Dog ice-cream, tennis balls and a good ear scratch are just some of things Dogs For Good puppy, Juno, is showing a taste for.
“She developed a taste for dog ice-cream over the summer,” says Mike who, along with his wife Penny, are currently fostering Juno. Their role as puppy socialisers is to help Juno develop in areas such as house training, basic obedience, learning to be left alone and settling in public places. With the occasional cooling treat thrown in, of course!
“For the first six months the focus is to make sure that all our puppies have a consistent routine,” explains Trusts Manager at Dogs For Good, Allison Allen. “The pups also need to spend time being socialised around different environments and to meet lots of different people and animals. Due to the pandemic this has not always been possible, however our socialisers have been doing the best they can with the support of our puppy team.”
The charity kept things on track online, with puppy co-ordinations setting challenges for their volunteers through their closed Facebook group. They also provided support via virtual 1-2-1 training and group puppy classes.
According to Allen, Juno has settled in well with Mike and Penny. In fact, the pair socialised her mum Elsa and say that Juno is similar to her – bright, with an independent streak! Penny in particular has been working on Juno’s obedience. Juno is doing really well, she walks well on the lead and responds to the main commands of sit, stay, wait and down.
‘Juno is particulary well-behaved in pubs’
Juno has learned to respond to the whistle and will usually recall to the sound of it or her name; although she can sometimes get distracted by other people and dogs! She can also be quite excitable when she meets new people but, as she is still a young dog, her socialisers will continue to work on this with the support of their puppy co-ordinator Becci.
“Juno has been to town on several occasions, navigated Didcot railway station platforms and lifts, and copes really well with noisy traffic, trains and similar distractions,” says Mike. “She settles very well when she is out, and is proving to be particularly well behaved in pubs! She plays very well with other dogs, has inherited her mum’s love of playing with tennis balls (though not the ability to catch them yet), and is getting better at finding toys that we hide around the house. She is still not keen on being left alone, but getting used to it slowly. Otherwise, we haven’t found anything she seems to dislike!”
Mike and Penny will continue socialising Juno for another 10 – 12 months, taking her for trips on public transport, to supermarkets and restaurants and introducing her to different animals, both big and small. They will also continue working on her obedience with the help and support of the Dogs For Good puppy team.