Who's Your Daddy?
by Karla ° Friday, September 15, 2006
My dog is completely trained on his potty bell now. He loves it, so much so in fact, that he now manipulates the system for free cookies.

It’s tricky. If he rings it, he must be praised and treated and let outside, otherwise, without the consistency, he’d never get it. Now however, he’ll ding dong on that bedeviled thing all day for cookies. It’s annoying and tiring really, but it’s so d
amn cute that my big blundering lug of a dog makes it go ding-a-ling-a-ling every time he has to (fake) tinkle that I can’t bring myself to take it away.

He’s a big boy now. He’s not yet 10 months old, but he is already 75lbs and still growing. If you stand him up on his hind legs, his paws reach my eyeballs. Sometimes he doesn’t even realize what a brawny beefcake he is. There could be 7mm of sofa space left and he’ll try with every last speck of tenacity in him to squeeze his big puppy ass into it, flattening any living human like a pancake in the process. His energy levels remain at a consistent and breakneck speed of bustling hyper. His enthusiasm is quite endearing, but his attention span leaves something to be desired. When excited and asked to sit, he’ll hover in a squat position and quiver on his hind legs. He can hold this position for about 4.2 seconds before his desire to break the sound barrier is unleashed and he runs laps at mach speed around a table, a human or a shoe.

We have recently started working on increasing his Sit and Stay attention span - for a c
ouple of reasons. First being that he needs to learn to stay by the door when his feet are wet, and the second, most important reason, is for him to learn to sit still and keep his drooly tongue and hypersonically swift whiplashy wagging tail out of my face when I am holding or changing the baby.

His all time record is a three minute stay – with me in a different room. For a dog, that’s half a lifetime and I’m happy with our progress. He has eaten many cookies to come this far.

Sometimes he amazes me with how smart he seems, and other times, like when he pirouettes in figure eights around the room to chase his tail; his intelligence leaves something to be desired. He is however, always good for a laugh when he cocks head before breaking out in a full chorus of deep excited woof woof bellows and bays when asked “Who’s your Daddy?”

As excitable and entertaining as Samson is though, I’m a little worried how crushed his spirit will be when we bring the baby home. His boundless energy can be trying at times, but I know I would miss it if it were gone.


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"Sometimes he amazes me with how smart he seems, and other times, like when he pirouettes in figure eights around the room to chase his tail; his intelligence leaves something to be desired."

My ex used to say that exact same thing about me all the time..

Dogs will get jealous of a new baby, but most of them also understand about “babies” whether human, puppy or kitten. Give him lots of love after changing the baby and lots of attention so he knows that the little human isn’t taking his place and he should be fine.
Besides, he makes a really cute little lap dog.

In the meantime:

He is getting so big Karla! You guys are doing great on his training! I love the bell ring and pretending to need to pee just for a treat!
Posted by Blogger TBG :  September 15, 2006

You're making me like dogs.
Posted by Blogger Christi :  September 15, 2006

He is sooo cute. I don't usually like lab's but he is on cutie!
He will be fine with the baby!
Do you have a Babie R Us, by you ?? They hold differnt types of seminars, they have a babies and Dog one, I have heard it help poeple out a lot. It sounds like you are doing a good job at training him though!

You might want to try to keep a baby doll in random places, floor, couch, swing, boucy seat, before the baby comes. Practice training him to leave it alone! Friends of our did this and it helped immensly!

Good Luck!!
Posted by Blogger Donna :  September 15, 2006

I love that dog. The pictures are too cute.

I wish I could find such joy in the woooooofing and running of my boys as you find in yours.... you're truly a patient woman!

Posted by Blogger Blondie :  September 15, 2006

Mable is 68 lbs right now, and has stayed at that weight for about a month. She just turned 9 months old at the end of August and she seems happy and yes, a boundless bundle of energy!!

Amy on the other hand is more calm *since she is nearly 2 years old* however when the two of them get together, they are nearly unstoppable...the new game is "jump on the human together and attempt to knock her down as a team to avoid being singled out for crate time outs" and I feel sometimes as though they are winning this battle...

How cute! I have a feeling a dog that happy will not have a problem with the baby. Those labs are known for being good with kids.
Posted by Blogger Julia :  September 15, 2006

I like when he rings the bell.
Posted by Blogger Kurt :  September 16, 2006

Whew! 75 pounds and counting!

I think he will adjust well to the baby, just give it a bit of time.

I mean, dogs and kids, when they match, have a wonderful time.
Posted by Blogger Gina :  September 16, 2006

Hey Carla
The best advise I received from a vet was: As soon as you bring the baby into the home introduce the dog to the baby. Keep introducing the dog to the baby. Give the dog just as much attention as the baby. You want the dog to accept the baby not resent it. Remember, the dog was there first, and is used to getting ALL the attention from you.
Posted by Anonymous Anonymous :  September 17, 2006

hysterical. I snorted in laughter at the thought of doggie ringing the bell for cookies on demand.

I have a furball of my own who considers himself my firstborn child. I also have two human babies (two under two!).

The way our dog seems to have adjusted is by assigning himself a task so he feels useful. I encouraged this by rewarding him with treats. What I do is have him accompany me any time one of the babies wakes up from a nap, crying. I say, "Oscar, the baby's crying!" And he leaps up to go investigate.

The dog has gotten so good, he usually runs up the stairs before I do.

Obviously, he does nothing once we actually get to the baby, but he feels important.

Good luck! I've enjoyed your blog.


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