Dog in puberty
I’ve been sick for over a week now and maybe Chili just doesn’t have enough exercise but I think she is going through another puberty phase.
Two weeks ago or so Jochem told me that he is worried about their bond, whether it’s actually there or is she being with him just for food. It has been two weeks since I was on a proper walk with her and it is difficult for me to say if her behavior in changing.
I do see changes at home. She is bagging Salma again. She is standing over her, trying to activate her while they are walking next to each other in the apartment. Also I think there is an element of control there and I do my best to stop it. For example I don’t let Chili stand over Salma when I’m petting Salma because that would make her leave and I think this might be what Chili wants. She started grabbing my hands again but that might be because I did hold her by her collar when she was trying to go to Salma. Ideally she should let us grab her collar and hold but that’s something to train her to do and with all other problems with Chili we didn’t do it. Which actually should have been one of the first things.
I also saw a bit of decrease in her motivation for training which might be also caused by many repetitions of the same exercise or by my physical state.
I do feel that she is more rebellious in recent days. She is almost 13 months now and can be going into yet another stage of puberty. A lot of dogs get given up to shelters around that time. People think that dog which is over year old should be an adult already but it’s not the case, especially with big dogs.
In this difficult time we need to stay strong and consistent making sure we reinforce rules Chili was taught earlier. She will be tasting us and Salma now and it’s our job to show her that she might be moody and annoyed but certain rules always apply.
Additionally we need to start working on a new behavior. Jochem had an unpleasant situation this morning. As he said hi to a Muslim girl on a street Chili jumped in her direction. She didn’t reach the girl bit caused her a lot of fear non the less. Based on her previous behavior I think she reacted to the greeting and wanted to come in contact with the girl (she is used to people petting her on the street and do far she liked it). However her intentions don’t really matter as much as the fact that any dog (and especially dog this size) should come up to people by itself. We will train Chili to always sit if we are talking to someone and come into contact with a person only after looking at us and hearing a right command for greeting. The same will be done with other dogs. If she is on a leash she will firs have to sit, look and us and wait for command before she can greet a dog. We will do the same with Salma in order to make walking with them together more orderly.
First I have to get better cause I can’t train that from the couch 😦
I guess I knew it was about to happen sooner than later but still would prefer if it didn’t. Chili gave a great show today. She wasn’t only attacking and biting her leash, and she didn’t just decided to bark at a dog. She decided to jog with an unknown man. She didn’t chase him, she ran next to him, at the same speed as him. She did give me a daring look (I swear!) and continued running along this person. I was shocked, seriously. I called her and after a moment of hesitation she came to me but for the rest of the walk she was pulling, staying behind and biting her leash. I did my best to continue my conversation with my friend Hadija. She is afraid of dogs, and comes from a place where people don’t keep dogs as pets, I’m sure she has a very good opinion about Chili now 😉
Here is a picture from before Chili went mad, we had lunch before the walk
We had a good day yesterday, dogs spend most of the time together, sleeping and relaxing. I did manage to avoid meeting any dogs during my afternoon walk with Chili. We played tag of war with a small stick. She is very motivated and pulls so strong that I have problem with keeping my balance but as soon as I let go of the stick she pushes it back in my hand. I try to keep her entertained during every walk, because I want her to look to me for fun and not search for it on her own. When Salma was young I didn’t invest enough in our bond, and for a long time she was more interested in other dogs and the environment than me.
This morning I was extremely tired, I had to rush to quickly take Chili out (I overslept), and walk Salma before my boyfriend has to leave for work. I was waiting for Salma to finish eating grass and I was struggling to stay awake. Unfortunately, because of that Salma’s walk was boring and shorter than it should, At home I had to quickly eat breakfast and shower so I can take Chili for a long walk before I have to lock her in a cage again. Chili really needs her long walk first thing in the morning, otherwise she is a pain in the ass. We were outside for 50 minutes and managed to walk almost 3km but it cost me a lot of creativity. Chili was more fearful than usual, she got scared of a man sitting down on a canal bank. She didn’t bark at him but did jump away when she saw him and didn’t decide to come up even when I was talking to him. Park was really busy with kids and dogs and decided to take more of a side root. Chili could walk around and sniff there and explore but she didn’t have to deal with people or dogs. She is in an age when she will be suddenly afraid of unexpected things, and hopefully it won’t have to much of an impact on her future behavior. On top of that she is gong through hormonal changes and puberty, so at least on paper she is pretty much at her most difficult time.
At the end of the walk we met a male golden retriever, he was young and pretty submissive. They had an ok interaction, but as soon as he tried to come up to me. He just gave me an approaching look Chili walked him back to his owner. I’m afraid she might guard me from other dogs on the walks. I don’t know how to work on it. What I like about her is that she doesn’t run to every dog (which Salma did when she was younger) and that she usually respects dogs that are scared of her.
For last two days I’ve noticed that Chili hesitates before going into the crate. Maybe she doesn’t like being there or maybe it’s a part of her puberty (dogs often misbehave or ignore commands they know during this period). Either way I bought raw heart and we will practice coming in end out o the crate. Additionally I need to find time to work with her more on the recall and “ee”.