The Growing Puppy
Mia is now 12 weeks of age, and changes in her behavior and physical development are starting to take place. Mia is now starting to get very adventurous, she is taking in her whole world like a sponge and is exploring everything she can get her nose on.
With her being so adventurous, it is also time for me to start socializing her, for now is the critical time for the foundation to take shape for the rest of her life on how her attitude is towards me, other people and other animals. So, making sure she has good experiences outside of our home is very important in her development.
As we continue to have accidents here and there in the house, it is important to not get frustrated with your pup. They are still developing control of their small bladders and bowels, which will only get stronger in the days to come. With Mia, I monitor her food & water, and take away water by 8:00 at night. Once I see her finish eating or getting a drink, I set a timer for 20-30 minutes, once the timer goes off, I know it is time to take her outside to her potty spot and walk her until she has emptied her bladder and bowels. When she goes potty, I praise her with so much attention, to make it a positive experience to keep her encouraged to keep going potty outside.
Collar & Leash Training:
This past week, Mia had been introduced to her collar and leash. I started off with placing the collar on her while she was in her crate. By doing this, it got her used to the collar outside our training sessions, so when training sessions started, she wasn’t distracted by itching her collar and not focusing on the commands I am teaching her. During our training sessions, I start off with her dragging the leash around on the ground to get used to the weight & shape of it. When I see she is comfortable, I pick the leash up and continue to walk around the house doing the commands we are working at. The key is to keep that leash very loose and never let it get tight, so it doesn’t encourage pulling or leash biting. Keeping the leash comfortable for her will only make it a positive experience for her and keep her from becoming a leash puller.
Mia’s first visit to our Vet:
With Mia turning 12 weeks old, it also comes with her first check up at our Vet Clinic and another round of shots to follow up on the ones she received at 8 weeks of age. To make her first experience a good one, I showed up to the appointment about 15 minutes early. I let her smell the front desk, waiting area and weigh station. Along with time to meet the wonderful team at Grand Rapids Veterinary Clinic. Once we got into the exam room, I let her smell everything again and start to play with her on the floor. The vet can easily become a stressful experience for your dog, so starting them young with positive visits is very important. I try to take both Ali & Mia in for frequent visits just to say hello and keep it a positive experience for the both of my puppies.
This upcoming week’s goals are…
- Stay Command ** NEW COMMAND**
- Down Command ** NEW COMMAND**
- Continue Loose Leash Training
- Continue Retrieving Bumpers
- Wing On A Stick (Pointing Exercise)
- Potty Training