We are slowly getting there. I’ve had to learn as much as him this week about what works and what doesn’t, so it’s been exhausting on both of us. I suspect this will be the worse week though, I guess we’ll see when he starts teething in a few more weeks. I have discovered one of the rope toys works perfectly as a gag if I pop the rope round his neck. doesn’t seem to phase him, just chews it for 20 minutes.
A bit more of his personality is coming out. He’s now started to show the odd sign of affection, wanting to lay near you on occasion and sometimes even giving a shit he’s just bit you, again. Along with it is emerging a wicked stubborn streak. He is relentless if he wants something, be it holly leaves or cat food and when you challenge him you can see the calculated defiance in his eyes.
In spite of all best efforts he managed to get into the cat bowls once and now is on a singular mission to get more of that tasty cat food. We’ve put another gate up to prevent him getting to it, but occasionally it’s been left ajar – it’s a main thoroughfare through the house.
His favourite past time when we are finished in the garden, is to race the long route (he can’t use the short route because the door is usually closed) and try to be in the cat food by the time I can traverse the short route. It’s something like 100ft vs 25 ft. The problem is he’s still proving successful once in a while (because the gate is ajar), and despite my beratement I’m not going to undo the effect of a few mouthfuls of Felix. We’ll be relocating the cat foods to somewhere he can’t reach shortly.
I watched a few toilet training videos that suggested that being proactive rather than reactive was the way to go. That is, you should be aware before your puppy that it needs to go. So having sent some mixed signals on the subject of toilet training, I’ve gone back to primarily trying to get him to go outside in the garden, ideally in the latrine. I was allowing him to go on the patio, but it’s too much work to cleanup and hose down.
I now show him to the dog latrine, still carrying him most of the way to be fair. He very rarely goes there. But when he does he gets the motherload of treats. I don’t praise or correct him if he goes the toilet anywhere else on the lawn, it’s not like he can do much damage at this time of the year the grass is already yellow, I just clean up the worst of it and move on. I keep him out in the garden until he’s done what I would expect him to do. Hopefully if we persist at this for a bit of time he’ll realise the latrine is the target. I think part of the problem is he wants to walk around before squatting and there isn’t enough room in the metre square latrine to easily do that.
He’s eating Primula Beta puppy food, of which he’s meant to have 4 meals of 50 gramms. The food is wetted to make it easier for him to eat. For the last few days we’ve struggled to get him to eat it all. Reducing the amount of water may have helped (or his appetite has returned) who knows, but he’s starting to woof it down. Apart from cat food (see above) and treats, the rest of his diet still seems to be made up of leaves, stones, sticks and dirt anything he can hoover up in the garden. It’s still a concern but difficult to stop. The good news it’s getting rid of all the crap on my lawn one pebble/leaf at a time, the bad news I’m a deft hand now at getting my fingers down his throat.
Night time routine is starting to come together, we’ve been aiming to give him supper about 10 as that settles him down and then be in bed shortly after 11. I take his collar off and put him in his cage/bed, he’ll normally take a walk around the bedroom to make sure he knows where everything is and then goes back and sleeps in his bed through to 4-5 when he needs to do his thing. The advantage of having the gate door open at the moment is he just gets up and does it, without having to wake me up. Although he inevitably does, usually because he frets around afterwards rather than going straight back to bed.
I will be closing his cage door all the time next week, and set an alarm for 4:30 to get both of us up, then back into the cage. A couple of more weeks of that and we both might be allowed back in the master bedroom. I’m not taking him outside to toilet at the moment there’s a bunch of puppy pads in the small room. We’ll see how next week goes and consider moving him to defecating outside all of the time. Which would be the ideal, it’s just I don’t fancy a visit to the garden at 4:30 in the morning.
Have I mentioned he stinks, he’s really starting to hum, we’ll be bathing him Saturday to give his coat chance to try dry out in heat of the day. He needs it really bad. I’ve been playing with the hose with him when watering the flowers to get him used to water and being a bit damp. His puppy coat is not very waterproof that’s for sure. My hygiene is only slightly behind his even with daily showers.