How does it sound?

“Sorry, boy, I don’t speak dog…” I often joke when Cooper barks at me. Granted, most of the time I know what a certain sound means because, just like any dog person, I can read the signs, from a smily or annoyed facial expression to the way the tail moves, but admittedly, it feels like there is always something else to learn.

I mean do you ever wonder about dog psychology, hidden meanings of their actions and the effect our voice and words have on them? Well, our pups may not understand the words as such – at least, not from the very start of our relationship, but they can sense the sounds and respond to them the way only dogs could.

They say there’s no apparent proof to that, but any words beginning with “P”, “T” and “K”  attract dog’s attention and increase sense of awareness because they sound like a shot.

Although “D”, “G” and “B” words are also of a same “shot group”, they increase dog’s alertness without meaning potential danger.

Words that start with “R” often resemble a softer form of growl and a signal or potential agression while hearing something beginning with “L”, “M” or “N” will cause a sensation of calm and reassurance.

Words starting with “H”, “S”, “Sh”, “F/Ph”, “Ch” and “Z” cause excitement and attention and “J” is the one that stimulates brain activity and ability to analyse the situation and actions.

And whenever you follow the more “harsh” letters with a vowel/vowels except when it results a sound “e” as in “green”, “fig”, “lean” etc., it will soften the overall effect on dogs senses.

So it’s a bit like a secret trick to use when picking a name for your pup, training  or comforting him, or even knowing how to make friends with any dog. So good.

The magic of human bed

The magic of human bed… Cooper can sleep in it for hours. There’s always a moment in every day when he asks me to take him to bed where he stretches alongside the pillows – tummy up, paws out – and naps and naps and naps. And so we stay together – me, working on my Mac in peace (and boy, when you have a pup every minute of it counts!) and Coop – sleeping beside me. It’s idyllic. It feels like a soft cloud of pure happiness.

Perhaps, when the boy is older and can jump up and down, he will find other spots to enjoy, including his own bed. Oscar certainly did. For now, he is a happy little boy and I am planning to keep it that way.

And as far as the whole “don’t let your dog sleep in your bed” thing… I don’t care. I love my dogs more. Besides, he often has more showers and blow-dries per day than any humans in our family, and I never actually let him under the duvet… or on my pillow. We have an agreement about that.

Cooper is 4 months old: puppy updates & plans

Oh, yes! This puppy is now 4 months old. He is almost 8kg, lost 4 teeth, leant a few tricks and has grown so much that the basket he arrived in is just about big enough for sitting up right.

People say that pups grow too fast, but frankly, I cannot wait for mine to get to 6 months, be stronger, braver and, lets not forget the important bit, sleep until 6 or even 7 in the morning.

I know we are moving in the right direction, though. For example, right now we just returned from a wonderful walk on a golf course where Cooper (and me, of course!) run wild until Cooper decided that he had enough and promptly walked back to the car (not sure how he remembered where it was or which one was his, but hey, he did walk back and he did pick the right vehicle!)

We drove home. He had a shower, blow dry, quick run to the garden and around the house, and is now napping next to me, so I can type this like the good old times when Oscar, who never left my side, shared our bed and my life of blogging.

Over the past two weeks we have been going on walks both in our neighbourhood, as well as parks, woods, golf course and quiet town streets, meeting people and dogs. Interestingly, unlike Oscar who loved dogs and women, Cooper was incredibly friendly with all people (he already met and was stroked by little kids, men, women and older folks), but a bit shy when it came to dogs. It took Coop a couple of days to start approaching the animals, but once he did, there was nothing stopping him.

He is also indifferent to cars, bicycles and runners now – again it took him a couple of walks and a few cuddles to understand that all those huge noisy things are alright and not worth his time.

And, of course, the toilet habits… He is finally doing it during his walks as well as in the garden. Once in a while we get a little accident at home, but no more than 3 a day, which is pretty much nothing.

The plans for this month…

… continue with training (He knows “sit”, “down”, “stay”, “come”, does it all wonderfully at home, so now needs to be able to focus when out and about. Since I am not a huge fan of training treats made of all kinds of “stuff” I have been using some of his daily food allowance or pieces of plain cooked chicken breast, and from now will also include Thrive chicken training treats for the sheer fact that it’s dried and can be stored and used for a while without the need to cook fresh every day, it’s plain chicken, low in fat (again, cockers are prone to weight gain and I don’t want to go down this road), free from anything remotely bad for my baby, plus gentle and suitable for pups.

… get him walk without the lead when we are in a countryside because, honestly, it feels so good to have a happy pup running free (we did it today – he had a lead attached to him, but I let it go and everything was fine, but I know it’s still early days and we need to practice more)

… introduce Cooper to passata, just 1tsp every other day, as it’s good for his teeth.

… continue with Royal Canin Junior, plus carrots, cress, beetroot, parsley, chicken and occasional eggs.

… take him to towns, so he is used to busy’ish streets and learns to walk on a lead calmly.

… take him to the seaside because it’s glorious, fun and he gets to experience all the new smells and textures.

… go for longer trips in a car (right now he is happy to travel for about 45 minutes without complaining (he just falls asleep) and we would like to see if he would be happy to travel for over an hour one way).

… try to convince him that staying in a room without mummy is ok (so far we both fail – he doesn’t like being alone and I hate leaving him even for a second)

… continue with cuddles and kisses because he is the best and sweetest little thing imaginable.