Puppy Brain

When you live with a puppy, you have to live with puppy brain.  This often arises in situations when the potential for embarrassment is highest.  It is defined as a period of time when a puppy decides to do the exact opposite of what he was formerly doing, that is, behaving himself.  It is also known as the “blond moment” by my husband.

Puppy brain expresses itself about 20 minutes into a dog obedience class.  This always occurs immediately after the trainer calls attention to your dog as being an example of correct form in an excercise.  Thereby which the entire class attention is fixed on your corner of the room when your dog’s brain begins to short out.  The first seconds of this may be recognized in the glazed look in the dog’s eyes.  He will fail to respond to a command given him no matter how many times he has successfully completed the task before.

Many handlers mistake this as SHD, selective hearing disorder, but this misdiagnosis is remedied by observation of what follows.  Your dog will shoot off, hitting the end of his leash and nearly pulling you off your feet.  He will then successfully sniff every dog bum and a few human crotches within a leash and a half radius of your location before acknowledging your existence again.  During which period of time, you will be attempting to get the dog’s attention again. All eyes remain on you as you do a perfect impression of a helium inhaling clown with several dozen angry scorpions in his pants.

Your dog, probably fearing you are on  your death bed, comes to check on you just long enough to take a treat from your hand.  Finding that you are perfectly healthy, the puppy will promptly forget every command he has ever known.

The only known fix for this is time out in the corner for yourself and your puppy.  While this may not make the puppy behave any better. It will keep you a safe distance from all the other puppies in the class. The condition is highly contagious.

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One Response to “Puppy Brain”

  1. While never having attended formal training class with Lauren, the same thing happens to me. Whenever I have a guest over who makes the comment all dog owners who have worked hard training their pets love to hear… “I wish my dog behaved that well.” So, puffed up with pride, I begin to gush like an idiot about how many commands the dog has mastered in spite of what a stupid human I am. I ask, “Lauren, who smells? Does smell?” This may initially seem like I’m being a rude host, but if Lauren is feeing magnanimous, she saves the situation by rubbing her nose with both her paws in an adorable gesture of funkaliciousness.

    Sadly for me, Lauren isn’t a particularly magnanimous creature. Luckily for me, my friends have a good sense of humor.

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