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  • Writer's pictureThe Cambridge Dog Lodge

Puppy Diary: The Beginning

As I sit here, totally and utterly distracted by Ren. It's not difficult if I am honest. She fascinates me.

Obviously having a new puppy is very distracting. You would think I would be used to it by now what with my own dogs and my clients’ puppies, but no, each one grabs me just as much as the last one. And Ren is no exception. I find myself just staring at her – if she could talk she would tell me to stop! I watch her learning all the new things, see her sniffing the air taking in the smells, watching, and learning from the other dogs. Ren was born at the end of September yet here she is walking around, running, and playing, offering me her paw for ANY food (she is such a foodie!) absorbing absolutely everything she can, every morsel of information going into that brand new clever brain, and understanding this is her home now. It just blows my mind.

My intention was to get my first puppy diary out on Tuesday, after all we had then had her a week so it would be appropriate. That clearly didn’t happen. Along with it being the busiest and most exhausting month of the year for everyone, just spending time playing and training (ok, maybe I was just cuddling) the new puppy, I had to be realistic and admit defeat – I was being optimistic and the first puppy diary on the dog blog would go out today, instead.

Ren is a kooikerhundje (more about her breed on another day), so she is a clever little dog who is going to need training and routine. She is going to need a job too and that job will be agility. Ren actually competing will be in the future but in the meantime, we will start doing basic training. She wants to learn, eager to please.

Coming into our house is a big deal for any dog, so for a puppy it can be very overwhelming. Most puppies start off in a house where they are either the only one or there is already an established dog in the house when they arrive. Our house isn’t like that. As well as our own dogs, we also have dogs on daycare and dogs who board (not to mention all our other pets – again that will be a subject for another day) so it is not so simple when introducing Ren to the household. Our dogs have been living that life for nearly 10 years so it is never really an issue for them, but for a puppy it is very confusing.

What has been interesting with regards to our other dogs, we have been able to see when they have realised that Ren is actually staying. Barney has been the one though that was clearly voted to scope out the situation. I was telling Ren what a good girl she was when she had had a wee outside, and Barney was listening very intentionally. I watched her look at Ren then at me. She stood staring at me a while longer then almost nodded, went to Ren, sniffed her then went back in the house. After this she started encouraging Ren to play with her, something she doesn’t always do so early on in a new dog relationship. The other two had clearly been given the nod and their relationship with her has relaxed too. It has helped Ren and her confidence has come on leaps and bounds, only this evening she was playing What Time is it Mr Wolf with Barney. It was a joy to see.

So, what else has been happening since Ren has arrived? It has been full on, in fact I would say she has hit the ground running and whilst somethings have been hard for her, other things she has had the attitude of bring it on! Don’t get me wrong, it has been scary for this little girl, like I said above all the new information and experience has been a lot for her to deal with, and we have taken each day at a time. We have still taken it at Ren’s pace – we have not had much choice really seen as Ren has the biggest screaming voice if she doesn’t like something! Think those goats that do that scream (if you have watched the most recent Thor film, those goats!). That noise has ensured that anyone meeting her tread very carefully around her, animal, and human. However, once Ren has got the introductions out of the way, she very happily wants to say hi and play!

I found a little blue coat that fitted her perfectly. Ren isn't able to go on walks just yet but as the temperatures, especially in the evening have been below freezing I have been putting a little coat on her. We don't want her turning into a pupsicle!

Of course, it is Christmas and I do like my decorations. I was feeling all cocky with the tree and thought I will just put the basic baubles at the bottom, make sure it wont fall over and what will be will be. I underestimated Ren, completely. She came in, ran round, went under the tree and with one bite switched off the lights, then promptly trotted out, like it had been her plan all along. Now, the tree is caged in. Looks lovely, honest. It looks like the tree is dangerous and trying to escape (that’s what I tell visitors anyway).

Basic training has been in place from the very start. There’s no waiting with a puppy, from the moment they come into your house its very tempting to let them settle in for a few days before you put routine and training in place. Its understandable, they are a baby, and we want to treat them right and give them the love and care they need. Waiting though can be a mistake – they are learning all the time, taking everything in. One thing we don’t often realise either is that they are watching us, watching us do what we do, and assessing what they can and cant do, and which human in the house has what position. They take this information, right from the beginning, and run with it. Ren is no exception to this. It has been very clearly to us all from the beginning this little dog craves communication and interaction from each one of us, and she wants to learn.

Ren's first experience of snow - even a little bit on her whiskers.

I hope you will enjoy going on this adventure with Ren and the Cambridge family x

Next in Puppy Diary : Ren goes to the vet for her second round of jabs

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