Monday, March 26, 2012

Yesterday #SAGApupVolt Was Twenty One Weeks Old!

That means that as of Sunday morning he is getting 210g of Purina One All Breed Puppy Formula three times a day. It also means that I need almost four 6kg bags of puppy food for a month! Just one of the reasons SAGA so badly needs sponsorships for the puppies!!
Unfortunately I don't have his weight this week :-( Volt is just too heavy for me to lift onto my scale now so I will be popping in at my vet's office to weight him from now on.

Ooh! And I have another "Look How He's Grown" photo comparison! Guide-dogs have to travel in the front passenger foot well of the car (or on the back seat), so when my hubby is driving I have Volt at my feet. Look at the difference three months on! And yes, those are my blindingly white legs! :-P

Last week I noticed that Volt's adult canines are starting to peep through his top gums! I'm going to be keeping a close eye on him to try and keep one of his puppy canines when it comes out. :-) All his front teeth- top and bottom- are his adult teeth, but his back teeth are still growing so he has very itchy sore gums right now.
I put circles in the picture where you can see the white tips peeping through. 
And then last night I noticed him "chewing" and when I went to see what he had in his mouth- it was one of his baby teeth! One of the cutting teeth from just behind his canines. And when we put the dogs to bed on Sunday night my hubby asked if I had put his tooth under his mattress! :-D

He is doing very well with not biting or chewing on people, but he still uses his mouth in greeting. Even though he is gentle I still try to discourage it as much as possible so we continue to work on that.

He's also doing very well with greeting guests at home, where he has to sit and wait- calmly- until the visitors greet him. This is an immense challenge because he thinks all visitors are just for him!

Our walks are going well, but having other dogs ahead of him is still a challenge. We went on a group walk at Brightwater Commons this morning with other pups and our SAGA PDS. This monthly get together is what has replaced our weekly puppy class and its very important for Volt's training to get used to malls and trolleys and people and other dogs. When we arrived at the mall Volt was instantly excited! Bouncing and jumping and puling on his leash to try and get to the other pups! The other pups on today's walk lesson were Oreo, Viking, Vossie, Umeka, Rankin and one other dog who's name I've forgotten. It took a good 10 minutes to get Volt settled and paying attention- with our PDS, Lerato's help- and then it was onto the lesson. We split into two groups and the pups had to walk ahead, behind, around and between each other without getting excited, they had to go forward and stop on command, rode in the lift and climbed lots of stairs- open and closed with the pups encouraged to look through the railings on the landings to get used to being above the ground. We also walk with the pups close to the metal railings of the upstairs corridors for the pups to see they're not at ground level but they don't have to be afraid.
the pups need to "down" and "stay" whilst another pup (Umeka in this case) is walked up and down the line of pups
here's Lerato trying to settle Volt for me with Vossie trying to play with him!
Vossie and Volt were so excitable!
And Volt has "graduated" to a shorter, thicker leash as the one I've been using since he was a puppy is too thin and long to be effective on a bigger, more powerful Volt. I may even consider getting a thicker one later. The thin one has been very hard on my left hand and I've even started developing calluses at the base of my fingers!
Volt is so big and beautiful that our SAGA PDS thought he was a month older than he is! I was all but bursting with pride!

Last week we had a massive thunderstorm here at home, and the seal at the foot of my back door doesn't work very well. That means there's always an assortment of towels soaking up the water else my whole kitchen gets flooded! Water loving pup that Volt is, he LOVES lying on the wet towels!

And last but not least- tonight for the first time- Volt came and lay down at my feet whilst we ate dinner without me calling or benching him! I was very pleased! A part of the pup's training is that they have to lie quietly at their partner's feet at meal times and not beg, and usually I call him to me and put on his working collar and leash, making him lie on the floor until I release him after our meal. This was a great step forward and I hope it continues.

And this week's Twitter "Did You Know" tweet was as follows:
#DidYouKnow: puppies like #SAGApupVolt hit "teenager" phase between 5 & 7 months old & their behaviour goes backwards for a while!

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