Monday, November 26, 2012

#RiddickPup Is Thirty Four Weeks Old

On the vet's scale this morning he weighed in at 28.7kg.
Getting him to sit still took a lot of doing because there was an 8 month old Saint Bernard pup in the reception who was as excited to see Riddick as he was to see her! But he sat still the second time I got him on the scale, with a "wait" command and a treat when we were done. Then I let the two puppies say hello to each other before we headed home.
He has definitely reached a growth plateau, so he is now getting 220g of food twice a day. And I still fill his bowl with water because without the water he wolfs his food down so fast he chokes on it!
He is suddenly looking very grown up indeed. His puppy face is all gone. Even so, he is still my snuggle baby, sleeping on the bed with us or climbing onto the couch next to us. And like all my animals, I have several nicknames for him- I call him Pickle, Noodle, Shnookums, Sugarbump and Rickle-Pickle, but only when we're strolling and I'm just talking baby talk to him. He knows his name and his recall is great, thank goodness, so when we're working or if I am calling him or giving him an instruction I use only his name.
Fetching a ball is his favourite game! And he brings the ball (or whatever we're playing with) back to me and drops it for me to throw again. If it goes in the flower bed I tell him to "find it", and when he's had enough he lies down with the toy and chews on it instead of bringing it back to be thrown.
Car travel is better, and when I am in the backseat with him its perfect, but there are still glitches! If I am in the front seat or driving, he strains his leash till he's practically choking himself. And he HATES the hooter! If I use it or if another car hoots anywhere near us (like the taxis do) he starts barking and howling. Its very unpleasant in a small space and I am going to have to do some conditioning work to stop it happening, which will mean annoying my neighbours for a bit by honking the horn with us in the car.
We're working on obedience training every day, "sit", "down" and "off" especially. The "wait", "leave it" and "sit" commands he's got sorted, but we do a little bit every day anyway. We also work on him putting his head through his half-check collar when prompted. As much as he loves walking, he still fights me when I want to put on his collar and lead (we only use the half-check for "work"). We also practice the "wait" command with treats. He already waits to eat his food until I say "okay", but we practice with cookies as well as I don't want him snatching just because he thinks its being offered to him or because its on the floor.
We didn't take a lot of pictures last week as I was quite busy, but I got a few.
still sneaking onto the couch backrest when I'm not looking
so hard to resist that face...
Fast asleep. And he's so funny because he growls and barks in his sleep, sometimes waking himself up with a bark!