Give me your sadness. I will take it, as much as you need. If it kills us both, so be it. I am here.

Posts tagged ‘puppy in training’

Adventures + Maybe not all is hopeless!

So sorry for not updating when I am meant to!! I did mean to, but this past week has been a bit hard and crazy and stuff, the bottom line being my mother apparently can’t deal with Toby while I’m away at college for the day for half a week; so, we immediately reached the decision that he was going to have to go. There’s adverts up but no responses yet, and so I thought that there was no point carrying on his blog and that. But, this morning, when I finally came downstairs, mum was veeery thoughtful, and she told me that Toby hadn’t been snapping or nipping at all this morning. Now that’s progress. She had let him have a run in the garden too, burning off that terrier energy. So, well, I decided I may as well update this blog to cover our last week and as kind of a warning – yes, he may well be going soon, but, well, maaaaaybe ALL is not hopeless, from the interesting and thoughtful tone of my mother’s voice when she said that this morning… he is getting better at this stuff. And he still loves me. So there’s no promises, but perhaps there’s a glimmer of hope there.

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So, our adventures in the past week. Well, like previously stated, I am full time at college Monday, Tuesday and Wednesdays. So I have little intel of how those days go (apart from Tuesday, which is the day I came home to “can’t cope and have to rehome”… still holding out on more news for that one). However, when I am with him I stay (mostly) with him. Well, last Thursday and Friday I stayed in most of the day with him, just going out to walk Milly, the chocolate lab that I walk. That was pretty uneventful. On Saterday, I can’t actually remember what happened, whoops. But I think we did some stuff out, without him, and I stayed in a lot with him too. We’re still doing training – we’ve got sit, down and stay on point now! Stand we’re still working on, because he doesn’t quit get that one yet. We’re also doing some work on ‘off’ and ‘take it’ for food in my hand. Recall is mostly good, apart from when there’s too many distractions. He is a smart pup and eager to please – or maybe just for the food. Either way, he is learning and we’re enjoying the training together. I do get cross with him, but that’s a given, and I just leave if he’s too mouthy or crazy. Yes, so on Sunday the family left for the ENTIRE DAY and so Toby and I had a rest day, just chilling and cuddles and playing and training. It was good, if a tad boring, but I’m not really the stay in ALL day type. Just as well I have a dog who won’t be either, when he can go out.

This week was a little different, because I had a bad college day on Monday, so Toby comforted me when I got home, and then on Tuesday I came home to the bad news, so had cuddles again. Wednesday, I went to college pretty late and came home pretty early, so was barely away from him. He’s so pleased to see me all the time, it’s the best. Ah yes – Wednesday was puppy class! My previously mentioned friend came with me again, which is very helpful by the way. I probably wouldn’t go on my own. This time, class was AMAZING. Literally. Toby was VEEERY confident – TOO confident. Yep, he went ahead and started mounting all the bitches in the class. Uh. This is not my fault! It’s actually, I’ve discovered, my little brother’s doing; he has been trying to sit on Toby to ‘ride’ him, and, um, apparently the pup has picked this up and mixed it with male hormones to induce himself to start mounting the females. And sometimes the dogs. Aaaaand then some furniture or legs. Seems like we have a bit of a problem there. But it’s easily solvable, even if not for a few months. Yeah so he was extremely confident – which made me feel more confident! It was a good class. There were lots more little dogs, which was good for Toby (and for mounting them…) and everyone was nice, as well as the familiar faces from last week, which calmed me.

