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our six month-old great dane

17 May 2011

Happy Birthday Luna

At least, happy 6th-month birthday.

When kids (and puppies) are very young, every 7 days brings enormous change and developmental milestones. So you start counting the passage of individual weeks.

After the kids (and the puppies) have successfully navigated infancy and are either toddlers or soon to be, you start tracking progress by months. It’d be silly, after all, to celebrate that Little Luna is now 26 weeks old.

A First Milestone

Great Dane Puppy Sitting Pretty

my best grace kelly impression

We’ve arrived at our first real monthly milestone with Luna.

Six months.

Born November 17, 2010, and 6 months old on May 17, 2011.

What’s happened since she arrived? Here’s a summary:

What She Weighs

How many pounds will a great dane puppy gain on average? A lot. If you’ve never owned a giant dog breed, you’ll be stunned how fast they grow. The dog show reminded me how far she’s come and how far she’s got to go

Luna arrived in mid-January weighing 16-17 lbs. She’s now 66-67 lbs. In approximately 18 weeks, she’s gained on average 2.8 lbs per week.

What She Eats

How’d she get this big? Luna consumes calories three different ways:

1. Regular meals.

2. Treats (from her easily swayed/manipulated family).

3. Off-the-record and indiscriminate foraging: calories ingested via herbaceous material like grass, Darwinism (voles, etc.), coprophagia (a.k.a. poop eating) and other immodest behaviors.

Food

Most of her calories are from regular meals and her daily diet of 4.5-5 cups of giant breed puppy food. She eats approx. 1.5 cups of dried kibble 3X per day. Her current schedule is breakfast (6:00-6:30 am), lunch (11:30-12:15 pm) and dinner (5:30-6:00 pm). Actual eating time for each meal is about 70 seconds. It is neither pretty nor clean.

Treats

This is one of the most lucrative rackets that Luna overseas. As I’ve said before, MW is using the Clicker Training method, which is basically food bribery. The bar is set pretty low, too; Luna only has to glance at MW and she’s rewarded. An hour-long walk typically translates into 35-50 pieces of kibble. May not sound like much but that’s probably 1/3rd of a cup. Makes for a happier belly if you’re a dog.

Foraging

I’ve written at length about the things dogs will eat.

In general, you’ve got civilized dogs, and dogs that MW characterizes as dirty dogs. Luna falls into the latter category. She’ll eat pretty much anything—and not because she is hungry. If she has a taste gene, it is certainly recessive.

From tampons (“Eight Things Our Puppy Has Eaten: from odd to truly disgusting),” to live rodents (“When Puppies Kill“), Luna has proved herself ready to try almost anything. (Note: I hope OD feels the same way, albeit, with some standards, when she travels as a young adult to foreign countries).

When She Sleeps

You know that suggestion to get at least 8 hours of sleep a night. Double that for puppies. And add a couple more hours of general lounging about. That’s Luna’s sleep regimen, as well as recovery from her strenuous playdates with Zoe. Basically, most of her day is spent stretched out on a bed or blanket or sofa or quilted towel. You’d think she was a modern-day Cleopatra.

When She Exercises

MW takes Luna for almost daily one-hour walks in the morning. At least MW walks. Luna’s hour is one hour of The Fast and The Furious. If you’ve ever done a high-level spinning fitness class that emphasized anaerobic repetitions, that’s about what Luna does, regardless of terrain. Sprint 45 sec., rest 15-20 sec. Sprint 1 min., rest 1 min. Usually unstructured but pretty damn tiring. I definitely wouldn’t make a half hour if I tried running with her.

Her Emotional Health

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs for Dogs

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs for Dogs

If you apply Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs to a dog’s life, Luna’s already reached the penultimate level—esteem. She’s well past the lower levels—safety, physiological and love/belonging.

She’s sheltered, fed, clothed, loved, bathed, transported, and entertained.

And she’s just six months old.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. 18 May 2011 12:41 pm

    Oh ! For a good life (dog life)

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