Nells Blog ... The Puppy Diaries18th March 2017
Chewing and Socialising
There used to be a time in our house when used tissues could be put in the bin, when kitchen roll was safe in its position on the worktop and toilet roll left where it should be. I am able to say categorically that this is no longer the case: Nell commandeers anything remotely tissue like and begins the laborious task of shredding it into hundreds of tiny pieces, where ever you care to walk in our house there it is tiny fragments of white everywhere. Nell will even jump up to extract it from your hand and undisguised delight runs away with her quarry to begin her shredding.
This is normal behaviour from a young puppy exploring their world with their mouths and creating games for themselves rather like children getting hold of a pen and drawing all over the walls in the house. The best thing to do to prevent this happening is control and management, remove any of the items that they may chew, but also replace these with things that you are happy with them chewing. Chewing is an instinctual behaviour in puppies and trying to suppress this could cause other unwanted behavioural issues. Chewing also releases 'feel good' endorphins which will aid in relaxing time for your puppy.
Nell's toileting was coming along nicely then she got an upset tummy and everything seems to have gone back a step. I'm back to following her around to catch when she needs to go out the same rules apply as before no negatives it is really not her fault she hasn't been sick so I don't think it's a bug and as she's not being sick I am reliably informed that starving her won't help a trip to the vets may be on the horizon.
Nell has had her diet over hauled this week and has been put back onto 3 meals a day, she started to refuse her midday meal and so it was temporarily stopped, this is when the upset tummy started. I have now switched Nell onto 3 meals a day again of equal amounts and this seems to have settled her tummy again.
Nell's puppy biting has almost gone she still sleeps well at night and still sleeps several times through the day, but she is also enjoying socialising and walks every day. Puppy biting is now almost a thing of the past and at 4 months of age you should expect this to be slowly disappearing, on the odd excitable moment your pup may revert back to the biting, it is important that the behaviour is not ignored and all play must stop immediately.
Nell is being socialised with the day care dogs each day, but this is monitored so that she does not become over tired and still has somewhere to go for some alone down time. It is so important that puppies get enough rest during the first few months of their lives, just the same as making sure your toddler gets their midday nap at home.
Last weekend was a special one we took her in the car for the first time, since she came home, up till now she has travelled in my work van in a crate we were going on a 60 mile journey. We needn't have worried as per Nell she took it in her stride settled down and slept for a large part of the journey, she wasn't sick so all good. It was also Nell's first trip to a pub, (my dogs need to comfortable in pubs as they will spend some time in the places, one of my favourite pastimes is to go for walk with the dogs and end up having a pub lunch) Again Nell took to it all as if she had been doing it all her life. Here's to lots more!!
I always liked to have a settle mat for my puppies so that I can take it anywhere and my dogs will settle. It's a great idea especially if you are away on holiday. You would need to start training this in your home and then generalise the behaviour in lots of other destinations. I still have Alfie's mat from when he was a puppy! I would recommend a piece of vet bed for use as a settle mat, very comfortable and non-slip too!