Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Bear's 8 Month Update | Ms Pam Blam Life Update

Hard to believe but Bear will be 8 months in just 4 short days! I last posted Bear's update at 5 months and a lot has happen since then.

Bear now weights 62lbs and is still growing! Our vet did say to expect his final weight to be around 90lbs so he still has a lot of growing to do.

Bear is definitely a power chewer - we really have to be careful when Bear is out of his crate and roaming around. Bear does get the run of the house now as he is doing very well with our cat Max. But this little guy can get into so much trouble. He loves to chew so we make sure our house is stocked with lots of different bones and chew toys to keep his mouth occupied.

Bear is doing very well with his training. We are constantly taking him to different pet stores to practice walking on a loose leash, listening to us around distractions, sitting, staying, passing other people and dogs, recall, ect. For the most part Bear does really well and we are always complimented by lots of employees on how well behaved Bear is while in the store.

Bear's favorite place still has to be the off leash - he gets a long with every single dog he's met and plays so well with others. I also have to give Bear credit for how smart he is too - we have been at the dog park when dog fights have broken out and Bear is smart enough to avoid conflict and come to my side when this happens. I have to applaud him for that as I do see so many other dogs jumping in and adding to the dog fight and watching all the owners struggle to separate the dogs. I've been asked a lot how I trained him to do that and honestly I didn't...he just seems to know to stay out of it.

Bear has been bullied and picked on by a few dogs at the dog park. It really annoys me when other owners don't correct their dog when this happens so Bear and I either walk away and find another friend for him to play with or if I'm fearful of his safety (depends on how aggressive the dog is) we will go wait in the car until the dog leaves and then we return to the park.

I haven't ever packed up and left the dog park as I don't want Bear to think he's being punished for something - because so far he's never started a fight or conflict with another dog. Whenever we go to the dog park I always allow for a lot of time so if we do have to wait for an aggressive dog to clear out I have the time to do so.

With that being said we only make it out to the dog park once or twice a week - which I think is a lot for a pup that is still growing. My husband and I sometimes forget how little Bear still is and there are some weeks where I think we over exercise him and I know that's not good for his developing growth plates.

If you checked out any of my Friday Fitness Updates you would have seen that I have began to include Bear in some of my training runs. Technically our vet doesn't want Bear to start running with me until he's 10 months old but to be honest we don't go very far or very fast when he's with me. 

I've only been taking Bear out once a week - sometimes I skip a week if he's had a lot of visits to the dog park that week - and Bear only comes with me for either my warm up or cool down. I don't run very fast when I'm warming up or cooling down so Bear basically does a fast walk beside me while I jog. 

Mainly I've started including him in my training runs this early is because I want to get him trained on my hands free leash I bought. 

I have done so much research and testing of which belt, leash, harness combo works the best for our training runs and I have found the perfect combination!

The belt I finally settled on is the Squishy Face Studio Leash Belt. I bought the small/medium in Ocean Blue. The belt is 2" wide so it's very comfortable even if Bear pulls. This buckle is very heavy duty and I'm not worried about Bear pulling hard enough to break it.

I also think it's a huge plus that the leash attaches with a buckle closure, meaning you can use ANY leash you want with this belt...including a retractable leash (which I don't use as I want Bear close by me while running).

The leash I use is nothing special, it is also from Spuishy Face Studio. I decided to buy the belt/leash bundle off their website as it was only $6 I thought why not! I can always use another leash around the house. When I first got it I thought it would be too short, it's 4' nylon leash,  but to be honest it's great for running.

The 4' means Bear has to learn to stay right by my side and watch for my cues. We do a combination of walking and running when he's with me so he's learning cues such as "running/lets go" and "walking/slow down."

Finally is Bear's harness. I only use this harness for running, I use a different harness for walking as he does still pull now and then. I find this back clip harness works the best for running because it keeps the leash from getting tangled under Bear's feet.

I tried to use his no pull front clip harness and it was a disaster! After every five steps I was having to untangle the leash and we didn't make it very far before I gave up and went home.

The back clip harness we use goes over his head and he steps his left paw through a hole and it closes with one buckle. I know there are different harness varies so pick which one seems to fit your dog best - I know there are some step in harness but they seems a little bulky to me and seems like it would be unconformable running. It didn't take Bear long to get used to his harness going over his head...just use some treats and make it a positive experience.

Other than that I just bought a few belt accessories that make our training trips out more enjoyable. First off is the Amphiod Endurance Plus Pouch. I had a hard time finding a pouch that would fit onto the 2" wide belt and hold my iPhone. This pouch is supposed to fit a iPhone plus - I don't have a plus iPhone but it does fit my iPhone 6 with the case and there is room to spare. You can also attach 4 gels to the outer slots. I also like to carry poop bags and a house key, everything fits with room to spare!

I also bought the Amphiod RunLite Xtech 10.5ox Modules 2 pack...careful when you buy these as there are two different lid options. I choose the normal one as I can pour water in my hand for Bear to drink out of...the other one is the Jett-Squeeze lid which would make it harder to give Bear water during our runs. 

We haven't actually used the water bottles yet but I thought this would be good for hot summer runs - and I only wanted to pay for shipping once so I bought the pouch and water bottles at the same time. 

This was my first time purchasing anything for Amphiod but they have some great belt accessories so I would highly recommended checking them out. Look under the section Customize-Your-Run to find exactly what you are interested in. 

Bear is always excited when I pull out my running shoes and his belt - he LOVES running and is going to be a great running companion down the road. I can't wait until he's 10 moths and I can start bring him on some of my training runs. 

On the days that I don't bring Bear for a run I come home to a very pissed off dog - but unfortunately he has to learn that he can't always come with me. 

Thanks for stopping by to check out Bear's 8 month update, make sure you are subscribed to get notifications on Bear's next update and more adorable puppy pictures.

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