The happiest dogs & Mojo training

Toller and Mojo had their first walk together today, they LOVED it!

Toller’s fitness is doing well, although she still gets tired pretty quickly, she’s always running at FULL SPEED! So I’m not sure if her stamina’s still less or if it’s just because she’s so desperate to make up for lost time XD

Now that Mojo is bigger and can hold his own against full-throttle Tolly, they could enjoy some off lead time together. Here it is, in video and pics!

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He’s catching her in size!

They got tired quick XD

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And Mojo has been doing some wonderful training, that little dog makes my heart sing πŸ™‚

Yesterday we went into town, and even though we didn’t do much there were so many positives! We bumped into the same child’s toy that Sasha saw a few days ago, and hugely freaked out over. It was good to get Mojo training around it, and obviously he didn’t care.

Then I took him to the metal panel that Sasha was terrified of between 3-6 months old, and Mojo walked onto it like a champ, zero fear πŸ™‚

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Also, that’s the town centre behind us – he is still doing wonderful focus around distractions!

Walking under scaffolding πŸ™‚

And finally,Β YESTERDAY I started teaching Mojo ‘scratch’, so that I could transfer it to the scratch board and he could file his own front nails…ONE DAY later, and look!!

This dude’s such a champ ❀

2.5 weeks after surgery

Tolly now has a bare nub πŸ˜€

She’s even growing adorable ginger peach fuzz over her stump already hahaha!

Please ignore those sad puppy dog eyes. She *really* wanted to go play with her big sister and I was making her pose for nub photos XD ❀

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Wrestling with Mojo this morning

Look at that little nub go!!! XD

I was kinda worried how I would feel, seeing it bare 24/7. I thought I’d be grossed out, or sad every time I saw it…I actually find that little stump adorable, because it’s a part of Tolly! And seeing it wobble about is so cute!! ❀

You honestly wouldn’t believe how smoothe her recovery has been. She is incredibly agile already, and we can see her stamina improving.

She didn’t actually need me to hold the buffalo horn here, I was just doing it so that we had a better shot of her nub!

My take on socialisation

Several times recently I’ve seen others advising that people don’t socialise their puppy “too much”, an example being that a pet shop visit was too much for a 10-12 week old puppy. I even read once that puppies under 5 months shouldn’t be socialised or taken out much.

In my opinion, this is all total and utter bulls**t πŸ˜‰

Puppies are born as fairly blank slates. Sure, they all have individual temperaments, but for the most part they are confident, neutral about new experiences, and want to make friends with EVERYTHING.

When we used to run puppy classes, I would tell owners that if they had a “nervous” puppy, it was a sign they would need to step up their game and really work hard to show their pup that the world and everything in it is a fun place.

Puppies are supposed to be confident.Β 

As soon as your puppy comes home, they can begin to be socialised. Because they won’t be fully vaccinated at 8 weeks, there are two options:

1) Concentrate on socialisation in the home; invite guests over, introduce to pets, vacuums, the washing machine, garden, play noises on YouTube etc etc.

(handling and dremel socialisation, some easy ‘at home’ socialisation)

2) Take them outside but carry them everywhere until they are vaccinated. The risk of them catching anything is so, so small, and this way you can socialise them with everything!

We carry puppies about from the day after we bring them home.

At first the walks are very short. This is to not overwhelm them, so we can observe their confidence, and judge how well they can hold their tiny bladders!! (eg. Mojo at 10 weeks could easily hold his bladder for 90-120 minutes, Raiden at the same age could only manage 20 minutes!!)

There is one huge thing you always need to remember when socialising a puppy –

You must take it at their pace!!

With confident puppies, by their second week home we are carrying them everywhere.

They join us on dog walks, which exposes them to roads, people, dogs, birds, cows, sheep, and many more things.

We carry them into town and into pet-friendly shops; this is a great way for them to meet strangers whilst with us (as we know very few people in this area), and also exposes them to busy roads, busy shops, new smells, new lighting etc.

We also sit outside supermarkets with them, which is great as they get to watch people push trolleys, here the clatter, and they have exposure to dozens of people in one sitting.

