4:00am. Every day at 4:00am, our puppy, Dorian, wants to go out. He is 9 months old. He is a beautiful dog, with shining gray fur and amber eyes that change color in the light.
He is a weimaraner-Labrador mix. He is what we call ‘high energy’. He requires multiple walks a day. He needs to play, run, jump, and basically, be a puppy. We knew this. We accepted this. We knew when we got him, his puppy stage would last about 2 years, and we got him at the tail of year one. We knew this, and accepted it would be a challenge.
The big problem when we received Dorian (a story for a different day), is that we didn’t know how “high energy” he would turn out to be. We were told he “didn’t like the outside”, and was basically “afraid of everything”. Technically correct.
He is afraid to go outside. He is afraid of cars, noise, other dogs, bees, and flowers. he is afraid of our car sitting in the garage, and the chair sitting in the garage, near the car. He is afraid of the garage, where the car and the chair are. He is afraid of our backyard. He is afraid of the neighbor’s dog barking in their yard. He is afraid of our other dog, Zuri, when she is barking at the neighbor’s dog.
He isn’t afraid of anything when he’s in the house, though. He’s not afraid of Zuri, though she outweighs him by 40 pounds (she is 80 lbs, he is 40). He isn’t afraid of the cats, even when Luna has scratched and scarred his nose multiple times, and he gets in trouble for chasing Merlin around. He isn’t afraid of peeing or pooping in the house, and he sure isn’t afraid of jumping on us at 4:00am because he wants to play. Usually after he’s already pooped in the house. *sigh*
He loves to play with Zuri. Zuri, however, isn’t always so thrilled. He will tug at her neck, or collar, and gently bite her ears (gentle, until she yelps, then he lets go FAST!) . He will bite at her feet when she is laying down, and growl (playfully) and snap (playfully) and jump backwards, haunches up, tail erect, and forward paws out in front, barking and yipping his invitation. Classic “I want to play” body language. He loves to get Zuri to chase her. All around the house. Inside. At 4:00am. He won’t play outside, he’s too afraid. He won’t play in the garage, even when we move the car, because he’s too afraid. But he will play. Inside. Anytime he feels like it. He isn’t afraid of anything, he just wants to PLAY!
It’s tough not to get mad at him, but he’s a puppy. I don’t blame him for how he was brought up before we got him. He’s such a loing puppy, though. On the good days, when the clouds break and the sunlight shines down for a moment, we see him as the dog he WILL be. The dog we will train him to be…..eventually.
We start our third month together in a few days. We have seen many positive changes in him since then. He sits, and lays down almost always on command. He will (now) stay as we place his dog food down, and wait for us to tell him it’s ok to eat. He goes out the back door during the day, and does his business, even scratching at the back door to let us know before he goes in the house. I just wish he was more consistent about it. He is getting better, and I have to keep my mind on that fact….otherwise, I might end up taking my anger out on the puppy. And he doesn’t deserve that.