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Discussion Starter · #41 ·
I probably shouldn't be pleased about this, but I am. :)

Gibbs and I went to Home Depot yesterday. One guy we met (meeting guys is important for dogs that live in an all woman home) was really nice. We talked, he petted Gibbs, and gave him a treat. When giving the treat he looked at Gibbs and said, "Sit." Nothing. He said it again, still nothing but a face eagerly waiting for the treat. I was to the side and a little behind, I said, "Sit," and Gibbs sat.

Woo hoo!
 

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Discussion Starter · #42 ·
Gibbs is 6 months old today. He had a really terrible time with teething, and the way his lower canines were coming in made me so nervous I took him to a canine dentist, who pulled some baby teeth. That wiped him out even more. For a while there he was so out of it he wouldn't take treats most of the time, just looked at me as if he didn't recognize me if I so much as asked him to sit, etc. I saw all my plans for rally and obedience with him flying out the window.

He's finally back to what he was when I first got him and for the time before the teething really got going - very food oriented, into everything. Thank goodness. The dog dentist tells me he's still got a way to go, that all the teeth may be through the gums now, but it will be a while before they're fully grown out. I assume it's the getting through the gum part that caused all the problems.

I enrolled him in a second puppy class, mostly to get him out and around other people and dogs. It's PetsMart, which I've always looked down my nose at, but one of the instructors was kind to Gibbs while we were in there shopping, and talking to her she sounded knowledgeable, so I signed up.

To my shock, this is a better class than the one at the respected, has-been-there-forever, has-instructors-who-are-AKC-judges training center we already went through. Clicker training, and it's really helpful. The too small area is a minus and was especially so at the beginning, but we're down from 12 to 8 last week, so that's better, and we get sent out to do some things in the aisles of the store, not ideal but roomy. :)

All in all, things really are better than just a few weeks ago. However, he now weighs just under the 45-pound top of the German Pinscher standard - 44.6 a couple of days ago. I started out thinking a dog around 40 pounds would be good, and I suppose 50 will be okay. This isn't the downsizing I had in mind, but I'm really taken with him.

I'm still posting and plan to for another couple of weeks, but this was taken at the dog dentist's. It's the first decent picture of any of my dogs taken at a vet's.

Dog Jaw Dog breed Carnivore Ear
 

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He’s so cute @storyist my girl is one week behind your Gibson can’t believe she’ll already be 6 months next week. Teething has still been rough on her and she’s lost two baby teeth in the past week. Glad to hear he’s doing well with training my girl is not doing that great at puppy daycare (has a hard time listening to the leader) but we’re working on it. Lol

Dog Carnivore Dog breed Working animal Companion dog

Dog Dog breed Carnivore Working animal Companion dog

She is now the same height as our 5 year old boxer which is making life a hundred times more difficult because she is testing me and my fiancé every step of the way now to see what she can and can’t get away with now that she’s bigger and much heavier. 😂
 

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Discussion Starter · #45 ·
Oh, my, if I knew your girl's name I've forgotten it, but she has the same leggy look at this age that Gibbs has. (It's Gibbs as in Leroy Jethroe Gibbs of NCIS, which was a mistake naming-wise because my Gibbs is a bit of a wuss, not at all the strong, tough marine type.)

I'm not sure it's size that makes them challenge as they get into the teenage months so much as just the age and confidence to do it. I wouldn't say Gibbs is challenging so much as getting into everything he can - so much more fun than his own toys and chewies. Of course, his crop of those things is shrinking as he gets better and better at tearing things up. His Kong Wubba bit the dust yesterday.

Every day I see him walk around looking high at the things he can't reach and would love to. I wish I had a photo of the look on his face as he came toward me with my cell phone in his mouth, so proud of himself, and fully aware I wouldn't let him keep it. He did better with my Kindle. He kept that long enough to chew one corner of the cover a little raggedy.
 

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My younger dog Frodo had to have a canine removed, too. We thought it might be more - he hung onto all four puppy canines long enough we got our vet practice's dentist involved - but he managed to shed three before his surgery date. The last one still had a massive root though, no sign of reabsorption, so it was 100% necessary, if a bit rough to put him through the surgery. He bounced back, and I'm sure Gibbs will recover fine too!

I found a real gem at a pet store training class years back, too. Sadly the class I had with her was the last she was offering in our area, because she'd been poached to join a friend's training company on the West Coast. IMO it's always worth talking to the store trainers because you never know!
 

