bionda chasten campaign by Dima Hohlov c/o Bionda Castana & Natalia Barbieri / why puppies chew shoes and how to stop them from chewing furniture, shoes and other things when teething / first published on Perfect cocker spaniel blog (C)

Q&A | How to stop a puppy from chewing shoes?

“Louboutins or Manolos, they all taste the same…” is a kind of note that should be given to all new puppy parents, especially their shoe-loving mums. Brands aside, the note will serve as a friendly reminder that puppies, whether you like it or not, like to bite things.

Unlike us, humans, dogs don’t see things first… They SMELL them. Then they TASTE them. This simple exercise is their favourite way to learn about life and things its made of. The sights comes useful, of course, but mostly as a navigation device to get the pup from the scent to the source. Presto.

And once they arrive, puppies sink their teeth into whatever they want to learn about. Naturally the damage can be big and turn your possessions into shreds in no time.

To avoid this from happening, here are some simple rules that every puppy parent needs to follow, not even for the sake of saving a pair of shoes, but mostly, for the safety of your pup who can, unfortunately, swallow things he should not.

Puppy-proof the house before you get the pup;
Prevent or stop any bad habit from happening from the start otherwise you will end up with a dog who will be destroying things for the rest of his life because it’s fun;
Put away shoes and things that may look tempting;
Give him plenty of toys (see my earlier post about best chews for puppies);
Stimulate him mentally through puzzle toys and training – and physically, though age-appropriate exercises (walks, training etc.)
During teething, use bitter apple spray on furniture – the taste will discourage him from chewing;
Do not leave the pup alone for hours – first of all, it’s not a good idea full-stop, secondly, he is likely to get bored and end up chewing something; thirdly, cockers can develop separation anxiety and, as a result, destructive behaviour, if you aren’t careful;
If your puppy shows signs of pica (the need to eat odd things like, say, plaster or soil) consult a vet and examine his current diet.

See? Easy enough. Almost tempting to say “Christian Louboutin would approve”, but I guess that would be advertising.

Photo source: Bionda Castana Spring/Summer 2016 campaign (photography: Dima Hohlov) c/o Natalia Barbieri

Fred, my chocolate and tan english cocker spaniel puppy playing with his ball / first puppy training tips and advice / things to teach puppy / first published on Perfect cocker spaniel blog (C)

5 things to teach your puppy

Puppy’s mind is like blank canvas. You can paint anything you like on its surface. The better skills you have, the better your masterpiece will turn out. If you leave the canvas untouched & neglected, they’ll lose their pristine qualities & require a lot more effort to achieve the art work you’ve dreamed of…

Now, away from the imaginary gallery and back to the reality of puppy life, so we can use every minute of it to our advantage.

Cockers are naturally very intelligent & easy to train at any age. However, puppy’s brain is information-hungry & still developing, so it’s the best time to mould it.

I teach my pups from day one. Those aren’t really lessons. It’s more like a game. Of course, nothing is forced & the “games” are kept short. And here are the first 5 things the pups learn…

His/her name… because it’s the easiest way to grab your pup’s attention;

“Come”… because right now pup will follow you at all times allowing you to set the foundation for future success;

House training… takes time, so the sooner you begin, the quicker you’ll achieve results;

Wearing collar & walking with a lead attached… because wearing ANYTHING is not natural for any animal. It’s important for the little pup to understand that his collar is not scary & the lead is not a toy. You can also teach him to follow you (while the lead is attached) and build foundation towards successful no-pulling on the lead routine;

“Leave” or “Spit”… to stop him from hoovering up everything in sight (& spitting things out when asked) to avoid obvious problems.

The rest of the lifestyle tasks can be taught alongside or later on

I didn’t include the how-to’s because I’ve described details in my book, Perfect cocker spaniel. And lets be honest, any article longer than 1000 characters can send even the most dedicated puppy parents to sleep…

What things did you teach your pup when he joined you? Which ones are most important for you?

Photo source: Fred, photographed by me


H2O4K9 portable water bottle to keep your dog hydrated on the go / must-have dog accessory for all cocker spaniel owners / review first published on Perfect cocker spaniel blog (C)

We Love | H2O4K9

Do you remember the time when getting ready for a walk required a rucksack full of bulky dog ammunition? Among all the poop bags, treats, tissues, combs, leads etc.etc.etc. there was always a plastic water bottle and some kind of drinking bowl.

The longer was the walk the heavier the load… Beside the weight it was always a bit messy because the bowl would eventually be used and become wet and dirty…

Honestly, I know I’ve perfected the British art of complaining by now, but I found the whole affair frustrating.

Then the H2O4K9 was released. And since that day there was not a walk when we wouldn’t carry the bottle with us.

Why I love it so much? Because it allows me to carry a plentiful water supply. It’s made from stainless steel, so much more hygienic & health-friendly than plastic. It’s reusable – unlike plastic. And the lid is shaped to be a drinking vessel completely taking away the need to carry any extra paraphernalia.

I noticed that there’s also a new option available now. It’s designed to keep the water cool for longer. It lasts for years.

The bottle comes in several sizes, I use the large one because my boys prefer the shape of the lid and I can carry enough water for both of them.

The only negative is that the coloured bottles can be scratched when you put the lid back on taking off the pretty painted finish. If you think it’s going to bother you, get the plain stainless steel version. It looks perfect after years and years of use.

This post hasn’t been sponsored or compensated. The bottle is one of my personal must-haves when it comes to dog products. All opinions are my own.