I’m your roaming reporter Ted and Yes, I’m a puppy …chew the paper… you might have seen me out and about with my human so the next time you do, please say ‘hello’ and let me know what’s happening in the dog world or anything else around Wester Hailes these days.
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What is Sentinel Ted?
Each week, I’m going to give you tips on looking after a puppy and let you know about my exploits out and about walking in the West of Edinburgh. Week by week I’ll let you know the secrets on how I became a good dog and let you know all about the fun I have walking about West Edinburgh.
This week’s tip is…
Imagine Being a Puppy
My first tip is to imagine what it’s like to be a puppy all alone in a new house. Everything is scary and confusing and your puppy is looking for someone who is not scared of anything. And a dog can sniff out fear in an instance so don’t think you’re fooling anyone.
My human and his puppies went on a boat trip one day and when they were out at sea, the open deck seating held no comfort to the storm that blew out of nowhere. The boat was on it’s side billowing up and down on waves that hid the horizon. All the puppies and other passengers were crying and holding on for dear life in the crashing rain.
Fear ran through my human in an instant as he tried to keep his puppies safe and he looked up to the front of the boat where the Captain was. He was holding on, but he was talking to his shipmate about nothing that had to do with the storm, nor the waves! In fact he noticed they were not worried at all and that though the passengers were all scared, he realised he had no reason to be scared and that they would indeed make it to the harbour because the Captain was not worried nor panicking.
Your puppy is looking at everyone in the home for the signal that puppies home is safe, and that proud job should belong to everyone in the home. It doesn’t need to be everyone but it does need to be at least one human and if you are reading this then that human is probably you.
If no one show’s the world is safe to your puppy, then your puppy is going to become chief of safety and be on alert for all danger, all sounds, all movement, your puppy will assume the responsibility of checking everything out and letting everyone know what puppy thinks. Even if no one is there.
In other words puppy will bark at everything which is why someone else needs to be Captain.
So let your puppy know that everything is safe
How do you do that?
- By Yawning
Yawning is a dog’s way of letting all the other dog’s know that there’s nothing of interest, or danger, and you can relax. So when the buzzer goes or there’s a knock at the door don’t jump up like it’s important. Stop and let your puppy see you yawn first and give him the signal that everything is cool and you can relax. In fact show your puppy anything and yawn and see if puppy does something different back. You’ll be amazed!
- By Slow Blinking
Slow blinking show’s other dog’s that you’re not watching and you haven’t got any objections. It’s like saying I’m cool with that.
Put it into action
So if puppy wants to chew a shoe or a non toy? Go over, yawn and pick it up and give puppy something puppy is allowed to chew. Spend a couple of days doing that with puppy and you will teach puppy what’s boring and what he can chew, which is exciting …chew the string… You must always show what is OK to chew, never assume your puppy knows but they will understand if you show them what is allowed.
These are signals that all dogs know and understand so use dog language and not words. Words come later when puppy understands the concepts and objects.
Don’t Use Words at First
Puppies do not understand words so don’t say “No” and don’t get annoyed because if you get annoyed you will give puppy a button to get your attention, which they want a lot …chew the puppy… and whatever you have said no to and show annoyance… puppy is going to use it as a strategy to get your attention.
When puppy is chewing a toy or doing anything you like you can blink slowly and give the message that ‘Ye I’m cool with that’
By doing these non-verbal signal’s and giving them something they are allowed to chew, your puppy will quickly learn what to chew and not get excited about everyday things such as doorbell’s ringing or the ringtone on your phone that let’s you know a message has arrived. Yes, yawn at everything, It takes a few days but those few days will pay dividends.
I haven’t chewed anything I’m not allowed and my human leaves his toys lying around everywhere all the time. I can be left alone in the house (up to three hours so far) with it all lying around and the only thing I touch is my toys.
I’m only twenty weeks old. The proof is in the pudding …chew the pudding…
The Idea is to make your puppy think it was their idea.
What will puppy’s choice be when he want’s to chew something? If you don’t show them then they’ll make up their own mind. ….chew the furniture…
You never need to say No but if you do show them Yes, then they make up their own minds and once they know the rules they’ll follow them with a true heart. Yup like a dog, your best friend.