Posts tagged ‘settling in’

So that’s where the last month has gone…

Shockingly it’s been over a month since our last update…slapped wrists all round…we blame pressure of work and puppy juggling… so we’ll now attempt a potted history of the last month-in-the-lives-of Mingus & Phoenix.

Twin engine.

Firstly, like Phoenix before him, Mingus has been busy at his Puppy Guru’s training classes, the third of which is coming up in a few days. His initial foray into the class was undertaken with some trepidation (but then he was only 11 weeks old at the time and hadn’t yet started getting out and about to meet and greet) but since then he’s really got into the swing of things and is incredibly quick to learn and easy to train. We’ve mastered come, watch, sit, up, down, (plus the infamous sit-up-down sandwich) heel and wait. This week should be “stay”.

Mingus at large.

Meantime Tim took our little lad along to his first ringcraft class last week, mainly to introduce him to the cut-and-thrust of the training environment. Luckily he loved the whole experience and, of course, received LOTS of attention from humans and canines alike as well as some extremely favourable comments from several of the Champ show gundog judges who were present. He also did several pretty presentable laps of the hall in fine style,so, all in all, a very pleasing start.

Having an explore on the Common.

Back at base Tim is slowly attempting to shape Mingus’ stacking technique using the same positive training methods that (eventually!) worked for Phoenix. This time round at least one of the two parties knows roughly what they’re doing, so hopefully by the time he’s 6 months Mingus should have a pretty decent stack to show the world.

Watching the action at the Wadebridge show.

We all went to visit a dog show at Wadebridge in Cornwall last weekend in order to give Mingus more full-on socialization opportunities. Despite the cavernous venue and the many, many dogs of all shapes and sizes, he took it all firmly in his stride and trotted round with great enthusiasm and curiosity – again, receiving much attention and many oohs, aahs and coos along the way.

Ready to roll at Rough Tor.

Soggy-bearded Phoenix en route to the top of Rough Tor.

At only 12 weeks old Mingus is limited to walks of 10 to 15 minutes at the moment (so as to protect his developing joints) so he still gets to be carried once his allotted walk time is up…we did manage a quick trip to the beautiful moorland of Rough Tor on the way back from Wadebridge though, and this allowed Mingus the opportunity to splash around in the shallow river and see some horses close up. Phoenix and Tim then went for a great romp up to the top of the tor itself whilst Mingus and Adam want for a snooze in the sun back at the car….

It's all go on the dog-sofa.

Phoenix & Mingus are still very much besotted with one another, but (again, with joints and hip-scores in our minds) we’re now very wary of allowing them to play together for more than a few minutes. We currently running an alternating-dog schedule of play, walks, training and confinement which, although very time consuming, seems to be working fairly well, but can’t wait for the time that they can both hit the moors and beaches together.

Throwing a semi-point on Torrington Common.

Mingus’ big-boy cage arrived last week, so he’s now upgraded to a full-on adult-sized den, which he clearly loves, and voluntarily hops into when he wants some quiet time. He’s been completely toilet trained for a few weeks now, but still wakes up a couple of times each night, so the 3AM toilet run has yet to fade into memory (unfortunately…) That’s pretty much the only area that needs work though, in all other respects he’s a total delight to live with, incredibly affectionate and responsive and such a cutie!!

20/02/2010 at 09:00 Leave a comment

Sling Shots.

Riding in the sling on the Tarka Trail.

Mingus reached the grand old age of 9 weeks yesterday, and has been with us for 1 of those weeks, so it seems like a good time for an update. He’s settled in incredibly quickly and remarkably easily, is very eager to learn and be trained – again, the miracle of clicker/treat training works every time, in every situation – and he and Phoenix are now inseparable…

What's that about letting sleeping dogs lie?

More sofa action.

He’s almost toilet trained, and today, for the first time, he trotted to the front door to ask to be taken to the toilet – where he gets a click and training treat. After some “howl” issues on nights 2 and 3, he’s  slept well for the last 4 nights in a row, and, with two night time trips out to the toilet area, he doesn’t wake ’til after 7:00AM, which is fine with us!

Sling ride.

Mindful of that vital 8 weeks to 12 weeks socialization window we’ve been taking Mingus out and about as much as possible so he can get used to all the wonders of his world. Because he’s not fully vaccinated for another 3 weeks he travels in the same baby sling that we used for Phoenix, which works fine for a while, but he’s already getting increasingly frustrated that he can’t zoom around like his big sister, and after 20 mins or so starts to get very wriggly.

Taking in the world.

"But Dad, I wanna get down and run around!"

Ultra-confident, so far he’s been unfazed  by all manner of people, dogs, prams, cycles etc. etc. and travels without any concern in the cars, but was a little spooked by the traffic when we went out and about in Torrington town yesterday, so that seems like the one area to focus on.

Curiouser and curiouser.

