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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Since I started playing find it with my puppy I noticed some changes:

  • First he seemed much calmer and relaxed and appeared much stiller when sleeping
  • Then he started sniffing a lot more on walks.
  • Then the entire walk became about following trails. Sniffing the entire time (almost a whole hour). In recent times he keeps following trails to dead animals (squirrels etc) or food. Or at times of people who have left an article behind in a park (jacket etc).
  • He now not only follows trails on the ground, but sometimes tries to sniff things out in the air to follow during walks.
  • Lately he seems to sleep longer and even more stiller. <--This is what I am worrying about. He is still alert enough to wake up to the slightest sound, such as persons in the lift lobby, and is ready to bark at full volume unless I acknowledge immediately (he stops then) - so his alertness is normal. Its just that he is so calm and still, and is in no rush to get up from a nap. But at the same time he is ready for walks and responsive. Excited about walks.
  • His mood seems ok - he is happy. He is affectionate and friendly to persons and dogs alike. At night he sleeps next to me and rests his head on me. He seems to lick me more nowadays since I started cooking and paying more attention to enrichment.
  • He is responsive to commands, unless there is a high value distraction. (requires more effort than usual then)
  • He is ready to play and initiates play
  • His appetite is ok. He is excited at meal times, and seems to always want more.
  • His body condition seems to be a 5. I used to think maybe 6, but after looking closely he seems to be a 5.
  • He sleeps about 16 hours a day: 4 + 2 + 10 (morning, afternoon, night0
  • He walks and runs normally
  • He does not chew unauthorised items. If there is some new item and he initiates chewing, then he obeys when I tell him to leave it.
  • He likes being chased
  • His pee quantity and appearance seems normal
  • His poop seems normal in consistency, color and smell
  • He is calm when on a walk I stop to talk to someone. Earlier he used to get impatient. Now he sits or lies down. There may be an occasional leap to get my attention, but he's mostly just calmly waiting.
  • His skin is ok
  • Coat is shiny
  • There is some hair growing beneath his paws that I must trim.
  • Nails are ok
  • Paw pads seem ok
  • His stomach looks normal and is not bloated. He is peeing and pooping on schedule, so can't think of any blockage
  • No sign of any pain if I press anywhere
  • Ears are reasonably clean - not spotless (some brown)
  • His posture seems normal, same as always
  • Eyes look normal
  • Mouth looks normal
  • Teeth were falling out a while ago, and his new teeth appear to have come in. Once in a while an old tooth comes out. I took them to the vet, and he confirmed that's its just the puppy teeth and its normal.
  • He does not have gas and am not aware of any farting
  • He looks clean
  • He comes when I call
  • He is alert and engaged with everything happening at home.
  • He seems to listen careful and do the head tilts when I make proposals for choice of activities.
  • He does not mouth me very hard nowadays -> Can just barely feel teeth on skin, because he wants some attention. If I say no or finished he is not persistent and just goes to sleep, so it seems he is satiated.
  • I use only positive reinforcement. No aversive training. I live alone and my apartment is mostly very quiet since there is no one else around most of the time
  • I work from home on the computer so I am home all day
  • His meals are almost exactly on time and regular
  • His routine is pretty regular
  • He is not taking any medication or supplements at this time.

But I worry : Before I started find it, it was not uncommon that he would have zoomies, or occasional hyper moments where he mouths me, or chews unauthorised items. Now he seems calm all the time. Like no hyperactivity. He still runs if we're playing fetch or I throw a piece of kibble to distract when playing find it, but no random running without reason.

I took him to the vet, and the vet said he's normal. Even his weight is ok (like exactly in the middle range in some websites). According to other people (outsiders who see him often), people say only good things. That he seems normal, is growing so fast, is so well behaved or cute.

I think the obvious way to tell is maybe to reduce activity for a couple of days and see if he gets hyper again. Maybe skip a walk.

EDIT: I think the thing that worries me is no zoomies.
EDIT: His diet is Hill's Science Diet for Large puppies (Lamb flavour). I measure the same weight for each meal using a measuring device. Only recently I started adding some home cooked chicken, eggs and vegetables to his dog food, but his behaviour was like this before I started cooking.
EDIT: His treats are just his kibble. For high-value treats I provide a very small quantity of a dog biscuit. It seems just like an ordinary biscuit, and I was providing it to him before this change in behaviour started. Biscuit tastes like an ordinary biscuit. He does not eat any snacks or other treats.
 

