Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Puppy Party number one

Rodders was a bit concerned when I put my boots back on but was a bit happier when I put on my dog walking coat as he knows he gets to come too then. I grabbed his bed and slipped his lead on and walked him to the car.

He barked a couple of times in the car but settled very quickly on the short journey to the vets for Puppy Party.

There were four puppy's including Rodders, seven owners and three staff. The staff introduced themselves and then it was our turn. Appa the Westies owner went first, then Molly the staff, then Rodders and finally Marley the Staffie/Husky cross.

Nicci, the head nurse, asked if we were having any problems and we all mentioned any concerns. Biting and chewing seemed to be the main problems initially but as we all talked other issues came out such a car sickness, separation anxiety, training, crate training and toilet training. Nicci was brilliant at explaining why dogs do what they do and how we should react. Not sure I want to do what she suggested when he is chewing my carpets - apparently I should ignore it! Praise positive behaviour and ignore the bad is all very well most of the time but damaging something he shouldn't or chewing something dangerous like a cable cannot be ignored. Maybe I should just clarify that next week.

Nicci asked if we were happy to let our puppy's off the lead to see if they would play together. I didn't have a problem, I have been longing for Rodders to have someone to play with! He wasn't bothered about walking away from me, especially as Nicci was throwing toys around and he spotted a Kong - shame it didn't have kibble in it! Once the puppy's started playing together Rodders was straight in there and was holding his own until Molly and Marley got a bit rough and he was in the middle. Nicci got him out of there very quickly and kept him with her. She was making sure that I knew how to deal with it and that I didn't praise him until he settled back down. Seeing how boisterous Molly and Marley were she suggested that we keep Rodders and Appa out of it and then let them play together later.

Molly and Marley were really playing roughly and throwing each other over but you could see it was play and not aggression. They were quite loud though! Once they sorted each other out they started to play better together and Rodders was desperate to go back down but I kept him on my knee.

Once Molly and Marley had been given their turn we put Rodders and Appa down on the floor. Appa was so funny, he was happy trotting around the edges of the room behind the chairs and only ventured in to the middle after he had been down for a while. He did go and climb up on one of the nurses knee though! Rodders was happy following him about and then he went to play tug with Nicci while she explained how important it is to let them use their teeth in this way but that they should never win the game.

We were there for an hour and a half and Rodders was quite happy to come away. Back home he had a piddle on the front lawn and followed me upstairs when I used the bathroom. He sat at the top of the stair making squeaky noises until he realised the bedroom door was open and rushed in there. I called him and he came back with OH's slipper in his mouth looking very pleased with himself! I took it off him and shut the bedroom door. For the first time today he followed me back down the stair.

I grabbed something to eat while he went and curled up on snuggle fleece. I think we have a tired puppy!

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