Sunday, August 16, 2009

Dane pup’s weight levels off at 124 pounds

Princeton at 15 months

Our 15-month-old Great Dane weighs 124 pounds -- the same as he did three months ago. And only one pound more than 4 months ago.

I caught myself smiling a big grin when we saw the number 124 on the scale. I was happy at the thought that Princeton won’t get any bigger. He’s big enough! Hey, I even outweigh him by one pound still. Don’t worry, I’m feeding him plenty, but he doesn’t always finish his food.

Princeton is also looking more mature. I love the photo above, taken when he struck a show-dog pose all on his own at the park. He’s looking so handsome and grown-up! His long front legs are incredibly straight.

Princeton may not be getting bigger, but he IS getting stronger! He can pull a lot harder on the leash. Fortunately, he’s also growing up mentally. We’re working with a new trainer now called and it’s going the best ever for Princeton. His most important new command: “Leave it!!!” This works with his biggest behavior problem -- mouthiness. Yes, he’s STILL Mr. Mouth. The trainer predicts this will be a lifelong challenge for Princeton.

Training is going well. I am becoming Princeton’s pack leader by using my mental strength, even though he is physically stronger. I try not to think about how big he is, but instead to stay CALM and focus on his energy and actions. Of course, people don’t let me forget Princeton’s size for long. I am learning to ignore the constant stream of people telling me, “That’s a BIG dog!” everywhere we go.

Our trainer says that Princeton is “the most intuitive dog I know.” She means that he picks up the emotions of the people around him, and then mirrors them back and magnifies them. For example, if we meet a calm person who loves Great Danes, he is the best boy in the whole world. If we meet somebody who’s afraid of him, he jumps around like crazy. If somebody says something in anger, he instantly starts barking at them. Each of these emotions feeds on itself and escalates when the other person reacts to Princeton’s behavior.

Of course, all of this happens based on my mood, too. Having Princeton reflect all my own emotions is one of the hardest parts about training. I have to stay calm, calm, CALM , or else!


Abbey said...

Chelsea stopped growing weight wise at 10 months, she went skeletal.. it is only at 15months she is putting on weight but in that time she put on height (which made her even thinner).. she is now just starting to look 'danish' Also take into account the physical work they are doing

Winston will be fine... love the pic

Allison (Dog Mom) said...

It's hard work, but so worth it! Seems like Princeton and Waldo are just about the same size. Waldo has leveled off at about 130lbs. Waldo seems very intuitive, as well.

Allison, Gus, and Waldo

Honey the Great Dane said...

Hi Princeton,

Gosh - I remember when I first started visiting your blog and you were still a little puppy then - look at you now!!!

Actually, I've heard that male Danes stop growing in height at around 18months but keep filling out until 3yrs so you may still get heavier yet! :-) But even if you didn't, your human is right - you're already very big!!!

Am a very big girl - am a bit heavier than you at 150lbs and am about 34" at the shoulders. Can you believe it - I was the runt of my litter and my humans were happy coz they hoped to have a 'small Dane' which they thought would be more manageable - ha! ha!

But actually - as your human is finding out - size doesn't really matter. My human is tiny (even for humans) and I outweigh her by 40lbs but there's no question that she's the alpha top dog! I am much more scared of her and more obedient to her than to my other human, Paul, who is heavier and taller. She says it is all about remaining calm and projecting authority - if you act like you're the boss, no one will question it! :-)

It's great that you got a new trainer and they're helping your human - you must give us updates on your training and how you're doing! I'm like you too - I always respond to people's moods and am fine with people who are calm & confident but I can be really naughty or even a bully if I meet someone who is acting scared in a silly & hysterical way. Also, my human finds that if she remains calm and confident, I behave better in difficult situations - but if she just wavers for a moment and panicks and doubts her abilities to control me - I can instantly feel it and start to act up!

Good luck with your training!

Honey the Great Dane