There’s no avoiding the topic, puppies pee and poo an awful lot. I guess when you are only 5kg in weight and have a bladder the size of a peanut we shouldn’t be surprised. The challenge for all new puppy owners is to house train in the quickest time possible! Some breeds such as setters can take a while to house train, fortunately Labradors and retrievers seem to learn fast where and when to go. So how’s Rochester doing so far? Well not bad for an 9 week old dog. He knows he goes outside for his business and how to get there. The “trick” to helping puppies learn this is to watch them constantly and when they look like going guide them to the back door. So if he’s just woken up, just eaten, been playing or is sniffing around the floor then that’s the time to head for the door. He has had a few accidents round the house, but these have been because we haven’t read the signs quick enough!
Guide Dogs need to be trained to relieve themselves on command. Guide Dog owners need to be able to control when and where their dog relieves itself to avoid a working dog deciding it needs to go when it’s on it’s way to the supermarket! To achieve this puppies learn a command to associate with peeing and pooing …. “busy busy”. You might feel a little self-conscious calling this out at all times of the day .. but it soons wheres off and Rochester now knows when to ” busy”. The problem is to avoid using the command in general conversation, “have you had a busy day at the office” , “I’m so busy at the moment”, “it’s going to be a busy weekend”!
If you work in the medical profession or indeed if you are overly interested in your own waste products you will be familiar with the Bristol Stool Chart, An invaluable aid to categorising poo! For Rochester’s first 10 days we have had to do the same process for every “big busy” … oh what a joy! The Guide Dog vet team are constantly monitoring and adjusting the care given to over 1000 new puppies a year and this task is a small part of that. So a good thing … but I’m glad it’s finished!!