Day 16/17 Not an allweather doodle

OK I thought this blog would dwindle once I was back at work next week and kids back at school (I’m not counting the 7 days and 12 hours left!) but with Scooter sleeping less and kids getting back into their messy ways leaving things around for an inquisitive doodle, my free time has been more slack already.

Bush Monster! doesnt like the rain.

He was quite funny last night. I took him out for a toilet break at 10.30pm and he then went to sleep by my feet. May I just add that it so lovely having him lie on my feet. He is so so warm and it feels great. You certainly feel the cold when he moves. The same can be said when he is licking your feet. It can be lovely but I am very ticklish so sometimes I cannot bear it. Anyway I digress, I then was up for another couple of hours, (I am a night owl) so I decided to take him out for a final toilet break. I opened the back door and it was blowing a gale and raining. I put on my ‘back door’ sandals and grabbed my daughter’s groovy chick and progressed to the middle of the garden thinking that scamp was following me behind as usual. To my surprise he was standing on the back door step looking out at me. I can only imagine him saying ‘Are you mad? I am not going out in THAT!’ No amount of persuasion was going to get him out into the garden and so I was standing like a wally in my sandals and pink umbrella in the middle of the night in the pouring rain for absolutely no reason whatsoever. Great!

Training a doodle can be hard when you can only do it on his terms when he feels like doing it. If he is not interested in the treat that you have or the toy that you are bribing him with then there is no point. It is quite comical when he gives you that look as if to say ‘no chance misses!’ and he strolls off to do his own thing. You can only train them if they are interested. I cannot wait until we start puppy classes. I am hoping they can teach me the right way or confirm I am doing things OK, which of course I am probably not.

Lead training is still the same. We walked him out in the garden today and he just went and lay down on the grass and would not budge for nothing, not even enticing treats! He has a very stubborn streak like me. We have 4 days until he is allowed out into the bigger world.

Patience is a great trait to have, one that at times I do not have! My kids will vouch for that. When you have told him for the 99th time in the space of a morning to get his paws off the sofa and he just snaps at you and goes back up it can be deflating. My doodlemania friends say it will get better and all this hard work will be worth it in the end I have to have faith and believe them. I did have a Japanese Akita many many years ago but he was a puppy over 14 years ago and I don’t remember much of the stress from that. My only rationalising is that it is like child birth, you forget the pain and here I am doing it all again.

He really bit my hand today. We were playing with the big football (which is nearly as big as him but he can get a grip on it and carry it) Our normal game is that I eventually get it out of his mouth and he does a sit or down and then I throw it the length of the garden and he goes like a rocket after it and brings it back for another tug of war. He gives a good fight for me getting it back off him and my next training after the lead will be ‘let go’. But today let go wasn’t going to cut it and I was attempting to get it out of his mouth. I put my hand near the ball and almost got it when he let go and went for my hand catching his sharp teeth on my hand and as I pulled it away it scraped deeply across the palm of my hand. I can tell you it really hurt and drew blood. That ended our play session and I think the rest of my street would have heard me yelping!

I do think that my neighbours, whose back door faces ours in a terraced street, may be getting a bit tired of us standing at the back door shouting scooter in from the garden, or if our back door is open they can probably hear us shouting ‘NO!’ or ‘OFF!’ They must think we have gone loopy or they may have just had enough of losing their peaceful garden, but either way they seem to keep their back door closed more often haha. These are one of the neighbours that are going to let Scooter out for a toilet break while I am at work. I work part time 4 days a week but 5 hours is a long time not to be let out so they and another neighbour are going to let him out in the garden. I am still not sure whether to ask them to feed him or feed him when I get back at 2.45. He will be fed at 8am and 8.30pm so the middle of that is 2pm so I don’t think 2.45 will be too late. I will have to play it by ear I think.

I asked another www.doodlemania.co.uk member how much their doodle weighed at 10 weeks so I could compare Scooter to a standard labradoodle. Scooter was 5.2kg and the standard was 7.1kg. There is a slight difference of course as Scooter is a mini and I will know more if I get to meet up with them seeing them side by side. There is only a weeks difference in age.

