Puppy Charlie

It's always exciting when a family member get'a a new additional to their home. When that member is a puppy Jack Russell who is too cute then it makes it even more exciting. Sadly we live too far away so have had to watch and advised on his training since he came home.

Thankfully Nelson & I had the chance to meet Charlie and had been asked by my sister Kelly, to put my puppy training diploma in to practice and help Charlie get socialized. Obviously this was my pleasure but explained it needed to involve a lot of hugs!!! Charlie had finally had all his vaccinations and was ready to meet other dogs.

Was a 10 month old Boxador the best choice for a 12 weeks old Jack Russell?

Most people would say no and on the very first meeting I think Kelly was thinking the same. Charlie would sniff Nelson and then run off with a little yelp, he would hide under the table or behind a bag.

Nelson would chase him and having no clear understanding of his size, would pretty much knock Charlie over with 1 paw. I made Nelson sit calmly and allow Charlie to get a good sniff and build his confidence. Eventually the pair soon calmed but we could see Charlie wanted to play.

So I suggested open space to help Charlie feel less trapped. Out in the big wide world Charlie's tail was going almost as fast as Nelson's. He got slightly braver, then Nelson would return the interest and Charlie panicked. Once again my worried, protective dog mummy sister was in a bit of a panic, Charlie would go running towards her, she swiftly picked him up. I explained that this will not help him as he'll learn that big dogs ...... run to mum...... she'll cuddle and protect. Kelly reluctantly popped him down, I asked her to reassure him, encourage, congratulated and reward when he approached in a good manner and held his own.

Over a 3 day period the relationship developed well. Charlie getting braver, Nelson getting softer...... well as soft as he can when he's excited. They even managed a game of tug in our garden and we managed to get them to sleep in the same room. They started to walk around calmly, Charlie would sit and watch Nelson, almost taking it in. Hi s tail wagging and interest growing. We even had them walking side by side, on the lead, heading up to the field for a play. However after a big walk and playing with his new friend, Charlie started to ignore recall.

What you need to remember when socializing your puppy is not to set them up to fail. Make the goal achievable. Don't train an over tired pup, remain patient. Ensure you congratulate the desired outcome even if it has taken a while. Size doesn't matter when meeting new dogs, it is about confidence and control. Start them young and do not over protect. Not only was I a very proud dog mummy, as Nelson was so very good with Charlie. I was also a proud dog aunt as Charlie progressed so well over the short period of time. His behavior for a 12 week old puppy is down to the home training. I hope my sister & her family are proud of their little boy, keep up the good work team McNally, Charlie is doing so well..... that is down to you!!!

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