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My Baby Girl Brandi is growing - and since she has been the same weight for the last 3 month - I think she may be full grown.   She is weighing between 46 - 48 lbs.   Funny, I take her every month for a weigh in because she is so close to the limit on the heartworm meds.   

Brandi is so loveable and so a part of the family.    I am not sure why I forget to write about her experiences - maybe time just goes too quickly for me.

Brandi still has quite the puppy energy at times, but not ongoing like before.    I do take her to Daycare two afternoons a week and I think she really enjoys that.   I have tried a few different places - as each has some good and some things I would do differently.   But they all take great pictures!!!!and I have been using them for my collection.

One thing that Brandi has that creates a problem for all is:   she has a deep hate obsession with squirrels!!!!  Her reaction is CRAZY!!   Her heart beats really fast, she barks and even cries.   It started a few months ago on our walks, but I was able to change our walks - then the weather changed and the ice storm created limited walking areas.   Brandi also discovered the living room window - and there lives the squirrel nests.   So I am not sure this is a retriever instinct or something she will outgrow.   Anyone having to deal with this????    I was thinking of a training lesson - but hoping to avoid another cost.

Anyway - thought I would include some pictures of Brandi - one of the pictures was before her grooming and the second (hence you can see her eyes) after the grooming.

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Comment by gdoodlevt Brandi - Bea on February 5, 2014 at 3:07pm

Brandi will be 1 year old on March 13th.   I cannot believe time is going so quickly!!!!  We adopted Brandi at 7 weeks and we had no idea what to do with her.   She would bite us all the time.   We took a class and understood so much more how to communicate with her and how to interpret her behavior.   I will say she - no - WE have come a long way.   Brandi is wonderful - She is so part of the family .   I cannot imagine our family without her.

Comment by Grace and Pemon The Gentle Giant on February 5, 2014 at 1:41pm

We use to have more squirrels in the neighborhood before they redid our road.  Our other dog Fletch went crazy over the squirrels trying to catch them all the time.  Pemon doesn't get to see too many, but he goes crazy over the stray cats in the neighborhood.  And now that Mark put in a small pond in the front yard and a fountain the cats come to drink the water and Pemon goes ballistic.  LOL

How old is Brandi?   I think Pemon stopped growing at 1 year old.  Also, I read somewhere that dogs are usually puppies until 3 years old.  ?????

Comment by Lois - Izzi on January 25, 2014 at 4:20pm

interesting about the hair weight...   Izzi is a tight curl much like Brandi seems to be...   Beautiful winter coat, but I wonder now how much the coat does weigh.   I had decided that Izzi total weight topped off a 50 / 52 lbs at two yrs of age give or take mussel build and activity.  But this week I had her at PetSmart and walked her up on the scales, she weighed 59.2.    There can't be 7 lbs of hair..    ?????? 

Comment by Debbie & Trixie on January 20, 2014 at 9:06pm

Oh! By the way...Trixie stopped growing for 3 months too, starting from about 8 months old until about 11 months old.  She weighed about 50 pounds for that whole period, then she had another growth spurt and went up to 65!  I don't know if this is common or not, and I sure hope she is done growing now that she is nearly 15 months old!!  If she gets much bigger she will be able to drag me around wherever she wants to go!!

Comment by Debbie & Trixie on January 20, 2014 at 9:01pm

She is such a pretty girl!  We don't have an issue with squirrels, so I'm not much help there I'm afraid!  Don't get me wrong...we do have PLENTY of other issues, just not squirrels! :)

Comment by gdoodlevt Brandi - Bea on January 20, 2014 at 8:53pm

I could see that Brandi's coat is changing.   The groomer says we will see how it turns out, but for now it was only matted in a few areas - but how quickly it matted!

Brandi goes to daycare twice a week and they take her outside.   I figure if I keep her shaggy it will keep her warm.   We did give her some poodle legs to keep out the snow balls.

