Yesterday was officially the second week we've had Rufus home with us. I can't believe that it's only been two weeks. It feels almost like it should be closer to a month, but he just turned 10 weeks old on Tuesday.
In two weeks of being with us, he seems to be doing extremely well!
Rufus RARELY chews on things he shouldn't anymore, aside from people's hands/clothes when they come to play. He's completely stopped trying to chew on the corner of the end table we have the lamp on, as well as the handles on the sides of the recliners we have in his room currently. Everytime we bring him outside, he responds to "go potty!" even though sometimes he just wants to explore and smell everything. So far, he really prefers wet food to dry, but if we mix it together he'll eat both, although I have a sneaking suspicion that 1) his dry food wasn't doing good things for him on his own, and 2) he doesn't seem to like the dry food. He's a curious growing boy and he wants to chew on everything! Rufus is also so smart! He knows where his food and treats are (and has tried multiple times to get at them), and just the other day he tried to make a jailbreak, almost successfully. Rufus knows his name (even though I think he has selective hearing), and he responds sometimes to "come here!". 9/10 times he'll respond to sit, and maybe 5/10 I'll get a successful stay if I back away more than one step. Rufus does not seem to like drop it, or down.
He loves new toys the best - and he gets bored with old ones fast. Funny thing also - the expensive dog toys don't appeal to him at all either. He would much rather roll around on the floor with an ice cube, a water bottle, a red solo cup, or a toilet paper roll. Most of these things are things he can tear apart, which I think he likes also ;) In the morning, and when he's relatively calm, Rufus will come sit in momma's lap and chew on his nylabone which helps him since he's teething. He plays nice with girls, but rough with boys, and when he's in a new place with new people all he wants to do is play - roughly.
Rufus does not like to be put in his exercise pen. He most definitely does not like peanut butter either! Our boy is very vocal when he wants our attention or we aren't pleasing him, so the fact that the peanut butter stuck his mouth shut scared him. Rufus is also terrified of brushes. His doggy toothbrush (I had to use the rubber kind you slip on your finger), the soft brush we got to brush him, and also the brush for when he is shedding (metal). Material that makes swishy noises (think wind-pants) drive Rufus crazy.
Behaviorally, I want Rufus to learn down, and drop it/leave it. I'm going to try to work with him this weekend to see if we can get some of these, but Rufus rarely ever lays down so it's hard to get him to figure that one out. Drop it should be a little easier - all I have to do is offer him a treat and he'll drop whatever he has in his mouth. Also, while I understand that he's a puppy, and that he is playing, it's not okay that he tries to bite people's hands/clothing when he plays. He does this with everyone except for me - I'm thinking mostly because I was firm with him from the beginning about what could and couldn't be chewed on. Sometimes he will get riled up with me also though, and telling him no just makes it worse. We will be enrolling him in a puppy obedience class shortly (hopefully next week) that is taught in PetSmart, but by a good friend's step-mother - who I know for a fact is an amazing trainer and has been training dogs for years. Hopefully this will help Rufus learn some more basic commands and also teach him not to bite hands anymore.
As technical as that all sounds (ugh looks like a report card), I just wanted to have a clear note of his progress so far, and what my expectations are written out. Mainly for scrapbooking purposes ;) but also so that later on down the line if we ever get another puppy, or if someone with a new puppy has questions, I can have some facts recorded to help out.
Having Rufus, while challenging, frustrating, and exhausting at times, has really been overall great. Being responsible for a life other than your own really puts a lot of things in perspective. Also, not that we meant it as such, but this is great practice for having a baby. Obviously, babies are different in their needs and attention requirements, but I won't have to be constantly keeping my eye on baby telling it not to chew on things (at least not right away), or making sure it doesn't go potty on the floor. In some ways its comparable - I don't think either Mike or I have had full nights sleeps since before we got Rufus. I usually have to go right home after work, and while sometimes I resent that I HAVE to, 9/10 I WANT to.