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Everything sounds fine. Energy levels will change depending on growth spurts, teething, hormones, fitness, activity levels, genetics etc...
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Since I started playing find it with my puppy I noticed some changes:

  • First he seemed much calmer and relaxed and appeared much stiller when sleeping
  • Then he started sniffing a lot more on walks.
  • Then the entire walk became about following trails. Sniffing the entire time (almost a whole hour). In recent times he keeps following trails to dead animals (squirrels etc) or food. Or at times of people who have left an article behind in a park (jacket etc).
  • He now not only follows trails on the ground, but sometimes tries to sniff things out in the air to follow during walks.
  • Lately he seems to sleep longer and even more stiller. <--This is what I am worrying about. He is still alert enough to wake up to the slightest sound, such as persons in the lift lobby, and is ready to bark at full volume unless I acknowledge immediately (he stops then) - so his alertness is normal. Its just that he is so calm and still, and is in no rush to get up from a nap. But at the same time he is ready for walks and responsive. Excited about walks.
  • His mood seems ok - he is happy. He is affectionate and friendly to persons and dogs alike. At night he sleeps next to me and rests his head on me. He seems to lick me more nowadays since I started cooking and paying more attention to enrichment.
  • He is responsive to commands, unless there is a high value distraction. (requires more effort than usual then)
  • He is ready to play and initiates play
  • His appetite is ok. He is excited at meal times, and seems to always want more.
  • His body condition seems to be a 5. I used to think maybe 6, but after looking closely he seems to be a 5.
  • He sleeps about 16 hours a day: 4 + 2 + 10 (morning, afternoon, night0
  • He walks and runs normally
  • He does not chew unauthorised items. If there is some new item and he initiates chewing, then he obeys when I tell him to leave it.
  • He likes being chased
  • His pee quantity and appearance seems normal
  • His poop seems normal in consistency, color and smell
  • He is calm when on a walk I stop to talk to someone. Earlier he used to get impatient. Now he sits or lies down. There may be an occasional leap to get my attention, but he's mostly just calmly waiting.
  • His skin is ok
  • Coat is shiny
  • There is some hair growing beneath his paws that I must trim.
  • Nails are ok
  • Paw pads seem ok
  • His stomach looks normal and is not bloated. He is peeing and pooping on schedule, so can't think of any blockage
  • No sign of any pain if I press anywhere
  • Ears are reasonably clean - not spotless (some brown)
  • His posture seems normal, same as always
  • Eyes look normal
  • Mouth looks normal
  • Teeth were falling out a while ago, and his new teeth appear to have come in. Once in a while an old tooth comes out. I took them to the vet, and he confirmed that's its just the puppy teeth and its normal.
  • He does not have gas and am not aware of any farting
  • He looks clean
  • He comes when I call
  • He is alert and engaged with everything happening at home.
  • He seems to listen careful and do the head tilts when I make proposals for choice of activities.
  • He does not mouth me very hard nowadays -> Can just barely feel teeth on skin, because he wants some attention. If I say no or finished he is not persistent and just goes to sleep, so it seems he is satiated.
  • I use only positive reinforcement. No aversive training. I live alone and my apartment is mostly very quiet since there is no one else around most of the time
  • I work from home on the computer so I am home all day
  • His meals are almost exactly on time and regular

But I worry : Before I started find it, it was not uncommon that he would have zoomies, or occasional hyper moments where he mouths me, or chews unauthorised items. Now he seems calm all the time. Like no hyperactivity. He still runs if we're playing fetch or I throw a piece of kibble to distract when playing find it, but no random running without reason.

I took him to the vet, and the vet said he's normal. Even his weight is ok (like exactly in the middle range in some websites). According to other people (outsiders who see him often), people say only good things. That he seems normal, is growing so fast, is so well behaved or cute.

I think the obvious way to tell is maybe to reduce activity for a couple of days and see if he gets hyper again. Maybe skip a walk.
Everything sounds fine. Energy levels will change depending on growth spurts, teething, hormones, fitness, activity levels, genetics etc...
thank you. I think so too now. 👍
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Never doubt the power of brain work! Your puppy is exhausted just by sniffing and learning about his environment :) use that to your advantage - a tired puppy is a good puppy!!
Yes, I think you're right. Although initially we only played nose games for a fixed duration each day, he seemed to change how he behaved during his walks - to the extent the entire walk is now him sniffing trails from objects or to objects we find, so it makes sense he should be more tired. I just didn't expect such a large change so fast. I've also found that after applying the enrichment activities I was reading about in an enrichment book (letting him shred designated items in a designated location, digging at a designated location etc), he is now listening more to my commands and is more obedient also. Like earlier it required more effort to get him to stop some behaviour, now he does so immediately with just a verbal command.
 

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I found mental work like 'find it' absolutely necessary for my pup. Physical exercise just seemed to help him build his endurance.

But find it. Like hiding his toy in a flower garden outside or under a dresser inside really wore him out. He would pass out motionless for several hours :) I think there are two beneficial components to find it. 1. Self-control. Pup had to hold his sit for longer and longer as I went further and stayed away long to hide the toy. 2. Exerting the fortitude to actually search long enough to find the toy. Ole would put in some serious work for chunks of natural hotdogs. (I started by hiding chunks of hotdog. But they were so stinky that it was not enough challenge.)

The other thing I did was a lot of puppy-sized adventures to anywhere that might seem weird to a young dog. Not much phases him anymore.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
For scientific purposes, I didn't take my dog for 2 of 3 walks per day for two days. I still did other things in his routine like playing find it at home. I noticed he stopped napping during the day and instead looked for things to do, like chewing new furniture etc (things he does not usually do). Hence my conclusions are:

  • He was tired from exercise
  • His current exercise level is sufficient for him, and although variety can be modified, amount should not be increased until he shows signs of not being tired.

Then I took him for his usual routine again, and once again he is sleeping soundly.

Hence dog's condition was a result of being tired.
 
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