So a couple of months have passed since my last blog post and for two very good reasons…
We've moved back from London to our home in Bristol... YAY
We've got ourselves the most perfect puppy...YAAAY
I'm extremely happy to introduce Jet, the newest member of our family and my new Dukko business partner in training!
Despite wanting to rescue a dog, we were really struggling to find a young one that would fit in with our active lifestyle AND be a suitable candidate as a therapy dog. We heard of Jet through a friend of a friend - he was the last in his litter to go because he wasn't quite as forthcoming as his brothers and sisters and appeared to be a little bit shy. His breeder was so lovely, and held him for two weeks until we could initially see him. Luckily, when we met him for the first time it was genuine love at first sight! Thanks to a lot of swotting up beforehand we could immediately tell that he wasn't all that shy and was actually very calm and relaxed: the perfect temperament for a potential therapy dog.
We reserved him at the start of August and had to wait four agonising weeks until we had moved back home and settled ourselves back in Bristol, including converting our under-stairs cupboard into his 'bedroom'! This meant that he actually had four more weeks than most puppies do with his Mum and one of his brothers and meant that he was 15 weeks old when we could finally pick him up.
I'm convinced this extra four weeks has really helped him become such a well-rounded puppy. He got to experience new sights, smells and sounds with his brother and Mum and is completely unfazed by loud noises, other dogs or new experiences.
Since the day we picked him up he has been the most incredible dog. He's the perfect personality mix of happy-go-lucky, playful, cuddly, chilled out and bright. He responds to training so quickly and has made himself right at home with us. To begin with he was slightly cautious with strangers but over the four weeks we've had him as our pet he's got so much more confident with new people which is really important if he'll work as a therapy dog. Plenty of our friends and family are now testament to the fact he's got more confidence - if he's not covered their faces in licks or tried to chomp on their arms then he's fallen asleep in their laps!
We'll also be training and testing him to fetch and retrieve: he was bred from working Labradors and we want to really nurture his natural retrieving instincts as much as we can. He's also taken to water like a little duckling and it's so fun to see his breed traits coming out in the way he swims, fetches and watches you throw his toys.
I'll be keeping this blog updated with Jet's progress, training, and pictures! I'm so happy to finally have a dog and even more excited that when he's registered as a therapy dog he'll be helping me help others become much more confident, happy and productive.
If you have any tips on training, or have any questions on the types of training I'm doing with me, please leave a comment and I'll be happy to get a conversation going!