On Thursday, my friend came to my house so I was out for most of the day. She’s kind of taken the role of my service dog at the moment, which is very helpful and means I can go out and about and enjoy myself. We came back a while after lunch so I could feed Toby, and then we went out again to walk Milly. My friend left for her home and I headed to mine and Toby. I gave him his dinner and cooked some for everyone else, then we had cuddles until everyone came home. There were too many people then, so I wanted to leave, but I didn’t – I stayed and protected Toby be holding him. Then I had to go to piano lesson, so when I came back Toby was sleepy again and he went to sleep on me and for the night in his bed. Friday, I went out with my friend again so it was kinda the same for Toby – went back to see him for lunch, then after Milly’s walk. But last night he went really kind of crazy. Trying to bite me arms and even jumping for my face. I enforced my dominance by making him sit, down and stay for me while I held the food, and he did that fine, but was still crazy. So I put his lead on and went out and literally just stood there and watched him run around and around and around, burning off the terrier energy. Then when we finally went back in, I gave him my shoe to chew on, and played tug a bit. At long last, he settled down and went to sleep on me, and I put him in his bed.

Well that’s our adventures. His future with me is unclear at the moment, but – despite being a general hopeless person – I can’t help but hope that we can keep him. It would be amazing. Hard, yes, but amazing. In just 3 weeks he’s made such an impact, and now I even have hope for something. A little longer and I may even have the will to fight for it. But, unfortunately, it does seem pretty hopeless. Well… here’s to a bright future for Toby, at least, whether with me or someone else. He deserve that. And here are a lot of photos from the past week…

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2014-10-18 13.08.25 2014-10-18 14.04.21 2014-10-18 14.04.51 trip to grandma’s house

2014-10-22 11.53.56 2014-10-22 11.54.33 playing with my little brother in the garden

2014-10-22 12.43.08 2014-10-22 13.03.25 2014-10-22 13.04.12 car journeys

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2014-10-20 21.58.10 2014-10-20 21.58.18 2014-10-21 22.12.18 being there for me

2014-10-22 18.00.44 look how tall he’s gotten!

2014-10-23 08.32.03 2014-10-23 10.22.52 2014-10-23 10.27.45 2014-10-23 10.30.28 lounge photography

2014-10-22 11.53.42 garden photography

2014-10-23 20.55.28 2014-10-23 20.57.11cuddles

2014-10-23 14.58.36 2014-10-23 14.58.56 2014-10-23 15.01.13 and, finally… this, if he stays with me, will be his first vest. He looked so smart. I can dream still….

References:

Milly’s blog, again, for her adventures with me (told by Milly herself!) – https://www.facebook.com/millychocolatelab

Toby’s state of craziness last night – https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=909735752371113&set=a.439738676037492.107081.100000040903714&type=1&theater

My Twitter for some more pictures – https://twitter.com/k_lizzabeth

Thursday’s adventure with my friend – http://strugglingbutstillfighting.tumblr.com/post/100758585761/so-today-was-a-good-day-distant-cheering-from

Puppy classes & enrichment

So today we attended our first puppy class! I went with my friend, who I had invited over for the evening. She loves dogs but currently can’t see hers, so I thought I’d share my experiences with her. The puppy class was good – for us! Toby was, quite frankly, terrified. But when a tiny terrier puppy is suddenly carried into a pet shop and plonked down in a caged-in area with a puppy husky, dog-de-bordeaux and a labrador cross spaniel, the cards quickly turned. And so he spent most of the hour crawling around trying to get out people’s laps and edging further into the walls than he could, completely terrified. Oh, what a difference it was from the crazy pup running around the lounge carpet, gnawing on hands and socks and clothes, to one who cowered from the other dogs at class. Pretty astounding really, the difference. I had his harness on because he’s got to learn to get used to it, as hopefully he’ll be wearing vests and harnesses in his sooner years. It was almost amusing to watch, but then I got anxious and it got embarrassing and yeah I got wound up and worried and stuff and no way would I have been able to deal with it alone. That’s why I had invited my friend over to accompany me. So that was puppy class. Eventually, near the end of the session, he did manage to walk out a little and pretended to play a bit with the husky – who was called Storm – and tried to catch her tail. Archie, the lab/spaniel, was absolutely adorable and he also very friendly – only the other dog, Gunner, excelled his licking and cuddles! They were all adorable and I couldn’t help wishing for a bigger dog, especially when Toby was so scared. But still, I love him, and I think he still loves me, even after his pack leader sent him into so many threats without much protection. I want to be a good pack leader, but I don’t want a wimpy or soon aggressive dog. As a service dog he will have to pass the Canine Good Citizen test and a Public Access Test in order to achieve SD behaviour. So I’m hoping that a few classes in he will become more confident, stop growling, and maybe get some playing done. Hopefully. Hm. However, as a naturally unhopeful person, I don’t know if this will happen. As a terrier, maybe it’s just not in him to play nice. I don’t know, and no one can really know. As an old saying goes; “only time will tell”. So that’s what we’re going to have to do.

