I was the one in Puppy Class last night that raised her hand confidently and asked, "I would appreciate your tips on how to handle the 4 month old puppy that is going through the freak-out stage."
I knew this day was coming. I had heard about it since the first Puppy Class we showed up for as an "interested member" back in June. The mental stages of Puppyhood. Not really sure what else to call it, but it is really true.
I read the blog of Hobart this morning - Haddie's adorable twin brother. Seems as though the Siblings have a conspiracy going on as they both are exhibiting similar behaviors.
Haddie has found her inner naughty side, in addition to choosing not to listen. And I know it is a choice, because I am standing right! beside! her! and I know her ears are clean as I swab them out daily. No excuse, Miss Haddie!
Haddie is also into flight. As in - Keep Away, or random running at full speed, or tail tucked going in circles. During these instances, you can really see that her mental state is a little off balance, as the other percent of her day she is a gem. Poor girl, growing up is hard even for the four-legged.
The tip from the trainer was a calm human, and a secure tie-down. Check and Check. So far so good, as that is what I have been doing.
I know that puppy-brain-moments are not the time to train her on commands, Release privileges in the house, or special outings. Having her snug in her bed with toys and giving her the choice to chew like crazy, or sleep during her tie-down will help her learn correct behavior even in the most puppy-minded way.
It is just hard as the Puppy Raiser to see her time spent this way - when she could be going on a fun outing to Starbucks for my winter warm drink if she would just show she can be reliably calm.