Herbie’s now spent a week with us, and I can’t believe how quickly it’s gone by. Was there life before this puppy? It’s like he’s always been here!
I thought it’d be fun to share how we are getting on each week with you, and it’ll be something for us to look back on as he grows. I’ll aim to follow the same format each week and I’ll be sure to share plenty of photos – it’ll be interesting to see how much he grows and changes over time.
Herbie the Miniature Dachshund at 8 Weeks Old
This week has obviously been a big one, for us and for Herbie. We collected him on Saturday morning and we’ve spent the week getting him used to us, his new home, a few house rules, and as many new experiences as I could get in without then overwhelming him. There’s been loads for him to take in and adjust to, so I’ve ensured he has had lots of naptimes, cuddles and reassurances.
Training and Behaviours
Housetraining has obviously been the priority, and it’s going OK so far. We are not using puppy pads or newspaper, we’re trying to get him outside on time every time. Which we don’t always manage! But there have been far more successes than accidents, so I am happy we’re on track with this. I noticed yesterday that he is starting to go towards the back door now when he needs to go out, so something must be starting to click. Herbie is waking once or twice a night to go to the toilet, so we whisk him straight outside when he wakes. He has managed one night all through until just before 6am so this is going in the right direction, too. As his bladder grows, the nighttime wake ups should stop, but he has a very small bladder right now!
Crate training has been the other main focus, as I want Herbie to be comfortable to spend time in his crate. This will then be a safe place that I can leave him when I can’t watch him or need to go out for a short time. He has been going in there happily and I have managed to close the door without it worrying him. He’s improving each day with it. He wants to be near me at all times, though, which is to be expected at this stage, so this will be something we’ll keep working on slowly as I want him to have only positive experiences with his crate. I am also leaving him to it in his play area when he’s occupied so he is getting used to me leaving the room and so far so good.
Whenever I catch him doing something I want him to do, like calmly lying down, going in his crate voluntarily, playing with his toys, I have been rewarding him so that he understands over time that these are the behaviours worth repeating.
I have started working on clicker training, basics like ‘sit’ are coming along and I have been teaching him a ‘positive interrupt‘, which I need to be strong as soon as possible as he will need interrupting often as a curious puppy!
We’ve been taking any opportunity we can to groom and touch him so that he gets used to it. I keep touching his feet and ears so he adjusts to being handled in this way, which should make it easier for nail trimming and vet examinations etc.
Out and About
Obviously to bring Herbie home, he had his first car journey. It was an hour long, and he didn’t love it! He’s since been out for several short journeys to get him used to it and it’s not his favourite thing yet. Yesterday we went to the vets, and he did settle down and sleep on that journey so things might be improving, we will see.
Herbie’s been to my in-laws house and met family there, he’s done the school run a few times (my does he draw a crowd!), he’s had his first visit to the vet (he was so good, vaccination, nails trimmed and ears cleaned and he was happy with all of it!) and we’ve stood out on my busy main road as a school has come out so he got to see lots of traffic and meet new people then. He’s also had visits from friends and family and has met the postman and delivery people as they’ve come to the door, so socialisation is progressing.
Fun and Favourites
Herbie has lots of toys, all types and shapes and sizes and he’ll play with all of them at some point. We have a little ring frisbee that he loves playing with outside and that only comes out when it’s playtime with us. He looks so cute running down the garden with it, his little ears flapping in the wind.
After the first day or so, he has been great at eating his kibble (Canagan) which he has four times a day. He adores chicken and cheese so they have been great for using in training and as rewards for reinforcing positive behaviours.
Herbie likes being outside, mainly so that he can scavenge anything at all from the floor. It’s a challenge! However when it’s raining, he’s not so keen!
Stealing slippers and washing are firm favourite activities already. All good fun.
He had his first frozen carrot yesterday, which he enjoyed and it kept him occupied for quite some time. These will be great when he’s teething, and they’re healthy snacks.
Herbie loves cuddles and would spend his day snuggling up with me on the sofa if he could. Not that I mind, of course. At the moment, he’s not big enough to get up onto the sofa himself, but believe me he’s tried. I don’t think it’ll be long before he manages it, and we’re a household that is quite happy to have our dog on the sofa anyway. It’s more a case of ensuring he’s safe up there and doesn’t hurt his back getting up and down.
I’ll leave it there for this week, as I have rambled on! As it’s his first week with us, everything we are discovering about him is new, just as his whole world is. It’s lovely to see him exploring it all and I will be ensuring that the training and socialisation continue next week, along with all of those wonderful puppy cuddles. I will report back next Friday! In the meantime, you can always follow Herbie’s adventures over on my Instagram feed – my Stories are usually full of his antics!
What do you think, has Herbie had a good week?