I. So we enjoyed some cuddle and couch time and worked on our homework. I was looking forward to working on leash walks, but I guess we will have to do those this week when it warms up a bit. I also missed his weekly picture to track his growth, but we can try and get one this week I guess.