One week on with Mr Tilly (AKA Rastas), and I’m feeling just a little ‘puppy shell shocked’. When people say having a puppy in the house is like having a baby in the house – they really mean exactly what they say. Having a puppy in the house is definitely like having a baby in the house. It’s not an exageration.
There are a few difference, mainly in that puppies don’t wear nappies, and don’t create a washing machine full of clothes each day. And you can go out and leave them home alone without being in breach of the law. Do the latter though at your peril – you’ll be risking all sorts of mischief that you weren’t aware existed. So, that gives you an idea how our first week with Mr Tilly has progressed.
It’s been hard work, and time consuming. A pair of eyes in the back of my head wouldn’t go astray. Puppies chew everything!
Fortunately, they do grow up quicker than their human counterparts though. He’s already 2.9kgs. I tried to take a photograph with him alongside my foot to show his size, (have you ever tried to photograph your full foot from a standing position – not easy).
Okay, now I’ve got the grumbling out of the way, let’s get down to his first weeks progress.
Firstly, house training is going very well. We’ve been using a small square of fake grass in the house overtop of a puppy training pad. His birth home used the fake grass so we continued on with it in the house. However, he’s had no trouble using the pet door leading from the lounge room to outside, and frequently has been going outside to do his business in the garden. We put his bed inside his crate (door left open) and close him into the hallway and laundry though overnight so he hasn’t had outside access continuously. Yesterday Paul fitted a second doggie door into the laundry door – and this morning his doggie training pad was dry. So, fingers crossed, I think that part of puppy training is well on the way. Oh – we have rolled the lounge room mat up though and stored that away for now. He seemed to think it resembled his fake grass training mat!
He loves his toys, with his favourite game being ‘Tug’. He’ll chew anything, and everything, so we have lots of toys that he can chew, and so far, touch wood, we’ve been successful at keeping the things he’s not allowed to chew out of reach. We confine him to the main living area throughout the day with all bedroom doors closed, so that makes it easier to keep things like shoes out of reach. How on earth do people manage a puppy and children together though. I can only imagine the havoc wrecked with a puppy in the house alongside forgetful children.
He has his snuggle toys too, and a toy box for his toys to be kept in. He takes his toys from the toy box one by one and places them in his bed, then he decides to take one or two outside, then he seems to think they need to be in bed, so back inside they come again and he puts them in his bed. He always has at least two toys in his bed with him when he goes to sleep.
Three meals a day seem to keep him satisfied, but he doesn’t have a lot of interest in food. Puppy kibble alone doesn’t appeal to him at all, but he seems to enjoy small meals of raw mince mixed up with his kibble. We’ve been giving him a raw chicken neck, or a chicken wing most days. He seems to make a good meal of these, chewing them slowly and thoroughly. Our intention is to be feeding him a diet of good quality kibble with some raw meat and suitable bones as he matures.
We’ve read a lot on raw food and bone diets for dogs. There seems to be a lot going for them, but then there’s people, including some vets, that see anything other than kibble as absolutely taboo. I’ve read that some vets will veer towards only kibble for two main reasons, one being fear of being sued should a medical crisis arise from consuming bones (and we’re well aware this can happen), and the other reason is that they sell the kibble, and want to make some additional income from the added sales. Our first visit to a vets this week for Mr Tilly’s second lot of vaccinations indicated we had chanced upon a ‘kibble only’ vet. In fact up-selling of products and insurance seemed uppermost in her priorities. Needless to say, the third vaccination will be being administered at a different vet’s rooms.
Some positives in addition to toilet/house training in the first week:
Mr Tilly responds incredibly well to a ‘sit’ command. He does it so readily, that it’s almost as if he was born sitting. There’s never a second’s hesitation.
He’s getting there with the ‘Come’ command, but it’s still a bit hit and miss. We’ve started to use clicker training, and I think that’s going to help a lot.
We’re getting him used to his lead, but at the moment that seems like another tug toy to him.
I’ve been trying to get him to chase a ball, bring it back, and drop it on command – yes I know, he’s only nine weeks old….. But I figure its never to early to start, and he did get it right a couple of times. Probably mainly good luck, but with a quick click, followed by a treat he seemed to have a bit of an idea as to what was being expected.
We were initially a bit slack at setting the kitchen as an out of bounds area, but we’re now amending that. Paul’s put a piece of packing tape on the floor to indicate a boundary and we’re now shooing him to the other side of the boundary tape when he ventures into the kitchen. He’s still a little confused over that one, but he’s getting there.
So far we’ve only been out twice without him. I said to Paul on our first return, “We have to ignore him while he’s jumping around and only make a fuss of him when he’s calm”. That’s what I’ve read so as to encourage him not to jump. I don’t know where he learned it, but on our return he greeted us so calmly we almost did all the jumping for joy that we were expecting from him. I’m not sure if his calm greeting was just a coincidence, but he repeated it the next time too. He’s such a good boy!
He goes into his crate at bedtime now without any fuss, and doesn’t fuss all through the night. When we wake up in the morning we make a cuppa and bring it back to bed, and bring him up on the big bed with us. He showers us with a million or so kisses, jumps around excitedly for a few minutes and falls promptly back to sleep, leaving us to have our cuppa in peace before starting our day.
Oh, and of course he loves his Eagles Footy – what a pleasure he is!