We have had Lux at home with us well over a month now, and that time has literally flown. It feels like we have always had him, like he has always had a place in this crazy little family unit. That might be because he has literally doubled in size in the last month and his spots have become even more prominent! Lux is absolutely beautiful and were already so in love with him, there is absolutely no doubt in my mind that he is meant to be with us.
Leo and Lux have a relationship forming everyday, and although it usually consists with the arguing and play fighting that usually occurs between two siblings, the love they share for one another is something that you would have to be blind not to see. Lux will lick Leo all over, and it was just last night that Leo's hair was sodden from all of the puppy kisses that Lux had bestowed upon him.
Lux sleeps in the kitchen at night, and if I am busy running about I will put Lux in the kitchen so he can't cause any mischief (believe me when I say that he is ALWAYS up to no good!), and now when I open the kitchen door to come and put some more washing on, or take the wet washing out to hang on the line, Lux seizes the opportunity to bolt out of the kitchen and up the stairs to where a sleeping Leo is sound asleep. The arrival of the dog will usually be lots of licks and nibbles, but sometimes he will just sit quietly at the end of the bed and keep guard over his little human.
|We have just moved house and Leo's new bed hasn't been delivered just yet....|
Of course I always bring him back downstairs, much to Leo's disappointment as he would love for Lux to sleep on his bed, but I want Lux to realise that his bed is in the kitchen and I don't want him to grow accustomed to needing to be with us 24/7. We actually recently moved into our new home, and that first night there with Lux was difficult. I put him in the kitchen with his bed, made sure that he had absolutely everything that he needed and then took myself upstairs. Lux proceeded to cry and howl for half an hour. I sat at the top of the stairs contemplating what to do, thinking of the neighbours next door and looking at the clock. It was gone 11pm. The longer I sat there the louder Lux got, and I knew that if I moved and went to see him now I was setting the precident for how things would be going forward. So I sat there and waited it out and then all of a sudden he just went quiet, and that was him asleep for the night. Each night the crying got less and less and now he goes to sleep with no crying at all.
It's hasn't all been easy, and it's definitely not been a walk in the park. I have discovered first hand just how much hard work puppies can be (if there was any chance of me considering a second... I no longer am!), I didn't enter into this lightly though and knew from the get go that I was going to have my hands full, what caught me off guard more than I ever expected is the puppy nipping. I have never had a puppy before so I wasn't sure how much or how little was the norm for this type of thing, and whether the level of Lux's biting was down to his breed or because he was just being naughty. I have been really lucky in the sense that I found a group on Facebook with thousands of other Dalmatian owners, and they have been incredible with all of their advice and support. Turns out Lux is just your typical Dalmatian puppy and although this phase has seemed pretty hard, it will soon pass as long as I keep demonstrating the consistency when dealing with it. When Lux gets too over excited and starts nipping, I have been letting him know that we don't appreciate this behavior by either removing him from the situation for a time out, or yelping loudly and gently pinning him just like another puppy or dog would do.
Lux has been the ultimate celebrity with friends and family, they have all made the effort to come and see him, but when they were expecting to come and see the cute, sleepy puppy, they have soon had their illusions shattered after they have come face to face with the playful pup that I have been tempted to rename Jaws *Insert Dun Dun, Dun Dun tune here*.
Lux does seem to be responding to these tactics that we have been implementing with him slowly but surely, and although he still nips, he seems to be learning how to control his bite. Ultimately the idea is that we teach him to bite gently at the beginning and then remove the behavior all together.
Lux's jabs have now all been completed and we can head outside for short walks which has been incredibly lovely. Where we now live is right next to a beautiful camp site with a massive field including a short woodland walk, and we are lucky enough to be allowed access with Lux to enjoy the land. I had never really considered just how social dog walking was, but in the weeks that we have been outside with Lux, I have met so many incredible and interesting people who I would never have been able to get talking to if I wasn't one of their fellow dog walkers.
|Rosewood Pets Soft Touch Red Collar and Lead|
As you don't see many Dalmatian's around, Lux is always a topic of conversation and it really is as though I am walking around with a celebrity at the end of my leash. Of course Lux laps up all of the attention and has been absolutely loving meeting all of the other dogs. He has gone from being over cautious and his tail falling between his legs, to bounding about and wanting every other dog to play with him, I have quickly learned that Lux is quite a dominant personality and we are definitely going to have to get those puppy classes booked in sooner rather than later!
We have been walking Lux on a collar and lead to start with, but because he pulls so much (imagine Marley and Me, then double that image!) we are going to switch to a harness. Rosewood Pets sent us over a lovely one that is too big for us to use right now, but I know that at the rate Lux is growing, it's only a matter of weeks before he's in it securely!
As I sit and write this Lux is sat at my feet and undoing my shoe laces with his teeth, he knows it's almost time for us to go on a walk. Today we are going to take a stroll into Evesham and enjoy Lux's first walk by the river.