It is nearly Harold’s 3 month anniversary with us. He is over 4 1/2 months old now and he’s still an absolute ball of puppy energy. I can’t believe that he’s only lived with us for a few months; it honestly feels like he’s always been a part of our lives.
Here are some snippets about Harold’s recent progress:
- My favourite time of day to spend with Harold is the few hours before bed – he’s always worn himself out then and just wants to calmly cuddle with me on the sofa and nap on my lap whilst I watch television.
- He goes to bed perfectly now, without a single solitary whine. Then he sleeps through until around 7am when he needs to be let outside.
- He rarely has any accidents in his crate, but we haven’t cracked house-training yet. Dachshunds are notoriously difficult to house-train though and some take over a year so we’re not disheartened. He knows that he gets a treat if he does his business outside, he just choses not to a lot of the time. (But he definitely knows the correlation between going outside and treats. Sometimes he tries to cheat and get a snack by getting in his peeing position (without actually going), waiting a few seconds in that position, still pretending, and then coming over and asking for a treat. He’s obviously very, very clever then. (Just stubborn.)
- On his walks, we go by our local vet and try to stop in at least once a week. They make a big fuss over him, saying hello, giving him treats and weighing him. That way when he needs to go to the vet, he’s not scared because he’s so used to being there.
- Sam took Harold to a “puppy party” where all the other dogs have been meeting together and working on commands for the past few weeks. Harold is such a show-off and so clever that he watched all the other dogs, so that when it was his turn, he actually responded correctly to Sam’s commands (with zero previous practice).
- Harold can now sit on command, as long as there isn’t food around to distract him.
- He finally seemed to learn his name which is very exciting!
- Harold weighs just over 8lbs at the moment. The vet estimated that he’ll stop growing around month 8 or 9, so we are at the halfway point in his physical growth.
- Having a puppy is really challenging, but it’s also very rewarding. As long as you don’t mind everything you own being chewed on, and destruction occurring within seconds of having your back turned. His favourite things to destroy are: paper, plants and shoes.
- He also loves getting carrots as a snack.
Up until a few weeks ago, he wasn’t very keen on walks. He liked to lie down on the road and not get up again. Or stop and sit every 2 steps. However, he always knew when we were headed home and that’s when he ran!
However over the past few weeks, he’s been so excited to go out on his daily walks. When he sees his leash, he gets so excited that he can barely contain himself. He’s especially loved rolling around in big leaf piles that are significantly bigger than he is, and if a leaf blows across his path, he will promptly pounce on it!
We prefer walking him on wooded paths, or quiet parts of the River Ouse as opposed to our local park, Rowntree Park. And that’s only because Rowntree is notoriously taken over by geese every year, and we are well in to goose season!
But no matter where we walk him, he gets mobbed with attention. Never has a dog been stroked by more strangers than Harold.
I really feel the cold, and it’s doubly true since we left London and moved to Yorkshire. But now that we have Harold, it’s forced me out of the comfortable cocoon of the house in the evenings and early mornings more often than I ever would have gone before.
Luckily, I’ve been testing out some Millets winter weather gear that’s kept me oh-so snuggly whilst out with Harold. I trialed the Brasher country walking boots, which drew my attention because they were super sturdy and also waterproof (a must, really). They are extremely comfortable and haven’t really needed any “breaking in”. However, I am having to get used to how heavy they are.
Readers who’ve stuck around since last year might remember my obsession with cable knit bobble hats to keep my ears warm, and I’ve been using a gorgeous Peter Storm hat lately. It’s super soft on the inside. The only downside is that if I leave it lying around, Harold tries to eat the bobble!
As far as jackets go, I’ve been relying on the Peter Storm insulated jacket. It’s lined with faux fur on the inside so it’s the softest jacket I’ve ever had. It’s so soft that I really don’t want to take it off sometimes. (The storm flap also comes in handy when I’m wearing it and riding my bike.) I don’t love the look of bulky parkas a lot of the time, but its grey colour and lining make it look a little more sleek than your run-of-the-mill winter coat.
Sam has been wearing the Peter Storm Peter Parka and he says that it’s the best winter coat that he’s ever had. After a few wears, he was so convinced by its longevity and warmth that he actually donated his old winter coat, in favour of this one. (A lot of the men’s winter jackets seem to be on sale at the moment.) It’s fully waterproofed and insulated. But best of all it has LOADS of pockets, which is important when walking Harold.
That’s because Harold really likes to follow someone and he likes following Sam best of all. So I hold on to Harold’s leash and Sam walks a bit ahead with his pockets filled with treats (and spare bags) and Harold happily trots along between us.
Basically Harold is high maintenance but he’s the best!
Doesn’t Harold look like a champion outdoor dog?
***This post was a collaboration with Millets, but all opinions are forever my own***