It’s been a while since we have had a small puppy. The last time was about 15 years ago when Amy our black Labrador gave birth to 12 puppies in our home office – we kept one of the pups but the rest were sold. That’s another story for another day but needless to say we were happy when they all went.
Holly, our white Lab puppy which we kept, was a model puppy. I cannot ever remember having to get cross with her – she was chilled out and really just got on with life; eager to please. I trained her as a gun dog and she was really the perfect pupil (her Mum helped me a lot with this though and she was exceptional). Working Mum and Daughter together was a very special experience and I used to enjoy that so much, as did the places I worked them.
Millie on the other hand, is like a wild animal. Whilst she is so cute, she is a street dog and nature shines through a lot, even at this young age. She will take some work to get her right that’s for sure. Nature has made her very cute – I am sure it is to stop you murdering them as she is most challenging at the moment.
One really annoying thing she does is the constant biting. Fingers, hands, toes, ankles…basically anything she can sink teeth into. No reason for this at all as far as I can see – she just does it. It hurts like crazy. I have googled this so I can nip it in the bud (sorry for the pun) and apparently what you have to do is say Ow! and put a replacement in the way, a chew or toy, something to distract her. If this doesn’t work, she has to go to her naughty zone and be left for a short while, showing that the fun stops when she bites.
Consequently, the naughty corner gets lots of use at the moment – but she just keeps doing it. Not just to me either, but also Karen and the other dogs. I am working to break this over the next week or so, she hates not being the centre of attention so I am hoping this will soon be a thing of the past. The next issue is house training. She gets it most of the time, we put newspaper down and she goes off and does a wee on this most of the time now – unless you tell her off for something and she then goes anywhere just to defy me.
Poo is a different story. Try as I might, I cannot get her to do this on newspaper – and she poo’s a lot – about 10 times a day. She is such a whirlwind it is difficult to watch her and catch her in the act; there seems to be no pattern (wee’s are simple) and they appear in seconds – so frustrating!
One thing she does do well is come to call – all you need to do is call her name and she is there, especially when we are walking out on the beach area. This is a great thing and I hope this continues. She has started to get a bit braver on our walks and is going further away from us, but comes immediately when she is called. Grace is good for this as well so she is learning from her too.
Millie is very intelligent and quick to learn, but only what she wants to learn. She watches everything; me, Karen and most of all the other dogs, so hopefully the willfulness will drop off and adapting to life indoors with a new family might be achievable without too many tears. She is sitting and staying (for a bit) and also showing signs of retrieving which is a bonus.
She is still only about 7 weeks old so we have lots of games and cuddles at the moment, but in a few weeks we will intensify the training, we just cannot have an out of control dog. She has 2 hours of crazy, followed by deep sleep where we all breathe a sigh of relief and clear up the mess made before it all kicks off again.