The hard thing with a new dog is that you don't know when something's wrong, because you don't know what their normal looks like. When I first got Pyg, he was energetic and playful, but that slowly went away until I thought that maybe the excitement of those first few days was just some weird stress response, and that this new mellow version of Pyg was just who he is.
At the same time, his house training got more and more irregular. I figured this was because it's December in Minnesota, and therefore snowy and cold. And I'm sure that didn't help, but I potty trained Maisy in January weather (always worse than December) for goodness sake. Plus, well, I don't know how well he'd been potty trained before, so... Like I said, it's hard when you don't know a dog's normal.
I have learned a bit about Pyg's normal, though. First, no, the playfulness was not a stress response, and that his personality is to be a funny, goofy, excited little dog. And second, I'm not an entirely incompetent trainer, because Pyg has been peeing outside again!
So what happened? Well, I did that thing that trainers like me always tell clients to do: I took him to see a vet. As it turns out, there was indeed a medical cause for Pyg's subdued nature and training regression. We just don't know what it is, exactly. (Figures. How do I end up with these dogs?) Anyway, his urinalysis did not show any bacteria, crystals, or white blood cells. But it did show some old red blood cells. The vet told me this could be a ninja infection (I'm pretty sure those were her exact words), or congenital bladder stones, or a kidney problem.
We decided we liked the first option best (because ninjas) and started treating with a broad-spectrum antibiotic. And lo and behold: peeing outside! More playfulness and energy, too. Also, I'm not totally incompetent at potty training. Good news all around!