We have reached 15 weeks! Bagheera has now spent more time with us than his mother and littermates. He's a happy, smart, generally calm puppy. I get compliments all the time on how well-behaved he is. Slow, steady progress, a soft hand that's always got a treat in it, and loving welcoming arms are the tools I have used to get this far. I will keep using them. How much is training and how much is his genetic makeup? I never discount the value of genes. He's a "mutt" but a deliberately bred mutt bringing together two wonderful purebred breeds. I give a ton of credit to his physical makeup for his personality.
Highlights from the past week:
Had a tick. Tick was removed. Still waiting for the first hard freeze here.
Went to his first ever house party. Not really dog people but they said well-mannered pets were welcome, so I took him. He was awesome, such a little gentleman. I kept him leashed but didn't really need to. He stayed nearby. His only violation was chewing through the leash! I've had that leash for 20+ years. All it took was a few moments distraction and sharp puppy teeth did the rest.
He ate pumpkin seeds. We carved pumpkins last night and those were too hard for him to resist. Not sure how many he ate. I don't expect them to get digested though, unless his stomach acid can do a number on them. He swallows them.
He's finally able to get in the car without assistance. He also pretty much stays where he is told to stay in the car, although this morning he got frightened of something, and suddenly the passenger seat freaked him out. He ended up on my lap. He's starting to show a few signs of fear, coinciding with the close of the socialization period. At the house party he was freaked out by their door mat and refused to walk on it. Funny how they perceive the world at times!
I never taught him this but he goes to the door when he needs to go potty. If nobody sees him, he barks! Is that not a smart guy, figuring it all out on his own? He's not 100% potty trained, more like 95% but at 15 weeks I can't complain. His recall is amazing for his age. At the dog park I visited yesterday he came running when he was over a hundred feet away. I think he thought I had abandoned him, and was relieved to hear my voice, but still. He CAME when called, at the dog park, with 20-30 dogs all around him.
Here he is, showing why squirt guns are NOT effective dog deterrents, at least not for Golden-Lab pups!