So here we are at the 12 month milestone!
We absolutely adore this dog – he has brought so much joy into our lives. On top of that he is a bit ridiculously cute.
So at 12 months I thought I would recap the main issues we had for this year:
- This coat is perfect for winter (he will happily play and swim in icy water, then roll in snow afterward) and very hot in summer (avoids the sun as much as possible).
- The coat is a 1/2 mix between poodle and golden retriever – shaggy, but very curly when wet.
- The coat does shed a medium amount – not as much as a golden retriever coat
- The long eyelashes he had as a puppy gradually fell out, then regrew
- There is the occasional black/dark hair popping up in random places, especially on the back
- He has only a small amount of hair growing in the ear canal
- The feathering on the lower legs is a magnet for dirt – however the entire coat washes clean very easily (without shampoo), and if left without cleaning the majority of the dirt eventually just falls out naturally. The feathering is also a magnet for ice to accumulate – applying oil to the coat seems to minimise this process.
- Grooming – the leg feathers and belly hair is prone to tangling together, and needs regular brushing
- We clipped Nando’s coat in the summer and autumn. This makes him a lot more comfortable in hot weather, but he still avoids the sun as much as possible. Even when the weather got cold and he was clipped, he did not seem to feel the cold.
- The hair on the bridge of the nose does obstruct his vision, so we trim that away.
- At the onset of puberty (around 9-10 months old) Nando started showing:
- More independence and listening to commands less
- Less fear
- More interest in girls (obsessed with smelling their girly bits), started to try to mount them
- Was more exposed to ‘dominance’ behaviour from other dogs (placing the heads over his back, trying to mount him, aggression)
- Started to lift his leg to pee, peeing where other dogs had just peed, peeing more frequently
- Lots of yellow discharge from the penis/sheath and licking this area a lot!,
- Restlessness in the apartment
- Humped his blanket a LOT
- After chemical castration Nando:
- Listened to commands more (came when called more often)
- Still was scared of loud noises and skateboarders but less so than before puberty
- Still some interest in girls and smelling their girly bits but not obsessive, and does not try to mount them
- Was not a target for dominance behaviour from other dogs
- Stopped lifting his leg to pee, and peed at normal intervals
- Had much less discharge from the penis/sheath and stopped licking the area so often
- Humped his blanket much less
Fear of loud noises (fireworks, backfiring cars, motorcycles, thunder) has been an issue. We will attempt a desensitisation program for thunder and fireworks this year. Skateboarders and the noise they make against concrete is an ongoing problem.
Nando learnt most commands very quickly, but pulling on the lead was not something we have been able to stop – despite the advice of many puppy trainers, and trying different restraints (collar vs harness). The final solution, which works very well, has been a Halti harness over the nose. He initially hated it, refused to walk and constantly tried to rub his face on the ground, but he is starting to accept it, and cannot pull at all with the harness on – which is great.
Nando’s health has overall been excellent. He has vomited a few times – usually due to having eaten something not completely digestible.
Nando has had several bouts of bacterial conjunctivitis – not exactly sure why. It cleans up easily with antibacterial eye ointment. Perhaps it is from digging, or dunking his head in water, but its been really the only issue.
Nando still occasionally eats tissues, but now mostly he just shreds them into pieces and then leaves them.