19 and 20 weeks


On Holiday!!  The Menai Straits.

Our first holiday. We (the dog and us!) survived our first long car trip. 6 hours in the car, punctuated by 2 hourly wee breaks, although some gaps between the breaks were a little longer, done to the fact at times it would have been quicker to walk up the M6 than sat in static traffic!! We had no whining (except from the children!) and no accidents.

House training – Only one accident in a week, which we were very impressed with!

What we have done….We have discovered National Trust properties with beautiful dog friendly gardens. Ebony would get a lovely long walk, then was happy to stay in the car, while we explored the house. Both children and dog happy!

Walks on the beachIMG_1932 Ebony’s had a great time playing on the beach with lots of people to keep her occupied. The beaches were empty allowing some off the lead running, which she loved and demonstrated great recall.

What we have learnt this week…..

The cat is my friend….IMG_1925and was very happy to see me when I got back from holiday.

I shouldn’t eat a whole loaf of bread as it made me very sick!!!!IMG_1967




18 weeks


Walking with my friend!!


We have started to enjoy our walks, and now rarely hide when the lead is seen!! This is a picture with my grown up friend, who has helped to make me brave!!


House Training

I think we are eventually  getting there. We’ve certainly had more dry days then accident days!

Cat Training

We’ve got some great video’s of the cat and dog playing in their tunnel, once we’ve worked out how to put them on you tube we will give you the links.


17 Weeks


Things I have leant this week…..

If I stand on my back feet, I can eat the things my family kindly leave me on the work surface. If I can’t reach them the cat helps to pass them to me!

I can also reach the cat food, which seems only fair as she eats my food!

It wasn’t me!!

I also like chewing letters and cardboard!!

House Training

Still hit and miss. We’ve only had 1 poo accident all week, then had two accidents within 2 hours. We often have a wee accident in the evenings, but I think this is becuas we cannot hear her asking to go out. We are going to try the bell.



Ebony is mixing with lots of dogs at work, and is good when she meets dogs on leads. She did meet a lady in a hat yesterday which was a little scary, but with a little encouragement was find!

Cat Training

Unfortunately the cat is passing her bad habits to the dog, namely pinching food, and eating anything she shouldn’t.








Ebony and Cleo
Ebony 16 weeks

Growing up fast!!

The poor cat is regularly getting squashed in games of rough and tumble, alhough she gives as good as she gets!

House Training…!!

Still a little hit and miss! I think we are a little more hit, although Ebony isn’t good at asking to go out, and completly forgets when she is playing with the cat.


Once walking, Ebony is great on the lead, stays at heel and doesn’t pull, and is great with all other dogs that she meets. Although I have to say it is a bit of a bug bear of mine when people who have their dog off the lead walk past trying to ignore the dog whilst their dog is coming over to talk to mine. If your dog is off the lead, it should be under control and staying away from dogs on the lead. As a vet I end up dealing with far too many dog bites that could have been avoided. A dog on a lead is under control, it will also tend to protect it’s owner, and will possibly be more aggresive, and that often means fighting with a dog that comes up to it off the lead.

If the dog is wearing  a yellow bow on it’s lead or a muzzle these are even bigger indicators to keep your dog away. Not all dogs or their owners want to play!!

Rant over… Ebony’s problem though is going for a walk, she still won’t happily walk out of the end of the drive, and actively runs away when she see’s her lead! As a behaviourist this would suggest she associates walking with a bad experiance which she has never had, and once out of the driveway she appears happy. I am still suspicious she doesn’t like leaving the cat!! We are trying to sort the situation with lots of treats, and putting on the lead and not going for a walk and just getting a treat. We are also trying different leads and harness’s to see if she doesn’t like the feel. We will let you know how it is working!


4 month worming today. I had forgotten how much easier a single tablet is compared to 3 days of granules.




15 Weeks



House training

Some dry days, and only 1 (ish!)  accident a day on other days (or if it’s raining!)


We’ve done some lovely walks this week! Fun beach walks, Castle Drogo and Killerton. We are still reluctant to leave the house or car, but it only take a small amount of persuasion to get going, then it’s a wagging tail all the way.



We’ve mastered sit, and paw. Unfortunately we are still too excited after sitting to consider doing anything further like lie down.

Cat Training

The cat is starting to realise that the puppy is growing!! and regularly gets completly pinned to the floor. This doesn’t stop her coming back for more though!



14 weeks



If Sunny, and cat is not involved can be 100%

At night 100%

If raining, or playing with cat 75% to 80%

I am starting to appreciate how much easier it is to house train a summer puppy, compared to a winter puppy! at least we have hard floors!!


Walking from the house, or the car is still problematic!! but as soon as they are out sight everything is fine.We are using a small harness, which is working really well, and are slowly starting to introduce walking to heel.


We can now sit to hand and voice control, and are learning down and paw. Although we do tend to get a little excited if we know there is a treat to be had and will tend to do all three and end up on our back with are feet in the air wanting a tummy tickle!!

Cat training

This is a new section, but as I’ve said before the cat does does appear to be in charge, and this week has been teaching the puppy how to climb tree’s!!IMG_7270




13 weeks

House training

When sunny – 70% to 80%

When raining – 50% (we really don’t like the rain, and the mat before the door is so much easier!)

When playing with cat – 30%


Clinically we have never really come across an irritable bladder before, but when Ebony plays with the cat she can manage a wee avery 10mins!!

So generally we are improving, we are still not asking to go out much, but we are thinking of trying a bell tied to the inside of the door which you ring when they go out, we will let you know if it works!


Ebony is still very reluctant to walk from the house. She will happily walk if there is another dog or the cat! I am starting to think that the cat may be part of the problem, and she doesn’t want to leave her. Mare’s are often reluctant to go on a hack if their friends don’t come…. perhaps we are turning into a horse!!

FullSizeRender Ebony walking with her sister (who is eating the stick!)


Ebony is reluctant to feed from her bowl, but if the biscuits are scattered on the floor then they are eaten with relish. I am sure there is a behavioural reason to this, but I am yet to fathom it out! We are though having to feed the dog in her cage as this is the only way to stop the cat eating the food, who is happy to eat the dog food from the bowl, floor or feed container!!!

Needless to say the cat’s diet is not going well. On a veterinary point a cat can eat dog food, but not long term as they do need specific amino acids linked to red meat which cat food is high in!

IMG_1615Cleo the cat helping herself to breakfast!

Cage training

You already may have realised we use a cage for Ebony. This was something we never really had to introduce as the breeder has used them, and as soon as the cage was put up, Ebony went straight into it and fell asleep.

The cage is only closed :-

a – at night

b –  we go out.

c – During meals to stop the cat eating the food!!

We can therefore feel safe that Ebony is left in a safe environment where she can come to no harm, and feels happy. All Ebony’s toys are in the cage, and obviously fresh water. Anything Ebony finds she puts straight into her cage, so it helps us find odd socks, shoes or anything else she has collected along the way!

People ofter say cage training is cruel??? We caged are 2 older labs, they used to go into the cage at any opportunity, it meant that we could leave them with people, and take them on holiday with us safe in the knowledge they could cause no harm and mess and be invited back. We have always used cages in the car as well.

As a vet, animals that are used to cages are markendly less stressed when they have to stay with us at the vets if ill.  A calmer animal is easier to be treated, and will often recover quicker.