Last Sunday night we took Duke home. Duke is beautiful. He weighs in at 32kg so he is heavy and not the smallest of dogs! He seems to think he is the size of a puppy though and loves getting in our laps. After a chaotic first night with some crying he seems to have settled in very well. We took him for a check-up the next day (pre-booked!) to make sure everything was okay. The vet loved him too and found him to be a smart boy. He’s been a joy and a bit of a pickle at times!
We have had some small issues: Duke doesn’t know how to walk nicely on a lead (I’m only 5ft 2 and although I weigh 9 stone he can pull me around like there is no tomorrow!), both the husband and myself struggle to keep him under control when he decided it’s time to pull! He’s left on his own for about 2 ½ hours at a time and to be honest he is wonderful, I come home to find him sat up on my windowsill, but when we are home and not downstairs with him he loves to chew my blanket basket and the husband’s welly boot (I found that hilarious!). which is a little frustrating as we are home and just having a bath. After only 2 days the crying at night stopped and he seems to have settled into a new home really well but he has a nice long list of things that terrify him: towels (strangely), paper bags, the wind, his lead (sometimes), puddles, the waves, pheasants and windscreen wipers! I’m sure we can work on this list eventually.
He is 8 months old so there are a few puppy habits he hasn’t learnt to stop, mouthing is the big one, it’s not hard but could be scary for someone who doesn’t know him and could possible develop into a bigger problem so we are working on that one! He is a Mastiff cross ridgeback so been doing a lot of reading on the breeds so we are slowly implementing some training techniques. He is also a teenager so sometimes he like to hump cushions! But the poor lad will be getting ‘Fixed’ soon and we have put the cushions away for the time being.
We have had quite a lot of success, he is sitting on command (70% of the time), today I had some toast and he stayed in his bed rather than try to pester me (we have been crate training him when it comes to food and not begging). We have had some lovely walks and when we hit open space he’s a lot better on the lead. We are definitely going to need some help with lead training. Duke has some quirky personality traits, he loves falling off the sofa or sliding off it, and he’s a little daft at times which makes him perfect for our family.
Having a dog definitely changes your life (which we were prepared for) and although we have both had dogs before each dog is so different! We are looking forward to more adventures with Duke and working on his behaviour. Glad to have such a lovely addition to our family.
Any lead training advice welcome!!! (my arms hurt!)