These are from when Mojo was older, but at his youngest he would just sleep through all this or lie and watch! πŸ™‚

 

If you have an extremely confident puppy (terrier puppies tend to fall into this bracket) you often won’t have anything holding socialisation trips back – pupper will be happy to go anywhere, see anything, and fall asleep in your arms when tired.

Mojo has had dozens and dozens of socialisation trips in the few weeks he has been with us, and until he was old enough to go down on the ground, he mainly slept on them all. I’m talking heaving traffic and air horns on the road RIGHT NEXT TO HIM, and he would sleep through it. When we went into a charity shop he would briefly pop up to see if anyone would fuss him, then it was back to sleeping!!

However, if you have a fearful puppy, you need to socialise themΒ as much as possible BUTΒ at *their* pace.

Read up on calming signals, stressed behaviour, and get to know your little one really well. You need to be aware of the tiniest sign of unease in your puppy. If someone wants to pet them, does your puppy want that to happen? A normal puppy will be desperately squirmy to say hi; an obviously fearful pup may turn away, lick their lips and tremble, but an uninterested puppy is often fearful too.

You can’t socialise a puppy too much, but you can rush a puppy and put it in situations it is not comfortable with.

12 week old Mojo could go literally anyway and be fine; 12 weeks old Sasha was fearful of many things and terrified of strangers, she wouldn’t have done well in a lot of situations!

You NEED to get puppies out into the world and expose them to as much as possible, at the speed that is right for them. The socialisation window for a puppy closes at 14-16 weeks old, and before that happens they need to have been taught that everything they have seen is positive.

After 16 weeks, they start to greet new things with caution, so before they reach that age they need to have enjoyed many, many things.If you teach a young puppy that experiencing new things is exciting and positive, this confidence carries across to experiencing new things as adults.

Raiden was a perfect example of this; he was well socialised and a confident little pup, and as an adult anything he stumbled across he wanted to explore and befriend!

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If you wait until after 5 months to socialise your puppy, you will most likely end up with a very fearful pup. Or it could swing the other way, and you could have a puppy that becomes madly excited about everything because it’s their first time experiencing it!

Imagine locking a child inside a house until they were about 8-10 years old, and not exposing them to anything…

Socialisation isn’t just rushing out and thrusting your puppy into every situation (and I’ve seen that, where well-intentioned owners pass their trembling puppy into strangers’ arms for ‘socialisation’, or drag them on lead to an unknown dog to ‘play’), it’s about exposing your dog to the world and making sure they’re happy with it πŸ™‚

Also, another hard concept for a lot of people to understand, puppies can be trained immediately upon coming home, and most of them REALLY ENJOY IT!! πŸ˜‰

Training is a great way to bond with a puppy, it teaches them how to learn and use their brain, and there’s no better way to set your pup up for success than to practice training when they’re young and want to work for you!

 

Happy 7th Birthday Boo!

Today has been Kasper and my partner’s birthdays.

I’ve had a really shit day. My worst day for seizures in this seizure-heavy week. Loads of guilt about being ill and ruining the day (for my partner especially) and to top it off we did a walk with my partner’s parents, our first time seeing them in a year, and one of the first things they said was “I thought she was supposed to be well trained?” about Sasha.

This was because she was running about off lead having fun. Like, seriously? Way to make me feel like utter shit, I definitely haven’t been working my arse off for the past 6 months trying to give her any semblance of confidence and show her training is fun. I really wish I hadn’t been so out of it with seizures, I would’ve loved to have ‘responded’ πŸ˜›

I was really fucking proud of her on this walk too! She was confident around new people, did THREE seizure alerts on the walk, and held focus and did good whilst we stood about, my partner opened presents etc. For a teenage gobshite and a dog who is nervous with strangers, she rocked!

So, his comment crushed me. Really upset, and really ill at the time too. Bleh. Oh look, so badly trained -_-

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That’s his parents stood right behind Sasha here – look at her happy face!

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Opening presents

Anyway. Kasper had a good day at least.

The day started with his gifts arriving!! They weren’t due until the end of this week, so that was cool.

