Further to my first “Puppy Tails” post where I introduced you all to my best ever birthday present, Rollo our lurcher pup, this post is a bit of an update as to how Rollo has progressed since that first post, and where he is now.
At just over 4 months old, Rollo has grown very fast (since the photos in the last post)! Getting taller and heavier with each passing week; leaner now he’s lost his puppy fat – meaning he’s also gotten faster!! Just look at the image collage below to see the difference in just a few weeks!
Rollo had been trained on the lead in the gardens before he was able to be walked out in the world. He got used to having on a collar and lead, and then to his harness also. As he was quite a jumpy pup, as he wanted to befriend everyone, I decided to opt for walking him on a harness as he’s less likely to do himself any damage if he gets himself too hyped up. I opted for a harness with a handle, to aid in restraining when necessary.
Whilst the lead training was on-going in the gardens, Rollo was coming on Tilly (of Titbit: Tilly…) walks in his puppy bag – this gave him the chance to, well… nap initially as he was so young, but also to take in new surroundings, people, dogs, etc. from the safety of the bag. He even was able to be carried by others to get used to other/ new people, and watch me with Tilly. I feel I owe a large part of his good socialising skills and walkies behaviour to this – as this made the transition from bag to floor easier, as he was in places he was familiar with, with dogs and people he was familiar with… Just from a different angle!
As Rollo did so well in his garden lead training, I was anxious to see how well that training translated into real world walks – with all the new places with new sights, sounds, smells, people, dogs, etc, etc. So many distractions to contend with! Our first outing with Rollo was a short trip around the block, where he (understandably) stayed pretty close to us, whilst he took everything in.
Since that first walk, he has gotten braver, bolder and a lot more curious – this has resulted in many a thing being hastily removed from his mouth as his curiosity leads him to explore (which for a puppy means with his mouth!) and taste everything… Thankfully we’re vigilant enough that he hasn’t come to any harm! Rollo loves making friends with people and dogs, he’s still unsure of cats (not having had the opportunity to be properly introduced to one), and is very curious of those feathered things that shoot up into a tree or the sky when he tries to say, “hello!”
We practised his recall in the gardens (on and off his long lead) and out in fields and parks (on his long lead) ever since he was first able to go out. His recall is very good, with or without a treat reward. Over the past couple of weeks, he has been so good with his recall that we have been letting him walk/ run around with his long lead trailing – he gets some freedom, and we have a 20ft lead to step on/ grab if we need to. He tends to stick pretty close, unless he’s chasing his ball or playing with other dogs. He will come back when called, which is a great sign as he grows and learns, and will be a necessity when he is allowed to walk/ run free completely off-lead.
It’s important that his on-lead training is kept up with too, as he can’t always be walked somewhere he’s allowed to run free (ish). His on-lead training is still being worked on as Rollo can be jumpy on the lead when he sees another dog, as all he wants to do is greet them and play! This past week has seen massive improvements in his on-lead training, after taking a dip a few weeks back when he started teething! It’s important to get his on-lead training pegged down as he’s only going to get bigger and stronger, and he needs to know how to behave during on-lead walkies.
As always, this kind of training is always on-going; you have good days and bad ones, they have good ones and bad ones… Make note of the positive steps being taken with training your dog or puppy, and don’t hesitate to ask for help if you need it – a well trained dog is a happy dog!
All images are either open source, Google images, or my own (with pet owner permission/ parental permission) – or photos donated for use by the pet owners.
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