After puppy class, we actually took a short walk through the pet shop, and looked at some toys that I really want to get him. A Kong, first of all. It’s, like, the best toy a dog could have, apparently. Then we briefly showed Toby the rabbits and such, just to see if they put a spring in his step. They didn’t, which IS good, but not so much normal terrier behaviour. However I have already introduced him to Delilah, my hamster, so maybe he was already familiar with the smell. It would be good if he is. After that he almost fell asleep on me in the car, and when we got back he soon had a nap. When he woke up, he did go toilet on the paper! Yay for Toby! He’s doing okay. We showed a bit of obedience to my friend before she got picked up and she gave me some helpful hints and tips. The enrichment bit actually comes before the puppy class bit – before dinner, I put some of his dry food in a washed and dry coke bottle. I have seen this done before and it seems cool, so I did it. And Toby loved it! Which was good, but I am also afraid that this isn’t a proper toy, so maybe I shouldn’t have done it. Anyway, hopefully more toys will be heading his way soon. Training is also good, for an 8 week old puppy – we’ve got sit, down and stay for a short amount of time. He is adorable, and I do love him. That’s the important bit.

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Puppy class at the pet shop. Our instructor was really nice & so were all the other people and dogs. Soon though I wasn’t in the right frame of mind to appreciate it. It wasn’t the best situation for me to be in, but I DID do it, which is good I suppose.

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This is mr cowering in a corner, just by my legs. He sought refuge wherever he can and mostly he got it, which isn’t good. But he was adorably cute.

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Short pet shop walk after class before mum picked us up. I really should of got some toys but he can deal without them for a little longer.

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Cuddles, strokes & naps at home. Exhausted puppy wants to sleep after his exhausting and scary ordeal. Fine by me – we both need bed time now.

Pictures & a short proper progress paragraph (PPP)

Lots going on at the moment, but not much to tell about Toby individually. We continue to work on training, toilet training, biting, growling and new situations. Seems like it’s going well – at least, I damn well hope so. I take him out after naps & sometimes after eating, and he goes toilet outside. If we’re inside, he usually goes on the paper. He’s picking it up quickly, but there is still the odd mistake, of course. Training – he gets come, sit, down and stay, most of the time. I’m using his daily allowance of dry food as ‘treats’ and I think he’s beginning to realise that he gets that same stuff for meals which he doesn’t have to do more than sit for. Outrageous! Luckily he’s still responding, mostly, to commands. He’ll not come if he’s found something more interesting, however, which is most of the time when not in the kitchen/dining room – a different environment. Hopefully we’ll get it. It’ll be lovely to see the day where I let him off in the fields where I run Milly and call him and he comes back. However I am doing no letting off at all until his recall is practically PERFECT – this is what this awesome and amusing puppy training book has told me. It’s quite funny to read and very educational in training. It’s called SIRUIS Dog Training. American but still very good (as many American things – Supernatural, for one, and all those other damn awesome films from that damn annoying yet awesome America that we hear so much about…). Anyway, so training hopefully is going well. Puppy training classes start tomorrow!! This is great because I really want to get Toby out and about and introduced to situations and other dogs ASAP in order to desensitise him to the world as much as possible while he’s still young and eagerly learning. We are, admittedly, still having biting problems, and growling, but he does seem to (fingers crossed) be getting better, and I’ll ask about it tomorrow in class. In more seriousness, there’s still pretty major problems in the family, mostly due to the dog, but it’s not his fault. ANYWAY, he is still lovely and I’m already making (rather rash) plans for Service Dog tasks and clothing. Not believing that it’s going to happen, but looking forward to it anyway. For now, he’s a puppy and an adorable one at that. And so here’s some photos of our getting up-to.

