We were having some trouble with toilet training in the big pen (i.e. they were just going everywhere, not on their toilet!). I decided to make their pen much smaller, to reduce their ability to make errors, and get them into the habit of toileting on the synthetic turf.
The puppies started going out a lot more! The puppies had met (i.e. people who had touched them) 34 people at the beginning of last week, but by the end of this week:
- Alfalfa had met 64 or more people.
- Man had met approximately 59 people.
- Jakkalberry had met approximately 54 people.
- Kelinni had met approximately 59 people.
- Daisy had met approximately 54 people.
- Boomer had met 64 or more people.
On the 6th of December, we had our first socialisation outing, when I took Man and Kelinni to the front of the local shopping centre at about the time school finishes. We had plenty of pats from people of different ages, shapes, sizes, and races, plus we got to experience low-level traffic in the shopping centre, and shopping trolleys and so forth.
On the 7th of December, we had a massive socialisation evening with Alfalfa and Boomer. We have a local carols night at a nursing home, which is a community event for all. There were a lot of children there, but staff asked me take the puppies through the elderly residents. There were a lot of residents! I actually have a staff member take Boomer, and I took Alfalfa, so we could cover more ground. This means these puppies were touched by well over 30 people, and also got to see plenty of walking frames and wheelchairs.
On the 8th and 9th of December, I started doing short training sessions with the puppies, but some are more interested than others! However, this meant they all had some time in the lounge room, on carpet, which was a different experience for the puppies.
I also started trying to put puppies in different combinations of two. I was once told that, in a litter, while there might be a more ‘dominant’ puppy and a more ‘submissive’ puppy, if you actually divide them up into pairs of two, it’s unlikely that one puppy will always be dominant or submissive in every combination. That is, they adjust their temperament and behaviour based on their companion. I don’t know if this is true or not, but I certainly don’t see the harm in doing this, so I’ve had puppies out in alternating pairs to allow them the chance to potentially interact differently with different pups. This week, we had Alfalfa and Man together alone, and then Jakkalberry nad Kelinni together alone, and then Daisy and Jakkalberry.
On the 10th of December, Daisy and Jakkalberry were taken to the local shops and met about 20 people.
Their crate training also started, with them being fed meals in their crates at night and I ‘played with’ (but not necessarily locked them in) the doors as they’re eating.
Basically, this is the week where all the hard work started in earnest!