Poppy, My puppy goes to School

Poppy goes to Puppy Training

DSCF1964Poppy is now three and a half months old and growing. She is still a relatively small dog but she is a puppy. Puppies like to play and anything within range is a suitable toy. Like children you don’t have to buy them expensive toys. Plastic bottles, empty cartons, paper, and particularly tissues are a source of pleasure.
If I put my handbag on the floor by mistake her nose is immediately in it. Tissues are the objects of choice, to be taken away, pulled apart and the eaten or left shredded. That doesn’t mean that she doesn’t have toys. Yes she does. Balls and squeaky toys are plentiful but not as exciting as my recycling bag. This always has lots of objects in it to be taken out and played with no matter what they are. Being a puppy, she is also teething, and aren’t those teeth sharp even if she is nipping in play.
DSCF1957I thought I could train Poppy myself but she is fulltime work, similar to having a young child. I soon realised that I had no choice. The London Veterinary Clinic recommended Nina Bondarenko as a suitable puppy trainer. Fortunately the lessons are held nearby and yesterday was lesson one. As well as Nina there was also a young lady having work experience, and another doing a thesis on puppies so with only three dogs we were taught on a virtually one-to-one basis. I must say it is not just Poppy who is being trained. I had to learn the techniques, and am now practising them at home. I wish I had gone earlier.
Interestingly, when we got home Poppy was so tired that she spent the afternoon resting so I had some respite. We will have to see how much of it works.
By week two, I had learned some of the techniques. Poppy can sit on a slippery bench and jump on and off. Sadly, we don’t have anything like that at home to practise. The main problem is the repetition as although she caught on easily, we had to keep practising especially when she was in a strange environment. The good thing is that there are other puppies there too for her to play with and despite them being bigger she can hold her own. Keeping my fingers crossed that she remembers her lessons, and I do too! DSCF1960

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About Natasha Blair

Travel journalist who enjoys discovering new places in style, where possible, with her dog, a Coton de Tulear, called Poppy. Good food, not necessarily gourmet, is important as is the atmosphere as she also writes about restaurants. Culture is another love, and as she is based in London, she reviews theatre and art exhibitions.
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