Thursday, November 15, 2007

Oh Boy! My Favorite!

This is what we say is Mikey's response to everything. 'Oh boy! My favorite!' This boy just seems to enjoy everything and everyone. He's never met another dog or a person that he didn't just love. He's a super energetic and driven boy (I call him my border collie in a cardigan suit) and he's always, always happy.

But. . . I realized this week that he is getting a little pushy (ok, a LOT pushy). He's picking on Holly and being rougher with her than he has ever been. And she's not standing up for herself the way I would expect her to, especially since she has always been alpha bitch since the day he arrived; now I'm having to handle him for her, because he is being too rough. He's not settling down in the evenings; he almost acts like he can't settle down. If he's not bringing Pink ball to me constantly, he's rolling his soccer ball all around the house all by himself. And this evening on the bayou, while I was talking to a friend, he was not just jumping on me, but SLAMMING me with his front paws in the thigh, trying to get me to throw his ball. And 'no' wasn't doing a thing, I really had to get after him to get him to quite.

So. . . I've checked his teeth (his teeth get tartar sooo much easier than Holly's) to make sure nothing obvious was going on there, and expressed anal glands this evening. But I don't really think something physical is making him irritable. I kind of remember this kind of attitude from when he was a 'teenager'.

My question to you guys is, has he reached a new level of maturity that is causing him to try and shift his place in the pack? He will be three years old in January. This is my first male Cardigan, so I'm wondering if this is an age where they normally try to push their boundaries. This evening when he got pushy with me on the couch while I was trying to read, a sharp 'no' settled him right down and he curled up and went to sleep. So maybe I just need to make it through this phase and make sure to keep the lines drawn in the sand and my normally sweet boy with come back?

Oh, and while I'm sure he would love three times as much exercise as he is getting, he is getting a nice off leash walk on the bayou in the mornings (about 20 minutes) and a longer walk (usually with lots of ball chasing included) in the evenings. We have missed agility for two weeks running now, and maybe he is antsy for his favorite activity. And I would have thought that he would be a little tired this week from the show last weekend.

Anyway, all of you that have raised Cardigans for years, is this an age thing?

Just finished reading 'Nefertiti: A novel' by Michelle Moran.

Holly and Mikey say 'Hi'.

A picture my mom took of Mikey sleeping in her lap when we were taking home from his breeder.


Katrin said...

I don't have a lot of experience with male Cardis, but I do have a lot of experience with male dogs (have lived with 5 from puppy hood, 2 not neutered) and yes at about age 3 they go through holly hell teenager time all over again!! I've found it lasts 2-6months, then we're back to normal.

So hang in there, this too shall pass! :-)

Cardimom said...

Ok, I can deal with a few months repeating 'teenager' attitude. I was really afraid I had bragged one too many times about what a sweet boy he is, and how he is smashing all my notions of what an intact male acts like, and I had jinxed myself! Also, I am currently making peanut brittle for my dad's birthday. All fingers crossed that it doesn't burn before it comes up to temp!

C-Myste said...

When people ask me when male Cardigans reach maturity I always say "3 years". That has been my experience, anyway.

Now granted, Huxley (now 3 plus 2 months) is the first that we've kept long-term since Juneau, who we lost in 2003 at the age of 7. We have always had more girls than boys.

Traci said...

Kota's "lightbulb" came on literally at the age of 2. Once he turned 2 it was like all of a sudden he got a brain between his ears. Having had more males than females, I would have a houseload of males... LOVE them to bits. My girl... well... she loves me on HER terms. My boys love me on their terms, my terms and all other terms in between :)

I need orange said...

Yes, I think this is an age when dogs do come into "social maturity".

I bet that if you keep him in line now, he will settle back into a comfortable pack order and quit with the constant challenging.