Today was the first day that Raffles has been to the leash free park. No pics I’m afraid. It was all hands on deck to make sure it was a positive experience for the ‘baby’ of the house. And I was crucial to the whole event.
He wasn’t walking on the lead properly until yesterday and is still rather erratic, but I pride myself in having something to do with showing him the way and giving him confidence. We set off this morning fairly early because due to him being sick in the night The Producer was up early.
This dog is sick at the slightest thing. We think it might have been his vaccinations but it’s only a guess. It is rather weird but he uses his bed for the moments when he is ‘caught out’ or sick. Makes containment easy but cleaning up a pain because the short-sighted Producer got an enormous bed which she struggles to get in the washing machine! However, that is her problem.
The first night we had him he used his bed as a toilet and then kicked me out of my lovely bed and made that smell nasty. I know, I know. I shouldn’t have let him, but he’s big and he weights 4 kilos more than I do and knows how to use that weight. Anyway after that night The Producer has put my bed under a hall table where he doesn’t fit easily so that keeps him out 🙂
All that to say that we had an early start so decided to give him his first taste of the reserve. The Producer and The Director are a bit concerned because the breeder told them he was dominant with other dogs so they are keen to socialize him and have him be friendly.
He loved going up the street. When he doesn’t know something or wants to think about things he sits down. It is quite funny. He doesn’t really look like a puppy so it is quite strange when he behaves like one. Because I was there to lead the way he was confident and we walked all the way to the park on the leash without a problem. I was quite proud of him, he did well.
Then we got into the park and it was quiet so The Producer let the lead drop. He followed me a little and then saw two dogs and ran back to The Producer. They stayed close to him but he was nervous with the dogs so they kept him away. Then a big Labrador came running up in the way they do. Just all laughter and clumsiness and I thought Raffles was going to bolt, but The Director kept him close to him and eventually he relaxed.
Then a couple of Standard Poodles came into the reserve. They were from the same kennel as Raffles. In fact it was due to them that The Producer found Raffles, because these two Standards were so friendly and quiet – huh!
Perhaps he recognised the shape or smell but in no time at all he was comfortable around these two and when another Labrador and small dog joined us he sniffed and was enjoying meeting them. The Producer was concerned that he might be a bit bossy with the little dog but there was so much going on that he was good. At one point he even did the correct puppy behaviour of lying down on his back and being submissive. They were very proud of him.
Unfortunately at that point a German Shepherd who they know to be a bit unpredictable came around and we could all see Raffles react to something in his body language. He was a little nervous but also wanting to get closer to the Shepherd and his tail went up and he began to prance a little. Not good signs. So The Producer and The Director decided it was time to take him out of the reserve and finish on a good note.
Maybe the German Shepherd would give him a nip and teach him to be careful, we dogs have our ways but The Producer doesn’t want him to have a bad experience and become afraid. I’m thinking at the moment that he might be too good a bodyguard!
Although they all clucked and drooled over The Puppy, I was the real star! Without me they wouldn’t have even got him to the leash free park. I gave him confidence and told him what to do. What’s more The Director hasn’t been to the reserve with me since we have had Raffles. After Zac crossed over the rainbow bridge you know that I couldn’t cope very well. I slept all day and when we went to the reserve I wouldn’t leave The Producer or The Director. I just stuck to their calves. Boy did he have a shock today. He was focussed on Raffles and when he looked up and saw me across the other side of the reserve playing with the Labrador he was amazed! Yay me 🙂
I will leave you with my Halloween picture. The one I think The Producer should have used not the spooky one she made and sent! I am not a spooky Princess.
Love Princess Zena – dog trainer extraordinaire!