It's been a week and a half since we picked up our little sweetheart and I wanted to share some of the training, teething problems and insights into having a new puppy. I've been inundated with emails and instagram messages about our little fella, so I thought the best way was to answer them all in this post.
1) What kind of puppy is Jango?
Jango is a Maltipoo, so he's a Maltese crossed with a Poodle.
2) How big is he and how big will he get?
He was weighed at the vets yesterday and he's 1.81 kg, which is about 4 pounds. He's 9.5 weeks old now, so we will have to see how big he gets. The vet wasn't too sure, but said usually they grow to about the same size as Mum / Dad. Mum looked like she was probably a pound or so heavier, so maybe he will hit the 5 pound mark.
3) How is he settling in?
Poor little thing has had some stomach upsets since we picked him up. The vet thinks to begin with the stress of leaving his litter may have caused this. Then he had his jab at the vets, which set him off again. It been a little scary for us, as we've been up around every hour with the little guy. I'll spare you the details, but we hope his tummy will start to settle down now.
4) Have you crate trained him?
Yes, although we are still working on this. My absolute favourite doggy trainer is Zak George and I've been obsessively watching all his You Tube videos this week for help and advice. As far as crate training goes, we just received a divider for our one. We didn't realise how small the crate should be for a pup - just enough room for them to turn around apparently. This deters pups from doing their business in there and also creates a safe, cosy environment.
He loves his crate because we introduced it using Zak's guidelines. He voluntarily goes in there, which is great progress. However, we've had him in an easy to clean play pen overnight because of all his tummy upsets. We will try the crate again later this week.
5) Do you feed him treats?
We started giving him treats in the form of a different type of kibble, to make it more exciting for him. If anyone has watched Zak George, they'll know he often talks about using 'high currency' treats; so something they REALLY want. Usually this makes training easier.
However, Jango's digestive system is so fragile! The vet agreed, treats are great to get puppies trained. She recommended we try using the same kibble he has for food. To be honest - he is pretty disinterested. A back-up option is raw carrot, so perhaps we will try this. Finally, I guess we can try some real boiled meat and see how he gets on. Turkey / chicken for example. I'll keep you posted on what works.
I've also ordered a clicker to train him, plus a treat to begin with. They are great because they pinpoint the moment when puppy does the correct thing. This is important as so often they do a little bit of what you want, surrounded by a lot of what you don't!
6) Has Jango learned any tricks yet?
Ha! My friend asked me this one the other day. Yes, Jango has started to learn sit, paw and "look at me." He's also getting used to wearing a collar and leash, though he's not great on them yet. He's pretty good at his tricks in a quiet environment, but take him outside and it's harder with all the distractions, so much more practice is needed.
Lay down is proving to be really hard for him. We are also training him to ring a bell to be let outside to go toilet! Seriously, you have to watch Zak's video on this one!
Bell training is also taking a little more time to learn, but he's starting to catch on.
7) Does he have teardrop staining?
Yes, because of the breed, he does get tear stains, but they don't show very much at all. I've been using some wipes the vet recommended to help remove this each day. The moment he goes into a deep sleep, he will let me do pretty much anything! Hair trimming, eye cleaning, and grooming. Any other time and we have to battle with the puppy biting, so these tasks need to be well-planned.
8) Is having a puppy as you expected?
Not at all! I'd love to give you only the sweet side of the story, but that's not the reality of having a puppy at all. No one prepares you for the sleepless nights, the frustration when training goes badly because the puppy biting takes over or the helpless feeling when your puppy seems really ill. I can see why some people wouldn't have the patience it takes to work through all this. If I was working outside the home, there is absolutely no way we could do this.
That said, we live for the moments when our little guy is bounding across our garden with his little legs going ten to the dozen and his whole body wiggles with excitement. The times when he curls up in our laps and snores away with his tiny legs scampering in mid-air. And the moments of success when he really gets what we are trying to teach him and is so excited he did good for his Mum and Dad.
With a puppy, it's not always easy, perfect or successful. It's often frustrating, annoying and upsetting. But this little guy is part of our family now and through patience, diligence and repetition, we will all learn together.
I swear, we've learned as much if not more than little Jango already.
*Not a sponsored post. No affiliate links.*