Pupdate: 9 Months

golden retriever

Happy Wednesday! I thought it would be fun to give you guys an update on the pups since they are 9 months old now. And, one of our friend’s parents just got a puppy from the same set of parents last weekend. We’ve come such a long way from when we picked them up in June, and I’m proud of their progress. It hasn’t been easy, and it’s an ongoing process, but they are just the sweetest little things.

houston | golden retrievers

When I look back at photos from when they were puppies, I can’t believe they were ever that small. I could pick both of them up at the same time, and now, I can barely lift them up. Cali is on the right in that photo, and Tex is on the left. I can tell them apart now (Tex is a little darker – and he’s slightly bigger), but it was so hard when they were just tiny Spuds.

houston golden retrievers

We loved on those puppies so hard when they were tiny, and I don’t regret it one bit. Sure, we definitely could have been a bit more strict, but I needed them just as much as they needed us. My husband and I were talking about this the other day, but we were in a really sad place when Sawyer died. We didn’t get the puppies to replace him – because that would be impossible to do – but it’s really hard to be sad around cute puppies.

golden retriever puppies

Meet Cali

golden retriever

Now that their personalities have really begun to shine, it’s been so neat to see how they are different. Cali is our tiny little gal. She’s just about 50 pounds at 9 months old. She’s definitely more inquisitive and thoughtful in her approach. She can be a bit timid in new situations, but she loves people. She’s also really independent. She’s fine just chewing a bone – or playing with a toy, and she doesn’t necessarily need to be right next to you all the time.

golden retriever

Cali is incredibly smart. She has always been the first one to pick up training queues, and she lives to please. We had a small set back when she was the first to develop Giardia. She had a really difficult time going to the bathroom on the grass (yes – 100% not ideal). She was a bit traumatized by the whole experience. But, with lots of time and treats, we were able to get her back on track.

golden retriever houston

She loves the water and is a fantastic swimmer. I would actually love to get both of them into some dock diving here in Houston when the weather warms up. She is okay on walks, but she is very excitable when she sees any human, dog or squirrel, so we’ve also started walking her on the gentle leader. I used to raise Guide Dogs for the Blind, and they use the Gentle Leader as a training device, so I feel comfortable using them, and they have done wonders on every single dog I’ve ever owned when it comes to getting them to focus and stop pulling on walks. So, if you have a dog who pulls – or is generally unfocused, this is your sign to go get a Gentle Leader.

She’s just our happy go lucky little gal!

Meet Tex

golden retriever

Oh, Tex. What can I say about this guy? Tex is such a goofball, and I needed him in my life more than I ever thought. He’s a true velcro golden, so he and I spend tons of time together. When I go to work? He’s right by my feet. When I’m working out? Right there with me. When I’m in the shower? Creeping on me through my shower doors. He loves his people.

golden retriever

Tex is a sweet soul, but he is also quite the character. He is naughty, so we have to stay on top of him. He loves the water more than Cali (if that’s possible), and he takes every opportunity to get in that pool (even when he’s not supposed to).

golden retriever

Tex loves people, dogs and squirrels. He knows the word squirrel – and he knows where they hang in our backyard. One of his favorite activities is to spot squirrels on our walks. Speaking of walks: Tex l-o-v-e-s to walk. He’s about 55 pounds now, and he’s strong (especially when there are squirrels involved). So, we started him on the Gentle Leader about two months ago, and it’s done wonders with his walking.

golden retriever

Because Tex and Cali are field golden retrievers, they have hunting in their genes. We don’t plan to ever hunt with them, but it’s important to keep them stimulated and to focus their energy on positive behaviors (like focusing during a walk). You can find Tex curled up on the couch – or on the bed with his humans!

How’s the training coming along?

golden retriever

Training these two is an ongoing process. They know basic commands like sit, stay, shake, come and down. And they master them when there aren’t any distractions around. We work with them daily on these. I’m also looking into having a trainer come to the house for a visit because we’ve had a problem with calming ourselves down when someone comes to the door. Now that they are bigger, it’s much harder to keep both of them calm and collected when visitors come over. I think our whole family could benefit from having a professional come in to show us how to better cope with doorbells and guests.

Crate training

crate training | golden retriever

We are still using crates around here! I’ve separated them into their own crates now that they are older – and bigger. So, here’s the deal. Sawyer loved his crate. We called it his “room,” and it was his spot in our house. The Spuds don’t love their crate as much, but they tolerate it. Cali has taken to her crate more than Tex. We leave the crate doors open during the day, so they can go in and out as they please when we are home.

But, they are always crated when we leave the house (because it would be a disaster if we didn’t). And, they don’t love being away from us. Crates are never used as punishment, and we always make it a positive experience. We just have dogs that are super attached to their humans. So, it’s a work in progress.

Astros golden retrievers

I’m so happy we got two. Don’t get me wrong, it’s been tough at times (hello, potty training). And we’ve just barely started sleeping in a bit. But, I wouldn’t trade the two of these dogs for the world. We’ve needed lots of patience – and we’ve spent a lot of time with them. We still have some ways to go with the training, but I’m confident that with some time and patience, we will be at a good place!

So, thanks for letting me chat about my Spuds today. I hope you have a wonderful Wednesday!


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