We got some treats going in the food dehydrator asap, but as we weren’t expecting it we hadn’t bought meat in, so apple slices, sweet potato chews, and potato ‘crisps’ will have to do!

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Alongside a food dehydrator, he got a new Sumo puzzle feeder (topped with a frozen treat to act as a ‘plug’!)

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And his final birthday gift, a new collar πŸ™‚

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I wrote out a message to him πŸ˜‰

Happy birthday, Boo!

And his final birthday good-ness was an off lead walk. Lots of tearing about like a crazy thing, chasing smells, some training, and even a paddle in his favourite pond. He LOVED it! Yeah, Boo had a good birthday alright πŸ™‚

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Very quick Tolly update!

For her walk today she went to the football field. She was sprinting about like a loon, and the cutest thing? SHE AUTO SAT WHEN SHE CAME TO ME!!

One of the earliest things I teach puppies is an auto sit – get called to me, sit. Come to me unasked, sit. Unsure of something, sit. Toller hasn’t done any training or had chance to do an auto sit in 11 long weeks, so the fact she offered this was just so darn sweet. This dog guys, this dog ❀

Yay Tolly! And a day out

Toller had her first check up since surgery today, and it sounds like it went really well!

(I can’t go to appts due to the lights at the vet, but my bf called me right after)

Apparently when they were waiting, three nurses were walking through the waiting room and said “Oh hi Tolly!!” when they saw her, and came over to love on her. How sweet is that? πŸ™‚

They were seen by our favourite vet, and she said Toller is doing GREAT! There’s a slight rash by the stitches, most likely from rubbing on the top, which is normal and already clearing up. There’s some bruising from the op, which is also obviously completely normal.

The vet has cleared Toller to do 2 minute on lead walks 1-2x a day (aaaagh excited!!) and has said she can walk a little more in the house. Yay!

They’ve said we can stop her pain meds on Wed-Thurs, which seems CRAZY, but every pain score they’ve done (even immediately after surgery) she hasn’t reacted to at all.

And yesterday my parents came up.

We had a great day. Sasha was SUPER confident around them, for literally the firs time ever – it was awesome to see. She went up to them, sat for them, it was really cool – she looked like a normal dog haha.

We went on a huge hike. I think we were out 3-4 hours, but we did have several rest stops so my dad could fly his drone, and for the first 30+ minutes I was very seizurey and had to sit down a lot. The rest of the walk was lovely though, we all had a really nice time πŸ™‚

Sasha’s training for the most part was wonderful; she was very excited and distracted walking through the field of sheep (but I was way off my A game too because that’s when I was most poorly), and she was too excited to do much training, but she was happy and confident with everyone which was much more important. She met loads of doggy friends, including two Border Collies which she enjoyed bounding around!!

Pics πŸ™‚

But look how frickin’ huge she is XD

My dad took some lovely photos. Love this one of me and Mojie πŸ™‚

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My partner and Mojie!

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Sasha smiling!

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Sharing snacks hahaha

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We had several rest stops on top of the mountain so my dad could fly his drone. Really good socialisation for the pups! And the photos are stunning – look at this view!!

Look at Sasha XD

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Coming down the other side of the mountain

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Once back from the walk we dropped the pups off, my parents said hello to Spud, then we drove to get takeaway pizza and eat it on the beach. Talk about best meal ever πŸ˜‰

I found some hella impressive quicksand. This all looked like normal sand when I first walked across it, it scared the crap outta me!!

Birthday cake on the beach πŸ™‚ (it’s not his birthday until tomorrow, but we celebrated it about 4 days ago and then he celebrated it with my parents yesterday haha!)

Sunset πŸ™‚

So it was a really enjoyable day. We also got a nice leaving of Sasha, she was left for 2 hours and did wonderful ^_^

Oooh, quickly, I also finally got to give my mum her mother’s day ‘gifts’!! Mother’s Day was in March, but they hadn’t been up since, so I’ve been adding to the gift every week or two hahaha…I started needle felting a few months ago, and may have made my mum a Barbapapa family HAHAHA!

