Otto is 17 Weeks

Otto is growing again.  He has consistently grown one collar size each week and we are now on our 3rd puppy collar!  He is so heavy now that I can only just lift him and so getting him in and out of the car is a struggle.  Fortunately the ‘step’ training we did in the tricks workshop has paid off and he readily puts his front paws up on the car when asked so I can heave him in.  I’m always amazed at the power of training to make life with a dog easier and I feel sorry for owners who haven’t learned how easy it is to train a dog with positive methods.


Self-control is often difficult for a dog with natural enthusiasm and Otto has more enthusiasm for life than most.  Growing up around animals like Inky and Bear taught Otto to control his urge to jump on them and I’m amazed at how respectful he is to them.  If Bear is drinking or Inky is eating, he sits down politely next to them and waits politely until it is his turn to drink or lick out the bowl.  Otto’s Holy Grail is cat food and he isn’t allowed it but Inky often leaves just a tiny bit in his bowl for Otto to taste.  I’m really pleased with the relationship that has developed between them.  I often find Otto asleep close to the cat and I am pleased I took the time in the early days to make sure neither animal was chased or frightened.


Socialisation continues for Otto.  I take him out whenever I can to meet new people, dogs or have new experiences.  We have a lot of sheep near to where I live and I try hard to make sure he sees plenty of them up close but never when they are running.  For him, sheep are big white fluffy things that stand around staring at him and he is becoming disinterested in them now as we walk quietly among them.


I took Otto to a local stream so he could paddle and we could practice retrieves into water.  He was happy to run into the water and fetch things out but it was too cold to go in deeper and he avoided getting too wet.  I did discover he has a remarkable ability to find things underwater.  He puts his nose right under and snuffles and snorts, then comes up with whatever I’ve thrown that was lying on the bottom.  Amazing!

This week was our 5th puppy class.  Puppy School classes are a great way of encouraging you to keep up the training.  So much training is needed during puppyhood if you are going to end up with a well-behaved dog and when I was writing the syllabus for Puppy School, I tried to distill it all down to the really necessary cues that you need for an easy life, like settle, wait, come etc.  I discovered by going to class this week that we really need to work on wait and our handling skills as neither is very good at the moment.  Our heelwork, however, was a joy to behold this week, but then I have been practicing that a lot for nearly two weeks now.  When you run puppy classes, it is always very easy to spot owners who do their homework, and I know from monitoring Otto’s performance myself that more work is needed in certain areas. 

Otto is 17 Weeks