Sunday, April 22, 2012

#SAGApupVolt's Weekly Update

Volt is 25 weeks old today - he weighs 27.8kg and is 52cm "tall" at the shoulder!
His growth has slowed down a tad, but he has bulk now that he definitely didn't have before.
He is eating 250g of Purina One All Breed Puppy Formula three times a day and he really loves his food! At the end of April when he's fully 6 months old, he will only be fed twice a day.

We are definitely in the "teenager" phase of his puppy-dom and his behaviour has taken a turn for the worse... The best advice I have received so far is to treat my huge puppy like he's still only 8 weeks old! Lots of extra reiteration on instructions like "leave it" and "no". And he has developed this little quirk where he will look straight at me and walk away when I am calling him- just like a toddler would do!
And he's all bouncy again when he sees his food bowl, more than he has been for weeks, and he has to be calm before he can eat because that is the behaviour I want to reward. He still sits and waits until I say "okay"- once he's stopped jumping around of course- and he looks straight at me not at his bowl which is awesome behaviour!
When I fetched him from SAGA's kennels on Thursday he was so happy to see me- but he didn't bark! I was so proud of him! And my fears of not recognising him amongst all the other dogs was unjustified!

He was sharing a kennel space with Hoby, who is a few months older and will soon be going back to SAGA for his formal training. They got on so well, and when we got home from kennels Volt fell fast asleep! He so enjoyed his week of solid play time! During their kennel stays the pups get walked every day, but apart from that there's no other serious training. I contacted our PDS and she said there were no issues with Volt and to carry on as we have been (YAY). We can also expect a home visit soon which I am not at all worried about!

on the way home from his week long kennel stay

Our walks are going so well! He is almost completely ignoring dogs AND people when we're in the street which is SO awesome! He is so comical- when I praise him for walking nicely and calmly next to me like he's supposed to, he gets all excited and speeds up! The leash is almost completely slack when we walk, except for when I have to slow him down or stop him, and if I stop walking and say "heel" he comes bounding straight back to my left hand side- although sometimes he stops to sniff along the way which he's not supposed to do.
We visited my folks' place this weekend past and he and my mom's dog Toppolino had so much fun! He is bigger than Toppy now, so Toppy works hard to make sure Volt knows its still his house, but Volt knows exactly how Toppy likes to play so instead of the wrestling he does with some other dogs, he and Toppy play "keep away" and do a LOT of running! My mom's older Boerboel- Cleo- is also relaxing more when Volt is at the house, and this last weekend she sat quietly and calmly on the veranda with us while Volt and Toppy played. My mom is very glad her dogs are behaving so well around Volt. And it bodes well for if we get another guide-dog puppy in the future.
This photo was taken on 22 December last year on the tiles in my mom's living room...

And this photo was taken on 21 April this year in the same spot!

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Don't forget to check out the Twitter hash-tag #SAGApupVolt to see regular updates on my puppy raising adventure!
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cat said...

You guys are doing so well and my, is he big!