Fox Terrier About Town

Adventures of a Vivaceous Pup in Fancy London

Archive for Practical Info

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.

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Persian Carpets Are Not For Puppies

Murphy Warned About Puppies and Carpets

This Spot Is Not For Puppies


Ben comes from Istanbul and I am in Blackfriars at a board meeting. I have taken puppy with me because the clients want to see him. It’s okay to bring a puppy to an antiques warehouse. He seats on my lap at the meeting and I entertain him by letting him chew on a toy that I brought with me. He wriggles sometimes but now he knows that I am the boss – or he is beginning to know, and we can negotiate less wriggly movement. Every day is one little step forward for a puppy, one giant relief for his owner, me, in gaining the battle of Who Is The Leader Of The Pack, or whatever sentence they use to basically define what Mums do with their offspring. I was the leader of the pack when I was the head teacher of 24 six year old kiddies in New York City Dwight School. In those days, those little upper class muppets did what I told them to do and I never thought about packs, top dogs or any such thing.

Ben is back and he opens the door and there I am puppy house in hand and puppy wriggling inside. The foyer is literally covered in $20,000 Persian antique carpets. Ben lets puppy out of the house and little foxy starts trotting around like a lamb. Then he starts sniffling the ground. And before we can say “No!” puppy squats his back legs and starts to wee on the carpets. Ben goes livid and I jump over the carpets to snatch the peeing puppy from the ground. Puppy stops weeing and doesn’t know what is going on. Ben then spends the next 20 minutes soaking the pee off the hand-tinted carpets with rolls of toilet paper. The wee comes off and the carpets seem okay.

Lesson One: when puppies sniff the floor, they are looking for a fine place to pee.
Lesson Two: Ben has developed a magnanimous sense of understanding of puppy behaviour, or he just knows how mortified I was and did not want to rub it in anymore
Lesson Three: Add Ben to a couple of more night prayers because he deserves it

Puppy School Oh So Posh

Heel Puppy, Heel! Good Puppy!

Heel Puppy, Heel! Good Puppy!

One of the things that I pre-booked before Dashwood came home was puppy school. This is very common in London. Apparently not so much in other parts, but it is one of the best things a little puppy can get. And you, as the owner, if you have never brought up a puppy, is the best schooling too.

This is what you get in Puppy School:

* teaching your puppy how to come, sit, lay down, heel, and obey basic commands;
* learning about puppy hygene: how to clean those ears, and the eye gunky stuff;
* introducing your puppy to other dog breeds, different from him and so needed to be explored;
* teaching your puppy basic manners towards other puppies, humans and children;

The couse is just six Saturdays, but it is worth doing. This is the site that will locate your nearest puppy class.

Dashwood and I went to Dog Hollow, off the King’s Road, SW3 and we had hilarious episodes there. Above all, the ladies running the puppy classes are extraordinarily dedicated and knowledgeable and made our learning a delightful and worthy process.