Dog Blog #3 – Establishing a Daily Routine

With anything, a routine is hugely important to settle both humans and canines – we have been trying to do just that to become even better acquainted with each other over the last couple of weeks and to form long-lasting bonds. I’ve seen on the internet that Labradoodles can become attached to one particular member of a family – I wonder who that will be…? This week we have been for a socialisation visit to the registered vet and we are trying to learn to cope with the constant chewing and biting.

Doing a Recce at the Vet Practice

We had registered with our local vet, one of a group in our area, before Margot joined our family. When I went in to ‘check them out’, comparing them with the alternative down the road, never having stepped foot into a similar establishment before, the lady behind the desk was so excited for us. She asked what type of dog it was, when she was arriving and genuinely showed an interest in sharing information about the practice. Another two visits later and I still feel the same – the people we have dealt with at Lynwood have been nothing but friendly and supportive.

Having booked an appointment to see the veterinary nurse for Margot’s ‘Look/See Socialisation visit’, we were once again back in the car for the first time in a week. It was exciting and nerve-wracking at the same time. J and P sat in the back to try and keep Margot calm and reassured whilst plugged into the seat belt clip for security. (I bought one of the short bungee ones which attach both to the car and onto a harness – not the collar!) It’s fair to say that she either doesn’t like my driving, the sound of the air conditioning or the feeling of the movement – I wasn’t driving fast, I promise – because she whined and whimpered all the way there and all the way back. I’m not sure who was the most stressed out of the four of us…

Therefore, we also needed to introduce Margot to the small harness we had chosen for this very purpose. J was brilliant at this. When I tried to put it over her head, she simply chewed it. But there is definitely an art to putting it on. First of all you have to choose the correct hole to put her head through, sort out her front legs, followed by securing the band under her tummy by clicking the two clips together. Tbh it’s a little on the big side, like the new blazer you buy your child when they start secondary school that they will undoubtedly grow into. We may need to buy her an alternative and actually measure her properly. With a tape measure? I wonder how that will go?

‘How do I look? Smart or silly? I like the colour, but I’m still a little unsure about this harness.’

Fortunately, we didn’t have to wait long before Margot was called in to see Alice, who was both friendly and professional in the way she asked us questions, gave us advice and information and made us all feel reassured that our puppy was doing well – and so were we. Perching her on a metal table which stood quite high up off the ground was a bit scary. It was difficult to focus on all the details we were being given and make sure that our inquisitive friend didn’t fall off. Alice covered a whole range of topics such as feeding, sleeping and socialisation – a topic for a future post. Next week we are back again for Margot’s second vaccinations so I hope she remembers how much fun she had…

Incessant Chewing – does this ever end?

The incessant chewing is relentless. I’m not going to lie, it’s the most challenging aspect of her behaviour. When those little puppy teeth take hold of my jumper, fingers or shoelaces, they certainly latch on and sometimes she keeps on tugging like her life depends on it. There are holes in the bottom of my fleece where she has jumped up and pulled on it showing the whites of her eyes. (Jumping up – something else to try and train her out of!) I try to be ready with a rubbery alternative, but she has caught my hand a few times… it really hurts. Poor old Foxy continues to be given a right going over. Can anyone tell me when this stage ends? (I put the question into Google and according to the Blue Cross, ‘play biting is a phase that puppies will typically grow out of once they reach between three and five months of age’. It can’t come soon enough for me to be honest.)

Time Spent Outside

I did think that spending time in the garden might prevent the biting and chewing – I suppose it does in terms of chewing inside the house. Plus it gives us all a break from trying to find suitable chew toys, Amazon boxes or the inside tube of a roll of kitchen towel. However, instead outside in the back garden she has her nose to the ground 80% of the time rifling through the grass and leaves for… I’m not sure what really. I am constantly scouring the ground for acorns which have fallen from from the oak trees behind the fence because these are toxic. She has started weeding the grass from in betweeen the patio slabs, digging in amongst the small stones and chewing on the corner of a wooden planter. Any ideas? Another friend with a dog suggested a dog deterrent spray – I had no idea such a thing existed. I might try some for the skirting boards and radiator knobs in the kitchen, but I can’t really spray the entire garden with bitter apple. Where’s the fun in that?

Margot says…

‘I love my new family and I show this through my play biting, but the big people don’t seem to find it as fun as I do. I don’t hurt them on purpose. It’s lovely scrambling to sit on their laps for a cuddle even though they are always presenting me with different objects to chew on. I find the wishbone-shaped one tricky to hold onto with my paws and it skids across the floor sometimes. I wish my teeth didn’t hurt so much.’

Nap time…

What’s that poem called? The first line is: ‘Cats sleep anywhere, any table, any chair…’ (It probably just has the title ‘Cats’. The oracle Google confirms it as ‘Cats sleep anywhere’.) The pictures below show that our puppy will sleep anywhere there is a fleecy mat – when she isn’t chewing on it, of course…

A
B
C

Next week… second vaccinations with the vet, walking on the lead, chewing updates and more photos!

Please leave a comment in the box, share and spread the word…


6 responses to “Dog Blog #3 – Establishing a Daily Routine”

  1. She’s growing fast, isn’t she!? Glad you chose Lynwood as your vets – we’re with them, too (the Wimborne branch) and they have been fantastic with Gali.

    Have you got a puppy Kong? They’re great for the chewing, and of course you can fill them up with rewards or dog peanut butter and so they’re a reward in themselves as well as being good stimulation. They aren’t indestructible but it’ll take a while for puppy teeth to chew through them. They also have Kong teething sticks, which might help. I expect you’ve already tried them, but thought it was worth a mention.

    If she gets nervous in the car, why not try one of the dog booster seat/beds, almost like a box, that she can sit inside? You strap them into the car seat, too, so she would be safe but cosy. Also, pet remedy wipes are excellent to calm them down a bit – they’re all natural and just like a baby wipe but they have valerian in them, which is a calming herb. They work brilliantly for Gali when there are fireworks or thunder. You just rub them lightly around their collar/neck/harness and the smell calms them. Gali ends up sleeping with her nose on one as she likes the smell so much. You can wipe them on the car seat, too. They don’t work for every dog, but might be worth a try if Margot continues to be nervous of car journeys – it’s early days, though, of course.

    Loving hearing all the updates on your gorgeous pup 🐾❤️ Mandy

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    • Thank you for your very comprehensive comments, Mandy. It’s so lovely that you are enjoying the updates. (We have bought a puppy Kong – but my thoughts on that will be in next week’s blog post.) Thank you for the suggestion of the pet remedy wipes – I have never heard of those. I will also keep you posted in terms of travelling in the car. (That is also something I am drafting for next week’s post…)

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  2. To me the obvious dog deterrent would be white vinegar. I looked it up on internet.
    A highly concentrated combination of vinegar and water – 1 part vinegar to 5 parts water – is effective enough to discourage dogs. Vinegar’s sour taste can also prevent your pooch from chewing. Always use clear vinegar such as white vinegar. Apple cider vinegar that is mildly colored is also a good option.
    It looks as if I was right. It’s a much cheaper option and will clean the surfaces at the same time. I use it for many things. I will bring you some.

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