Zach Beauvais

Puplog: “plog?”

Written by Zach Beauvais

Mar 1, 2009

People tend to make the mistake of giving the puppy attention for making noise in the crate. When you do this, you confirm the puppy’s instinct that being alone is death (it would be, in the wild), and that calling for help will bring someone.

small black puppy chewing on a cup
baby lucas

I realise that a single post a few weeks ago simply stating that I had acquired a puppy (admittedly inclusive of photo) is not the best way to enamour myself with dog lovers out there. So, I thought I’d update the puppy narrative a bit, now that Lucas is about 14 weeks old.

Lucas’ first night with us was his calmest, I think. He’d been separated from his mother and two sisters, picked up by a big stranger and driven nearly an hour down winding, Shropshire roads to a place he’d never seen. The journey was smooth, I thought, because he didn’t make a peep. I even stopped once to make sure the bundle was still breathing. I brought him inside, and laid inside his crate with him while he slept, snuggled up against his fleecy hot water bottle. (I think, on reflection, that the adult lab-sized crate was slightly over-kill for a foot-long pup). I’m thinking, at this stage: “Hey, this is great! I remember puppies being much more work than this! Must be the breeding.”

Can I get a “heh…”?

The journey had made him nauseated, and he was exhausted. The next morning, he was squirmy and lovely, like a puppy’s meant to be; and he spent every waking hour with us, and slept on our laps. Come evening, however, and a different puppy emerged.

We didn’t sleep much that week.

He’s done really well, though, and he’s a great little dog. He’s a natural retreiver, and already dives into cover after thrown toys. I’ve become very anxious, however, after reading several articles and a book or three on dog training. You see, I want him to live up to his heritage and be a useful worker as well as a companion. I want him to be attentive, but free and confident, and I don’t want him to pick up any bad habits.

I think I might want a bit too much, frankly. The next stage is to be calmer with him, and make sure he’s not overwhelmed by our wishes. He’s naturally attentive, and he’s already a companionable chap; so I think the rest will come.

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