Earlier this year I introduced our Dog's Trust rescue, Maddy and have been asked a few times since for an update. Well, the whirling dervish can still whirl and is a joyous bundle of fluff.
As we loaded her into her basket with the Dog's Trust "goody bag", setting off for home we were beside ourselves with excitement. Being so small, we never thought Maddy would be able to climb over the back seats from the boot, but within a mile, I turned around straight into that fluffy face. So I sat in the back and she curled up right next to me all the way home. I would add that dogs must now be secure whilst travelling and here are some handy tips.
It had been 15 years since we'd had such a young pup in the house and you forget what it's like, but they remind you very quickly ! Maddy was mostly house trained so there were only a few "accidents", but she soon learnt what " pud puds" meant. Our Vets recommended a good dog trainer and we made contact with Izzy. She had a Puppy Class starting in a few weeks, but we did some one to ones with Izzy to get in some early training. This proved to be invaluable and by the time she started her Puppy Class she could already do a lot of the basics. Izzy's Class was brilliant, based on the positve reward system as well as using clicker training. Maddy was the oldest at around 8 months, but we still did the Puppy Class. No dog is too old to benefit from training, it's a good way to socialise and overcome any problem areas not to mention fun.
We went on to do a further course of training which led us to Agility. Maddy had proved very good at jumping at home, so we thought Agility would be ideal and signed up to a short course. We both really enjoyed it and soon the whirling dervish was zipping through tunnels and over jumps. Next summer we plan to do some more and hopefully be able to complete a fun course at a show.
She is very quick to learn and her "trick collection" includes dropping her toys into a box AND putting on the lid, ringing a bell and she's in the early stages of learning a yoga pose! This might sound pointless, but dog's like to be stimulated mentally and Maddy loves a puzzle. At the start of learning something new, she'll often give me her full repertoire!
We spent a lot of time on her off the lead work, which is a vital area of dog training and often not well established in some we meet ! Her favourite walks include lots of ball throwing, digging mole hills and swimming for sticks.
Maddy wishes all her fellow Rescue Dogs a happy & much loved Christmas & New Year