Thank you for visiting! Please feel free to leave a comment. I accept anonymous comments as long as they are polite.

All written content is protected by copyright but if you wish to contact me regarding the content of this blog, please feel free to do so via the contact form.

Please pay a visit, too, to HILLIARD & CROFT


Christina Croft at Amazon

Sunday 19 May 2013

Step 3 – Socialise Your Dog

“It is important that your dog gets used to people and other dogs while he is still a puppy. Socialise him as much as possible by introducing him to new people and situations.”

Ah ha, here is the easy part! Bertie loves people. If a burglar broke through the door, Bertie would welcome him with a wagging tail and lots of kisses. So! Off we go to meet new people...

Hmm...Bertie loves people a little too much. He thinks everyone is as excited to see him as he is to see them. Someone shows the least bit of interest in him and he leaps for joy, bounding, clambering up their legs, licking any available piece of flesh...which is all very well if the person happens to like dogs and it hasn’t been raining. Unfortunately, even the most devoted animal-lovers are not quite so overjoyed to have little black footprints all over their clothes.

Perhaps we will have more luck with dogs because they are not so fussy about footprints and Bertie is as happy to meet them as he is to meet people...In fact, more so! The slightest whiff of a dog in the vicinity and his tail wags so wildly it is almost like rudder, directing him towards them, and he is literally breathless with excitement. Of course, I am wary...supposing the other dog happens to be a big vicious brute or doesn’t take kindly to the attentions of a puppy? I call to the owners who tell me theirs is an ‘old boy’ or an ‘old girl’ who has seen it all and is as gentle as can be. Bertie hurries over to get acquainted and, not yet having developed the concept of ‘invading people’s space’ he drives in, expecting the old boy/girl to want to wrestle with him and appears a little disappointed when the senior dog just stares at him somewhat disdainfully as though to say, “Oh, the puppies today...we were never like that when we were young...”

Happily, we next meet a puppy who is eager to play...but the puppy happens to be half Bertie’s size and when Bertie begins to wrestle, the tiny little Chihuahuas and Yorkies are not at all impressed and revert to yapping wildly and baring their teeth. On we go...

Ah...a spaniel puppy! The right size, tail wagging, eager to play...and they both happily engage in a jolly wrestling match. Unfortunately, both are still on leads and although it is May, the Maypole dance is not well choreographed because rather than winding both leads into a neat pattern, I and the other dog-person end up having to untie our knotted leads while the puppies roll around in the grass. This is an impossible task unless one of us lets go of the lead at which point either puppy might tear off into the sunset...We eventually untangle ourselves and walk off in opposite directions while both puppies are still panting and tugging us back, trying to renew their game.

One particular spaniel with whom Bertie played had a particularly loud bark. Bertie, surprisingly, hardly ever barks and the sound of loud noise frightened him a little. He came home, climbed into bed, buried his head under the pillow and practised barking...Maybe next time he will be able to
respond with more than a rather timid little squeak...


Unknown said...

Such an adorable, sweet little dog!

Christina said...

Thank you, Sofie :-)