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Comparing paw/foot. I’m,uh, much bigger than him. And,well, always will be…

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My Toby boy

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This awesome book that I have found – SIRIUS dog training

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Asleep on my lap yesterday after college – first day we have been away from each other

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Apparently this is a comfortable sleeping position??

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Playing

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Toby may well take over his blog soon…

References:

Website to said book – https://www.siriuspup.com/

My relation to Supernatural – http://strugglingbutstillfighting.tumblr.com/supernaturaltagpage

Milly in said fields – https://www.facebook.com/millychocolatelab/posts/528547077275772

Picture Post of Toby-day (today)

Stuff happened today, so I don’t really want to write, at risk of not keeping an ‘upbeat’ blog. So here’s just a picture log of today’s adventures.

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morning cuddles

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lunch & watching a puppy nap

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Our first walk! Literally 5 minutes around the close we live in. He was good & a little scared.

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Puppy sitting & watching Wall-e (again) while trying to do piano work

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Puppy naps on my lap

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Doing piano work with a sleeping puppy on me

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Puppy face

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Toy gnawing. Better than my hand.

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I also had naps with him today.

Full story of today; why I’m so ‘tired’ (warning: it’s much darker than the things on here): http://strugglingbutstillfighting.wordpress.com/2014/10/12/youre-aching-youre-breaking-and-i-can-see-the-pain-in-your-eyes/

Twitter posts: https://twitter.com/k_lizzabeth/status/521400576870191108 + https://twitter.com/k_lizzabeth/status/521398690716872705

Some writing and pictures of Today

Ugh, I’m tired tonight, so this’ll be a short and picture post.

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(not this short though; here’s some more words coming)

So, it’s been a exciting day! Pretty much, anyway. We broke more rules by going in my mum’s work – a pharmacy – and showing her colleagues the pup, and they were smitten… as is everyone who sees him. Can’t blame them. They don’t have lots of bite marks on their hands. But can’t complain too much – we are making progress (distant cheering for Toby is heard from Carys at Uni). He’s gone toilet on the paper and outside a couple of times when I took him today. And we’re working on gentler biting, using something that Katie And Cookie, a couple of therapy dogs from Twitter, linked me to – something called Bite Inhibition. It looks really good, so we’re learning that. Also, we went to the pet shop after mum’s work, and Toby had his first vaccination, as well as a check over and we were given flea treatment for him. The vet, Alex by name, was very nice and I loved watching her work – because this is my dream; a Veterinary Nurse. So yes, he was good on the exam table apart from BITING. So, while mum signed forms and did adult stuff, I went and found some toys for him. Nylabones! Recommended from Growing Up Guide Pup itself. So there we are, driving home with dry food to start on, Nylabone toys and a vaccination certificate. What fun. Back home, mum and the boys went out to Crealy to use up our free 7 day pass, seeing as they may as well. While they were away, I cleaned up while Toby slept, then when he woke from his nap he and I chilled in the living room with films on. First it was Wall-e, then Monster’s University, and then I put the Lego Movie on. We didn’t just sit and watch these, of course; they were just on in the background to listen to. Did watch most of Wall-e though, because that is the best. Toby chewed on his nylabones, chewed on me, got some scolding, did some good toilets and some not on the newspaper, and had some naps either with me or on his own. Puppies can be a handful. I made dinner for the others for when they came back and then sat on the floor and chilled with Toby. Tonight I showed mum the things I have been doing with him, and we showed off the obedience we’ve already got – which is coming when called (most of the time), and ‘sit’! He’s learnt quickly. We’re working on ‘down’ now, but that’s proving harder. Right, it’s bedtime now, both for the pup sleeping under my feet again, and for my yawning self. Shower and a bed, me thinks… hopefully I’ll get up early and see to my babe. He’s still gorgeous.

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Car journeys

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At the Vets!

