You just can’t keep a good dog down

Posted by & filed under the puppy diaries.

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Another episode of The Raising of a Puppy

Columbus is getting big.  In bigger than Koda and bigger than Stella big.  Well, at least taller than both of them – they both still have more significant girth.  Suffice it to say, though, he’s a 60 lb-something, big puppy.

And this morning, for whatever reason, he was excited to see me.  More than usual, I mean.  (The mornings, after a long night of no people, are always a challenge.)  I’ve started to use the word “settle” to try and calm him down.  It works, sometimes.  This morning for some reason it translated to “jump all over me.”  This was out-of-control jumping.  Words were futile.  I tried them all.  “Settle Columbus no bad dog off down STOP JUMPING you are hurting me.” I turned my back.  He jumped on my back.  I tried to knee him.  He came back for more.  I kicked at him.  He came back for more. There was nothing to do but to put him into the submissive position.  If you don’t know what that is, it is to make him lie down on his side and be still under you.   Whether or not you are touching him, although touching at this point was a given.  I was going to need to hold this puppy down.

When I first did this to Blackie, after reading about it in a book, he snarled at me but then gave in.  When I did it to him the second time, he emitted a low growl, then stopped.  When I tried a third time he became immediately submissive.  I never had to do it again.  He was broken, I was boss, he knew it.

So, I expected similar from Columbus.  Not even close.  Since I don’t have a picture of what happened, I will try and draw you a picture with words.

To set the scene, I was on my back deck.  We had moved out there with the first “settle” attempt.  I’m still wondering if my neighbors got a picture….

First, I pushed Columbus’ shoulders and head down.  They were down, but they weren’t settling.  He was having a merry old time.  I wanted to be able to grab hold of his hind legs but those things were in the act of trying to kick me off of him.  So I was going to have to do a full body pin.  And that’s what I did.  I laid on top of my wiggly, squiggly puppy until he finally stopped trying to get me off of him.  Submissive.  Sort of.

The minute I let up he was up.  But at least he wasn’t jumping on me anymore.  And midday, after a nice morning hike/run, he is back to his normal puppy exuberance.  Which, I keep telling myself (and actually I say it out loud to him, too), “some day you are going to be a nice, mellow dog.”  At which point there will be no more WrestleMania at my house.

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