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Discussion Starter · #143 ·
Freddy can now delve around in the toy box and is unearthing all sorts of treasures, although I am fairly sure that the potentially lethal reel of thread he found was not from there! Fortunately I swapped it for a biscuit before any harm was done. Unlike Sophy and Poppy he loves Fetch, and is beginning to get the idea of letting go so that I can throw again. Today we did a bit of work on loose leash walking, some good long sniff sessions around the gardens, Drop practice, lots of chasing and tugging games and lots of No-Chewing-On-Sophy's-Ears redirection. In trying to reach Sophy's ears he is teaching himself to climb the stairs - she used to be out of his reach on the bottom step, now she retreats to the first quarter landing.

This evening he got upset and barked because the big dogs got home-made chews and he got some boring bits of kibble, as he had already had a chew earlier. I had to agree that it did seem a bit unfair so when he asked more politely he got one too. He doesn't really want to go to sleep after half an hour of a very exciting game with balls and Flat Rat, but it is time to start winding down for the night. Sophy is practically in the pen with him she is watching so closely for him to drop a bit...
 

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Discussion Starter · #144 ·
We finally got a decent run in the mizzle between bouts of heavy rain, and Sophy ran zoomies with Freddy! Lovely to see, and definitely a good burst of play before he went too far and she got fed up with him. It helped that she has a lot of pent up energy after nearly a week without proper walks due to my not being able to see to drive, but it bodes well for the future. Fred is now paddling in his water bowl - his excuse is that there is a treat in there, but as I have just cleaned and refilled the bowl if there is I know who put it there!

He has also discovered the Lost Land Beneath the Sofa, as well as the toy box. I heard the clattering sound of a small hard object, then he came trotting out with something in his mouth. A large glass bead - heaven knows how it got there. Fortunately he knows the Swapsies game...
 

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Discussion Starter · #145 ·
Nearly 17 weeks, and Freddy made a brief attempt to hump Poppy this morning. She was having her five minutes of early morning silly time and play wrestling before I get out of bed, and it got just a bit too exciting for Freddy who is more used to seeing her snoozing or gently ambling around. She was Not Amused!

He is growing up fast and I need to start ratcheting up the educational work. He has been so easy that the temptation has been to go with the flow, but now is the time to get a solid recall in even distracting circumstances and to work more on Wait, ahead of the trials of adolescence. Perhaps this is why easy puppies so often prove impossible as adolescents... Another day of chilly sunshine today, so we will do lots of short sessions outside, alternating sniffing and running with a few lessons.
 

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Discussion Starter · #146 ·
Freddy has had a lovely day - we have had several semi-training sessions outside, and during one the two little girls who have recently moved here came out to play. They took Freddy off to into the big wild garden and he had a wonderful time playing chase amongst the trees and being bossed about by small people - just the right amount of excitement, then in for a calm down session of sitting for treats and a nap.

When he woke up I got down on the floor and retrieved as many balls as I could reach from under the sofa and found the wobble board under there as well. I got it to work with Sophy when she first hurt her back, and kept it with the vague idea of someday using it myself. It has a ball bearing in a maze, and Freddy was absolutely fascinated. He was not quite sure enough of it to set it moving himself, but watched for 10 minutes while I made it spin around it's little corridors. Computer games for dogs! Sophy and Poppy checked to see if it was edible and then lost interest; Tilly watched for rather longer, but prefers things she can bat.

Fred is getting better at picking up two toys at once, and his new ambition is to manage three...
 

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Discussion Starter · #147 ·
Big day today - Freddy's first toothbrush! I have been giving him a lick of toothpaste on my lap when I brush the dogs' teeth in the morning - only moderate success as he loves it and gets very excited and wiggly, and does not want my finger in his mouth. The brush is the next step, and he seems OK with letting me put it in his mouth, even if he does then want to chew. We will get there - the aim is to be able to brush his adult teeth when they come through.

Yesterday I saw him lift his leg for the first time, but as it was to hover over a tussock of cold, wet grass I am not sure that it counts! A friend is taking us for a much needed walk at lunchtime - still waiting for new glasses.
 

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Discussion Starter · #148 ·
Is this adolescence, I wonder? Or just over excitement! After a very exhilerating game of zoomies round Sophy Freddy is being a little toad. He has shredded the pee pad in his pen, paddled in the water bowl and spilled the water, made Poppy so cross she pursued him across the room with threatening jaws, been outside but didn't want to pee or poo, chewed Sophy's ears remorselessly, won't settle in bed, and is generally piling all the usual puppy shenanigans of weeks into three short hours!

In the end I let him out, played Fetch along the hall until he was a bit less bouncy, spent five minutes teaching him Down, cleaned up the mess in the pen, and popped him back in with a few treats. He is not entirely convinced, and I am pretty sure that what he really needs is a poo, but at least the older dogs can relax.