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Watching Wall-e and playing and naps on my lap

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So tiring being a puppy…

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References:

The conversation I and the Therapy Dogs had on Twitter: https://twitter.com/KatieAndCookie/status/520899546969550848

The site they showed me: http://www.thelabradorsite.com/teaching-bite-inhibition-to-your-labrador-puppy/

Toby showing off ‘come’ and ‘sit’: https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=902853403059348

This is going Toby a grand life

Well, it was a good day (until the family ruined it, but as we all know, that’s what family are for) yesterday, and I went off with my box in the car with my mother driving, with fairy a lot of excitement. And justified. He was just as beautiful as I remembered; maybe more so because he was more active! Jumping up a down, in excitement with his brother, the only pup left in the bed now for one more night (sorry, Bertie…). His mum was, to be honest, glad to see the end of her pups. She put her forelegs on my knees are solemnly licked my face in agreement that I would look after her baby. And I promised her that I would, too. So there we go. Out the door. With a dog in a box. A puppy, by rights, and an adorable one at that. Also fearless. On the way over to our house, on the main road, he was simply trying to get out of the box that I had my arm around, and then started biting me. I was surprised; throughout my dog career (just over a year now, starting with walking the dogs at the Shelter last August), I had never really been bitten. Puppy teeth kind of hurt, too. So when we got home, I plonked the-puppy-in-a-box down on the floor in the dining room and lifted him out. Then I sat with my back against the door and just watched him explore. He was gorgeous.

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So there he was. A puppy. In my house. (That picture isn’t completely correct, as in my story I haven’t got the toys down yet.) So, after I watched him for a minute and my father stopped being an idiot and took the children to bed, I had mum supervise him while I went and got his stuff from my room. His stuff being a puppy grooming brush, a small puppy feeding bowl, a lead and collar, a harness and a white milk bone chew toy. I supplied him with these items spread around the dining room. He immediately sniffed them over then dismissed them as no particular interest, due to the fact that I was putting half a can of his food into his bowl for him. I put it down by the back door and he immediately gulped half of it down. Then, inbetween playing and running around and sniffing for the next couple of hours, he ate the rest of it. Pretty good really. Yes, so the playing. Was a bit of a problem. He was very mouthy and his sharp lil puppy teeth are not easy on skin. My hands already look like they’ve been clawed at and bitten by a werewolf. But, with a bit of luck and chew toys and scolding, I managed to redirect his attention to gnawing on something that wouldn’t hurt it: my secret weapon, Milly’s mint chew rope toy that she didn’t like and so abandoned. Rude. I bought that for her. Anyways, Toby loved it so that’s cool. He chewed and sniffed and munched some more, and I tried taking him outside a couple of times, but it was too dark to really see what he was doing, so he went toilet in the house instead. Leaving mum and I to immediately change my mind to paper training. So there was newspaper spread just inside by the back door. After a few hours of my hands being bitten quite a lot, my shoes and socks being the centre of attention when I got up or walked, and collar fussing when I discretely put it on, Toby crawled onto my lap – as he loves to do now, already – and fell asleep. It was so adorable and beautiful.

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Mum carefully put him in his lil box with my jumper that smelt of me, his proper dog mum, and his old bed and brothers, and Toby slept tiredly. Until I went to stroke him and woke him up. Oops. So in the end, despite attempts to put him back to sleep on my lap, we left an awake and alert puppy in the dark, in a room. Poor baby. So in the morning, I got up at 5.30am and hurriedly got dressed to go downstairs and see my puppy. He was awake already and very glad to see someone. So glad that he… started biting. Again. So this time, I tried a different tactic. I ignored him, then said NO very loudly, then left the room without looking back and timed one minute. Then I went back in and didn’t say hello immediately. Anyway, that went on for a while, and I tried taking him outside again, but he wasn’t interesting in going toilet out there unfortunately, so we headed back in. Then I ate a bagel (bagels are great okay) not deliberately in front of him, but easily within his sights. I finished it up while mum picked him up and introduced him to James and Henry, the little ones. They were joyful and excited, though also rather afraid, in a silly way. Mum showed them that Toby was fine, and I reassured Toby that they were fine. Then I finished my bagel and fed Toby the other half of the can. He ate some of this then left it, so I put it on the side for later. Once everyone had left for work, and Dan wasn’t up yet (lazy bones), I started on training. Not properly. But enough so he got the idea. I used his food that he hadn’t eaten and called him to me. I’ve used his name a lot, because he needs to get used to hearing it, and called “come!” – and he did! I used the food as rewards, and we practiced ‘come’ and ‘sit’, which he wasn’t that great in but, hey, it’s his first day on the job.