By the way my beloved camera is playing up so not many new photos at the moment. If you are all like me you will miss any new photos as I love seeing the progress as well as reading it. I will try and rectify this soon. I have been looking to upgrade my camera but in actual fact when reading up on them I have begun to realise that the camera I have is ideal for me anyway so I may just get the same again haha. Better the devil you know and all that.

Day 15, testing the boundaries

Two steps forward, one step back.

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You think that you are getting somewhere and you take your foot off the gas. A couple of mornings of being vigilant and he is becoming house trained and then you get cocky and he does his business in the house. The reason? You don’t see that he wants to get out or you think he has only just gone out and not done anything so you don’t think he needs to go toilet. He soon shows you! (literally!) He does go and stand by the door to let you know he wants to go out in the garden but only 80% of the time is for toileting. 20% of the time is that he just wants to go and play out there. He will just go and lie down or go and play with his ball in the bushes.

Now this is all fine when the weather is good but when you are standing out there in the rain with your sandals on (as they are the only thing by the back door) then it isn’t funny. And then he has to come in and get his paws dry. He knows straight away to come and sit on this towel but the next stage is to let us dry his paws. He has learnt the command paw and it is quite cute when he is sitting there all innocent and offering you his paw when you are standing in front of him.

We took him to have his second Jab today and he was so funny in the car. he kept standing on his back legs looking out the back of the car. The people behind must have thought it amusing too. He was such a good lad in the vets considering I couldn’t put him down on the floor. There were a few big dogs there and one very noisy deep barking Labrador. Scooter kept looking at him and looking around at the other people and dogs of all sizes taking it all in. I cannot wait to take him out and about properly and open his eyes to the big wide world. He also had his microchip today. He didn’t like that one bit as that was a big needle but its all done now.

Only 7 more days until he can come out with us!!

The children have gone to visit their dad this weekend as they do every fortnight so its just me and Scoots for 24 hours. It can be very tiring keeping an eye on him 24/7 so if I have had enough then I cheat and give him something to keep his attention like a carrot or his puppy Kong toy filled with mashed banana so I can get on with other things without worrying. It is also a nice break when he flakes out by my feet, its nice to have my very own feet warmer but you sure feel it when he moves!aug15a.JPG

As I was kid free I decided to meet up with a friend for a couple of hours which meant that Scooters routine was going to be all out of sorts unfortunately. This meant that his feeding time would be when I would be out so I had to feed him half before I went and half when I returned. He was such a good boy as he settled in his crate. We both came back to my house a couple of hours later and he was so excited to see my friend for the second time. He just would not leave her alone at all. He could probably smell her cats. He kept jumping up on the sofa next to her, biting her cardigan, chewing her shoes. He really did show me up as only a scamp puppy could. I don’t think I have said the word No! so many times since having him in our home. I should have kept taking him out so he knew that behaviour took him away from us but being a novice I didn’t do that as I stupidly thought he would settle down on his own and learn that was not good behaviour. I will know better next time though won’t I? (hopefully!)

Having a late night does not mean I am going to get a Sunday lie in though does it? Dog owners no longer have these luxuries!

Day 14, 10 weeks old

Another week gone by and I do see the difference in him already. He is definitely getting bigger. When he stands on the fire place he is four bricks high. When he fully stretches out to sleep with all his legs outstretched he could be a draft excluder!

We started the 3 meals a day routine today. It feels weird giving him more food in one day but he gulped down his brekkie. His 2pm meal wasn’t so much, he ate most of it but left a small bit which I picked up after 10 minutes (as the good puppy book says) He did eat all his tea though. I worry that I am giving him too much food but we will soon see if his weight is OK when we go to the vets tomorrow for his 2nd jab and micro-chipping.

He still didn’t enjoy his lead training today. He lay flat on the floor, and I have read that you don’t try and force them. You need to wait until they are comfortable. Am trying to do this twice a day and then we will progress to out in the garden.

He chewed his water bowl today and while it is still usable I need to get him a new one now. Grr.

My house used to be covered in kids things and I was forever telling them to put them away now my floor is constantly covered in dog toys. You can try and pick them all up and put them in the box but he will not think twice about getting them all back out again so the house is just how he likes it!

His funny antics just amuse us all the time. He can do his doodle dash and have a mad half hour and then he will run at full speed to you and flop at your feet as if he is running to hide from something. He just stops dead after rushing all around.

