Saturday, 17 September 2011

A new Understanding

2 weeks into having a puppy I have finally come to terms that it is like having a baby. When people would say “it’s like having a baby” I always said “well kind of” not fully understanding how you could equate the two. Now having a puppy I understand what they meant. A puppy requires a routine and it can’t communicate with you and often this causes frustration and confusion.

Marlow has adapted fairly well to his new surroundings. Walking seems more like a walk and less like a drag. He sleeps through most of the night now with a 5am walk scheduled to split up the crate time. He listens to simple commands such as sit, lay down, enough, no and do your business.

His personality is starting to show through more and more and he tries to push the limits a bit here and there. He occasionally will hold his own leash if you drop it and will look up at you as if to say “see I can walk myself”. He has also found his bark and will use it when he is upset at us for putting him in the crate or when he is playing with scout (our kitten). He seems to have playful spurts along with long resting periods which allows us to have moments of quiet as well.

Housebreaking is a little slower than expected. He does his “business” outside on a regular basis and we do praise him with both affection and the occasional treats. Even with regular trips outside every 2 hours when we are home he will urinate in the apartment, and right in front of us. As soon as he does it he runs off and hides as he knows it was not a good decision to make. I am hoping over the next few weeks this will all work out and we won’t have accidents in the house anymore.

Marlow being a puppy is much smaller than a lot of dogs in our area but he seems to gravitate towards these bigger breeds over the dogs his own size. He seems to find the smaller dogs too wound up and just sits there looking at them as if to say “you are too much for me”. The larger dog such as the Dalmatian, shepherd mix, Rottweiler and lab he tends to befriend easily and will play with for extended periods of time.

We have been leash training but Marlow seems to do better when I let the leash drop. He stays beside me more, returns when I feel he has gone too far and never strays to close to the road. He loves to chase me and will often initiate this game of dog and owner which often ends in my giggling like a school girl at his antics.  

Overall raising a puppy is similar to having a baby. You want to raise it with good characteristics. You need to enjoy the “baby” stage as they do grow up so fast. You need to set boundaries and be consistent. Marlow has been a great addition to the family and has adapted well to his four furry kitty siblings and it will be fun to see what develops from here.

Monday, 5 September 2011

Bringing Puppy Home

We just brought our newest family member home Thursday night and already we have fallen in love with him. He is a rottweiler, german shepherd and lab mix and is 8 weeks old. I have quickly come to realize that having a puppy is very much like having a baby. Marlow keeps us up at night, lets us know when he has to go, when he is hungry and when he wants attention. He sleeps more than he is up and just the sight of his puppy face makes us smile.

The first night I felt like crying as that is all that Marlow did. We bought an oversized crate with a divider and set it up right away. While he took a puppy nap we moved him into the crate to try and get him use to the concept of it. As soon as he woke though he was not happy - although the door was wide open he cried and cried and cried and I knew right away that this would be a long night!

We then fed him his meal and about half an hour later took him out for his first walk. Now generally a walk means you walk - this is not what occured. Marlow just sat there looking up at us refusing to move,  his butt firmly planted on the ground. After much coaxing he began to venture - an hour and a half later we successfully went pee but no number 2.

We came inside and played for a bit and then put him in his crate thinking that we had tired him out enough for him to sleep. How wrong I was! Marlow cried and cried and cried - 20 minutes turned to an hour and hour to 2 and so forth. I began to worry that the people across the hall from us or above us would complain due to the "noises" that were coming out of this small pup. I moved him into one of the cat carriers we had (which is oversized for my cats but perfect for him". I have heard that it is important to keep to routine and that eventually he will adapt to the crate at night. Well this was not "that night" - I put in earplugs and prayed for enough sleep to get me through the next day.

The next morning our walk was a little more like a "walk" but with every step he continued to whimper and cry. He remained very close to my every step and I had to be careful not to step directly on him but we made it around the block.

It has now been 3 days since we brought puppy home. He is whimpering a lot less - only when he can't see us. He still hates his crate and seems to hate walking as well. We go outside, he does his job, gets lots of praise and then he firmly plants his butt on the ground as if to say "ok I did good now can we go home". This routine occurs no less than 6 times a day and I am hoping he adjusts to "walking" shortly as I do enjoy getting out more as well.

He is good with the cats  but they seem a little more hesitant about him. They are curious about Marlow while he is sleeping and will slowly approach him when he is awake but as soon as he gets into play mode that cats hide up high.

A puppy is a lot of work but worth it in the end -he is not just a pet but a family member and I cannot wait to see his growth and success over the next few months.