For being a dog blogger, I completely failed at the “taking pictures” portion of BlogPaws. I was so focused on making sure Atka was behaving that I completely let it slide. Thankfully, so many people got pictures of them with new friends so I have been able to see some that way. I don’t have many pictures, but I will share a few gems today!
Keeping your dog (and yourself) fit is vital to a long, healthy life. We had beautiful weather last weekend and wanted to get outside and enjoy it. One of our favorite things to do with the fluffies is go out into the backyard and play a game of soccer. Mauja always prefers to chase the soccer ball, while Atka likes the orange water ball.
Mauja’s got some great moves. She will actually “dribble” the ball a few steps before picking it up.
They are really particular about which balls they play with. They each stick to their favorite ball and wait their turn.
I love when their huge jowls flop over their toys 😉
After about an hour of running around the yard, we were all pretty tired. Mauja’s expression says it all. Such a happy face 🙂
Atka’s big, droopy tongue says we’ve worn him out. Nothing better than a tired puppy!
How do you get active with your dogs?
Having a giant breed leads to many unique challenges as a dog owner. Having a giant breed puppy is even more challenging. Did you know that giant breeds typically don’t mature until at least 3 years of age? There’s a saying that’s associated with Bernese Mountain Dogs, but many other giant breeds follow it as well.
Three years a young dog, three years a good dog, three years an old dog.
Mauja and Atka are still in the ‘young dog’ phase at two and one years of age, respectively. Looking at them, you wouldn’t assume they are still puppies as they each have triple digit weights. However they still have ‘puppy brain’, which small to medium sized dogs outgrow around the one year point.
Unfortunately, many people believe that because of a giant breed’s size, force is a necessary training component. I recently read on a positive dog training group that the trainer “had to use force on a 4 month old St. Bernard puppy because of his size”. Sigh. Have I told you about the time I was kicked out of a training class for not using a prong collar or choke chain on a 5 month old Atka? That’s a story for another day.
Most giant breeds are extremely sensitive dogs and this is absolutely true for Great Pyrenees. Atka has been with us since 8 weeks of age and had a wonderful start to life, but any quick movement or gesture toward his collar makes him cower. He’s just a very sensitive boy. Can you imagine how he would be if I had used a prong collar on him as a puppy?
Force-based training is never necessity and a dog’s size is certainly no exception.
Effective training is a partnership between you and your dog. Love, compassion, and a mutual understanding will go a long way.
After over two weeks… we’re back!
The wedding went really well and you better believe I will be bombarding you with pictures once we get them. The fluffies were the stars of the wedding and I wouldn’t have had it any other way.
Even though Mauja and Atka are trips pros, they still get stressed when they are away from their home base. However, they exhibit their stress in very different ways. [Read more…] about The Adolescent Monster