Fox Terrier About Town

Adventures of a Vivaceous Pup in Fancy London

Archive for March, 2008

Sleeping At My Feet, Following Me Around

Find the hidden puppy in my study

Find the hidden puppy in my study

Dashwood is a puppy and hence he sleeps most of the day. He sleeps wherever I am, by my feet. It is because he is also a dog and as a pack animal, in the wild, he would never be on his own. Dogs in a human society need to learn from an early age how to cope with being on their own. This is what dog psychologists call “Separation Anxiety”.

Crates help puppies to learn that being left alone is fine and that someone will return soon. Puppies learn that they cannot follow you everywhere you go when they are left in a crate, and that you come back as if nothing has happened and let them out. You can gradually increase the time your puppy is left in the crate a minute at a time to start with. Remember only to let your puppy out of the crate if they are quiet.

I started leaving Dashwood by himself in our big open plan kitchen when he was about 12 weeks. Little by little he started being used to it. When I came back to the house I made sure I gave him lots of treats to reward him for having been such good puppy, not broken anything or chewed stuff. Giving him treats is also an incentive for him as he associates that when I leave, as soon as I return is “Treat Fest”.


Teething and Chewing

Chewing on a Breitling strap... not a good idea

Chewing on a Breitling strap... not a good idea

Teething can make your puppy’s gums very sore and chewing can help to relive the discomfort. Make sure your puppy has plenty of chew toys. Tug ropes and old tights tied in a knot are a great way to help the baby teeth fall out.

Your puppy will have all their adult teeth through between 6-8 months old. Some smaller breeds can sometimes retain some of their baby teeth and if this does happen they will need to be removed.

If your puppy’s gums are very red and sore you can use baby teething gel.


Start by practising recall in the house, say ‘dog’s name’ and ‘come’ in a loving, enthusiastic voice, and bend down to his level if necessary. When he comes to you give him lots of praise and cuddles and a food treat. When he is coming towards you remember to encourage him all the way.

A whistle can also be a great recall aid for some dogs. You can use the whistle in the park when your dog has gone past your boundary i.e. gone too far away. First you will need to teach your dog that the whistle means the same as come. Try not to over use the whistle in the park, as this will reduce the effectiveness, as your dog will start to block it out and not listen.

Keep yourself exciting so your dog wants to come to you. When they get to you take hold of his collar gently and give lots of praise and a treat, and let him go off to play again. This makes sure your dog doesn’t learn that when he comes to you that his walk is over. When there are 2 or more people walking in the park call him from one person to the next as a game.

You must always encourage your dog as he is coming towards you, if he slows down or stops to sniff, just keep patting your legs and calling. It may help to start walking in the opposite direction so he follows you. Remember if you have to keep going up to him to get him he will learn he doesn’t need to come as you will always be there and come to him.

Scale his recall 1-10, 10 being the best recall i.e. he comes when called first time, very fast when there is lots of distractions. 10 should get his favourite food reward e.g. chicken and big cuddles, scaling downwards to 1 i.e. he takes ages to come back, this means he only gets a small amount of attention and praise. Your dog will soon associate the quicker he comes the better the reward.

Remember if your dog gets attention all the time for free at home then you have nothing to barter with when you are in the park. Your attention will have no value!

Fourteen Weeks Old | Cheese Is The Word

Melisss Knows How To Make A Dog Happy

Melisss Knows How To Make A Dog Happy

Teaching a puppy where to pee and poo is like training chimpanzees for the circus. It’s all about the food treats. In the case of puppies Cheddar is the substance to abuse.

So the pee mat is by the garden door which is shut because it is early March and this is England and outside is as cold as @ w*tch’s t*t. So puppy, who pees right after every meal – this is when Robocop Mum begins to makes sense of the behavioural data, some times gets it right, because he happens to sniff around the pee mat and smells his previous pee of the day and so relieves himself on the same spot. At that precise moment, the Cheese Fest begins.

One has to drop anything that one was doing and one has to start repeating over and over what a “Goood Puppy” one’s puppy is, like only a cheerleading Mummy would, as one proceeds to go towards the fridge and get the cheese box out and choose a nice chunck of cheese, put it on a board, and chop tiny bits of cheese that your puppy, by now glued to your leg, will wallop, and wallop, one after the other. This is what behavioural psychologists call “Reward”. Puppy starts to associate that peeing on the mat gets him cheese, and so he kind of remembers to look for the mat as much as he can.

Still, nature is more powerful than cheese, and we already know that there are a couple of spots that, having peed there before, puppy goes back and does his thing thinking all is dandy. When puppies wee on the wrong spot, you just pick it up and make no fuss of it. This is done so that when the pee is on the mat, and you throw that 14th Julliet racket, the puppy kind of gets that something awesome must be going on with you.

Either that, or he probably thinks that cheese makes you as nuts as it does to him and a cheese party is a Mad Hatter Non-Birthday celebration to keep in the eccentric non-British family that we are.

Good and Bad

Dogs learn by what is good for dogs and what is bad for dogs. If it is good for dogs e.g. they are rewarded, then the likelihood is they will repeat the behaviour next time. If it’s bad for them e.g. they are ignored, then they probably won’t do that behaviour again. What do you think are the good/most important things in your puppy’s life?

Food, which can be broken down, Attention, Playing with dogs, Toys et cetera.

These are the treats, the motivations. Use them wisely.

When Leader Of The Pack Prepares Food, Sub-Leutennant of the Pack Watches Her Back

5.58 am vital mince unwrapping under way

5.58 am vital mince unwrapping under way

I only just noticed that Mr Puppy guards my back when I prepare food.

Is this genes, or the cleverest puppy in the world?

I love my puppy, I love my puppy, I love my puppy


‘Heel’ or ‘close’ means walk by my side with a loose lead, your dog’s head should be in line with your legs.

• Choose which side you would like him to walk on and make sure he always is on that side.
• Only walk forward when the lead is loose. Praise your dog and say ‘heel’ only
when he walking in the correct position with a loose lead.
• Try to keep your dog focused on you, and encourage him while he is walking, tell him what a clever boy he is when he is walking with a loose lead.
• When your dog pulls and the lead is tight stop walking and encourage him to come back to your side when he is back in the correct position walk on.
• If he keeps walking in front you can get him back to your side by using a sharp short check to pull him back to your side.

Remember if your dog is pulling and you follow him this only reinforces that behaviour.