Beadle is now 12 weeks old and I’ve gone from hating puppies to thinking they’re kind of cute. In other words, she is now sleeping through the night.
In the past month she has gone through many changes (the most important to my mind being that increased bladder control). She has gone from 13 to 20 pounds, adult fur is starting to replace her puppy fluff, she is becoming more coordinated and – praise the lord – she is howling less.
I still need to keep a constant eye on her. She is having fewer accidents in the house (I’m learning), but her chewing is increasing. We have been boarding a lovely Cattle Dog and the two of them have been keeping each other entertained and more or less out of trouble (and sometimes into double trouble).
Dixie is 11 months old and larger than Beadle, but is a bit timid. Beadle would love to be all over her all the time, but Dixie lets her know when she has had enough. Dixie’s visit was great timing for Beadle.
It is essential for young dogs to have positive interactions with other dogs (and with humans) between the ages of 2-12 weeks. This is their main socialization period and what they learn here will stay with them throughout their life. Watching Beadle and Dixie play together I could see them switching from chaser to “chasee.” Sometimes one would be the aggressor and sometimes the other.
If either one got too aggressive the other would give a “correction.” Dixie would give a fierce growl with her lips pulled back, and perhaps charge Beadle. Beadle was less subtle and would charge first, flashing her teeth. Neither one ever offered to go further. I did separate them occasionally – if there was a toy involved or if they were in a corner or some place they couldn’t easily move apart.
It’s easy to tell play from correction if you know what to look for. In the first photo Dixie is smiling, her mouth and eyes are relaxed, her ears are forward but not rigid.
In the second photo Dixie’s lips are pulled back, her head is down and she is slightly crouched. You can also see that Beadle is getting the message. Her ears look concerned, and she is hunched away from Dixie.
We tend to think dogs are born knowing how to communicate with each other. In a way that is true, but they need to learn to be polite just like kids do. When Beadle gets overstimulated she looses control and gets too rough. My response is to put her in her crate for a time out. Dixie’s response is to tell her to back off. In either case before long everyone is playing happily together again.
Who doesn’t love a happy dog!
Thanks for reading,
March 14, 2018
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