In the last two weeks Falka has been learning all about her new home and getting used to new routines. She’s met her new friends, visited all local parks and started going to work with me (and Yarpen of course). I hate boredom, so I try to alternate between many of our walking spots. She has already introduced herself to our local “dog sports people” at a canine conditioning seminar, as well as our physiotherapist (for now just for cuddles and kisses).
Most importantly, she has started her formal education in a class setting. She is actually attending not just one, but two puppy classes! The more the merrier really… any chance to work in a new environment, surrounded by new people and dogs is a treasure! She’s been doing really well, with some interest in other puppies, but without losing her head. She’s also friendly to strangers, something new to us, as until very recently, Yarpen didn’t care much for other people.
Falka is also visiting vets quite often. Not for medical purposes though! We are lucky to have the Royal Dick Vet School, where we go in for weekly weight checks. At 17 weeks old, she weighs whooping 25kg! She will be a big girl…
Over this time, she has been meeting all the new experiences with tail high up and lovely, inquisitive attitude. The one and only thing which required double approach was the tunnel, introduced to puppies in one of our classes. On the first occasion she was interested in it, but going through it was a little too much. We left it then without putting any pressure on her. By the second go, she went through and, having conquered her fear in her own time, fell in love with the tunnel and couldn’t get enough of running through it!
As she is now in full blown teeth change, we modified our play a little, to protect her little jaws and budding adult teeth. We don’t tug much at all now, with most play being either chase games (perfect for training recalls!) and personal play. The personal play is something that I am really keen on, but as I have messed it up with Yarpen, I am a little unsure about how to go about it. At the moment she chases me, and I gently push her chest while she tries to grab my forearms. I am quite strict on the amount of pressure she puts on my arms, freezing or stopping altogether if she hurts me. She is becoming more and more aware of her jaws, but I fear that still, in the future this might be a bit too painful for me, even if damage would be accidental. We’ll see how it goes. For now I make it very clear when we are playing like this, and when grabbing my hands is not acceptable (i.e. I never engage in this type of play if she starts it by grabbing my hands uninvited).