Our Mountain Feist puppies turned one year old (or 7, or 15 depending on the dog book) over Labor Day weekend.
We first adopted them when they were 11 weeks old. So just about a year into it, they are potty trained (unless Spike gets super-excited when my husband comes home from a long trip), know how to sit (for the most part) and sleep well in their crate or in our bed.
The kids would love for the dogs to sleep with them and we may be reaching that point soon. When we’ve tried in the past, I’ve had to stay by the kids’ bed until the dogs were drowsy or almost asleep. Now I’m hoping they’ve all bonded enough that they could sleep together.
Bella, the female, is still small enough to slip through our fence when she sees something especially enticing, although after being tied up a few times, she knows she should be on the inside of the fence.
Spike has some home territorial issues and raises his hackles and gets especially nervous when strangers come around. We’re still working on this and may look into a behavior specialist. He hasn’t had any problems away from the house or when my mom watches the dogs, so we’ll try to figure this out.
When we were talking about camping recently, I told the kids that we took our old dog with us in the camper. They were immediately excited and wanted to take Spike and Bella. I think it may be another year or two until we can get to that point. If we did it now, I could see them barking, pulling and otherwise annoying a peaceful campground.
So, after a year, the dogs are settling in with our family, learning the rules of the road yet are still young enough to keep us on our toes and mix things up. I’m looking forward to the day when I can say “I remember when” to their hyper antics and ripped up socks that we found around the house.