Ten week old Cocker Spaniel puppyLook at her! How wonderful! Rosie is a ten week old Cocker Spaniel puppy and she has been in her new home for four days.

I really like it when I am called in at the beginning. Starting off right saves so many problems later on.

I have been able to give Rosie’s family a few tips on the basics – toilet training, no teeth, chewing, retrieving things from her and having her walking around next to them without a lead. Visitors should not be allowed to overwhelm her.

Having had two puppies in two years myself means I have recent personal experience and have learnt a few little tricks of my own! Pickle my own Cocker Spaniel is now fifteen months old, and Zara is my nineteen week old Golden Labrador puppy. Because of how I have been with her since she was eight weeks old, she will follow me if I wish her to, she will come to me when I click my tongue or call, she never nips and she will ‘go pee’ when I ask her to – even if it is only to squeeze out a drop!

Now is the time to discourage Rosie from jumping up. It’s so much easier if, from the start, attention is given with her feet on the floor. If she sits on laps at the kitchen table then she will learn to jump on people while they are eating, so that’s not a good idea! There won’t be indoor toileting problems later on because she will be taken out very frequently. When Zara was Rosie’s age I kept a chart for a few days – she peed on average eighteen times a day! This proves just how often a puppy needs to be taken out in her waking hours. She needs to walk and not be carried, and she needs to know which door she is going out of, so she will learn for herself where to go.

When she runs off with things like shoes, which she surely will, they need to know how to get them from her without chasing, cornering or being confrontational – or making it into a game. Rosie is already very happy sleeping quietly in her crate (safe comfy ‘den’) all the night, and crating is a great help with toilet training.

It is tempting to carry a little puppy everywhere – but she has legs!

Rosie seems a very calm and stable puppy. I shall visit again in a few weeks when she is in the next stage of her development. Meanwhile I shall be at the end of the phone or email for support.

I can help you, too, with these problems or any other that you may be having with your dog.