I’ll admit it I totally underestimated how full on a puppy can be, we’re 4 days in and I smell more like a puppy than he does, I’ve given up changing shirts (what’s the point), my arms and legs have countless little scratches and my hands are dry and withered from the urine/soap/water cycle. Essentially I think he’s dragging me down to his level, but at least I’d be able to hit the puppy pads with more accuracy.
The cats are clearly starting to lose their patience with him, especially when he encroaches on the favourite parts of their routine, treat and cuddles time. The photo above was of Scratchy at 11pm in the evening after a full day of puppy bullshit, he was deliberately dangling his paw over the side of the sofa goading Archer.
I was on the cat’s side, they have been more than accommodating but the puppy knows no boundaries or limits. It still thinks they are playing and will bark and bound at them, in spite of posturing and hissing. Even having the naivety to chase them on a couple of occasions, which is a huge no-no.
But they have bided their time and have been analysing him for days now, every time he sleeps one of them is watching him for hours at a time. At one point in the afternoon Scratchy bumped noses with a sleeping Archer, they know he’s comatose when he sleeps, after 4 days of non-stop analysis they almost have the full measure of him.
There’s no way of avoiding the fact Archer has some additional training coming up and it will probably start with a long-planned paw to the face, which will redefine their relationship. I suspect given the leniency they’ve shown him though, the first warning is likely to be clawless.
We are still having a high number of accidents, if I’m not reminding him to go pee he will often completely forget where he is and let himself down. Overall I’d say the hit ratio is probably around 60% I’m not sure I want to keep real stats. At least now he understands that it is wrong, a couple of days ago he didn’t even realise that he’s starting to learn my happy and annoyed tones. On his side, he’s also homing his “I’m in the dog house” look, started off a bit weak but will probably be an Oscar-winning performance within the month.
Last night he slept in his bed in the new 30″ cage (perfect fit), with the door open from 11pm-3am. He got up and relieved himself on the pads and had a drink. But then he struggled to go back to sleep, he couldn’t seem to get comfortable and started fretting around (still half asleep mind you). So I got him to go back in his cage and I closed the door, he whined for about a minute, I stroked him through the bars and he gave a big huff (he’s good at huffing) and went back to sleep.
As with most mornings, I have to wake him up, it was 8am again before we stirred. He reluctantly dragged himself out of his cage, went pee on the pad and we headed down and out into the garden for a proper morning constitutional. Breakfast, a bit more play, some more training (I think sit is almost registered, we’ll move onto down next).
He goes through a routine every 3-4 hours which consists of:
- wake up:
- pee – almost immediately
- poo – typically only after a few minutes of activity, I’ve come to the conclusion that anywhere in the garden counts at this point, we’ll narrow it down later.
- eat / drink (5-10m)
- he’s not a hugely food-oriented dog, he’ll often need coaxing to eat and will leave quite a bit. Most dogs I know woof a bowl down with a single sharp breath, and there would definitely not be any leftovers.
- pee – again
- playtime (20-40m) – minutes made up of:
- me playing with him, with the various toys, playing chase/tag, or just play fighting.
- me training him (his name, sit and today down).
- today we were also learning how to do stairs, there are 2 steps to get around the side to the patio and it freaks him out, so we’ve been practising that, mainly by putting an ever-increasing number of treats on the floor and then giving him a push every so often. It is a bit pathetic, he goes up them readily enough and each step is probably about 5 inches in height.
- I try to leave him for 3-5 minutes at a time as well, most of the time he will whine but he doesn’t keep it up for long and I make a point of never coming back if he’s whining. Occasionally he’ll have left me a welcome back present. Bad boy!
- playing by himself – probably about a 1/3 of his wake time he just wants to play on his own with a toy. Sitting quietly in a corner chewing or pushing his Buster cube (unfortunately, the treats are a little large and the reward rate is therefore very low).
- pee – always with the pee!
- twilight zone (5-15m) – this is the witching time when he gets tired and his wolf part starts to take over:
- he gets tetchy, bitey, scratchy, less likely to respond to commands
- humping – oh yes, even at this age if the conditions are right, anything soft about 6 inches in height, he climbs on top of is going to receive a rude awakening. Disturbing, and hilarious at the same time, bad boy!
- most of his peeing accidents happen around this time.
- so this is often how he ends up going back to sleep back in the dog house, under the tea table (he can only just get under it now, it won’t last) huffing and puffing giving me the evil eye.
And that’s it over and over again, it’s like a very unfunny version of the movie Ground Hog Day where we’ve got to get through the day without an accident or a huffy pup. Might take a few weeks and I’m sure one of these mornings I’m just going to throw the alarm clock out the window and skip it and we’ll sleep through.