Raising a Puppy: Mia the Blue-Nose American Bully Pit—26 weeks old
A day in the life with Mia the American Bully (Bully Pit) puppy. Mia's twentieth week—26 weeks old, 50 pounds, 18 inches from the ground to the highest point of the shoulders (the withers).
26 weeks old (6 months)
Mia, what are you doing now? You certainly are an adventurous puppy. Don't hurt yourself up there.
It was a little too cold to swim, but that didn't stop Mia from nosing around the outside of her new pool.
Mia touched the flower bud with her nose and it bobbed around. That caught her attention. She kept poking it. "Mia, don't you dare eat it!"
Mia, do you actually think you're quick enough to catch that fly?
Pack Leader Respect
I was inside the house when I heard some growls outside. I walked out to find Mia trying to take a bone that was in front of Bruno even though there was a second bone not too far from the two of them. "HEY! Excuse me! I don't think so! Knock it off you two!" I yelled over to them in my growling voice. Both dogs looked up and immediately walked away from the bone trotting towards me. I picked up the bone as they both watched.
For the two dogs to abandon the object they were both trying to get from one another and happily without fear, trot to me shows a high level of respect. Had I not earned my high alpha position in a fair and balanced way, yelling for them to stop most likely would not have worked and it could even have set them off into a fight.
Neither dog cowered away, both immediately responded to my voice. Had either of them responded in fear or run away from me it would have been a sign that I am too harsh.
Had I not been a strong enough leader it could have set them off into a fight as a follower decided to get involved in their disagreement. Had their little tiff been at a higher level of intensity it could also have set them off as at some point dogs no longer think, they react. I could tell the two of them were not at that level and I also had the confidence to know I had what it took to stop them. My dogs are always kept at a lower level making it easy to stop their unwanted behaviors with voice commands.
Both dogs knew their behavior was unacceptable. They knew they were busted and they also knew that the only thing they had to do was stop the behavior and the consequence from me would end.
When I correct the dogs as soon as they do what I want I back off. For example if I call a dog and they do not come after the second call I will go get them with the intention of leading them to the place I wish them to be. As I am walking towards them, as soon as they take a step towards me I stop and turn back away from them walking in the direction I wish them to go to teach them coming is all I wanted.
Being a pack leader is not about yelling, hitting, pushiness or force. It is about leadership and respect. You cannot demand it. It must be earned. This point is one that many dog owners and even some dog trainers fail to understand.
"Stay" The dogs cannot get out of the van until they have permission. They step out one at a time when we say their names and that tells them which one is allowed to go out. Not only does this keep the dogs watching their handlers for commands, but it also keeps them safe.
Mia, you have dirt on your nose. Show me where you're digging a hole. I followed her. Oh no you don't. You can't dig next to my rose bush. "Hey! NO! You little squirt!"
Telling her she could not dig near the rose bush didn't stop the digging. She dug a hole somewhere else. To her they are two separate issues. The rose bush may be off limits, but no one said this spot was off limits.
And later I realized she had dug holes all over the yard. She's not just digging, she is rooting like a pig. She smells things under the ground and digs for them. Her eyes may not be the best, but she has got a good nose on her, that is for sure. I bet she would make a good truffle-sniffing dog.
The dogs check out a sand crab that had recently passed away. It had a strong smell and Mia was not so sure about it.
Mia finds the waves more interesting than the other two dogs do, but then again, she is more fascinated with everything. To her everything is an adventure waiting to be explored.
Mia watches as another wave comes in.
Mia play bows at the water.
Playing in the water
Mia taking on the waves. It's not all that warm out so she does not attempt to get too wet. Can't wait to see what she does when it's hot outside.
The dogs get a drink of fresh water after playing on the beach.
Mia tries to play with the herd of goats. Notice how her tail lowers after she is corrected with an "Aatttttt" sound. The sound mimics her own language meaning disapproval. She does not have to think about the "human" words she learns. She instantly and instinctually knows what that sound means.
Mia is a submissive licker. When she first sees you if you have any skin showing within her height level and she does not have a "prize" in he rmouth to present, she will lick you. She's known as a "leg-licker" and a "toe-licker". She holds her head level with her body, ears back and tail wagging wide from side to side wiggling her entire back end.
This was written as a joke on the white board on the refrigerator from a non-dog lover who often comes to visit. Not everyone wants a wet tongue on their skin.
Mia was playfully playing with something. Pounce! Her paws were going and she was nosing around. Mia what are you doing? That's when I spotted it. A bee. Oh no you don't, you silly puppy. I got a paper towel to capture the bee and put it outside. I am afraid to let you find out the hard way that bees are not play toys.
Um, Mia. Drop the stick before coming inside the house. I don't want chewed pieces of wood all over the place.
You look all innocent, but what's that behind you? A soggy chewed up paper towel. You could try and blame it on your brothers but we all know better.