Scooby Doo and Bella Boo!
by Emily Freeman // November 2017
Scooby Doo and Bella Boo!
We love every puppy, adult and rescue that comes through our doors and the progression they make is always unique to every case. We took a call from Nicky prior to classes who had brought home her two cocker spaniel puppies a few weeks ago. They were a little slow to progress with their toilet training and took a shining to two couches with their teething habits. We were expecting a couple of little tearaways in the first class but when we met Scooby and Bella, they were two placid, lovely little puppies – it was hard to comprehend how such cuties could have eaten their way through a pair of couches!
We slowly started to see the cheeky characters of these puppies peek through. Nicky was a little nervous of letting them off their leads on a walk, and felt she needed some extra support in this area, so we did a 121 session with her and the pups and spent an hour in the Rehoming Centre’s enclosed field to work on recall games. They were brilliant, they barely left our side and enjoyed running back and forth in a game of puppy ping pong. Nicky felt a lot more confident in their recall and after practicing even more at home in the garden, she started to let one at a time off lead out and about, slowly building up to both puppies.
As a landscape gardener, Nicky takes a lot of pride in her garden so we had to help her with ideas on how to puppy proof the area from the cheeky twosome!
The pups were doing great in class but Joe, the pup’s Dad and Nicky’s other half felt like they could do even better. Initially, Joe had struggled with the training; he (of course) absolutely doted on the pups and wanted to shower them with hugs and kisses all the time! We were able to gradually convince him that he could still shower his new additions with all the affection they deserved while also teaching them good manners and learning the skills they need to be well adjusted adults.
We were able to work with both Nicky and Joe and get them on the same page – they were often swapping and changing the words they used to ask the pups to do different things, which as you can imagine was probably a little confusing as they were not sure what was being asked of them. Nicky and Joe finally settled on the word “biccy” as the recall word and once this was being used consistently, they saw a rapid improvement in the pups recall!
We discussed long lines and talked to Nicky about building her confidence to let them off lead as for any new pup parent, letting them go off and explore the wider world can be a daunting prospect. That’s where our classes can come in handy. Part of what we do in class is give our puppies the tools they need to recognise that returning to their owners while out and about is massively fun and rewarding, but we also work on owner’s confidence to let their puppies get accustomed to off lead exercise.
We are happy to report that Nicky, Joe and the cheeky pups are doing well with all their replacement couches, and in fact are planning another round of classes to further develop Scooby and Bella as they grow into adults.