All the dog walks!

Took Sasha on a HUGE hike yesterday, to a route she’d never been to before.

Then we took Kasper for a walk up through town, and today the girls had aΒ massive hike in all sorts of places.

Toller is a completely changed dog to the one before crate rest, and it’s soul destroying…it honestly breaks my heart. I know she will cheer up a lot once crate rest is over, but she’ll never be the dog she once was / could have been…we missed too much when she was so young, and it’s nobody’s fault, it’s just really sad 😦

I’m trying so hard to do things that interest her or make her happy, and I’m just getting more and more depressed at seeing what a broken little dog she is *sigh*

Anyway.

Sasha’s huge hike yesterday.

A pheasant flew squawking across this field, so Sasha took off after it, incredulous. Here you can see her checking in and leaving when asked.

My partner went into a shop so me and Kasper went and sat in the town square. I can’t go into any shops as the lights trigger seizures within minutes. That basically means wherever we go we might as well take one of our dogs, as then I have company waiting outside!!

With no prompting at all, and with zero excitement, Kasper settled between my feet as we waited at the square, and just watched the world go by. I was so proud πŸ˜€

I wish I could be so happy out in the world!

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And with the girls today we walked through town, along the canal, through the farm fields, and back down through town. It was a huge walk, we were out almost two hours, and the girls got to observe lots of people, dogs, kids etc.

Sasha got to say hi to a dog, and Spudder got to say hi to a person. Toller was at least engaged and interested in what was going on around her, if not happy.

That coat was Pixie’s and is huge on Tolly haha! I’m missing Pixie an incredible amount at the moment, it’s like a gaping hole inside me. I think it’s come on so strong because I’m missing Tolly so much too *sigh*

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We also put Toller down on some grass for about 10 seconds!

Seeing as the vet has said we can start putting her down for small bursts of time in the house, we figured on a walk made sense as a toilet break and would be more interesting. My heart broke for her!

Also, this face ❀

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I’ve had a bad few days for seizures. Last night we had a friend round to watch a live event on TV, and had been looking forward to it for weeks…within half an hour I started having seizures and feeling awful, and had to just go hide in a dark room with Kasper for several hours *sigh*

Then today, we have new next door neighbours, and I was having a seizure right outside the front of our house, with Sasha’s lead in my hands. My partner had Tolly, so he came and got Sasha and took them both inside and behind a barrier, but couldn’t do much to help me so I was just sat blanked out on the wall whilst our neighbours walked within two feet of me and probably thought I was such a rude knob 😦

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Oh god this cold is killing me -_-

I got about three hours sleep last night, and the rest of the night was spent wiping my streaming and very sore nose, trying to get my chronically achy neck comfy, and almost weeping with exhaustion. Apparently I am really bad at being ill haha! Can’t wait to feel physically better πŸ˜€

Today started off grim and grey, but early afternoon the sun blasted through the clouds and outside looked dreamy. I took Sasha out on my own as my partner had to go out, and omg what a butthead she was!!

At first I took her out on just her collar, because she wasn’t working and she’d be off lead within five minutes. Well, she’s having a teenage day, and so we got about a minute and a half from the house and she was walking ahead, on the verge of pulling, refusing to listen to me etc. You better believe I turned us around and marched us right back home.

I put a harness on her (still no vest so not strictly working) and we headed back out. She was much better but by god is she having a rebellious teenage day; she still needed A LOT of reminders how to act and her focus sucked.

Thanks for acting like an absolute tool when I was sick and out on my own, you butt head πŸ˜›

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Is it just me or does she look incredibly proud of herself XD

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Oh and look who can’t even hold a simple stay, adolescent arse πŸ˜‰ That drop it was on point though, and her second stay was much better!

We did have fun though, I just slacked up a lot and expected less of her, so neither of us got frustrated. She still had to behave, but I didn’t expect perfection or push her too hard.

A video from yesterday – we’ve worked a lot on various behaviours in the ‘between’ position, as Sasha lost confidence there as she grew bigger. I really love working on different things with her in between πŸ™‚

And a video of Charley nailing putting his toy away!