I do love the variety in my job. I wrote about Coco (left) four weeks ago and about preparing him for the arrival of their new puppy: http://www.dogidog.co.uk/?p=15370.
Coco is a ten-year-old Chocolate Labrador who really isn’t good with other dogs. They even had to abandon a camping holiday a while ago because of Coco’s behaviour towards other dogs on the site! They called me out so that they could not only prepare him in the best way possible for a puppy, but also to make sure they start their new puppy off right and that he, unlike Coco, is well socialised with dogs and people from the start.
They have a chart and are ticking off Charlie’s encounters as they build up. They have now had him for about 6 days and he has met about twelve different people, so they are doing well.
After a scary start on introducing Charlie – I had hoped to be there but it didn’t work out – although he avoids him, Coco is becoming a bit more used to him behind his barrier. He no longer growls and hackles. Each time they feed Charlie they also feed Coco – one each side of the gate. They have actually done very well in just six days.
The gentleman is very anxious and I’m sure Coco will be picking up on this. There is just a little danger that they are overdoing the ‘being nice to Coco’ so that they are on his case all the time. They both need to chill!
With the couple sitting on the sofa and Coco on a loose lead, I went and fetched the puppy and popped a lead on him also. I walked Charlie about at an acceptable distance for Coco (watching him) and every time Coco looked at Charlie I threw him a treat which he happily ate, something he wouldn’t have done had he been particularly worried. If it looked at all like there was any stillness or staring, I got his attention by calling his name before throwing the treat. At one point they were within a couple of feet of one another. We then called it a day. Little and often will progress things fastest.
I’m sure if the people can relax and play safe by keeping both dogs on lead or separate sides of the gate, it will be no time at all before they will be freely together – under supervision. Coco is too old now to appreciate being jumped on and climbed over. He was very close to their older dog that died a short while ago, so I’m sure he will also be fine with Charlie if he’s not pushed or over-fussed.