I am dreading taking him to the vets today as he will want to get down and run around which of course he is not allowed to do. I think he will struggle on my lap but he was OK last time. This time though he is more confident and wants to do his own thing.

My nose makes me unique but I’m still gorgeous!

If you have noticed on his photos his nose is not completely black. It is slightly pink at the top of it. The breeder told me that he was born with a pink nose but that it is slowly turning black. Well it doesn’t seem to be changing completely black but we still think he is absolutely gorgeous and we have no issues with our multi coloured nose Doodle 🙂

His coat will change quite often over the next few months. Being on www.doodlemania.co.uk I have watched many doodle pups grow up and change dramatically. One minute they look like they have a shaggy coat and very much like a Labrador and the next month they have a wavy coat which then changes to curly poodle type. You will almost never know exactly what coat your pup will have nor will you know what colour he will end up being. Some doodles start completely black and end up silver, and chocolates can end up ‘cafe au lait’ Scooter starts as apricot but will more than likely go a creamy white colour the same as his chest is now. I do hope he keeps some of his apricot colour though.

Our pre-visit before we finally bring him home.

We have just come back from a great holiday at Butlins Skegness, thankfully the weather was very kind to us after suffering torrential rain over the past few months. The very next day we had arranged to pop over and see ‘Sandy Boy’ who from the very beginning of our search was going to be called Pudsey. We liked the name, it was unusual, and we didn’t know any other dog with this name…that was until Britain’s Got Talent superdog Pudsey with Ashleigh stole the show and won and to top it all they actually came from our very own town! So to save people thinking we were naming our dog after this superdog, (which we weren’t as we had not heard of him back in March at the start of our search) we decided to think of another name. As my daughter thinks he looked like a teddy bear we were thinking of teddy names, and decided on Fuzzie. This lasted about two weeks as I couldn’t find myself shouting out ‘Fuzzie’ in the park on his perfect recall that he is going to have. So then we thought of Busby until my daughter googled what it meant and didn’t want to call her dog after a silly looking English Soldier Guards hat, so that went out the window. I searched endlessly for unusual names as I wanted to be different from everyone else. I came across the name Scooter and as my kids love there scooters this name seemed to be agreed by all and has stuck…so far!

We finally arrived at the breeder’s home, after getting lost YET AGAIN! We could not believe how much he had grown. We hadn’t seen him for a couple of weeks. He came bouncing in as usual and was running around the lounge like a dog possessed. The kids were standing there laughing in amusement as I stood there and thought Oh Dear!

After a mad run around he finally lay down to allow me to take a photo.

I think we have the cheeky chap of the litter. He didn’t seem to have an off button! How am I going to cope with this bundle of energy? Trying to take photos was a non starter unless you count the blurry ones as he whizzed past! After about 20 minutes of him charging around he finally just flopped out. At last I could take some photos while he was still. And from then on he didn’t move, he was completely out cold.

The breeder tells me that he is always the first one into trouble, the first one out of the pen and to his food, the leader of the pack. Trust me to get the pup that I am going to have trouble training! They tell me that people that come and visit always mention our Scooter and how lovely he looks and one family even asked if he was still for sale.

The start of our puppy accessory shopping begins in earnest and we have a checklist of things we need and a list in my daughter’s head of things she wants to buy for the puppy. She has been saving all her money in an unopenable tin for this very day and together with the money kindly given by friends and family she had saved £42 for puppy toys. Now don’t go thinking this is going to be one spoilt puppy, but have you seen the price of some puppy toys? Ridiculous. We went shopping in Poundland, 99p Stores etc and kept pop bottles for him to play with. She still has half that money left thankfully.

I am one of those people that will shop around to the ends of the earth to see if I can get something cheaper. I am what they call an online tart. I will shop where ever its cheaper. I don’t stick the same company if I can find it cheaper. An hours internet searching can save me tens of pounds. One of those instances was when I was searching for the puppy crate (no longer called cages). In a very well know pet shop they had crates starting at £80+. On searching online on for about half an hour I found the same crate for a measly £35. OK it might not be the same standard but it will still do the job its intended for. I swiftly bought it but half an hour later got an email saying it was out of stock, grrr. So I shopped around some more on the well known auction site and once again found it cheaper at £29.99, how lucky was that? I ordered once again and this time it came the very next day. I was very pleased with it. Now I have gone against the rule of thumb to get it so it is just big enough for the pup to have just his bed in it, I have bought it bigger so he can walk around in it as I work part time and he will have to be in it for a few hours at a time and I wanted him to have room to stretch his legs.

