Reese joined our family one month ago. He’s been on puppy play dates with his best bud, Lucy, he’s visited the dog park, visited the little human park many times, went shopping, attended puppy school, and visited the vet. He’s eaten our stairs, our picnic table, tried to eat a turtle, various toys, Barbie dolls, shoes,and destroyed balls of all shapes & sizes (from soccer balls to beach balls & whatever random plastic junk balls there are in between).
Reese is my 6 month old, 48 pound baby. He is as social as can be! Reese is also as stubborn as can be and has comparable listening skills to my kids. He really is my 4th child. When reprimanding the kids for not listening, I remind them that they are setting a bad example for Reese. Reese sees them not listening and thinks that this is acceptable behavior. They are doing it, so why can’t I? (This is called modeling).
When going on walks, Reese typically doesn’t want the fun to end and doesn’t want to go home. He goes on strike & refuses to move once he realizes the party is almost over. I have difficulty luring him home with treats. I have recently learned that Reese responds to me walking away & threatening to leave him. “Bye Reese! I’m going home! I’ll see you later,” I call out as I drop the leash and walk away. Like with my kids, who usually run after me and scream, “no mommy, don’t leave me!,” when they don’t want to leave a fun place, Reese typically follows after me. (Please note, I have no intention of abandoning my children or my dog. I always have an eye on them when using this tactic. Please do not call social services on me.) Reese also wants to be independent and doesn’t want his leash held, just like my older children who often don’t want their hand held. He will often walk besides me for a bit before these antics are repeated. A 10 minute walk can take up to 40 minutes. I have been tempted to pick him up and carry him home, but that would not be an easy task for me right now. As frustrating as these behaviors can be, he’s helped make our family more active. We are walking more, the kids are playing more at the neighborhood park with him, and we are spending more time outside.
Unlike my children at this age, Reese is fully potty trained and sleeps through the night. My daughter didn’t sleep through the night until she was 2.5. I’m still recovering from this, a year and a half later. Potty training also took close to three years for my two legged children. It took a long time to recover from that one too! As mentioned before, Reese is not a picky eater like my some of my kids. He would eat most anything you put in front of him. All in all, it’s been an interesting & fun month with Reese. There certainly is a learning curve to taking care of a puppy. We are looking forward to seeing what the next month has in store!