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Talking of first days on the job – it really was for him! Breaking rules on our first day, oh dear. I did the same with Milly – went somewhere where dogs weren’t allowed, because someone said I could. Terrible. Anyway, yes, so my council worker Sue came over to take me to her office a drive away to sign some forms for this thing I don’t really want to do. But I answered her questions and she wrote the letter, or whatever it was. And Toby was there. I had him in my arms the whole time, obviously, in a building where dogs aren’t allowed, because we’re cool like that. Everyone loved the ‘illegal’ puppy in the building, and we had a lot of attention on us. Both myself and Toby handled it really well, which was great! The rides to and from the place were okay for him too; he wanted to look out the window a bit, but mostly settled himself well on my lap and half-heartedly chewed the towel/rug that I had brought with us in case he did anything. He was very good for his first ever outing – not really something we should have done, but excellent training for a service puppy anyway! I feel precisely like that first episode of Growing Up Guide Pup, when they took Ricki to the grocery store like when she was 8 weeks old. I looked at that and thought to myself that they shouldn’t really do that because she’s so young, even though she’s a guide dog puppy, but there’s me doing that too. Hm. Well, I am intending to raise a service dog myself, so whatever, guess that was cool. It was kinda fun, definitely, and he was very surprisingly good for such a small puppy.

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So, there we have it I guess. ‘I’ being Liz, by the way. I’ll run this blog for now, until maybe Toby wants to take it over, like Milly did with her facebook page. Milly being this awesome (and pretty big) chocolate labrador who I have dog walked for her owners since February. She’s amazing and is my Emotional Support Animal when we go out. Technically she’s also a Service Dog in Training, because I’m teaching her tasks. She even has a home made vest! But she’s a family pet at heart, and a 6 year old bitch anyway (that’s as in female dog, by the way), so she’s not going to be doing any serious public access work like hopefully Toby will grow up to do. Although she is more the type – big labrador with a proper training lead, patches and headcollar… anyway, again, this is going to be about Toby. Milly’s got her own blog, as previously stated. Yes so when we got home from that little trip. Toby fell right asleep, putting himself to bed. Which was helpful, because then I made cakes. When he woke up properly, I took him outside and I think he did something, but I didn’t actually see it. Anyway, it looks as though toilet training isn’t going too badly. Although I immediately failed with my first plan – taking out every hour or so, like they do in GUGP – we now have a different, easier, plan with newspaper training. So that’s be good. Also his biting is getting better already. We play with the toys and I’m already trying to teach him the “that’s enough” command, which will be super helpful. He doesn’t quite get it yet. He also doesn’t get his collar, as he fusses with it a bit. I’ve been taking it off every time it clearly bothers or scares him, but maybe I shouldn’t be. Who knows. We don’t have a proper routine yet. So that’s that (that’s that alright… what’s that?) and there we go and to be or not to be, that is the question. Well, not that last one. Shakespeare has little place in this puppy training. But that is indeed that, and there’s our first blog post, complete with pictures (yay Toby!). Pictures are great. So, farewell from me and this little pup sleeping under my chair. Adios!

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Useful references:

Milly’s blog – https://www.facebook.com/millychocolatelab

Growing Up Guide Pup – http://www.growingupguidepup.org/

My facebook (for pictures and general other stuff about me as well as Toby) – https://www.facebook.com/elizabeth.kilbee.7

The title pun was thought up by the excellent of my friend Carys, who is awesome. Thanks for reading!