So I guess we’ve now had Lyra for about a month – I think we got her on 26th October. And whereas before we were barely functioning and bleary eyed, things have really settled down. My Disreputable Dad and his wife are thinking of getting a puppy and I think I probably put them off with my tales of piddles on the carpet and early mornings, but honestly, I’m really feeling like we’ve made progress.
One of the biggest things I’ve learned is that you HAVE to be firm. It upset me when I popped her in her crate so that I could get on with something, but after a while she settles and especially if she’s got a chew or a kong with a few bits of cheese in, she’s mostly happy in there for an hour while I crack on with cleaning or whatever. In the evening, she wanders into the crate and settles down without even being asked.
We’re still working on ear and nose biting. It’s not in anger, more in a licky, excited ‘I LOVE YOU WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN I MISSED YOU! kind of way…
House training is bloody hard, and there’s nothing you can do except watch the pup like a hawk and take her out a lot. She’s a clever girl and very eager to please so she’s starting to pick up on the fact that if she ‘goes’ in the garden, she gets cuddles and treats, but in the house she gets ignored and people get all huffy and stomp around with bowls of water and sponges. We’re three days since our last accident, so we’re definitely getting there!
I’ve started on recall training. I’ve been using a long training lead and calling her back to me, giving her loads of praise and treats, but I’ve been told it’s best to move it on as soon as possible. There’s a small area of woods near where I live and I had a good look round to make sure it was pretty well enclosed. I grabbed a bag full of the smelliest most yummy treats and took a big deep breath and let her off the lead. She had a bit of a wander and came back to me every time I called. The I panicked and put her back on the lead. Still, it’s a start.
But the good stuff, oh the good stuff is magic. Charlie was away at Vans Warped Tour this weekend and Sam was at his girlfriend’s, and she was wonderful company – we wandered through the woods, snuggled on the sofa and even watched X Factor together (I may have used the sentence ‘yes, I just said that to the dog’ in response to someone on Twitter). She’s already learned that if someone’s eating, she’s not allowed to have any (she sits very close to me and grumbles), and when you tell her off (her favourite naughty trick is bringing me a filthy welly and dropping it next to me on the sofa) she goes all silly and bouncy and occasionally answers back. She really is delightful, even when she’s being a massive pain.
Here’s my view from last night. Whippet bum, eh? Delightful.