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Guide Dog Puppy – Month 2

March 1, 2012

This latest Guide Dog Puppy update is rather late, mainly because I have spent most of the last 7 weeks working away and only being home at the weekend. This has meant my wife has had to do pretty much all the puppy care while I rock up at the weekend for a bit of play and generally mess up the finely tuned peace of the household.

Daughter Troubles

I have mentioned previously that we had issues with my daughter getting along with the puppy. This was mainly due to a couple of painful puppy nips. I’m glad to report that daughter has got over that and she is now very comfortable playing with Tout and generally helping out.

Aggression

Snappiness has continued to be an issue with Tout and when playing he will regularly engage teeth in a non-gentle manner. He has even shown a tendency to snap back at one of us when something has not gone his way. We’ve worked at reminding him that this is not acceptable and I’m happy to report that these occurrences have reduced. There is still some work to be done in this area though.

It was a little reassuring to hear from our Guide Dogs rep that other puppies from the same father have shown this tendency, so at least we know its not us doing something wrong and we just need to continue to work on the aggression so that we end up with a much calmer and well behaved puppy.

Just leave the grass alone!

There are times when I think this puppy is intentionally precocious and goes out of his way to wind me up. He pet love is to take a bite out of the grass when he is in the garden. Someone times he’ll just sit there and watch while I call him and as soon as I approach him he takes the bite and runs away to his favourite hiding place, which currently is under daughters’ trampoline. We’re told that the novelty of grass will wear off once he gets used to having free runs out and about because currently, about the only time he gets to have some freedom on the grass is in our back garden.

Personally I can’t wait because this habit of ripping up bits of my once pristine rear lawn drives me mad.

Doing the Busy

The not quite so fun end of puppydom is one area where excellent progress is being made. Wees are being done on command which is very useful and we’ve got to the point where we can just open the back door instruct him to ‘busy’ and he’ll trot off to the designated gravel area, do his stuff and return. It works best when he needs to go. If he doesn’t feel he needs to go then he’ll just mess about on the grass so we need to be conscious of his needs and when his last busy was. He is better behaved when we take him out on a lead but its good that we now don’t have to do it all the time.

Big Busys are not quite there yet and if we want him to perform a more major toilet function we need to have him on the lead. Even then he’ll often do a wee, followed by a couple of fake wees before eventually settling on a doing the big business at hand.

There have been a couple of incidents of big busys being done while out on a walk, this is despite being taken for a busy break prior to going out. My wife thinks it may be one way of him objecting to being out and attempting to instil some control of his own.

Walkies!

Our first forays into walking Tout have been amusing and frustrating in equal measure. The initial experience seemed to be a bit of a shock for him because he fought the walk with every bit of his strength, often attempting to sit down in protest. He also very quickly developed a very real sense of direction and proximity. On the out leg of the walk he would fight and sit and generally drag his heals resisting the walk. On the in leg he’d be pulling at the leash gagging to get back home as quickly as possible.

Walks quickly became a comic refrain of ‘steady’, ‘NO!’ and ‘good boy’. He is slowly learning to walk nicely and a pocket full of doggy treats is helping.

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