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  • Writer's pictureThe Cambridge Dog Lodge

First walks! - Puppy Diaries

I am a little late talking about this one: going out for a walk for the first time! It’s been a few weeks but I’ve got cute photos, so I know you wont complain.

Ren had been out and about and had visits, to people’s houses, met new dogs and people, but she had been on her first walk officially until after her last vaccinations. It was still quite cold so on went her little jacket and harness and off we went along the street.

It must have been so strange for her because she had had all this space in the house and garden to roam but then suddenly another world opened up to her! She was sniffing and looking everywhere. We didn’t go far till we met another local dog called Phoebe. Phoebe is a gorgeous young cocker spaniel who was very friendly but not in your face which was perfect for meeting Ren. Ren gets anxious when she first meets anyone or another dog, so we take it slowly, give nice treats, and most importantly we don’t rush her. By time Phoebe was walking away Ren was like ‘don’t go!’

The next day though we thought let’s go to the beach! So, we did. Met up with a group of friends, who just happened to be our lovely agility friends AND included in that group was Ren’s mum and nanna! Ren was nervous when we got there and really wasn’t sure at all what was going on, but once she realised who was there she was very excited!

What was lovely about the walk is that all these dogs train together and have known each other a long time now, so when they meet up like this for fun time they are relaxed and happy. Its like seeing children outside of school meeting up at the park and playing.

Ren with her mum and nanna.

Now before anyone says anything, yes I know it was potentially a big walk for a very young dog. Which was why we all took turns carrying her along the way. The weather wasn’t particular nice that day and the tide was coming in fast, so we probably wasn’t out that long anyway. I love the beach, there is just something very special about it and I see how dogs run on the beach. It must feel so nice for them, for their paws. And I wanted Ren to experience that as soon as possible.

Indie enjoying the beach at Talacre. You wouldn't believe when she first came to us at 18 months she was terrified of the beach.

Ren struggles being out on a walk with just me and her. Once she gets used to things she’s very confident, but we have to work round ways of building her confidence up without rushing or forcing her into it. It will only make matters worse, so I know to take my time. We have been on a walk each day, but I noticed if our other dogs were with us, then she calmed very quick and enjoyed her walk. But she can’t go out with them all the time because they need long walks with lots of off lead action, and she isn’t ready for that just yet (and trust me if I carry her for too long now she becomes a dead weight!). So, I had a word with Willow, and she agreed to help her little sister out. Willow is pretty bomb proof and a bit of a pro when it comes to anxious dogs – Willow was a puppy when we started the dog lodge, so she has a lot of experience. Out we went and straight away Ren was very relaxed, she happily walked along side willow, sniffed where Willow sniffed, stayed when Willow stayed. That did mean of course that when Ren had a treat for being good willow did too.

Apologies for blurry photos - they wouldn't pose properly!

Just a little side note for those who have nervous puppies on walks. If you don’t have another dog of your own to go on walks with, ask a friend or family member who has a happy confident dog to go along on little walks with you. It means your puppy is making new friends and understanding how good it feels to walk with another dog, and it helps build their confidence, seeing the other dog and how they behave on a walk.

So here's to future walks! We have plenty on the list of new places to go and tell you about.

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