The Puppies Are All So Different
Each of the Guide Dog Puppies we’ve raised, as well as our own pet Lab, is very different from each other in personality and temperament, including their little mannerisms.
One of the ways these pups differ from each other, is how they ask to go outside for busies, and its something you don’t think of until you have to. 🙂
As our three cats are indoor cats and don’t go outside, our dogs don’t have free access to the garden as the house is closed up for the cats’ safety. This actually aids me in housetraining our pups, when they are babies I take them outside on a regular basis when they are awake (I set an alarm to go off every 30 minutes), as well as when they wake up, eat, and play, and in so doing they very quickly learn the “busy busy” cue. They also learn to tell me they need to go outside, and how they tell me is something I have to watch for.
Our first Guide Dog Puppy was Volt, and he was also my first puppy!
I know, right!? 😛
When Volt started asking to go outside, he would sit facing the door – looking over his shoulder every few seconds until he got my attention.
When our pet Lab Riddick joined our family, his signal was very different to Volt’s, BUT it hadn’t occurred to me to look for it! It took me a while to realise that when Riddick wanted to go outside, he would stand and look at me, wagging his tail a little and doing a rumbling bark if I didn’t notice. 😀
Lennox was our next pup, and I remembered that he might have a different signal to Volt and Riddick, so I was watching and waiting. He actually learned to scratch the door when he wanted to go out, this is very handy for a Puppy Raiser as well as for a visually impaired person! 🙂
Nimble also learned to scratch the door to let me know she wanted to go outside.
Patrick would rest his head on the bed or chair next to me, or on my knee to get my attention, which was very sweet!
Riggs didn’t learn the door scratching trick, he would go and stand at the door, looking at me until I noticed he wanted out.
Jake also stands at the door looking at me if he wants out, and if I don’t notice he’ll walk a figure of eight across the room and go back to the door. If he’s really desperate first thing in the morning, he gives a soft woof to wake me up.
Chuck does something like what Riddick did! He stands in front of me slowly wagging his tail and gazing at me, and if I don’t notice he will take a step back or forwards and bob his head as if he’s about to bark.
All the puppies have the same signal for wanting to go back inside though – they all head back to the door and wait for me to catch up before we head back inside! 😀