My Puppy Blog by Felicity & Cooper #2 The First Few Weeks
So you have a puppy/dog now! You have them in your home, it’s a fantastic feeling of having the dog with you. It’s also daunting as you don’t know how they will fit in or how the whole family will cope. Puppies are like babies and then toddlers, they need full attention, to be disciplined, to know when it’s time to chill out and sleep. You need to have that time to train, to keep the puppies mind active. They learn everything from you.
With Cooper we have had ups and downs. On the first night I put him in the deep end and straight into his crate and thought he’ll be fine. Let’s just say he cried and cried. So I decided to sleep next to his crate and he fell asleep and that stayed consistent for 4 days. (Need to make sure you stick to the routine and not change it.) Then the next stage was to leave music on and went to bed, obviously he cried and I had to reassure him everything was fine by taking him outside for toilet and then back in crate. It has been working every night and he has recently slept through the night which is wonderful!
I also did ‘crate fun time’ for him by getting pigs ear or any treat or his favourite toy and throwing it in there to show him it can be a fun place. I also put his meals in the crate for the first few weeks so again he could see it as a positive place to be. I also trained him by having a treat in hand and guiding him into his crate, then throwing treats in there for all the time he was there and when he lays down. Did that for the first week. I also got a licky mat from Friends of Toby and put peanut butter on it, Cooper absolutely loved it! (Peanut butter- you can get from most large pet shops!)
With Springer Spaniels they get distracted very easily. So when we’ve been in the garden playing ball a butterfly would flutter by and he’d chase it around the garden, then a leaf would move and he’ll be on it! Cooper also made a game out of picking up stones or leafs and running around the garden with it, guess who also joined in the game…. Yep, me. Let’s just say my mother instincts were “oh my goodness he can’t eat that.” So I’d chase him to take it out of his mouth, every day. Let’s just say he was going left and I was going right, bet it was a sight. Until a good friend of mine said “STOP!! he has made this game up just ignore and he’ll get bored.” So I did and I itched not to run after him and IT WORKED, he got bored. So I told family and friends who popped over to ignore him when he does this, get his football out and he will get distracted.
Now we have also been training him to leave things (make sure you stick to one command and not confuse him) it has been working but I only do it for 15 mins or Cooper will get bored. Signs of them getting bored are distracted by other things or just getting snappy on you with their teeth at that point you walk away.
I’ve been doing the training of leave for the objects that don’t belong to him alone, i.e. blankets, sofa, clothes line, biting peoples feet, hands or clothes. Also with stones and leaves. It’s working slowly but he is a puppy and puppy’s have baby teeth so they will be nibbling anything and everything. You just need to be determined. Always have treats with you and say “good boy/good girl or well done” (just choose one and stick with it).
I’d also recommend with these training sessions that you get the whole family or children involved as puppies will test everyone’s boundaries!
While waiting for his second jab, I got a puppy sling to put Cooper inside so my son and myself could go for walks around where we live so Cooper doesn’t get spooked on his first walk with all the new smells. My son wore the sling and it built their relationship, shows Cooper that there is another person who loves him.
I also recommend walking on the lead around garden/ house while waiting for the puppy to be fully jabbed so they get use to walking on it and having something attached to them. At the beginning they will be dancing about, rolling, biting and walking sideways, I find Cooper dances about on the grass as that is where he plays so he must think it’s an extra toy!
I also recommend getting a harness for the puppy as it’s easy to control the puppy, instead of the collar as they can easily slip out of it or be choked when not wanting to move. We got ours from Friends of Toby and their great selection. I do still have collar to use for identification for him, even if he has got a microchip on him.
We hope you enjoyed reading about the first few weeks!
Next blog will be about the big wide world and recall training.
Felicity and Cooper! Xx
Links for all amazing things.
Friends of Toby Harnesses.
Friends of Toby Licky Mat.