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Guide Dog Puppy – The First Weekend

January 9, 2012

What is it with Puppies and their teeth? Why on earth does everything have to be bitten constantly?

First weekend with puppy has gone mostly okay. He sleeps well, he’s not noisy, unless upset, and he loves a good play and human contact.

Oh Puppy, what sharp teeth you have!

Puppy’s teeth have been the biggest challenge. They find everything and they want to bite or chew everything. Chair legs, table legs, cushions, warning labels attached to furniture, the skirting board, the oven mittens, towels, trousers, scarfs, socks, grass, snails, worms, stones, floor mats, drink mats, curtains, electrical leads, his cage, doors, carpet, and of course any bit of exposed human flesh. I am sure that’s not an exhaustive list; basically, if puppy can reach it, puppy will chew it.

The need for the teeth to target in on moving human limbs is a constant frustration. It has caused the daughter tears already and while she adores him and wants to help with him, she is also very cautious and after a few minutes is happy to leave him to the adults and play on her own.

No doubt he’ll grow out of it eventually, we understand its all a natural part of being a puppy and that even human babies will put everything in their mouth’s. That doesn’t stop it being frustrating though.

Time to get busy

Toilet training is very mixed, but its early days to we can’t expect him to get it right away. He seems to have learnt that he needs to go outside for his toilet. It us reading the signals that he needs to go that is proving the slow part. We try to take him outside regularly for his ‘busy’ but he fights that almost every time, probably due to the cold.

Night time busy’s have been interesting and he’s woken us up in the middle of the night the last two night with whining due to having done a ‘big busy’ on the mat in his cage.

Tonight we are going to try something new that was suggested to my wife by a puppy owner. We’re going to place the cage near the back door and place a puppy mat by the door. We’ll then seal of that part of the kitchen to make it safe for him and leave the cage door open. The idea being that he will be able to leave the cage to do his busy on the mat and return to the cage to sleep. Hopefully this will eliminate 1am whining that wakes the whole house.

Loving The Human Touch

There has been no obvious sign that puppy is missing his siblings. He seeks out human contact constantly, often preferring to play with humans than his toys, hence the issue with teeth and daughter. This is especially true when he doesn’t want to play. He simply must flop his head down onto what body part is available; usually this will be a foot. This can make evening TV watching easy as he will snuggle up and rest for a couple of hours while the pesky humans watch the funny magic picture box.

Change is Everywhere

In amongst all the newness and the goodness that we are doing with this puppy there is a more subtle change that is happening. That is the change to the family. Everything that we do and think involves the puppy at some level. From the smallest action, like making sure the living room and kitchen doors are always closed, to how we interact and our various priorities.

It became obvious over the weekend when my wife and I were in the kitchen with the puppy and our daughter was on her own in the living room because she wanted to be away from the puppy. Obvious this is early days and the puppy needs much more human presence than he will later, but at the same time the puppy should not take priority over the needs of our family and so we need to put in extra effort to avoid that.

Change is good though, because it brings about a challenge to the status quo and I think this will be a positive thing for us as a family. The adventure and the challenge shall continue.

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