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Hector is a slow moving puppy and that's been his biggest save.  He telegraphs his moves far in advance so I can intervene before he gets fully underway. Even when he's excited and hyperactive, he's so very slow.

I'm used to dealing with cats and dogs that have lightning fast reflexes, and to have a dog that ambles and spends time figuring out his next move almost makes me impatient.  "Hurry up, Hector, get to the point where I need to intervene to correct you! Can't do it too soon or it won't be effective. Hector! Can't you go any faster?"

Such a slow mutt. I should have named him Icy Molasses...

He's not stupid, or mentally slow, just physically.  When we go on walks, Itzl and Xoco are off leash and they run circles around us as Hector ambles along as fast as he can - and he thinks he's running when I feel like I'm doing a slowed down version of The Wedding March: step, pause. Pause, pause, pause. Step, pause, pause, pause. Pause, pause. Step, pause, pause, pause, pause. Step, pause...

Hector in the Pennywort

Since Hector now outweighs Itzl and is taller than Xoco (almost as tall as Itzl), with long legs, I keep expecting him to be a faster dog.  He must not have too much terrier in him because terriers are fast dogs, even the big ones. Boxers are faster than Hector, too, so what little boxer he may have in him has been hit with a Slo-Mo Ray.

I guess it's the French Bulldog in him that makes him so very slow.  Each step is a deliberately pondered move.

Hector Keeping up with Itzl

If Itzl didn't stop to smell everything, Hector would never catch up to him.  As it is, sometimes, I have to pick Hector up and carry him so Itzl can move more freely when he's on potty break. Itzl's not used to being restrained and slow on his breaks. He knows his time is limited and he makes the most of it. Hector holds him back.

Hector Keeping up with Itzl

All this keeping up with Itzl just wears him out, and he'll flop down to rest.  If Itzl is at a stopping point where he's checking the spoor of the other dogs on the grounds, Ilet him rest, poor thing.

Hector Pausing Again

Otherwise, I pick him up and carry him a ways.

On the biting front, Hector is learning to nose bump instead of bite. When he gets all excited, he forgets and tries to bite, and when he does that, he gets a time out.  Once he's calmed down, he gets to come back to play.

You'd think his slowness would prevent him from getting excited. His excitement is like an avalanche - it builds slowly until it reaches critical mass and then FUMPH! There it is, full on puppy excitement. He's still very slow compared to Itzl and Xoco, but he's fast enough that he can get a few good bites in before I can get to him, especially if he's across the room.

He doesn't respond well to long distance verbal commands and doesn't look at me for non-verbal commands, so I have to be up close to stop him.

Hector in the Pennywort

One thing he's learned really, really well is the "to my hand" command. He beelines his way in slo-mo to my hand, head bumps it, and then waits for his petting or treat.  He will now take pets in place of treats for commands he's mastered.  

But he hopes desperately for treats.

Hector Follows Itzl

Xoco remains unimpressed with him and wants him very much out of her house and her yard. She doesn't want him on her sofa, in her monkeybed, or gnawing on her bones.  She doesn't want him to walk close to her or look at her. She turns her shoulder to him and tries to shun him in classic Itzl style, but he pays no attention to that and that offends her.

All Three

When he's in a time out, she practically dances for glee. And when he returns from time out, she retreats to her high spot where he can't yet reach her (and not for lack of trying, either).

Originally posted to Noddy and Itzl on Wed Apr 18, 2012 at 08:16 AM PDT.

Also republished by Pink Clubhouse.

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