Raising a Puppy: Mia the Blue-Nose American Bully Pit—18 weeks old
A day in the life with Mia the American Bully (Bully Pit) puppy. Mia's twelfth week—18 weeks old, 34 pounds, 16 inches from the ground to the highest point of the shoulders (the withers).
18 weeks old (4 1/2 months)
With a 9-Year-Old
Mia got a chance to play with a 9-year-old little girl. I had to teach all of my other dogs not to jump on a running child, but Mia simply didn't try to jump. She was too busy watching the kid in order to figure out the game.
I had taken Mia off of her leash and she followed the kid around everywhere.
When the little girl tossed a ball, Mia would run with her to fetch it. At first, Mia would pick it up and trot away with it. However, after a few times of the girl asking her to drop it and reaching to take it out of her mouth Mia started picking up the ball and turning to the kid and handing it to her, because that was the game. That's what the kid wanted so that was what they were going to do.
Mia turning to hand the ball back after she picked it up off the ground.
And off they go again. This time the little girl picked up a stick. Oh boy, Mia loves sticks! Yet she still didn't jump on her or try and steal it from her. She gently chewed on it when the girl lowered the stick to her level. Otherwise, she waited for the game to start. Whatever game the girl picked was fun for her. Not once did Mia even attempt to jump on the little girl. When the kid stopped, Mia stopped. When the kid ran, Mia ran with her, watching her carefully for the rules of the game.
This clip shows how she began to hand the child the ball as she realized that was what the child wanted.
Then someone drove a remote-control truck in the direction they were playing. It was a truck she never saw before and she went into guard mode. Wooooooo, woooooo. Mia stood stiff on all four paws with her tail and hair up and she got between the truck and the kid. She was not going to let a strange black thing get her new friend. I told her to leave it. She looked at me as if to say, "Oh, OK" and she ignored the moving object that was still coming her way and went back to playing with the kid again.
When the 9-year-old came over to see Spencer, he rolled over on his belly. It’s just like him to try and sneak in some belly rubs whenever he can!
She wanted to walk one of the dogs. Which dog do I hand her? Bruno, of course. A 2-year-old could walk Bruno. Bruno pays attention to whomever is holding the leash and he stays beside them.
We filled a small bowl up with water and all three dogs drank at the same time. We refilled it over and over until each dog had enough.
Mia, don't lie in front of the fire if you're hot. All you have ever known is cold weather and there is such a thing as being too hot, believe it or not. Well, I got news for you pup, summer’s coming and you're going to be seeking out cold places.
Mia loves to bring people toys. If anyone leaves the house, even for 15 minutes, she will bring them a toy when they return. When guests visit the house Mia runs and snatches up a toy for them before she greets them. This video shows what she does when she gets to the person with the toy. She submissively dances around them and if you listen closely you can hear her woooooo, woooooo. Whenever we hear her “wooooo” at us we know she is carrying something in her mouth, whether it be a stick or a piece of bark that you have to look into her mouth to see. No matter what it is, she always lets you have the prize she is proudly carrying around.
Mia learns to be patient at feeding time. All three dogs know their place to eat and know not to steal one another's food. The dogs are showing respect.
Mia, I love your ears. They are all over the place. When you lean back they stand up and when you look straight ahead they flop back over. You have all kinds of ear-do's.
Practicing on the Leash
After stopping to pick up Spencer's poop during a walk, Mia was all wound up and excited. She was not standing still so we waited it out and didn't move on until she calmed down. She wanted to bolt at blowing leaves and nose in the dirt and she was pulling in all different directions. Since she's short and fits right under her brothers as if walking under a bridge, this can be a leash disaster.
We practiced walking and then stopping and staying still, instead of weaving all over and pulling in different directions, which is something Mia needs to get better at. Little Mia, "wait" means stop and be still.
We walked some and would stop with a "wait" command and when everyone was calm we would move on.
Mia was catching on. When we got to the part of the trail that goes along the road Mia reacted to a car that had driven by. She pulled off to the side as if it freaked her out some so we stopped and stood still, letting her watch the cars go by. From across the street a man called over asking if he could pet the Boxer. Sure, you can pet him. He was a nice, older gentleman. He crossed the road, approaching us with his body leaning slightly forward, waving his arms at the dogs. He was moving his fingers in a way that one would gesture rain falling from the sky, all while sweet-talking. This body language of leaning forward, his happy tone, and his waving arms set the dogs into play mode. Spencer began to play bow, Bruno began to pull toward him with his tongue licking the air, and Mia decided it was playtime!
The gentleman told me stories of his own dogs as he continued to wave his arms and move his fingers over the dogs’ heads. He asked if Mia and Spencer were types of Pit Bulls and if I referred to them as Bulldogs or if I called them Pit Bulls. I replied that they were types of Pit Bulls and I just called them Pits. He seemed surprised one would actually admit they owned a Pit. He asked if I was worried about them turning mean when they were older. I had replied they were just dogs and no different than any other breed. It is sad that the media has created such a stereotype as if they are "special" man-killers. He asked if the dogs ever fight with one another. "No, they don't fight." The gentleman asked if I wanted to start walking back to the main parking lot with him, but the pack had not calmed down enough yet, so I stalled a bit knowing the dogs would calm down as soon as he stopped waving his arms at them. He pointed at Mia and said, "I guess she is just playing?" I looked down at Mia and saw she was using Spencer’s neck as a tug-of-war toy. Oh, that does not look good to a human who already has her breed labeled as a killer. No wonder he asked if the dogs ever fought with one another. I picked Mia up and held her and asked Bruno and Spencer to calm down. With Mia in the air and the human changing the subject to something other than the dogs the pack began to calm. I set Mia down on the ground and they all walked relatively well. When the gentlemen said goodbye and walked in a different direction everyone went back to total calm mode. It was time to get my “killer” pack back to the van.
No Bone Stealing
Mia, don't even think about stealing his bone!
"Mommy, you're no fun!"
Pile of Chicken
We were out and about and the humans had gotten some chicken for lunch. I ordered more than I could eat knowing I would have some leftovers for the pack. What I did not think of was, I had one bowl for water, but I did not have three separate bowls for their food with me. I decided to just pull back their dog beds and put it on the rubber mats on the van floor. I told the dogs to wait as I evened out the piles.
Now wait so I can get some pictures. Oh, the tongues are going, but they are waiting like good puppies.
"Get it." Good babies, only eating your own piles. Mia, you learn very quickly. Please lick it all up. I don't want chicken pieces on the floor of the van, aka The Puppy-Mobile.
Mia! I didn't even see you carry that pine branch inside the house! You sneaky pup. Give me that!
I feel like a broken record, "Mia, drop it," "Mia, leave it," as we pass every cigarette butt, napkin, piece of plastic, rock, stick, clump of dirt, you name it, all kinds of everything. Does not matter what it is; she's trying to eat it.
Mia, drop that dirty napkin! Where's the hand sanitizer? Who knows what was on that old thing. Yuck!
A piece of plastic. You just can't be chewing on this, because you might decide to swallow it. Now I have your slobber all over my hands.
Oh no! Please tell me you are not going to be like your big brother Bruno with his cigarette butt eating addiction! Bruno still tries to scoop up butts as he is walking, BTW. He has gotten better at it and can scoop them up without even slowing down or missing a step in his stride! In fact, I pulled one out of his mouth today! Talk about slobber on my hand!