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@storyist Ha ha you’re right this age really is the worst because of the confidence and wanting to test you. My girl’s name is Tootsie btw sorry I knew you called him Gibbs idk why I called him Gibson.

@DaySleepers Glad to hear Frodo is doing well! That’s so scary would never even think to check teeth to make sure they’re all falling out that’s great you caught it!
 

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Discussion Starter · #48 ·
My younger dog Frodo had to have a canine removed, too.
There's always something to worry about, isn't there? I'm glad it worked out for Frodo too. For a while it looked like Gibbs' permanent lower canines would be on the inside of the upper gums. I've seen that before and didn't want him to be one of those that needs those lowers removed, which is the cheap fix, and the tongue hangs out -or the more expensive cut them down and do a root canal.

Gibbs' weren't horribly, irreparably off, just enough to make me nervous, and what the dentist did has them now in the right place (he did more than pull the babies), and they're about halfway grown out - so they can't go back.

He's over it now and when he went for a 2-week checkup was quite friendly with the dentist and staff. I had warned them he'd get hysterical when I wasn't there. In fact we got an exemption from the curbside service because the office manager believe me, and I told her I wouldn't do it. I guess the dentist and the dentist and techs didn't believe me, though, until they saw it. Evidently he behaved very badly after I left. He's not brave and is okay with another person handling him if they ease into it and aren't demanding, but needless to say, a vet examining his mouth and then the surgery prep doesn't qualify as easing into anything.

He's doing better with other people these days, but I don't think he'll ever be one who won't fight someone else manipulating him. I can already see loads and loads of work and practice for the obedience stand for exam. At least the handler is right there for that.

I expected him to be very different from the Rotties, but even so he's a revelation as to what other people deal with in other breeds.
 

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Yeah, that's exactly what we were worried about with Frodo, too. The dentist had us encouraging him to play with balls to put gentle outward pressure on the teeth, and between that and the extraction they wound up where they were supposed to go without more serious intervention. It's not super common that retained puppy teeth cause a major issue, but he wasn't the only one in his litter that held onto his baby canines longer than usual so we had a bit of a heads up from a breeder to keep an eye on it. His bite's beautiful now at two, but I'm thankful we were on top of it and had access to a dental specialist through our clinic. So glad that things worked out for Gibbs, too!
 

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Discussion Starter · #51 ·
The dentist had us encouraging him to play with balls to put gentle outward pressure on the teeth,...
That's interesting. The dentist we went to also encouraged the ball play, and he looked embarrassed doing it, as if he was afraid I'd think he was recommending witchcraft.
 

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Hah! That's funny. I'd never heard it before, but I was willing to believe ours when he said to do it, him being the expert and all. I guess some people think it's too easy of a 'fix' or something? Who knows.
 

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Discussion Starter · #54 · (Edited)
Well, Gibbs graduated from the PetsMart puppy class yesterday. Each puppy had to do each of the exercises we went through in the classes. Of the 12 that started, 7 were still attending, and all 7 did all the exercises. It was a 6-week course, and we missed one week because of Gibbs' dental work. As I mentioned above, it was a clicker class, and the things we learned were:

Sit*
Down*
Touch*
Watch Me
Loose Leash Walking
Leave It
Drop It
Wait at Doors
Recall*
Sit to Greet

The ones with asterisks were the ones we already knew, although he couldn't do them in that environment when we started. I didn't even know there was a sit to greet the week we missed over his dental work until last week. We spent a couple hours at a friend's house last weekend with him greeting people more and more politely. The last one was a guy who was actually behaving in a way that would encourage jumping up and telling me how all puppies jump up as if it was okay with him. Instead of sitting, Gibbs threw himself into a down at the guy's feet. It was so cute and really showed that guy!

My major purpose in going to this second puppy class was to help Gibbs with his shyness toward other people, which the other instructor warned me could turn into fearful behavior. I do think this class and the busy environment and all the different dogs and people so close helped. He was still the busiest most distracted puppy in the class, but could do everything and could settle for a few moments now and then.

So he did everything but needed me to revert to luring him on the Down, which he'll do at home by word or hand signal, but it's something he loses the second he's distracted or unsure. The recall was up and down a store aisle, and the instructor wanted me to hold him at one end while she called him, then she'd hold him while I called him. He wouldn't go to her. He likes her, so I was half surprised, but not totally - see above post about what happened when the Home Depot guy held a treat out and told Gibbs to sit. I told the instructor flat out I don't care if he won't do things for other people, and she gave me the old what if he gets loose? If he gets loose it will be equipment failure. I don't let my dogs off leash anywhere that's not fenced except competition rings, and the shows around here are all indoors these days.

