Meet the family!

Jax was born on 8 October 200, one of a litter of five to Wilma and George of Folkingham, Lincolnshire. The litter consisted of one chocolate (Jax), one black and three cream pups. He is part of the Hollutrix line.

Jax's pedigree Kennel Club name is Kenine Dusted Fondant (where do they dream them up?).

This is FIFI, Jax's sister. She was the only bitch of the litter. Fifi lives in Middlesex with her human Olivia.

This is CASSIE, Jax's cousin. Both Jax and Cassie share the same grandfather, Kiucare De Ubrique for Hollutrix. Cassie lives in Co. Down (and is one of the very few SWDs in whole of the isle of Ireland! - phew - being very PC there!) with her humans Darren and Tracy.

I hope to get pictures of mum and dad and the other siblings shortly!


Training, biting and burrs!

Well, its been a while since I put anything on here. Time just flies by!

Not so much puppy classes than ongoing doggy classes. Five Jays dog training classes are run in our local village (and other surrounding villages) each week and came recommended by our vet and our neighbours. They have around 6-8 dogs each week of various ages from pups upwards. Jax is now the youngest, and is their first ever SWD - now there's a surprise!

We went along to a 2-hr session last Friday. Jax entered his usual very nervous self around all other dogs. He had to run the gauntlet simply for us to get to the registration desk! He really didn't know what to do. But once the class got going, Marion, the main trainer and organiser took us to one side and ran through things for us. We observed for most of the evening but took part in one of the exercises walking around the other dogs in a circle and them in turn walking between us. Jax coped with this really well, mainly due to having treats rammed down his throat at the first sign of being distracted by any of the other dogs. The evening went really well. Jax settled down to the point of being bored, but he got lots of fuss and slowly started to lose his nerves around the other dogs. The great thing was that none of the dogs went berserk and flipped Jax out. They were all well behaved and any signs of difficulty was curbed by the owner.

I was worried Jax would find it stressful then pee all over the hall. But he had a pee and poo before he went in and then after an our I took him out for a pee, and despite having to go by a busy road junction which he found disconcerting at first, he went and we were able to return to the class with me knowing he was empty!

If I have time I'll get him to one of the classes this week, and then on Sunday we start a six-week puppy class in Peterborough.

Jax continues to come on with our own training. He's enjoying fetch games in and out the house, but he still needs to pay attention to commands when he's overexcited and starts to bite - our stop and down commands go out of the window then!

He started to bite Liz and myself again when he wants us to play with him. I've managed to suss that some of the biting is his new way of telling us he wants to go outside to pee - why he's stopped going to the french door I don't know! Coupled with the biting is increased jumping up and clawing. This culminated in him cutting my lip the other night. Not happy. Luckily t his abuse is reserved for just Liz and me - he's as calm as anything with everyone else.

On his lunchtime walk today Jax got covered in burrs. And I mean covered! By the time we got back home some were bedded deep in his coat. Some came out easy enough by finger, but I had to eventually take a wide toothed comb to help extract some. All the books say no combs or brushes for grooming, but I couldn't work out any other way of getting these out - especially when, as you'd expect, Jax is far from happy to stand still while I extract them! 45 mins later I got around 75% out when Jax had really had enough (so had I) and I also needed to get back to work. I'll have another go at the rest later.

He's ripping, quite literally, through some toys now. I was in the pets superstore the other day and two different couples mentioned getting baby toys from Mothercare - they are ultra safe and last much better than many of the pet toys. I might give it a try when I'm next in town.

Food, treats and chews
He continues to enjoy his Origen puppy food. I got a great deal from our local pet shop in Ramsey. I ordered one 13kg bag and when I went to collect he gave me a second at half price cos it was ripped - saved £25!

He absolutely loves his natures:menu treats and is at his best when they're on offer! At the class on Friday most people had cooked meats (sausage and chicken) but apart from not having the time to prepare stuff, we're purposely not letting him eat food we eat. This works really well up to now as he pays little attention to us when we're eating and doesn't fuss us while we are eating. So, the n:m treats it will be. I have found that splitting each treat in two works, so each bag now goes twice as far! Thansk to Gwen Bailey's book for the tip that pea-sized treats are all you need - and you do.

He's now turning his nose up at some of the cheap chew treats we got for him. I've bought some more expensive ones to see how he gets one. I'd like to get him on natural treats like pigs ears, etc, so need to know what age is OK to feed them these.


Putting on weight

Jax was last weighed on 24 Dec when he went for his jab at the vets when he weighed in at 5.5kg. So, today at weigh in he tipped the scales at 7.5kg. I can't find any info on how much a 13 wk old SWD pup should be (only weights for adult dogs in books and online).

Jax's new game is 'steal the sock'. He has always had a thing about Steve's shoes, sandals, slippers, sleeping with his nose buried in one or just laying across them. He occasionally stole Mum's bed socks, but now he's found our outdoor socks basket in the bootroom, and as you can see above, if this sock wasn't dead already, it died of hypothermia by the time Jax brought it back indoors! My cashmere socks aren't made for this level of abuse! And as Liz found out, will he give them up? Not on your life. We've given up getting them back from him and simply wait for him to leave them unguarded and we whip them away!