I have been told that they do not like to soil where they sleep but having read this further, if a pup is in its bed for a couple of hours they cannot hold their bladder anyway and so would only have the option to pee on their bed so I think it’s best if they have the room to do both if they are there longer than they can hold. Obviously I am nowhere near a professional and this will probably bite me in the bum but time will tell.

Old blankets and towels were found and friends gave me old newspapers. The puppy box was getting full with puppy pads, food, treats, toys, bowls, collars, leads and a new pet bed (bought by my son)

We are now ready for our imminent arrival that is going to turn our world upside down.

Looking to be owned by a doodle.

It all begins.

This is the start of our journey with the puppy soon to be known as Scooter. This is the day that we saw him for the first time after seeing their puppy advert following months and months and months of searching through breeder websites, dog websites and puppy ads. I was looking for a particular puppy, a particular breed, a particular colour and particular coat and particular size that was ready to go home on a particular time that I was going to be off work for a long enough time. Oh how hard could it be? After ringing a couple of ‘breeders’ who did not seem right after my questioning them about their puppies we finally decided to go and have a look at a litter in Tamworth, Staffordshire.

The breed we were looking for was a Labradoodle or a Goldendoodle, for those of you not in the know this is a cross breed between a Labrador retriever or a Golden Retriever with a Poodle. After many discussions with my two children at home we decided to go with the mini version rather than the standard version. My 9 year old son is still a bit unsure of dogs and so having a new addition to the family that might overpower him in size wasn’t the better solution. The mini version is a cross between a miniature poodle and a small Labrador/Labradoodle. I also wanted an apricot or golden colour with a wavy or curly coat as this is the look I prefer but you can also get shaggy/scruffy coats and I have also seen some with smooth coats that still look like retrievers.

On my look out for puppies I did also look at rehoming but as I kept looking the dogs that were coming available (through the Labradoodle trust website) they were either too far away or needed to be rehomed sooner than I was ready or they could not be rehomed with small children. Also my timescale for starting with the new addition was quite tight and so the best solution was to get a puppy that I knew would be ready at the right time.

So after a couple of emails and texts with the breeder we arranged for us to come and have a look at ‘Sandy boy’ as the breeder called him. He was one of three puppies left in a litter of ten but the only sandy/apricot one left, the other two being black. This litter was born 14th June 2012.

Our first meeting with Scooter, he was a little character even then. He is 4 weeks old here.

As they lived about half an hour from where one of my sisters lives I thought it would be a doddle to find and after googling the directions and it telling me that it would take me 90 mins to get there we set off. Of course things don’t happen that easy in my world. The roads past my sisters were country lanes with hardly any signs of where I should be going and we (or should I say I) got lost! Quick call to the breeder after driving round in circles and we arrived about 20 mins late.

On entering the house we were taken to a side room which I assumed used to be there dining room and is now the puppy’s pen. There were two litters there, in two separate pens. The other litter also being standard labradoodles but the mum is their poodle and the dad a Labrador. Sandy boys litter is a cross between the breeders small black Labradoodle Ronnie and a mini chocolate poodle stud called Coco.

Straight away he was bouncy and came bundling over to us. He was noticeably bigger than the rest of his litter and from the records I could see that when he was born he was almost a third bigger than the others and with some of the girls he was almost twice as big! He was very excitable and running around us and jumping up to get my camera case. We all fell in love with him straight away. I can honestly say even if I had the pick of the litter we would have picked him. He was big and bouncy and lively and the cutest thing ever. There was one other apricot boy in the litter that was already sold but was half his size and very quiet. My family are very outgoing and we go on lots of walks and visiting places and we needed a puppy to be ok with all of that.

Our £100 deposit was paid, lots of photos were taken and we headed home… in the wrong direction yet again but with my 10 year old daughter very very happy and my son wondering what on earth he was letting himself in for as well as me!