Donkin's World: Pippa At Eight Months
Richard Donkin is getting used to a "teenage'' dog who has decided to push the boundaries.
It's some time since I wrote about Pippa, our Jack Russell Terrier, now eight months old. She's still very much a puppy but she's left that cuddly puppy phase behind and entered what I'd call her teenage phase. And just as many parents, seasoned to the art of rearing young children, are shell-shocked by teen rebellion, we have had to get used to a dog who has decided to push the boundaries.
The call: "Pippa come," worked fine a few months ago in the garden with treat-training. But it counts for nothing out on the commons with all their distractions. We haven't yet suffered anything as embarrassing as this http://www.thepoke.co.uk/2011/11/21/benton/, but have had to get used to running to fetch her back when she runs off to play with other dogs.
I take a harder line in the training than Gill but I'm not sure it's the best way. She seems to respond better with Gill. To some extent there's been some parental stereotyping. It's not quite "wait until your father gets home," but she knows when I'm cross with her and runs to Gill who she's decided is the soft touch. Just like our kids did.
What's really galling is when you ask her to do something and you know she understands what you're saying but decides to ignore it anyway.
All that aside, having a young dog is getting us out, exploring the area and finding new walks. The challenge now is to find a walk with few other dogs, not easy in Surrey. But there are plenty of paths over the Army ranges between Pirbright and Aldershot. I suppose the military uses these ranges from time to time, but we never see any sign of them. They must be well camouflaged.
We found some good paths today when the sun was shining through the trees.
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