Harry has become Paddy's shadow and also much to Paddy's comfort his favourite seat. Harry gets sat on a lot. Toilet training is going well. Puppies leak fluids a lot and depending on which model you get (ours currently leaks in and elongated stretch position until he can cock his leg) is the other model does a squat.
When toilet training you literally start to watch the puppy at all times, you really really have to. When it wakes is always a good time to get them outside, when he's eaten is another and all times in between. Only then will said pup come back into the house and leak. Do not blink, do not leave the room, live in readiness in your shoes and jacket for the moment you say 'I'll take the dogs out' leaking will have already commenced, guaranteed. So far we have had five dry nights in a row, will this last?
As for solids at the time of writing no deposits have been made at home, plenty outside but pleased to say that due to the amount they produce nothing has been left in our abode.
Harry sleeps in my office with Max and Paddy. I say sleep but he has kept us awake a couple of nights, not I hasten to add by sorrowful wailing and crying but with the relentless #NinjaSpanna attacks on Paddy, I have no idea what the neighbours think we are up to?
Harry probably isn't aware that his training has already started, but trained he will be.
We have all watched programs, read books, watched others but my method rightly or wrongly for recall is to use the puppy's instinct, a puppy will follow you. We take Harry to a secure area away from traffic etc. Put him on the ground and slowly walk he will follow, if he lags behind we gently coax him, he has a new name and everything he sees, touches hears or smells is new. Patience is key. As his confidence grows he will range further afield from you. He's doing that already just one week on, we walk away calling his name or using a whistle, kneeling down on his return and make a fuss of them. Doing this from an early age imprints 'the recall' on their minds. They will test you, walk away call, whistle, they will come, if they don't keep walking, turn and call, keep doing it. Don't forget you have to be in a secure area. It's what we did with Paddy and it's worked a treat, his recall is brilliant. To me recall is one of the most important things they need to learn, especially in a rural area like ours. You have to keep on top of them as there are so many distractions, sounds and scents. Do not give in and run after your pup for this will be fatal, you'll make it think it's a game and they are slippery little things if you want to catch them.
Once Harry follows us and respond to whistle or call, I then stand with open arms, encouraging him as he comes. I like using hand signals as the dogs start to watch you. When your up the fells this is very important, I want the boys to keep an eye on me, which so far so good they do, they look for hand signals, if I point at the ground beside me Paddy will come back to me. If you check our videos you will see they constantly look for eye contact.
Don't forget you are the boss, the pack leader, the provider of food, love and the boundary setter, the one the puppy will chew the face off, yes Harry has very kindly exposed me to considerable blood loss, nose, lip and chin to be fair. Another good point, there is nothing sharper than puppies claws or teeth. When carrying Harry and he wants on the ground, he will thrash around like a great white shark in kill mode. He's nine weeks old and one very headstrong pup!
We are only letting Harry have a few minutes running around, broken up into several sessions a day until he's had his second injection and he'll need to be much older before he can do bigger walks. It's ironic really as when he gets home he has two hours of grand slam full contact combat with Paddy.
We will be weighing Harry weekly to chart his progress, we've got him on feeding three times a day. He did make the mistake of trying to get into Max's dinner bowl and subsequently nearly ended up in orbit. I don't think he'll try again? Then again he's a Springer so probably will.
We'll be weighing him on Monday so will see how it goes, he certainly has an appetite and is considerable bigger than some of his siblings.
We also need to sort out pet insurance for him, which again is a bit of a minefield, we'll keep you updated.