Attitude. Now Nando has some teenagey attitude.
The weather has gotten cooler, he has had a haircut (which he loved, surprisingly) and he feels young and exuberant.
What has changed for Nando in the last month:
- He sniffs around a lot more – checking the neighbourhood for the scent of other dogs and other ‘things’.
- His confidence has increased, which means he will run further away than previous to chase after a dog in the distance that might want to play, or a bird – so we have to keep him on the lead a bit more, especially around roads.
- He has gotten stronger, faster and better coordinated. He looks like a real boy now – lean and muscled. Bouncing balls no longer hit him on the forehead – he sometimes actually catches them.
- He plays a bit rougher with the smaller dogs – he used to be quite gentle with them – so sadly his little friends avoid him now. But he has good fun with his larger friends.
- He will chase the ball repeatedly (rather than once or twice before getting bored) – because he has SO much energy, he needs to burn it.
- He is giving his pet human some attitude when he wants something. If I am working and he wants to play, he sits bolt upright, stares intensely for a while, then starts to make soft woofing sounds, then actually barks………not so easy to have him around the office at the moment. He also decided to bark on the bus, which is a bit antisocial.
- His blanket humping has increased in speed and intensity.
What hasn’t changed:
- He is still a big sweety in between bouts of attitude.
- He does not yet lift his leg to pee.
- He is not humping other dogs.
We invested in clippers – Moser Max 50, with Wahl 1mm (#30F) blades and a 13mm (1/2 inch) comb. Highly recommend.
We were not sure how Nando would cope, because he hates the hairdryer and love/hates the vacuum cleaner. These clippers are quiet, and they really did not bother him that much. He was a bit weirded out at first by what we were doing, but when he got used to it, he loved it. We barely needed to hold him, he just stood there (mostly) and let us cut his hair. It was very satisfying, and he has been bouncing off the walls every since with energy – so I guess the heat was weighing him down/heating him up a bit.
Nando heads back to puppy school next week, for his next compulsory 10 week course. Its good timing for him.
The biggest issue we have right now is lead pulling. When he is relaxed he is very well behaved on the lead, but when he gets scared (skateboarders, motorcycles), or excited, he pulls hard at the lead. At 26kgs it can be quite the workout for both of us. We need to desensitise him to those noises (hopefully his new found confidence will help), but also train him not to pull. He will sit easily on command, but as soon as we walk off again he will pull full throttle.
Another smaller issue is that he sometimes jumps up on people – hopefully with time that will get better.
On the upside, he comes most of the time when we call – even if he is far away – sometimes a bit slower than other, but its pretty good for an 8 month old. Two milk drops are his reward.