New year new start.
I've been a Dog Walker for over 12 and half years now, in that time I've had the pleasure to not only meet but to know personally and have deep relationships with many, many dogs. I have encountered many a situations, different temperaments, different dog on dog relationships. I have trained and officially learnt about dogs for over 6 years. In that time, I have got to know personally more dogs and watch their relationships with their owners.
Before this business I owned and trained birds of prey as a falconer which applies basic positive reinforcement rules of engagement and mindful bond building. Then before that I trained our families 2 Rhodesian Ridgebacks starting at ages 12 with a dog that was nearly bigger than me.
I was companion to last dog Kira for 15 awesome years. A dog that came everywhere with me, to work as a support worker with young adults, to bird of prey shows, dog walking and training. My soul house mate for a few years and my business start up companion.
Kira had elbow dysplasia which left her very sore in her older years, that mixed with my work patterns made it hard for me to get another dog as Kira's welfare came first.
We lost her last year and that has been a huge knock and is another blog completely. What this has done has allowed me to have a long holiday while for the first time I can remember I am dog and bird free, so I wasn’t leaving anyone behind. A whole 6 weeks away! I cant see that happening again. We are currently on the ferry making our way slowly north to catch the plane home in few days and my thoughts are purely with what we are going to do once we go home.
Which is starting again with a new dog.
Yes, I am going to get a puppy, as a dog trainer I need to relearn what that means for owners first-hand again. I have done it 3 times before but years ago. This dog will have a huge job with me, helping train other dogs and help me with many other projects I have in mind. I totally appreciate i am in a good position to adopt a rescue. But this puppy in itself will help me retrain many, many other dogs and i don’t have an enclosed garden so they probably wont let me have one. Another factor is this wont just be my dog but also my partners first dog.
But where do you start? Which puppy? Which parents? Which breeder? Which health checks do I trust? Which puppy rearing environment? That's just for starters.
Then my thoughts go to working round my current work, commitments away, other family’s dog, the fact the house is nowhere near puppy proof! Crate or no crate and if so where? Which food? Which harness?
Taking on a new dog is a huge task and a new puppy is even harder. Often i see clients who having had a dog for years then have got a new puppy and totally forgot how hard it is.
I think im prepared but i wont be.
So before i have even manage to get this blog out there. A puppy has been chosen!
As my brother said, there is a level of fate with the dog you end up with. It felt right and my research has continued through our trip away so i had ideas of what i would be choosing.
So I introduce to you, Moona the Black Labrador. Currently 6 weeks 4 days old.
Watch this space to learn all about i go about rearing and training a new pup.