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From Pup to Grown Up with the Dog Walker

05/03/2021

We all love a good puppy cuddle and I do get excited when I meet my new puppy member of Coastal Canine Pet Services for the start of their journey with me. However, it is not all about the puppy cuddles of course, it is also the start of their learning and exploring of new people and dogs, and new experiences for them. This includes getting to know me, their new friends, and travelling in my van (which I like to call the Dog Mobil). 


 To me adding a puppy to the group walks needs to be done with care. This includes the length of walks they can cope with (physically and mentally) and the type of the dogs they start with, for example nice and calm chilled out dogs to gently ease them in. This makes their start of the journey with me pleasant and fun and happy to see me for their next walk. If puppy is starting with me from early stages, another stage to consider is their 2nd fear period and hormones coming and going, so something they were not scared about before, they may fear now. This might mean adapting their walks to suit them.


Here is Louie’s journey of when he started with me.

Louie: French Bulldog


When Louie first joined me on his walks, he was around 5 months old. He was accompanied by his big sister Tilly (a boxer) who was by then was 10 years old. Louie loved having his big sister around with him to show him the ropes into the group and give him some confidence because he knew another dog in the group.


 From the very start of his journey, he travelled in the van with Tilly. He was unsure of being in the van as he wasn't sure what was going on and where he was going. He cried and barked the whole way to the woods. Luckily, he was my last pick up so didn't travel in there very long.

Being so young and next to little training, I kept him on a long line, which gave him more freedom but at the same time some security for both him and me. We practised recall on the lead and getting his focus on me, which he was very good. Once his recall was mastered and he was focused on me to get a reward, I let him off lead. It was a bit nerve wracking to begin with, but wow, seeing him run around with his new friends was rewarding to seeing. We started off once a week so we could build up his confidence gradually.  


Sadly, Tilly his big sister passed away, and Louie became rather sad and a little lost, and wanted the company of other dogs more because he missed his big sister so much. So Louie's owner increased his weekly walks to 3 a week, so he could continue to socialise with his friends. As time went by Louie became a lot happier again with being able to come out with me and his friends. He got used to the van and the travelling as he knew that at the end of the journey was a fun walk to be had.

Louie is now 4 years old. He is very social able with other dogs and loves people (especially if they are carrying a treat or two).


Louie is still coming out 3 days a week, loving group walks and gets on well with everyone. He is very cheeky and full of character. He keeps the group on their toes especially now he has learnt to sneakily steal his friend’s ball. He gets excited to start his adventures every time we arrive at the woods, and I hope he will continue to get excited for his walks for many years to come.

  

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