Terrible Twos

Is this something just for toddlers? Me thinks not! We are currently experiencing a similar developmental stage with Watson. You’re probably saying to yourself, “But he’s only 4 months old.” Correct you are, but let’s take into account dog years shall we? (mathematically, of course):

     4              =             x                                                                      12                            84

28 months        =     x

AKA Watson is actually 2 years and 4 months old, and he isn’t being shy about it.

Within the last two weeks, he’s gone from kicking his bad habits (biting, snarling, pawing) to having a meltdown two to three times a day. Yikes! When we reprimand him for doing something like climbing in the dishwasher, eating trash from the trashcan, or biting pillows, he flips out.

I liken this to a toddler’s temper tantrum:

Watson + 1 scolding = 1 fit = growling, scowling, pouncing, biting, pawing, etc.

When one of his crazed outbursts is happening, we try to calm him down by attempting to distract him with a toy. If that method doesn’t work, we resort to a bit of hiney swatting. Nothing serious, just some little taps on the behind to give him the this-is-bad-stop-doing-that-please-behave message.

Often times this doesn’t work, so we send him to the bathroom for a timeout, which we’ve mentioned before. Usually, 5 minutes in the dark results in a relaxed pooch:

Seclusion + Watson + darkness = peaceful puppy

In the off chance that he doesn’t come out of the bathroom with a more composed demeanor, he’s on the other end of the spectrum — ripping through the hallways, darting from room to room, jumping from chair to couch, and sliding under every table. This is not ideal. If all else fails, he’ll eventually settle down, and more often than not, this is followed immediately by a nap (and a smidge of guilt on Watson’s part).

Crazy, hyper Watson < calm, happy Watson

But it’s not just the temper tantrums that characterize the terrible twos, at this age, apparently toddlers have learned to say, “No!” And apparently, at this age, Watson has also learned to say, “No!” (Mostly to me, not Jake.)

No = Watson(favorite saying) + Me – Jake

Watson sits at the door telling us he needs to do his business, but when I go over to put his leash on him, he ducks and dodges and snips and snaps until I can sneak the clip onto his collar.

Sometimes I’ll just be petting him, and all of a sudden, he flips his head back and tries to use my hand as a chew toy. Not cool, dude. He used to walk away when he’d had enough snuggling, but now he tends to want to deal with it a little more on the aggressive side.

Long story short, we’re looking forward to the Terrific Threes:

     x                =           36 months  

12 months                   84 months

          x   =  5.14 months

According to our equation, Watson will be joining this better-behaved club (fingers crossed) at the age of 5.14 months. That means we only have about a month and a half left of “two-year-old” puppy madness.

For all of you who have raised a dog (or a child), does this stage go by quickly? Is the next one called Terrific Threes like we’re hoping?

Wags&Kisses

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5 thoughts on “Terrible Twos

  1. Hmmm….let me think about your question for a moment. Ok, just a thought from someone who has raised 3 kids and a couple of dogs, To the best of my recollection,(at my age, my memory does fail me sometimes) the three’s may be referred to as the troubling, trying, tantrum throwing three’s. Just saying;) Might I add though that it is all worth it in end. Love you, Mom

  2. It didn’t go by that fast for me and my Aussie, Bear. Granted he probably had a more relaxed training for the first year (long story), but he’s almost 4yrs old now and is still hyper, barks at everything, and enjoys sneaking foot, leg, or hand licks… Everyone told me that year 3 was the golden year… They were wrong. I’d still expect a pretty hyper pup for the next year or two. I love Bear and he is a big sweetie more often than not, but he likes to party as well. Good luck though!

  3. I don’t know about dog years etc. but I know they act like puppies for their first year until their birthday. You may catch Dogs in the City on Wed. nights for some tips. Gma

  4. Found your blog via a comment on YHL. We have a very nutso mixed breed rescue who is now five years old. His name is Boomer, and he totally lives up to his name, LOl You pup sounds high strung. I suggest a thundershirt! They are amazing at keeping hyper ninja-wanna be pups calm.
    We need ours for the car-Boomie likes going places but going on a longer trip-like more than twenty minutes-was a PITA. The shirt really helps. I would get a few Dog whisperer dvds if I were you-waiting for dogs to grow out of things/finish a phase is not really how pups work. Boomer had such anxiety when we first got him that he ate not only shows and pillows but my daughter’s twin sized MATTRESS! The entire thing got shredded one day when I went back to work after the summer off( I teach) and my college aged kids went back to school. Boomie freaked. Then we got him a crate and used some trainers called Bark Busters. He’s much better now, but we STILL have to work with him on obedience and whatnot. It’s ongoing. Good luck with your lil guy!

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