Contrary to no one because no one reads this blog, I did not leave it for dead. There's just not enough time in the day for me to do everything I want, so this isn't at the top of my priorities. I do, however, feel compelled to write right now since it is the new year, and I've been reflecting on how I've developed in this way for the past couple of years.
In the beginning of the year, I was basically just glad to finally be finishing up undergrad (years later than many). I graduated in March and I got my diploma in the mail a couple months later. I turned 25 and really wanted a dog as the next addition in my life. I don't really have friends nor a social life, so I thought that a dog would be the next best thing. Originally, I was set on getting a Samoyed but the likelihood of me getting one was rather slim, due to the fact that there were only about 3 breeders I found in the area and my window to raise a dog responsibly was only open for so long. I didn't want to wait a year or more to get a Samoyed because I pictured myself already moved on with an actual career focused job in that time frame. Little did I know, a walk to the park would guilt me into getting a Labrador Retriever and raising one was not what I imagined. First off, I knew I would be getting a very active dog but I wasn't expecting a HYPERACTIVE dog. Then, I didn't know that there were two distinct types of Labrador Retrievers and that the OTHER type was EVEN MORE active because it was bred for sport opposed to show. I later found out that I have the show type, thankfully. This distinction didn't change the fact that I had a pretty wild puppy that worried me for a good month or so because I couldn't exactly walk him. All the leash training techniques didn't work all that well, so I eventually got a prong collar because the puppy playtime dog trainer recommended it to me. I didn't think my dog would be one to need it but I was getting desperate. He was getting bigger and his urge to chew is still on and off. I couldn't just wait until he was done teething to try other types of leashes like the "gentle leader" because he squirms SO much when I put harnesses on him. That prong collar was probably the best thing I ever bought for him and I can take it on and off so fast. I know there are articles that say how it just creates anxiety because the dog fears and anticipates the pain but if used properly, the dog knows how to not hurt himself and the prong collar remains fitted, but loose. It now only really reminds him not to pull and that he shouldn't be off sniffing something he shouldn't and to continue walking. Triton only really kind of gets the teeth gripped into his neck when he gets REALLY excited, like when I take him to play with other dogs or when I have strangers greet him. He would then sometimes charge or jump, which is a no-no, and then yelps. It still doesn't make him weary of strangers whatsoever. He still walks up to them to greet them, but he still thinks he's small or something and climbs on them (and me, sometimes). The collar has made walking him SO MUCH more enjoyable that even my brother has taken a liking to walking him (and he really needs it because my brother is like really overweight). My dog is pretty well leashed trained these days and will only get better from here on out. I can walk him past strangers without him randomly dashing towards them and he can ignore other dogs on our walks. He gets freaked out easily and is afraid of the dark sometimes but he's also gotten a BIT calmer, so he's in the house more than he use to. We better communicate with each other now too, so he doesn't have nightmares (there was a time where I'd get so mad at him that I'd yell and really show my disapproval in him which would lead to him randomly waking up and yelping). Now, I just need him to be a calm and mature dog that would let other puppies paw his face while he just lays on the ground, but that won't be for another half a year or so. I don't know. I read some dogs display puppy behavior until they're 2 but I met an American Labrador when Triton was only 4 months and Triton was crazy play bowing and pawing the one year old American Lab. The Lab just stood there and didn't even flinch. Not sure if it's the owner's endless dedication into training him or what, but I want that in my dog. Apparently, that dog had a crazy jumping problem too.
|July 8th, 2014. Second day home.|
|July 27, 2014.|