Thursday, August 26, 2010
Melissa's First Birthday!!!
Melissa is one year old today. She is loosing her puppy curls, she started shedding about 3 weeks ago. This is a normal occurrence. In a month or so her adult coat will begin coming in.
Most of her growth has occurred, but she will put on muscle and weight over the next two years.
She could grow another inch or so.
When we first brought her home 10 months ago she could sit in my lap.
Today she is nearly 70 pounds heavier.
Her body says she is still 'puppy', she runs like a puppy, she stands like a puppy, she does silly things like a puppy. So when is a dog no longer a puppy?
Can she can be expected to act like our older dogs because she is now a year old? No.....today is just another day, a special day since she was born a year ago, but it does not make her suddenly begin an adult and trustworthy in all situations. She is beginning to settle more: taking naps on the couch, taking a dog toy to quietly play with on a dog bed, or just lying at my feet. Of course she gets a bit more freedom after she has had LOTS of exercise and mental stimulation. Setting up good habits while she is young has given her a good foundation for the behaviors we want to see repeated.
Dogs turning a year old are still puppies to me. They are young, they are silly, they are active. They need lots to do. Their socialization and training is still important. They need to continue seeing and doing things outside of their home environment.
So when does puppy hood end and adulthood begin? It depends on the breed, the individual dog, their personality. They mature differently. For now I will continue to enjoy the last of the puppy sillies that Melissa has to offer. We will continue to train and socialize.
We took her hiking this evening with her buddy Buster. Happy Birthday Melissa, it's been a fun year.