(On further investigation one reason the bed was uncomfy was the wodge of soggy wet paper towel I used to mop up the spilled water that he had managed to remove and tucked into bed with his toys...)
 

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Discussion Starter · #151 ·
I carried him up to bed and the moment his feet hit the floor he dashed to the bathroom for an enormous poo, so that was at least part of the problem. Then he went up and down and round and round and in and out of the bed until I was debating whether it was worth digging out the pop up travel pen and putting him to bed in that - at which point he collapsed and slept till 6.30am! And this morning he is once more sweetness and light - pee in the garden, breakfast, quick game, asked for a cuddle, and then happily curled up in bed in his pen.

The zoomies last night were fun, though. At one point he took a short cut and ran right underneath Sophy - he had to duck a bit but barely broke pace! I have a largish rug on wooden floors and he was running a very tight 4 foot circle so as not to veer onto the slippery floor, at quite incredible speed.

33 hours to contact lenses - still no replacement specs...
 

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Discussion Starter · #155 ·
Freddy can be such a good puppy! Today we managed two walks (hurrah!), but I also spent hours organising lifts for a sudden hospital appointment on Monday (yet more eye stuff), and wore my lenses a bit too long in dusty wind and made my eye sore, on top of being up early to get my Covid booster, so with one thing and another by late this afternoon I was frazzled and exhausted and needed my bed. Freddy would really have liked to play, but settled down for a snooze instead very agreeably.

We met a 5 month old whippet pup with two small boys while out walking in a big open field with lots of space for running - Freddy was in heaven!

[Still no specs...]
 

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Discussion Starter · #157 · (Edited)
Freddy is becoming a snuggle puppy. During the day he usually sleeps in his pen, as it gives me time to get on with things and lets the older dogs sleep in peace, but he very much enjoys the chance to cuddle with me and fall asleep on my lap. Best of all he loves to be brushed - long, firm strokes with a bristle brush just like the comforting soothing of his mother's tongue.

We ducked out of puppy class today - I still feel a bit ropey and really didn't feel like standing around in a bitter North wind. I booked Freddy in before I discovered what a very confident, sociable pup he is, and little has changed over the years in terms of the advice given. Plus the instructor's methods are rather geared to larger dogs and only dogs - while they are all dogs it takes different techniques to get a treat to a tiny toy puppy at exactly the right moment! And the sequence of teaching things can vary too - Pick Up, for example, is just about the first thing I focussed on, along with sharing and taking turns, neither of which would be as important for a large breed pup who is the only animal in the household. Loose leash walking, on the other hand, comes further down my list - very important, but not as essential as to it teach while a big puppy is small enough to control.
 

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Discussion Starter · #158 ·
We have visitors staying - a rarity in these Covid days - and Freddy was very confused at first, with non stop barking and wiggles of pure delight at having more people to play with. He wanted to bark when he heard someone get up to go to the bathroom in the night, but was persuaded to settle down for a snuggle instead, and he is gradually getting used to the idea that there are other humans moving around his house. I am very glad my friends were able to visit, both because it has been so long since I have seen them, and because the timing is perfect for Freddy. He is now old enough to absorb the idea that he does not need to alert to invited visitors, just ahead of hitting the 5 month point when, in my experience, pups start alerting to everything!
 

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Discussion Starter · #159 ·
Freddy weighed in at 3.2 kilos/7lbs at 18 weks yesterday at the vets, where he had a lovely time playing with the reception staff and getting treats. By my calculations that puts him on track to be around 4.5kilos/10lbs adult weight, just a little larger than Sophy. It's a good size - small enough to lift easily but big enough not to be frighteningly fragile. Sophy is still hovering around 4 kilos/8.8 lbs, which is a little high for her but at least she hasn't gained weight through the last weeks of minimal exercise. It was her pre-op check and she turned out to still be lactating slightly, so the spay is booked for two weeks time.

This morning we are practising settling down out of the pen without hassling Sophy - Freddy is feeling very grown up and responsible, being allowed to snooze next to her on one of the Big Dogs' beds. It won't last long, but I am praising him to the hilt while it does. He is much less hyper now we are back to two interesting outings a day, and yesterday's cherry on the top was Gus coming home from his holiday - he was waiting by the gate to say hello when we went out for the last pee walk. Freddy squeezed through the railings and had a happy five minute game, which settled him for the rest of the evening!
 

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We have visitors staying - a rarity in these Covid days - and Freddy was very confused at first, with non stop barking and wiggles of pure delight at having more people to play with. He wanted to bark when he heard someone get up to go to the bathroom in the night, but was persuaded to settle down for a snuggle instead, and he is gradually getting used to the idea that there are other humans moving around his house. I am very glad my friends were able to visit, both because it has been so long since I have seen them, and because the timing is perfect for Freddy. He is now old enough to absorb the idea that he does not need to alert to invited visitors, just ahead of hitting the 5 month point when, in my experience, pups start alerting to everything!
Perfect timing! And what a treat to have houseguests.
 
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