The Easter Weekend

 Four days off with our babe – bliss!

Friday we met Reed, Saffi’s favourite Boxer, for a walk in Richmond Park. The weather was scorching and the park was so busy. At one point in the walk Saffi was surrounded by huge adult dogs – a Weimaramer, Reed, a Retriever, a Standard Schnauzer. She totally took it in her stride!

Saffi tries to keep up with Reed

Reed & Saffi

In the afternoon my Aunt and youngest cousin Samira came up to London from Sussex. They hadn’t yet met Saffi and were surprised at how docile she was – I was quick to explain that this was solely because she was knackered from the morning’s walk! Samira and Saffi bonded well and it was lovely to see them all cuddled up. We’ve noticed that Saffi can be a bit uncertain around children. I wonder if it’s the way they wobble towards her? Marcus and I have agreed to expose her to as many children as possible over the coming weeks.

Samira & Saffi

On Saturday the whole family walked down to watch The Boat Race from the banks of the Thames between Putney and Barnes. As anyone who follows the news will know it was rather eventful this year with a protester jumping into the river and a broken oar… we watched the remainder of the race in the warm of The Spencer’s Arms in Putney. On the way to the pub Saffi had a bit of a run-in with a large red dog – I don’t know what breed it was. Its owner said that he was boisterous with puppies which I think was a huge understatement – he chased Saffi barking and yapping as he went and eventually she fell on her back screaming. It was scary and I was cross that his owners weren’t more cautious. We made up for it with lots of cuddles in the pub…

My brother in-law Alfie & Saffi

‘Auntie Alex’ and Saffi

We met two more Cockapoos in The Spencer’s Arms including an F2 Cockapoo – a Cockapoo crossed with a Cockapoo. Bertie is just one week older than Saffi and although their colouring is very similar you can really feel and see a difference in his coat’s texture – it is much curlier than Saffi’s.

Saffi (left) and Bertie (right)

On Sunday, after a walk around Wimbledon Common, we drove to Sussex to visit Marcus’ parents Annie & Richard. Saffi hadn’t met them before either and was VERY excited. It was quite exhausting running around after her as there were so many tempting things at ground level for her to steal and potentially destroy. She nabbed everyone’s slippers, pulled at Annie & Richard’s rugs, removed the shoes off their ornamental dolls… the more I chased Saffi, the more excited and rebellious she became. I tried to entertain her with her own toys and eventually managed to distract her with cooked chicken and a training session before she started raging around the garden and launching herself into Annie & Richard’s pond! Luckily it was very shallow but she didn’t enjoy the wash and rub down that followed.

On Monday we went for a walk – it was the first time that Saffi was walked in the rain believe it or not! She was uncertain initially – it’s not the first time that she has been like this at the start of a walk. I’ve read that puppies can reach an age when they’re more nervous… is she entering that age I wonder?

Marcus & Saffi exhausted by the weekend’s activities

Training continues… the most recent command we have taught her is ‘off’ when she jumps up at people and at furniture. I’d say her current success rate is 50/50… it depends what is tempting her lol! Her recall when out is still very strong and I’m now able to call her back when she’s approaching a strange dog – how long that will last I don’t know! We have taught her to only take a treat when we say ‘take it’ – we have a 90% success rate with this. All in all, we’re so impressed at how well she picks things up and are very proud of our clever little pup!

2 Comments

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2 responses to “The Easter Weekend

  1. Susan

    Hi Turi. It’d be really interesting if you had time to tell us how you have taught the “take it” command. I am also interested in how you teach “off” – we do it by shouting “off” & then giving a “good boy” when he comes off. He is excellent at not jumping up on people as I was always really strict from day 1. We remind him with “feet” & you can see that he really wants to jump up but he doesn’t.

    • Hi Susan,

      Thanks for your comment! It sounds like you’re doing really well with jumping up – we’re doing ok IN the house but when we’re out an about it’s a different story…!

      With regards to ‘Take it’ I’ve detailed a method that we learnt in our puppy class.

      1. Put your dog on a lead – hold the lead in your left hand. Have treats ready in your right hand.

      2. Ask your dog to ‘sit’, offer the treat and say ‘Good take it’.

      3. Do this five or six times.

      4. Then offer the treat and don’t say anything.

      5. When your dog goes to take the treat turn you
      r head sharply to the right and simultaneously bring your right hand (with the treat in it) up towards your chest giving a slight tug on the lead with your left hand. Say ‘off’ at the same time.

      6. Repeat until your dog turns its head away when you offer a treat without saying ‘good take it’.

      n.b. Coordinating all these actions at the same time took me ages at first so you might want to practice away from your dog!

      With regards to using ‘off’ in a day-to-day context we’re doing what you’re doing, saying ‘off’ and praising when she gets ‘off’ whatever she is on.

      Hope this helps!

      Turi x

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