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  • Writer's pictureToby

Memphis - the new puppy

As you may know, we have a new Cavalier puppy named Memphis. He is only 4.5 months old and Debi has been doing very small amounts of 'socialisation' with him.

Bringing a new puppy (or rescue dog) into your home can be really overwhelming. He/she has been removed from everything familiar, with lots of new 'stuff' thrown at them. Depending on where puppies were born and raised, some of it may be downright scary! Everything looks different, sounds different and (most importantly to dogs) smells different. Every room in your house is new to a puppy, as is the backyard. Every person in your family is new. There may be new textures to be encountered like carpet, floor boards and lino on the floor. New sounds like the TV, kettle, fridge, microwave, human voices and children laughing. New bedding, food and food bowls, lead and harness, toys, enrichment. Maybe even a new dog or cat or bird to adapt to. A new Vet and Vet clinic in many cases. The list goes on. I'm amazed at how well our puppies adapt to the multitude of changes we ask them to endure in a very small space of time. Memphis has had 8 weeks to get used to his new environment here and all that encompasses. He has only met a handful of new people in that time and a couple of new dogs. He took his first walk yesterday. This was a long, sniffy walk away from vehicles and people. We want his experiences to be good ones. Socialisation in its best form is a slow and gradual exposure to new environments at a puppy's own pace and in his own time. He has had lots of fun learning new fun games with yummy treats at home but we haven't started any formal training with him yet. When he sits, Debi reinforces him with little treats in her pocket. When he chooses to come to me, she makes a big fuss and play with a toy or give him a treat for making a good choice. If he chews something, he is redirected to something more appropriate. He is not chastised for 'being a puppy' and exploring with his mouth. He has learnt to use the dog door and his toilet training is going well but we have the occasional mishap if we get distracted. We don't make a fuss if this happens. He is a baby and when he has to go, he has to go. He doesn't have full control of the muscles in his bowel and bladder yet - this is not his fault. He is inquisitive and adventurous and wants to be involved in everything! This means he is always near me, climbing into the washing basket and horse feed bin, running around under my feet and 'helping' with the sweeping and gardening. We love that he is so full of life and fun. Debi doesn't want him to grow up too quickly and we don't want to quash what makes him 'Memphis'. Patience and guidance are so important at this age and for me less is more. We need to take the pressure off our puppies - and ourselves - and allow them to grow and learn in their own time. There is plenty of time for other training later on but what do you really need? A relationship built on trust and cooperation will stand you in good stead for anything else you might both like to do together when your puppy is older.

Notice I said 'what you both might like to do together'.... Have a great day,

Toby x



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