A Puppy is not a Dog

I'm ready for my close-up Mr. DeMille

Today I learned something that any parent of a toddler could tell you–an overtired baby can be obnoxious!

Having spent the past 20 years of my life around adult dogs, I’ve come to associate irritating behavior with a dog who needs more exercise. Barking for no reason? Let’s do some training to exercise your mind. Tearing around the house at top speed? It’s time for a fast walk or a game.

This morning Honey decided to become a whirling dervish while I was talking to a colleague. My first response is to toss a toy to allow her to get some energy out. Didn’t work. Honey jumped so much I thought she was going to get caught in my coworker’s breast pocket.

In desperation, I picked up her and put her in her crate and locked the door. Surprisingly she just laid down and went to sleep. I guess that was an example of being overtired and needing less stimulation not more.

As smart as she is, I have to remember she’s still a puppy and not yet a dog.

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  1. Some puppies are worse than others too. I have a foster dog now, and at eight months old, he still acts like a toddler. I am seriously wondering whether its possible for dogs to have a learning disability, and if so, if he has one. I’ve worked with 50+ dogs as my fosters and have seen exactly what you said – a dog with training and exercise is a much calmer, happier dog. But they all get overstimulated after being at adoption events for four hours with non-stop people/dogs/action going on around them. They just react in different ways and in different degrees. My foster dog Ziggy is the absolute worst when it comes to getting overtired, getting “chewy” and “barky” and difficult. But once he gets home and immediately gets a long nap, he’s his happy (but still chewy) self again.

  2. Yep, you’re right. We have to learn about each dog as they come.

    I’ve been enjoying your blog. Ziggy seems like an interesting challenge but I’m sure you’ll help him become a great life companion someday (as long as his new family has your sense of humor!).