Anyway, he graduated, and now that we've done it all, I'd still say it was a better course than the other one. My only complaint is that there was a lot of sales pitch about signing up for the next level course. Maybe I'll do that down the road, but mentioning the next level class is one thing, a full on sales pitch is another. I didn't like it, and if I sign up for another course it will be in my own good time when I think he's ready. My criticism is still that the space is too small.

So I think the course helped Gibbs with his shyness problem, although he's never going to be an extrovert, which is okay with me. He learned more in this course than the one with all the blah, blah, blah about stuff like potty training, and I learned things about clicker training, which I'd never used for anything except capturing sit and down.

Dog Dog breed Dog supply Working animal Carnivore
 

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Discussion Starter · #55 ·
P.S. That weird square thing on the back of his head is actually a fake mortarboard. You'd think a puppy that wears a snood every time he goes out wouldn't fuss, but he did, so that's the best we could do with it. The too long nails are my fault, getting on that today.

He got hold of my computer glasses last night. One lens fell out as it always does, and it now has marks like permanent raindrops from chewing. At least it didn't break and give him something small enough to swallow, and I'm overdue for new ones anyway.

Yet Snuggle Puppy still survives intact!
 

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Congrats Gibbs! He sounds like a lot of fun.

The sales pitch is obnoxious, but don't be too hard on them about it. If my time in big box retail is anything to go by, they're probably under pressure from corporate to fill quotas and are required to push sales a certain way. It sucks for everyone involved, except the people who only see the numbers and not the humans having to have the interactions.
 

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Yay for graduating! It sounds like the second class was the Beginner class, and not just a repeat of the Puppy class?
 

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Discussion Starter · #58 ·
Yay for graduating! It sounds like the second class was the Beginner class, and not just a repeat of the Puppy class?
Thanks. The first class is advertised as puppy kindergarten, and the PetsMart class is just called the puppy class and their starter for baby puppies. The sales pitch would have us then going straight to Intermediate which emphsizes what they've already learned but with distractions. I think an older dog would start with a Beginner class, but I haven't really paid attention beyond Puppy so far.

The thing is the first class at the established training center emphasized the blah, blah about housebreaking, handling biting, etc., for half the hour of each class. First-time puppy people can profit from that (I did with the first puppy I ever took to a class decades ago). If you've ever been to a class like that before, though, there you are, holding a bored and wiggling puppy for half an hour while you're bored yourself. Also, they're still teaching methods from 20-30 years ago for some stuff, like teach Sit by pushing in on hind legs above the hocks then reward. What they have changed from years ago is an Agility day which is taking puppies over small imitation Agility obstacles, and an emphasis on tricks, which I think is a nod to AKC now giving trick titles.

The second class, as I said, was all clicker and positive methods. Instructor didn't address things like puppy biting and potty training unless asked after class and went straight to introducing the clicker and teaching things with it. If nothing else it was entertaining as all get out to watch her demonstrate teaching those babies things like Touch and Sit in minutes.

There was one really reactive GSD puppy in the class. It was a PITA barking constantly, and has a really loud and deep voice. I saw the instructor pull the owner aside after the second class and talk to her awhile. That puppy was noticeably better in the next class, and I'd love to know what was said and what was recommended to help with that. He still was bad about barking if another puppy got too close or looked him in the eye, but he was a lot better.

Congrats Gibbs! He sounds like a lot of fun.

The sales pitch is obnoxious, but don't be too hard on them about it. If my time in big box retail is anything to go by, they're probably under pressure from corporate to fill quotas and are required to push sales a certain way. It sucks for everyone involved, except the people who only see the numbers and not the humans having to have the interactions.
I think you're probably right that giving the sales pitch is part of what the PetsMart instructors have to do, but whoever trains them in what to say and how often isn't taking into account the effect that kind of thing has on some of us, which is to totally turn us off. There must be a happy medium. However, as I said, I may sign up for the next course, but not till I've done a lot of work with Gibbs on my own now, solidifying what he's learned in different environments. And I'll be careful to get the same trainer if I go back. I'm sure PM is hit or miss depending on the trainer. Everywhere is, and I did like her.

I am in fact encouraged. Gibbs is very different from the dying to please you Rotties, and I was not foreseeing a fun-filled competitive career for him. I'm much more optimistic than I was, although part of that is he's over some of the truly bad times he had with his teeth.
 
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