Lennox Is Six Months Old!
Shoowee – forgive me for missing his weekly update for the last couple of weeks! This update is a big one…
Yesterday morning he was 26 weeks old and he weighed 21.35kg on the vet’s scale, so he’s gained 2.6kg since his 23 week update.
He’s eating well without wolfing his food down, his coat is beautifully shiny and he’s healthy.
He’s getting tall too and I measured his shoulder height at 50cm last week! Thats the minimum height requirement for a guide dog!
And all his baby teeth have fallen out and his big boy teeth are growing fast – his tongue no longer flops all over his jaw, it now sits neatly in the groove between his teeth. 🙂
He’s getting 3 cups of Bob Martin dry puppy food a day in two separate meals, breakfast and supper. This is how he will continue to eat as an adult dog, including when we switch from puppy food to adult food at 10 months old, and I will adjust the amount if he loses or gains too much weight.
Everyone who meets him comments on how beautiful he is! He has the sweetest face and I believe his conformation is perfect – but I may be a bit biased… 😛 He does have a slightly comical way of walking though, he walks with his feet very widely placed instead of putting them neatly in front of each other, like Riddick does for example. His siblings walk the same way!
He’s really laid back as well, although he’s definitely heading into the adolescent phase of puppy development now – selective hearing and mischief and all that. 😀
He’s defensive tendency is also starting to come into play, with him also wanting to bark when he hears something outside or if Riddick barks at something he’s heard or seen. He has a strange hoarse-sounding bark too, so he’s fairly easy to distinguish from Riddick’s deep voice and our weekend visitor, Rhody’s slightly higher pitch.
He follows me around just like Riddick does now, and no matter how many times I walk up and down the passage from the kitchen to my bedroom or outside, Lennox and Riddick will both get up and follow me. Its quite comical because I constantly have two dogs right behind me.
And now that its getting so hot, him and Riddick like to snooze on the cool tiles or where there’s a bit of a breeze.
He’s also learning to get up and move if I approach him which is great, otherwise his blind partner would trip over him!
I have come to the realisation that Lennox loves the fan that blows in my direction all the time (I hate the heat), and he likes the cool. He sleeps next to my bed or near my chair so that the moving air washes over him and me!
A couple of weeks ago he heard thunder for the first time, and it definitely got his attention!
We did the same conditioning as we’ve done with our other puppies and distracted him with some gentle play so he could “get” that there was nothing to be afraid of or get excited about. We don’t soothe the puppies when there’s thunder, nor do we make a lot of noise to distract them, the aim is to stay calm so they know its nothing to get excited about.
Then this week past we had our first big thunderstorm and Lennox didn’t bat an eyelid so I think we can say it was succesful… So far.
We’re getting into fireworks season with Halloween, Diwali, Guy Fawkes, Christmas and so on, so we’ll see how it goes, but I doubt he’ll be phased by any noises.
We had a group training walk at Lifestyle Garden Centre a couple of weeks ago, with three of the yellow “K” litter pups, black Lab Jola, and Lennox’s sister Libby in attendance. As we walked through the centre we climbed stairs, walked through the pet shop, strolled amongst the water features in the nursery, and visited the kiddies playground. We also had a bit of an obedience and dog distraction training session in the parking lot.
As always, the puppies get loads of attention from adults and children alike, and its really cool to see them all walking in a line in their blue puppy jackets.
These group training walks serve many purposes; getting them accustomed to malls and shops full of people and noises, as well as being near – and ignoring – other dogs. You won’t necessarily find blind people travelling in groups with their dogs, although there are some instances where a blind couple both have guide dogs, but guide dogs have to ignore any and all other dogs no matter where they are.
We’ve also made a couple of successful trips to Makro and we’ve visited our favourite baking supply shop, Kadies. I must try and take a picture the next time we’re out shopping… Kadies is always dog friendly, and the owners’own dogs are often in the shop with them. They got to know Volt well and now they’re watching Lennox grow up too.
The one day at Makro though, there was a guy who found it very entertaining to watch me battle to keep Lennox under control while he bounced a basketball ball on the floor in the queue behind us! I suppose I could have asked him to stop, and he eventually did, but it was a little irritating at the time.
And guess who is now sitting in the back seat – especially when there’s someone sitting in the front passenger seat!
His obedience training is going well, and he still brings everything to me – tail wagging furiously, so even if I can’t see whats in his mouth I know he’s got something! He’s not very good at being sneaky…
He’s doing really well with “wait” and he sits when we get to a door or if I tell him to “sit” and “wait”, and his “stay” is coming along nicely too.
His walks are also going well. He is learning to ignore the other dogs we pass, and our walks are getting longer and longer. What he does do sometimes when there’s a dog behind a gate thats getting particularly excited, is jump up on me instead of trying to go to the dog! Its not the “right” behaviour and we’re working on stopping it by going back a short way, doing some obedience work – “sit”, “down”, “up sit” and so on – before continuing on our walk. We stop on the odd street corner and just sit there, listening to dogs bark and watching cars and people go by.
You’ll notice in these pictures that we have started using a half-check collar for when we’re working. His neon-yellow collar with his tags on never comes off, but the purple half-check is only for when were working.
Our weekend visitor, service-dog-in-training Rhody, has been visiting again! The boys get on really well and when they start playing you best get out of the way, they get quite rough!
This Sunday past we visited an off-lead dog park with all three boys. They were all very well behaved and they had a lot of fun, playing and running with each other and with the other dogs in the park! Lennox doesn’t seem keen on swimming in the trough but Rhody doesn’t hesitate! I don’t know if Lennox doesn’t really like swimming or if he’s just learnt not to swim from Riddick, who is very careful with pools and such because he can’t see properly.
We spent most of last Saturday at the Hobby-X show, with Lennox in his puppy-in-training jacket. He was really well behaved and responded well to the crowds of people and the noise.
He seems to have a bladder the size of a marble though and we had to take him out of the hall for busies every hour or so!
And just for cute, here he is with one of his two new bags of puppy food (supplied by SAGA, sponsored by Bob Martin)!