Wreck it Like Wren & Rocco

Claire Dunling

Now that the pups are officially part of the furniture and certified Pet Drugs Online ambassadors of “Awwww” – we wanted to touch base with the doting owners to see how much the little mischief-makers have developed since joining the pack 12 weeks ago. They also reveal their toilet training tips, tell us their go-to teething tricks and wonder, what was life like before Wren and Rocco?

Maria, how much has Wren physically changed in such a short period?

Wren is growing too fast! Her coat is still quite short and soft, though. She is getting very fast now – it’s quite comical to see her run because of her short legs but she gives it a good go. She does bark a little bit but not very often.

As she becomes less dependent and more independent how has the way she acts changed?

Our bond has developed so much, it’s lovely. Although, I never get to go to the bathroom on my own now. She is obsessed with our cat, Mary and follows her everywhere until Mary says enough is enough.

Does she sleep better? More often?

Overnight she is brilliant, she sleeps from 10 pm until 6 am every night. No crying and no accidents. I am a very proud mummy. During the day she is a combination of a comic Tasmanian devil and a perfect cuddly angel.

How is she taking to toilet training? Horror stories of accidents? And are they deliberate?

Toilet training appears to be in stages: no inside poo’s for over a month but will wee anywhere if you aren’t on the ball but all these little accidents are my fault for not getting her outside quickly enough. I know the rules: sleep then wee, play then wee, eat then wee. The last couple of days have been better, her bladder seems to have grown and she is weeing more but less often now.

How is she taking to the lead/harness?

Wren is on a collar & lead. She does pull out of excitement so we need more practice in this area – training classes will help.

Has she become naughty? If so, what mischief is she up to?

My mum stayed with us this weekend and Wren chewed through the sling back on her shoe. Moral of the story is to never leave your shoes on the floor, especially if they are the only pair you have with you.  #hadtohophome

How has the play changed between the two of them and/or with others?

Playtime for Wren & Rocco is off the scale it looks and sounds ferocious but they are just playing – they love each other so much. How lucky are they to still see each other nearly every day?  They are very spoilt puppies with the many toy’s they have.

At 18 weeks you must be in the full throes of puppy teething – how is she coping and what methods have you used to soothe her? Have you started brushing her teeth yet?

Defiantly think they are teething now, they are chewing/destroying everything they can get hold of. To help soothe her, she has frozen carrots & rope toys (chilled in the freezer first).

I won’t start brushing Wren’s teeth until her adult ones come through, her baby teeth are like sharp knives and best avoided.

Neil, how much has Rocco physically changed in such a short period?

Rocco has grown very quickly and put on 1kg in 3 weeks alone. He eats very well, drinks constantly and loves his treats! His nose has darkened and so too has his eyes. His core strength has come on a huge amount too and his stamina increases but he still loves to settle down and sleep. He’s got a great diet to match his growth and energy requirements so overall, he is perfectly on track to where he should be.

As he becomes less dependent and more independent how has the way he acts changed?

Rocco has developed his bark but what he barks at changes from his own reflection to a butterfly so he’s not quite got it down yet. He’s certainly much more demanding if he is not getting the attention, he believes he needs. He has become very focused on me over everyone else in the house but that too makes perfect sense as he spends most of his time with me. He is showing signs of being quite a smart dog and having routine has helped him understand things going on around him. His recall is improving and he likes to explore things quite a bit. He is hesitant around other dogs especially ones three times his size but that is improving, too. His favourite thing is coming over and assuming his position on his back for a belly rub… to Rocco, a belly rub is everything that is good about the world!

Does he sleep better? More often?

Yes to both…he never whines when being shut in at night as it’s now all part of the routine. He settles down immediately and when I come down in the morning, he can barely contain himself. But we have not once been woken up by him and his morning greetings are a joy.

How is he taking to toilet training? Horror stories of accidents? And are they deliberate?

He has pooing down…wees are still an ongoing battle but he is a male dog so he is going to naturally want to leave a calling card. We’re now at around 75% outside, although the success of that is still down to letting him out regularly. He does the odd protest wee if we have to leave him for short periods of time and he instantly knows he’s in trouble. Bar the time he pooed on my car seat; the horror has been pretty limited. But there are months to go before we have him where we want him and that is going in certain places in the garden and not right outside the door. But we will get there.

How is he taking to the lead/harness?

The moment he sees me going for the lead, his excitement levels go through the roof. Although he is good on the lead, he is straining in front, almost in a canter, as he just wants to go, go, go! So, we will work on that in time. He instantly knows when I slow down to park at work and the moment the engine is switched off where he is and all he wants to do is get in to see Wren… and then we all know what happens when those two get their morning reunion! Carnage comes to mind.

How has play changed between the two of them and/or with others?

Rocco is for the most part very gentle with my daughter. He gets that she is very young and senses not to get too excitable. He loves chasing a ball and brings it back for more so I am surprised he has gotten that so quickly. He will play rough house with me and does love to fight over a toy. But sometimes watching him with Wren you have to think…how are they not doing real damage? They really sometimes go at it. But the fact that they see each other at Pet Drugs Online almost every day also has a huge benefit to both of them.

At 18 weeks you must be in the full throes of puppy teething – how is he coping and what methods have you used to soothe him? Have you started brushing his teeth yet?

Rocco loves to chew… anything from rolled-up socks to teething toys. He loves his Dental Stick and has gone through two already! he loves to challenge you with his Beco Dog Hoop and one of his favourites is to put a Wobbler Dog Toy in the freezer, fill it with food and he is happy out for next 20 minutes.

He LOVES ice cubes. He also has a few dental hygiene bones like Nylabone Puppy Bone which helps with cleaning. He has burst and gone through probably 10 balls, and he could chew through a wall if you let him but as long as you are mindful of what is in reach of him, you’re ok. Leave a shoe on the ground and that’s not yours for much longer!

The article is an opinion and should only be used as a guide. You should discuss any change to your pet’s care or lifestyle thoroughly with you vet before starting any program or treatment.

If in doubt contact your veterinary practice

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