Angus is now 15 weeks old and since the socialisation period ends roughly between 12-16 weeks we have been super busy making sure he gets plenty of positive socialisation experiences with plenty of time to rest in between.
He is doing really well and I’m so pleased that he has such a happy, confident and cheeky character. He does have the odd shy or unsure moment but I feel that for such a sensitive breed he is doing super!
I thought I would include some of the socialisation work we’ve been doing to give ideas for any other puppy owners out there. And if you don’t need any ideas then I hope you enjoy the photos and videos of a pretty cute pup (even if I do say so myself!).
We brought Angus home on Wednesday 8th March so I’m a bit late getting around to this! But between getting him settled, getting into a new routine (3 feeds a day, so many toilet trips and late nights/early mornings) and recovering from my daytrip to crufts (up at 4.30am after 3 hours sleep and back home at 8.30pm – was excellent but I was wrecked!) I finally feel able to write about him!
So far Angus has just slotted straight into our family without much hassle and stolen the hearts of all of us even including Bonnie! She loves to play bitey face with her little bro and she is doing really well with him. We are very proud of her as she is learning to share her space with him and this is the nervous, under socialised, resource guarder who is teaching him bite inhibition, body language and play. Don’t get me wrong she still has the odd moment of resource guarding that is a bit OTT, we manage all feeding, and she sometimes gets overstimulated but she is doing well and is easy to redirect – we are not scolding her in anyway as we do not want to potentially create negative associations with Angus.
Angus’ training and socialisation is going really well. He is very steady and copes well with most situations so far, the things we most need to work on in terms of socialisation is passing cars, baths and sudden noises away from home. He is a smart pup that is doing really well with positive reinforcement training and is currently in the process of learning auto-attention (look into my eyes for attention/food etc), sit, down, stand, touch, rollover, recall, loose lead walking, pee on cue (piddle), go into his pen, go into house from garden and a basic fetch for fun. His house training is going well enough I think – he has only had one poop accident the first evening, 2 have been on the grass potty tray and others have been outside. The pee on the other hand is going slightly worse with more accidents but is improving as we know his routine better, I would say we have a success rate of about 80% with the pee which isn’t the worst I guess.
He is such a lovely pup with a lovely character and personality. I am honestly so pleased we brought him home. It has been a huge adjustment and change of routine for us but he has slotted right in like he has always been part of the family and I love him so much already. He is growing like a weed and is noticeably bigger than since we got him so although I look forward to when his bladder is bigger I’m going to appreciate how cute and dinky he is for now!
As some of you guys may or may not know we are planning on adding a puppy to our family this year! I am very excited and have been preparing for sometime now so that when we find the right puppy we will be fully prepared for bringing it home. When we re-homed Bonnie we had so much to do and so much to buy in such a short time that it was quite stressful so we want to do things a little bit differently this time!
As you all know I love dog behaviour and training so I have been “swotting up” on puppy raising. I’ve been reading Leslie McDevitt’s Control Unleashed : The Puppy Program and so far I love it, it’s so informative and really makes you think about your interactions with your dog. Although I’ve gleaned loads from it already I still have the majority of it left to read – it’s difficult to read a lot in one sitting as it’s so much information to take in at once and it really makes you stop and think, it will definitely be one I keep going back to and refer to! On Youtube I have also been revisiting videos from Kikopup, Zak George and Pam’s Dog Academy.
Regarding training and socialisation we intend to take the puppy to puppy classes and we are very lucky to know several excellent trainers in the nearby area so we have our pick of the best! We will also do our own training and socialisation ourselves so the puppy gets used to different people, animals, environments, sounds, surfaces, handling and so on. We will most likely keep track of our socialisation efforts to ensure we are doing all we can to help the puppy be a confident and outgoing dog. Here are 2 checklists that cover in great detail what type of socialisation can be done – Sophia Yin’s checklist, K9 Fun Club’s checklist (hands up who else has an unhealthy obsession with To Do lists / checklists? :D)
We have already set up the puppy’s crate and play pen as well as a baby gate between the living room and the kitchen. This allowed Bonnie to get used to those items and that she can’t invade the puppy’s safe space of the play pen.
What is this thing? It’s in my way!
We still have to add a blanket to cover the crate and extra bedding and blankets to make it super cosy. As the puppy grows we can expand the pen with 2 extra panels and then it will graduate to free roaming in the kitchen where we will use the pen panels to protect the kitchen cabinets and back door. The ideal goal is for the 2 dogs to eventually have full run of the ground floor while we are out but we will take the introductions slowly as we do not want any fighting over toys, food, beds etc.
I have been scouring online and local shops to find the best deals for all the puppy toys I have bought. This is by no means a list of necessary products and some people may think this is excessive whereas others may think it’s no where near enough for a teething puppy that will destroy things but this is what we have got so far. We will adjust expectations once the pup comes home and we learn more about their toy preferences and chewing habits. I wanted to buy a few different varieties as Bonnie came to us not really knowing how to play with toys so I don’t want the puppy to miss out on that experience while young.
I think we are well covered but we will probably buy some more puppy safe chews for teaching the pup to be happy on its own. Does anyone have any good puppy chew recommendations?
As well as toys we have a few accessories bought in but we still need a collar, harness and tags for the collar.
And finally we have decided to go with Orijen puppy food as although we feed Bonnie a raw diet it is more convenient for us to use this while the puppy is growing. It will make it easier to divide their meals for training purposes and also when we are at the office and a family member or dog walker visits the pup it will be easier for them to feed kibble than raw. The pup will still get introduced to raw bones and treats and then transitioned to raw when it is older.
No doubt I’m missing something critical but that’s our preparations for now! Do you have any must have puppy products, something you couldn’t live without in that needle teeth stage? Or any general puppy tips? I’d love to hear all your experiences raising puppies!
This covered all the scientific theory behind learning and methods of training such as classical and operant conditioning, desensitisation, reinforcement schedules, extinction etc. Some people might find it a bit dry but I am utterly fascinated by it!
This covered training specific to puppies such as nipping, mouthing, house training etc. I personally found this very useful as obviously we adopted Bonnie as an adult so we have no experience with puppies. I’d love to get a puppy in future either from a rescue or from a proper reputable breeder (not a puppy farm or backyard breeder) so that we can have that experience of socialising and raising a puppy.
First assignment is nearly done so that will be finished in time for hand in this Monday.
The second assignment is due in on 7th November and that will be started once I finish the first assignment.
The third assignment has been given out this week for hand in on 14th November. This assignment isn’t another 1000 word easy thank god! Instead we have to define different examples of the four types of operant conditioning.
Reading list progress
Dogs That Bite and Fight – in progress, really insightful book around aggression that isn’t really covered in detail in other books
Outside of class learning
I am only including one link in this section for this week because this really and truly spoke to me and I think every dog owner should read it, especially for any owners of nervous dogs. Remember “Pavlov is always on your shoulder!”