More of Jax's toys!

Jax with toys - typically sat on one whilst playing with another!

Rope and tennis ball
Jax's fun rating - 8/10
An xmas treat from our neighbour's he played with little else on xmas day! He stripped the tennis ball of its fluff within hours!

Football chew ring
Jax's fun rating - 8/10
Ignored at first, but now coming in to its own as he continues to teethe and he get's bigger and needs bigger and harder chew toys.

Plush toy
Jax's fun rating - 8/10
A dependable chew toy he likes to play with on his own.

We've thrown away the packet, but this toy was simply useless. It took Jax approx. 2 minutes to tear it open and render it useless.

Plush, squeaky dog - monkey replacement!
Jax fun rating - 9/10
Monkey's successor is nearly as popular, but not quite. It lacks monkey's very chewable nose.

The 'blue' chew - thrown away the packet so cant remember the brand.
Jax's fun rating - 7/10
He's already pulled all the string/lace things off which he likes to hew on their own - they get right in to the back of his gnashers.


Jax's toy fun ratings update!

Some new toys to feature shortly, but here's updates on what Jax thinks about the ones he's so far grown up with.

Kong stuff toy
Initial Jax fun ratings - 3/10, 4/10
Current Jax fun rating 6/10
Coming in to its own now as a treat stuff toy.

Striped chew toy
Initial Jax fun ratings - 5/10, 2/10
Current Jax fun rating 7/10
This goes on walks with him as a high vis fetch toy! And he's getting much more fun from it - when he's not busy sniffing that it!

Monkey soft plush toy
Initial Jax fun ratings - 10/10, 10/10

Kong wubba chew toy
Initial Jax fun ratings - 7/10, 9/10
Current Jax fun rating 10/10
This is the play time toy of choice. He and Steve have real fights with it and he just loves it all! Liz gets a little concerned thats it all too rough for Jax, but he just keeps wagging that tail and dives in for more play-fighting!

Kong stuff chew toy
Initial Jax fun ratings - 3/10, 1/10
Current Jax fun rating 1/10
Still pays little interest.

Cardboard roll
Initial Jax fun rating 7/10, 9/10
Current Jax fun ratings 1/10
he's moved on! Although, the small toiler rolls are OK for sticking treats in which takes him all of 30 seconds to shred!

Dried leaves
Initial Jax fun rating 8/10, 9/10
Current Jax fun rating 6/10
Still going! Although some laces have replaced these now.

Cereal packet / cardboard boxes / wrappers
Initial Jax fun rating 5/10, 7/10
Current Jax fun rating 7/10
We give him whatever cardboard boxes come along and he just chews them up! Plastic wraps, whatever - he loves to chew on different things at different times so these freebies are great.

Small plastic bottle
Jax fun rating 8/10
Current Jax fun rating 8/10
Another great freebie which are great for treats and good for chewing!

Jax at 12 weeks

Jax has reached 12 weeks! Hooray! All sorts of things happen at 12 weeks. Last jab has already been and gone and he's now going on daily walks with us on the fen. He gets to enjoy new treats and toys that have 'not for puppies under 12 weeks' in the small print on the back of the packets and have been, until now, out of bounds. more become available at 4 months! And he will go to puppy classes - when we manage to get him into one! Fully booked so far.

He's enjoying his walks and gets excited when he sees his lead come out. He still needs to meet more dogs but he's still fearful of larger dogs. It'll come.

He's having mixed success with the car. He's fine on shorter runs, but on longer ones or runs which involve 15 mins each way he has been sick a couple of times. Practice should make perfect. We hope. Mind you, the fen roads are so bloody lumpy they're enough to make me feel sick sometimes!

Our biggest problem has been synching his routine with ours and I think we are just about getting there. Until a few nights ago he was spending most of the evening asleep and waking at 10pm as we were winding down and readying for bed! With night-time training nearly complete (fingers crossed) it looks like we're getting in to a better routine from morning to night.

Toileting is generally OK. He's still having the occasional mishap, but he's getting better at letting us know when he wants to go outside. A couple of times he's toileted outside his toilet pen even when he's had access and we guess he's beginning to treat his pen as part of his crate and he will pee and poo in it as a last resort (i.e. when he's crated). So, winding down the pen is the next thing one we are confident he doesn't need it at night-time. We're just so impressed with him though. He's only been with us for five weeks and he's getting on brilliantly and is far more advanced on the toilet training than we cared to dream.

He seems just fine on his food which is Orijen puppy (2/3) and Burns mini bites (1/3). We've been trying him on new chews and treats but nothing comes close to natures:menu treats - he just loves 'em! The Pets@Home 'mini bone' things were completely dismissed and I think he only eats the P@H thin straw-like chews reluctantly. The Kong things and some other younger puppy biscuits are a dead loss. He'll eat them but wont do anything for them! We purposely don't allow him to eat what we eat so it doesn't encourage him to beg for food from us or pester us at meal times, and this seems to be working fine. He likes to chomp on a lump of carrot and we'll maybe try him on some other crunchy fruit and veg.