What I’ve learned after one week with our bordoodle puppy

1. If a bordoodle puppy poops on a carpet but no-one is around to see it, you can still very much smell it.

I’m not sure exactly what happens between the puppy kibble going into the mouth and coming out the other end, but I’m pretty sure Satan is involved. At only 10 weeks old, Otis hasn’t quite learned how to ask us to open the door so he can relieve himself in a neat little pile in a secluded corner of our garden, so when he goes…it doesn’t take long for the smell to waft through the flat and slap us in the face.

In Otis’ defence he has (for the most part) learned that going to the toilet on the puppy pad in our hallway results in happy, comforting noises from the humans. But no puppy pad on this planet could disguise the pervasive stench of what comes out of that gorgeous little creature.

2. Bordoodles are highly intelligent (at least Otis is)

A bordoodle, in case you’re wondering, is a border collie crossed with a poodle. Border collies are considered the most intelligent breed of all, with poodles coming in close second. So it’s no wonder their offspring are fluffy geniuses. I began simple training with Otis three days after we brought him home. It took about five minutes for him to learn the commands ‘come, sit, stay and down’, and already he sits and waits for me to place his food down or open the front door.

It’s fascinating to watch him explore his environment. He’s confident and up for a little risk-taking, but you can tell he’s constantly assessing and taking mental notes for next time.

We’re going to have to find lots of creative ways to keep this pup sufficiently stimulated! Especially as he is now entering his ‘chew everything, including this humans flesh’ phase.

3. Puppies spend most of the day asleep

I had no idea puppies slept up to 20 hours a day, but they do! Which is lovely, because I work from home and need peace and quiet to get on with my job.

4. Dogs are very much ‘their own people’

Otis likes to chew on rocks and eat soil. He insists on sleeping near us but not too close to us. He likes to collect his belongings (and some of our belongings) to store them neatly in his bed, but he doesn’t really like sharing them with us. He enjoys the feeling of cool tiles against his body, and the attention of a happy, praising human – but he’s very happy to go off on his own solo adventures in which he sometimes seems to play with invisible puppies, which I like to think is his dog version of an imaginary game.

We can’t force our dog to be who he’s not because just like us, he has his own personality. We can only show him the ropes and teach him good manners so that he knows how to successfully navigate a world ruled by humans.

I’ve always known that living with a puppy would be challenging and all-consuming, and it is. Otis is part of our family now and it’s our responsibility to protect him from harm and give him everything he needs for the rest of his life. But in return we already have a wonderful companion who adds humour and spark and energy to our daily lives.

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