24/01/2010 at 13:01 3 comments

Mingus Touchdown.

Home!

So yesterday we journeyed far (well, to Southampton) to collect our new little lad. We packed the car for every eventuality, fully expecting howling, vomiting and other bodily expulsions en route home. In the event though Mingus took it all completely in his stride and slept silently for most of the journey, with occasional moments of rousing to check out the passing scenery – a stark contrast to Phoenix who howled and screamed like she was having root canal work for the entire of her 7 hour trip home!

With Adam.

As soon as he touched down in the kitchen Mingus burst to life, brimming with excitement and joy at all the new things to explore. After wolfing down his first home meal, wagging furiously throughout, he raced around like an energizer bunny on overload…so wonderfully confident despite his all-new environment and leaving his siblings behind, a really great testament to how well raised and socialised he has been. Eventually he crashed and burned and snuggled straight into his new cage for a good long snooze – perfect!

Favourite new toy....

....definitely.

Phoenix was beside herself with excitement, but was just too boisterous to play with her new brother just yet. Mingus seems perfectly happy to sleep on his own and settles down without fuss, so the first night went pretty well, punctuated with various trips out to the toilet, but with no screaming, howling or signs of any distress…all quite remarkable!

"Yes?"

So now, after about 24 hours at Wolf Valley, Mingus definitely knows his name, and comes scampering every time you call him. He’s also mastered “sit” pretty quickly, thanks to trusty clicker and reward system. He starts his formal Puppy Gurus obedience training in just over 2 weeks, so we’ve practised a few “down” commands to get the ball rolling. Luckily Mingus seems to have an insatiable appetite, which certainly makes training much easier. He was also weaned straight onto on raw food by Mum Jacqui, which fits perfectly with Phoenix’ all raw diet too.

Sofa snuggle.

Phoenix has become less hyper around Mingus as the day has gone on, which has allowed them to interact properly, albeit under strict supervision, and even enjoy a 3-way-snoozy-snuggle together with Tim on the “dog” sofa this afternoon…

Sofasnooze

"You displease me Human..."

"Sit!"

17/01/2010 at 16:59 7 comments

The Joy of Chicken Wings…

Meeting Indi.

Meeting Indi.

This was the day that Phoenix met Indigo – Tim’s mother’s blue rescue Greyhound – as well as Tim’s mother herself! Phoenix was fantastically excited and tried to goad Indi into playing with her,  sadly to no avail. Indi was very patient and long suffering as Phoenix romped all over her and it became a valuable early lesson in canine etiquette for the eager pup…

Phoenix flipped into seeing the outdoors as an adventure playground full of untold pleasures and sensory delights today, no longer afraid of the space around her.

Phoenix woke twice in the night and we took her out to go to the loo. Otherwise sleeping through to 7.00am without any problems. She’s sleeping in the bedroom with us (in her own crate, we’re not that soft) and finds the sound of our breathing comforting.

We started to introduce the raw diet to Phoenix today. She had her first chicken wing in the evening which she found to be the most  exciting thing  she had ever encountered. She was thrilled with it and demolished it over 25 minutes looking very pleased with herself as a result.

07/01/2009 at 17:29 Leave a comment

Vet Visit.

Phoenix at six weeks.

Phoenix at six weeks.

Today, Phoenix went to the Vets for her first injection. Only the second time ever in the car: she still wasn’t crazy about it. She didn’t mind being in the car, it was the sight of the landscape speeding by that tipped her over the edge. Treats worked well to distract her.

Once we got to the vets, she loved it. Everybody made a huge fuss of her, staff and visitors.  Carolyn the vet, noted on her record that she was a “lovely and extremely well socialised pup”. Phoenix was microchipped and, like her injection,  she didn’t notice it happening at all, being much more interested in the biscuit bribe that the vet offered her.

Phoenix was given a clean bill of health, the vet commented that Phoenix was big for her age and wasn’t she actually ten weeks old rather than eight weeks!

Phoenix was invited to two puppy parties.

06/01/2009 at 17:21 Leave a comment

So it begins…

Camouflaged amongst the chair legs.

Camouflaged amongst the chair legs.

Day 2:  Phoenix woke up every hour on the hour, not much sleep for Daddy A (Tim) and Daddy X (Adam) Phoenix was introduced to the world of clicker and treat today, Phoenix learnt her name, and learnt to sit. Toys were chewed.

First contact was made with the cats, who didn’t want to play. At all. Phoenix couldn’t really understand why her new fluffy puppy friends didn’t want to rumble.

First trip outdoors: Phoenix was overwhelmed by being outdoors. It was really cold and frosty too, in contrast to her supreme confidence in every other situation.

Toilet Training bulletin: a bit hit and miss but give her a break it is day one in a new home!  A few puddles. We put in a turf filled tray for her to use but she didn’t know what grass was! Let alone frozen grass.

05/01/2009 at 17:14 Leave a comment


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