The barking does worry me as she seems to be out-of-control, and her heart feels like it is going to beat out of her body.  I close our blinds and place gates across them - but hoping their is something else I could do.

Thanks everyone for you insight and for sharing with me, Bea

Comment by Kathy, Elliott & Spencer on January 20, 2014 at 8:42pm

I hear you guys. Spencer and Elliott both have out of their heads barking when they see squirrels. Sometimes I have to shut the blinds on the patio doors as they won't go away from the door, watching for squirrels. We have paw marks as high as the top of the sliding doors - no I couldn't believe it either. Those marks are from Sir Spencer the egg snatcher. I can't believe how high that dog can jump. And both of them will turn around and look at me when I shout at them, "Help we're barking and we CAN'T shut up!!" Grrr.......they wouldn't know what to do with a squirrel if they got one.

Speaking of Spencer, he also got buzzed last week Eli. Nothing we could do. Every time we even looked at him he got more matts. He seems pretty comfortable though. Still handsome. I think perhaps he is spending more time running now when he goes outdoors, as opposed to sitting on the deck benches. Cold snap here tomorrow as well.

Comment by Beverly and Eli on January 20, 2014 at 8:22pm

Eli just hit one year and his coat was way out of hand with mats. We live in New Hampshire and I really felt bad about doing the shave but there was no alternative and I was worried that the mats were pulling and uncomfortable. He doesn't seem to mind the cold at all but with another really cold snap coming I will limit his outside time until the weather breaks. Brandi looks great!

Comment by gdoodlevt Brandi - Bea on January 20, 2014 at 6:12pm

Thank YOU!   I feel like I just looked into a crystal ball and received my answers!

I will have to find that "out of her head barking" reward.   I have tried her favorite treats and cannot get her to focus.

Great information for me about her weight.   We live in Vermont, so have not given Brandi a real trim.   She did overnight get tons of mats.   I brush her often but when I found some behind her ears and by her hind legs, I quickly made an appointment for a grooming.    I will trim her down once our weather changes or if her mats get out of hand.   Right now since she was just groomed, she is softer than a cotton ball.   I do believe she is in the midst of her coat change.  She is also shedding which surprises me but I understand she will shed her baby hair and she may even shed if she acquired her mom's (golden doodle) trait.   I think??

Thanks AGAIN.   Helps tons.

Comment by Administrator Jan on January 20, 2014 at 5:10pm

Brandi is adorable!

Squirrels - ah yes...  My dog Lily has an obsession with the local squirrels, one of which winters in the big tree just outside our den sliding-glass-door.   I have had no luck training her to ignore them, so I have had to just stop her going nuts whenever it has her going.  Out of her head barking means she doesn't hear me, and I have to do something drastic, like grab a ball and throw it for her to chase (her other obsession).  When walking outside on leash, she seems perfectly willing to try to climb the tree to get to it, silly girl.  I just have to tell her to leave it and keep walking, sometimes dragging her along... Lily is 10 years old, so I'm afraid I don't think I have the best training advice.  I've obviously lost that battle.  lol ;)

At 10 months of age, Brandi is probably at around 85-90 % of her adult weight.  She probably will build up some more muscle-mass in the next 6 months or thereabouts.   But remember all that hair weighs several pounds, and you don't need to include that excess weight when calculating for heartworm meds.  I have difficulty convincing our Vet that the hair weighs so much, so I actually give the girls their summer shave (1/8" body / legs, with reduced head / tail hair to match somewhat), rather than argue with him.  Both my dogs weighed in at 47.5 pounds last spring.  If they hadn't had their haircuts prior to weigh-in, I would have had to have the "how much does the hair weigh" discussion again, lol ;)  No sense in over-medicating just because of hair.  Keep monitoring Brandi's weight, and keep a record of hair-cuts.  Consider shaving her down (if it is warm enough), before increasing the dose.  Worth a try.  (Especially since she's likely in the throes of the dreaded coat change which causes matting to occur seemingly overnight, shaving down for that period is often the kindest approach anyway).

Hope this helps.

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