Jul 8, 2009

I'm 13 Weeks (+1 day)!

Bandit's 13 weeks old now and definitely trying to exert his dominance to be the alpha dog. We're having to work hard to show him just who's boss. He can get into some nippy moods, particularly when playing with us. We've taken to giving him some "time outs" in the laundry room, but more often than not he's still in the same hyper mood when he comes out (and even after several back-to-back-to-back trips in there). Now I'm working with a method where I pick him up and hold him and repeatedly tell him, "calm." When he struggles and wimpers I pull him closer and continue to tell him to be calm. When he stops struggling he gets lots and lots of praise. I continue this method while I feel his body is tense (and while he's fluctuating between calm and not so calm). Once I feel that his body is completely relaxed, I let go of him. So far, it's worked. It seems a good method as I have the upper hand without being punitive. Clapping hands and yelling "no" just isn't working in this regard.

Bandit is doing super on the leash now! Now when I take him out I keep him on my left side and keep the leash relatively short (like I learned eons ago in 4-H with Phyllis) so he has to keep up, and I can keep him from nipping at my heels (if he's in that kind of mood). We're so looking forward to taking him for walks around the neighborhood and at the local parks!

Bandit's bedtime routine has settled into a pattern of waking at 12:30 or 1 a.m. and then again around 5:30 a.m. I wish he'd go back to waking the first time at 3 or 3:30 a.m. because then I'd get to sleep a little longer in the mornings.

Bandit definitely needs his naps! If he can get a full nap without interruption it definitely helps him to not get into such a hyper mood. The boys are terrible about interrupting his naps, but with M away at summer camp for the next two weeks and T back to work after his tonsillectomy, Bandit should be getting some nice periods of blissful sleep at naptimes.

Things to look forward to in the near future: Puppy Kindergarten this Friday and his next trip to the vet next Monday. We're anxious to see how much Bandit's grown. He's definitely a bit heftier these days when we pick him up and hold him!

Bandit's left ear often seems to have a mind of its own!

Good times with Lambie!

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