AnnieAnnie in her New Home

By Justin Paynter

Annie is a Brittany pup, and like all high energy dogs has a need for exercise.

The first week was tough since a leash and collar were new for her, as was going for guided walks. We kept the first walks very short, walking about a tenth of a mile. In that tenth of a mile she would stop and try to fight the leash, not understanding what was happening.

It is important to not drag her along. If your pup fights the leash, simply walk back toward him and change direction, encouraging him to follow you with cheery calls. Walk at a pace his little puppy legs can handle. Keep the leash loose, adjusting your pace with his but constantly encouraging him to keep up with you.

Now Annie likes to go for hikes in the woods of up to half a mile. She gets to explore a new environment while having the security of being with me. When I jog a little she runs to keep up. I never push it too far. So far 20-30 minutes of walking is enough to send her happily to her crate for nap time.

Another important point to remember is that your pup is exploring his or her new world, and every experience is novel. Let him explore, encourage her to sniff and run. If your pup jumps away from something in fear, encourage him to come closer. Don’t validate the fear by trying to soothe the nervous pup, show her this new experience is nothing to fear.

When the first thunderstorm came through Annie was nervous, not quite sure what the sound and flashing was. I looked at her and asked in an upbeat voice “What is it Annie? What’s that noise girl?” She saw that I was positive, and this bolstered her confidence. We then began play time through the storm. The next night there was thunder it wasn’t a big deal for her.

It is important to introduce your pup to new experiences in a positive manner. Don’t throw him in the deep end of the pool. Let him wade in, becoming more comfortable with each new stimulus.

Justin is a store manager in our Danvers, MA location. Come in and visit him and ask him how he and Annie are doing!