The 8 Week Old Puppy: Transitioning From Unruly To Unbelievable

Posted on 04/28/15 173 Comments

As you may or may not know, last week I made my “big decision.” I publicly announced which of my 7 then seven week old puppies I was going to keep for my own. susan and group 7 w

Tomorrow night I will be hosting a “coaching call” for my “Puppy Peaks” members. There I will share more details on why I picked Momentum. I am opening this session up to anyone who wants to join us – just click this link to register with us.  In the end the decision was easy as one puppy absolutely stole my heart.

with feature plank all looking

The puppy formerly known as “Genie” is now officially named “Say Yes to the Game ChangeRR.”  rock

Her registration name reflects the fact that I am “changing my game” a bit.  As I am moving from selecting only red & white Border Collies puppies over the past 25 years to going back to a black & white one.mmtm standing
“Momentum”, as she is now known, was selected for a number of reasons. She appeared to be part glamour girl, part tomboy and part class clown. And, in addition, at the time she also appeared to have a strong attachment to me. 🙂


However it seems like within moments of me making a public announcement that I had selected her as my very own, little Miss Momentum transformed from “attached” to “attacking”, from “brilliant” to “bullying”, from “sweet” to “sinful” and from “self assured” to “self absorbed”. I went from calling her fun, fearless and fascinating to other words that started with “F.” 🙂

Momentum release the hounds Momentum leads the pack off on any adventure the moment an “escape” from confinement is possible.

I can say with a great deal of confidence that each of the other six puppy owners are THRILLED that they do not own her today!

mmtm run Muddy faced Momentum on the run…in the opposite direction to me.

Yes I think she quickly became the naughtiest puppy I have ever known!

Take a look at this video montage. What word or words would you use to describe this puppy if she was yours?

Now of course all of those “descriptors” are not really “who” this puppy is. It is just me giving names to MY emotions. Labels I put on the puppy while observing the act of her doing what currently just comes naturally to her. My puppy still is that sweet, self assured and brilliant puppy she has always been. However until I direct what reinforces her in her environment towards what I like, she is going to continue to find those “naughty” but oh so fun for a puppy reinforcements on her own!

mmtm run2 Confident puppies are often labeled as “independent!” The former is something you work with… the later is something you end up working against!

In “Mentum’s” world everything she does is just perfect! My job as her now official “trainer” is to make sure I alter all of those “unplanned coincidences,” those things or events that have produced amazing rewards for her thus far in her life in a better direction!

This transition will be another topic I will discuss on my Coaching Call with my Puppy Peaks community tomorrow night (Wednesday April 29th at 7:30 PM EST).

The transition happens through games. Lots and lots of relationship building games. Games the two of us love!

collar grab Playing the collar grab game with Momentum.

Games of all different varieties, in all different locations.

Learning to retrieve! Learning to retrieve!

I know we will still have our share of struggles to over come…but I also know we will have a lot of fun and learn a lot of lessons along the way.

Susan and muddy momemtum Retrieving Momentum from her adventure in our pond :).

Puppy Peaks is about to get a LOT more interesting as it looks like I have a brand new set of challenges to overcome!

Today I am grateful for how much I already love “the naughtiest puppy I have ever  known.” Can’t wait to see what life will look like a year from now :).


  1. Elizabeth says:
    Thursday, July 7, 2016 at 6:02pm

    Hi my puppy is 13 weeks she is sweet but very chewy and jumps up and chews a lot
    Image tried ignoring her but it doesn’t help
    I have said off and pushed her down butt hisses atodds with what you do and also isn’t working
    She is super smart but this is a problem for me esp as have 3 small children


  2. Kathy Butterfield says:
    Wednesday, July 6, 2016 at 1:10pm

    Loved this! there is hope for all of us then! Ha! I was wondering how much time a day I can spend with purposeful games and training with my 12 week old Golden Retriever, Gabi! She will “work” quite a while…happily cuz its fun, but i have been told that I am doing too much….hmm….i figure we are spending time together so i might as well make it also education as well as fun…but maybe too much too soon? she sits, and downs and target my hand and “waits” and plays its your choice and collar grab and leave it games with treats and stuff like that… I am hoping to get her enrolled in recallers the next opening….she does like to play tug with her leash and while she will loose leash walk SOMETIMES….she also will just plop down and refuse to move no matter what sort of crazy jig i do or silly sounds I make…I think she rather enjoys making a fool of me!


  3. Celine says:
    Monday, April 18, 2016 at 4:15pm

    Remember me my own dog when she was a puppy.
    She’s the dog who makes me scratch my head often to find a solution to resolve some behaviors.
    Some friends told me to return her to her breeder when she was a puppy because i struggled so much but never want it. Want to find a solution in our training to improve her and reflex on myself too.
    Now she’s much better but i often struggle with her. But since few months we’re in recallers program, and i see such a big difference with her even if we havestill s many things to work on but i enjoy the little step we already have.
    We’re waiting to enroll in handling 360. I hope next year but for now she’s recovering for a pelvis injury so she’s in rehabilitation and we’re working more and more recallers games.


  4. Theresa Brink says:
    Monday, June 22, 2015 at 10:56am

    I loved the video. My puppy does the same thing right now. I figured out there is a favorite tug toy we have that will get him to come to me almost ever time.


  5. theresa says:
    Saturday, June 6, 2015 at 11:08am

    Wow! Thanks for this video. I have a dog that is exactly like this. A miniature poodle who will look me in the eye, flip the bird (so to speak) and go the opposite direction. He is the toughest dog I have ever trained because he does not care about punishments (at all), and usually has no care for rewards. I have had to completely change how I deal with him, every minute of every day. And I have been using positive training on my dogs for 20+ years after 20+ years of jerk/pull training.
    Can’t wait to see how this all shakes out. It’s the toughest thing I have ever done, that’s for sure. And I’ve been through Army boot camp!


  6. Drew says:
    Wednesday, June 3, 2015 at 11:12am

    It’s good for people to see that there is still hope for disobedient dogs. Thank you so much for sharing.


  7. Dog Training says:
    Monday, May 18, 2015 at 11:55pm

    I am following your formula in training my dog. thanks for sharing this valuable article.


  8. starting to train my puppy says:
    Wednesday, May 13, 2015 at 12:25pm

    i’m going through a similar process. just adopted a three month old yellow lab. looking forward to the challenges and rewards of training her!



  9. Roz Jenkins says:
    Saturday, May 9, 2015 at 11:15am

    thank God. I am so glad I saw your video of your puppy. Makes me feel there is hope for Zeva and I.


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