From Monster to Mabel

Little Mabel, the 11-week-old Golden Retriever puppy, sits in front of some bamboo.
Little Mabel, the 11-week-old Golden Retriever puppy, sits in front of some bamboo on a neighborhood walk.

Mabel’s breeder specifically picked her for her family because they have three kids (all pre-teens, and two under 10!). She’s indestructible! Nothing phases her. Which also means she’s sometimes too confident and doesn’t want to listen.

It seems so simple on the screen, to see a puppy walking in a relatively straight line, with no drama. But until recently Mabel was bolting and pulling hard on the leash constantly; jumping up on the humans to bite at their arms and clothes; feverishly sniffing every bush and frantically running in every direction; putting eeeeverything on the sidewalk into her mouth; and taking any opportunity to turn the walk into a game of tug with the leash. Of course she still tries to do these things, after all it’s only been a few days. But with the hard work of her family, plus my support, she’s learning good habits that will serve them all well into her future.

(If you look closely, you can see a couple times where she thinks about putting the leash in her mouth but decides against it. Watching puppies think! Cuute!)

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