Hello/newbies

Discussion in 'Introductions & Saying Hello' started by Ridd3ll, Aug 12, 2019.

  1. Ridd3ll

    Ridd3ll Registered Users

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2019
    Messages:
    3
    Hi everyone,

    Newbies here. My husband and I recently brought home our little fur baby, Lola, and I just wanted to say this forum has been super helpful. Just reading everyone's experiences has been so re-assuring so I thought I would just write a bit below about our experience so far.......(apologies in advance for the long post).

    Due to a mini break, Lola was 11 weeks when we brought her home in mid-June and is almost 20 weeks old now.

    We did not take the decision lightly to get puppy/labrador and a lot of research was done in advance and we knew it would be hard work but I think actually living it seems so different. It has been mainly an intense yet brilliant experience, with some difficult moments of course. Within days of bringing her home, we felt like we were ready to send her back (we wouldn't, of course!). We felt like we couldn't cope with the separation anxiety, the play biting/teething, the chewing, the hyperactive spells when guests came to the house, zoomies, the constant need for attention around the clock, and many other things. We were sleep deprived and getting 5 minutes to ourselves felt like the best thing ever. We quickly concluded.. never again! And neither of us are first-time dog owners.

    All of this worry wasn't helped by the fact that she didn't complete her course of innoculations until the age of 17 weeks, so couldn't properly socialise with other dogs or walking fully as early as we may have hoped - so therefore her activities were limited. This meant starting full training in classes with other dogs had to be delayed. Whilst we awaited being able to do that, we enlisted the help of a dog trainer who came to the house carried out two one-to-one training sessions (we wanted to make sure we were doing what we could and doing it right), which helped her learn many important commands and develop a good walking manner, which she has built on since - to the point that we're confident in letting her off the lead in parks. This was a game-changing development and, with consistent work on training, we started to see results and generally started to feel much more confident as owners. (I would actually say the trainer trained us as well).

    Now, as the effects of teething start to ease off (and the shock of seeing her teeth fall out), we (and others) are being nibbled much less, and she's got used to being left alone in the house for a few hours at a time in her crate whilst we go to work, or go out. It certainly helps that we have a dog walker who right now provides puppy visits 3 times a day whilst we are at work (she also helps with training), as we await her being able to walk for sufficiently long that she can attend group dog walks with the dog walker.

    We've come a long way in just under two months, albeit with a few behaviours still to iron out. Some of the issues requiring work at the moment are that she's developed a voice and now barks. She barks while we eat at the dinner table, or when one (or both) of us go upstairs (we have a gait in place to stop her going upstairs as she likes to think she is the Andrex puppy :p made us laugh so much seeing her pulling the loo roll out the bathroom). She also follows us about the house a lot and we do try to show her we are boring sometimes and we arent doing naything exciting. She's an incredibly sociable dog and we wouldn't change that as it's one of the greatest qualities of a lab - at the moment we are trying clicker training for the barking but not sure if we are doing it correctly but we'd welcome any suggestions on how we can work to reduce this barking and clinginess.

    The other issue we still need to work on is over-excitement around other dogs and occasionally when meeting humans. At puppy training classes, it's very difficult to stop her wanting to jump up and leap around. Again, any tips welcome but we know this will come the more we socialise and train her.

    Overall, having a lab puppy has been a brilliant, life-changing experience and the very hard work you have to put in in the early weeks is starting to pay off. She is starting to grow up a little in some aspects, but certainly remains a bundle of fun!

    xx
     
  2. Saffy/isla

    Saffy/isla Supporting Member Forum Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2018
    Messages:
    519
    Hi and welcome from me and my pup Isla.

    Your pup sounds lovely and you are doing well with her
     
  3. Ridd3ll

    Ridd3ll Registered Users

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2019
    Messages:
    3
    Thank you for reading and hello to Isla. Honestly it’s been such a journey and seeing how far wee Lola has come, sometimes it does feel like no end in site but this forum has been so good and knowing your not the only ones going through it all.
     
  4. Saffy/isla

    Saffy/isla Supporting Member Forum Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2018
    Messages:
    519
    Hi Ridd3ll,I know what you mean, it's exhausting but brilliant at the same time.

    We were like you, not first time dog owners so we thought we knew what was in store but we were completely out of our depth when Isla arrived, she was a bitey, boisterous, very excitable, chewing everything, digging up our garden bundle of trouble!

    Roll forward 16 months and she's so much better, no more bites or chewing our table legs. She's still very excitable but is getting better at her manners around other dogs, her barking at everything, is a work in progress but she's calmer at home and walks lovely on a lead. So hang on in there it does get easier as you've been seeing already.
     

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