Introducing the new Puppy
The Therapy Dog Journey Continues.
As I mentioned in my previous blog after speaking with Breeders and looking at breeds we decided on a Border Collie.
You may think they have too much energy and for some families you may be right. But JB, my son is go go go all the time, that it will be a competition to see who runs out of energy first.
We started heading out to the breeders house every fortnight from the puppy’s age of 4 weeks to start the bonding process.
If you are considering a dog for your child, this is such an important process and a good breeder will encourage these visits to ensure that you, your family and the dog are comfortable with each other before they head home.
We did a 1.5 hour round trip each fortnight so JB could play with the dog and get to know him.
We decided on a male as they are more affectionate and he had been named River.
We all loved the name instantly and we knew he was the one for us.
JB was so excited that he just loved heading out there to play with him and run about. You could really see the bond starting to form.
By the time River was 11 weeks of age he was allowed to come home, JB was beside himself with excitement.
He was so proud to be telling everybody that he was getting a new puppy, you could already see the proudness and the sense of responsibility kicking in.
River was home and this is really where the training started, not only for the puppy but also for JB.
JB had to learn to be gentle, now we all know asking a child living with ADHD to be gentle is sometimes like leading an elephant through a glassware shop. Almost impossible!
Lots of ‘reminding’ that the puppy was only little and he couldn’t be so rough. Reminding him that he couldn’t run ALL of the time and that puppies need their sleep.
Teaching him how to feed him, pick up poop in the garden (the one he was least impressed with) and a trip to the vet to get puppy checked. All the things that JB has to be involved with.
I then started my search to find the right trainer to help me train him to be JB’s therapy dog. Luckily I found one close to me and we will be starting that in the new year, but it is important that we start puppy school first – for both of them.
So the training for everyone begins……………………….
Tips to bringing home a puppy with a child living with ADHD.
1.Have your child bond as much as they can with the puppy before it comes home, ask the breeder if you can do as many visits as you can to start that bond. (Note: any breeder that says no, I would be seriously considering if they are the right ones to purchase from).
2.Explain the rules. Be clear, make sure your child understands what their responsibilities are when the dog comes home. If it helps put it on a chart to remind them what they have to do.
3.Get an enclosure/cage where the dog can go to rest. Make it clear to your child when the puppy is in there, it is rest time and they need to leave the puppy alone. This is important as puppies need lots of sleep.
4.Keep them involved. Involve you child as much as possible. Take them to vet visits with you, take them to the dog obedience classes if you can (most allow this), teach them how to feed the dog, pick up their poop, walk them (when on-lead has been mastered by the puppy), brush them if necessary and play with them when needed.
5.Be careful but have fun. We all know that puppies can get carried away and can bite. Explain this to your child and teach them how to stop the dog from getting carried away by saying Stop or No and just walking away and ignoring the dog.
Let me know if you are thinking of bringing a dog into your family or if you have one and how they fit into your family successfully.
Until next time………….Tagged ADD, ADHD, ADHD Conference, BACK TO SCHOOL, Behaviour, BEYOND THE MAZE, coach, Deception Bay, diagnosis, Diet, Hyperactvity, Judgement, medication, MISDIAGNOSED, REdcliffe, rothwell, support, Therapy, Therapy Dog