Discussing dog breeds, dog-adoption, and the human-canine connection.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

I think my puppy has attention deficit disorder....

Lil - watch dogging it

She looks like she is capable of such attentiveness.
If you watch her for really short periods of time.
Really short.

I realized today that Lil's attention doesn't seem to be getting any more capable of focus as she "matures" chronologically. For example, when she was a younger puppy and had trouble holding a sit for a minute I thought, "well, she'll get better as she gets older."

Today I was once again working on "sit" with Lil and while getting the sit comes immediatly, holding that sit is SO hard for her. Lil just has trouble focusing.

Then I decided I wanted to try and get a picture of Lil and Grace together to show how big Lil is getting. And I knew that getting a picture of the two of them together would be almost impossible so I put them both on leads, and attached them to the front porch. That's when I noticed that Lil has a shorter attention span than ... a terrier. And that's when I realized maybe she isn't going to "mature" as soon as most Labs I've known.

Gracie and Lil watching

Gracie was watching the neighborhood and checking out the street.
For the first minute Lil was able to be attentive like Grace.

Lil, loosing interest in watching
Okay, maybe it was more like, for the first twenty-five seconds.
Then her mind started to wander.

"What was I doing...?"

As Gracie kept watching, Lil seemed to loose track of what they were doing.
Then she seemed to loose focus on everything but Gracie.

Lil, hoping Gracie will find something more interesting for them to do...

Finally, Lil did lay down - and waited for Gracie to move. In fact, that seems to be the only real focus Lil is capable of - waiting for Gracie to find something for the two of them to get into.
This is not the kind of "attention" I was hoping for her to develop.

"Are we going!"

Its great to have two young dogs who can play with each other.
I'm wondering how things are going to work out though, if the terrier proves to be the focused one of the duo.

Not that this is all bad. As I write this Gracie is focused on barking out the front window at the neighbors while Lil is moving from chew toy to chew toy in the living room.

"Now what!"


  1. Hi: Lil is looking beautiful...

    Is she super energetic in the house, has to be doing something all the time, has trouble relaxing...

    It seems like this is typical of most young dogs - I have not had a pup like that, but everybody else I talk to does.

    Maybe the bright side is that she is always picking up on things - watching things, reacting, so that she'll respond to obedience stuff quickly (even if she can't hold it long....).

    Gus is the ultimate in laid back while his friend Arvo is HYPER! My trainer refers to it as "rounded" (versus sharp) - Gus takes a second to respond to stuff, he's just relaxed about everything (except getting around another dog)...


  2. Hi Kathy,

    Thank you - I'm fond of Lil's looks but I'm hardly impartial.

    I wouldn't say Lil is hyper energetic...she is attention deficiet without the hyper active. ;-)

    She can relax but without focus. For example, she'll stretch out to start chewing...within two minutes the bone or chew she has looses her attention, she pulls another over to her; then another. Eventually she's stretched out with about a dozen different chews and bones surronding her and she just casually mouths different ones, changing semi-regularly.
    "This is a good bone...oh, wait, THIS is a good bone...hey, here's a good chew...oh, I like this toy...hey, look at this good bone!"

    I guess I could look at it a different way - she's very focused on chewing, just not on the same thing for extended periods of time.
    Or very focused on waiting for Gracie; and sitting, standing, laying, looking around while she does so.

    And she is always picking up on things...she's picked up papertowel, paint brushes, shoes, a stick of butter, a rake...fortunatly, most things she gives up readily enough. Except the butter; in her defense though, I didn't actually catch her with the butter. It is more a matter of simple deduction, figuring out where the butter went....