Sunday, March 15, 2015

It's Not Just Fun and Games...

I am a lot like other puppies.  I sleep A LOT...

And also like other puppies I'm very playful and full of energy. 

But there are 2 things that make me different from other puppies.

#1  I didn't have a very good start in life.  Good manners for family life start with a mannerly dog mom and healthy litter mates. 

Dog moms teach us about being clean and tidy, and about following the leader.  If I was born in a puppy mill then chances are my dog mom wasn't able to keep our cage clean, and she probably didn't have any clue how to be a leader.  Puppy mill dog moms are often unhealthy physically, but also mentally because they aren't part of a pack, among other reasons.    Even if I wasn't born in a puppy mill,  I was taken away from my dog mom too young and placed with a family who didn't teach me those very important early lessons.  The earlier a puppy is taken from his/her litter, the more important it is to be with a family who knows how to teach manners.

#2  I am a pit bull.  Bully breed puppies are very, very strong so even our play can be dangerous.  And because it is in our DNA to escalate the intensity of our play, we get awfully carried away and end up hurting others.  Even our paws can do a lot of damage.  Poor Grandma had a lot of bruises on her arms and legs for the first couple weeks that I was here. 

Sorry, Grandma! 

Grandma knew all this before I arrived (she did a lot of homework!) so she found a really nice lady nearby who knows a lot about training people to teach good family manners to dogs.  Her name is Amanda and she is the owner of Smart Pups.

So Amanda shows Grandma what to do and Grandma and I work on our lessons every single day.  The lessons aren't just for tricks to show people (that's fun, too!) but also to help me calm myself and pay attention to my leader. 

And Grandma is definitely the leader.  No more bruises for Grandma!

Sit, Down, Stay, Drop it, Leave it, Come, Wait, Touch, and loose-leash walking are some of the things we are working on.

I'm really smart so I've learned how to combine commands and do stuff like this in just 2 short weeks of training...

This might look like it is a fun trick, but it is so much more.  I have to remember Down, Stay, Leave it, and Wait all at the same time!  I held this pose for about a minute before I was given the "okay" to eat.  That is amazing for a food motivated dog!  Also more than a trick, it teaches me not to steal anyone else's food or counter surf.  Not only are they rude, but they can be dangerous if I steal food that is poisonous for dogs. 

Learning how to focus on my leader when there are distractions is a big deal for a hyper puppy!

It helps me be able to live politely and gently with humans.   That is important for every dog, but especially for powerhouse dogs like me!


  1. Cheesecake, you have such a good grandma, helping you to learn your manners and become a well-behaved and happy pup!! :)