Unfortunately, Ronnie has not been accepted for the Cesar Millan live shows. We received this email:
Thank you for putting your dog forward for the Manchester Evening News Arena show of the Cesar Millan LIVE tour. The demand for Cesar’s show has been overwhelming and unfortunately on this occasion your dog has not gone through to the dog selection. However, you might want to consider putting your dog forward for some special UK episodes of the Dog Whisperer that Cesar is filming after the UK Tour. For information on how to do this please go to Cesar’s official website.
On behalf of Cesar and his UK crew, thank you for putting your dog forward and sharing your issues to help Cesar fulfil his goal of making the world a better place, one dog at a time.
Although we are a bit disappointed, we are still very excited to go to the show and to see Cesar!
Occasionally, they will play with another dog but they are quite fussy! They tend to be scared of any dog that is very playful or exciteable, even a puppy.
They are not bothered about meeting other people unless they have treats! They aren’t scared of them; they just don’t seem to have any interest in them. They have more of an interest in children and we are working on not getting them to jump up at them when they approach them.
Once they learned a solid recall, most of their walks became off-lead. This has been detrimental to them because at first, they walked very well on the lead but not having done it for so long, they started to pull and try to walk ahead of us. This is a problem we are still working to correct.
We are lucky enough to live in an area where there are a lot of variety for our walks and we take advantage of this. Below are some pictures of our walks, with Ronnie and Wilbur posing!
We are big fans of Cesar Millan and his TV show ‘The Dog Whisperer’. When we heard he was doing a tour of the UK, we made sure we got tickets. About a month ago, I noticed that you could apply to have your dogs take part in the live shows so I applied on behalf of Wilbur and Ronnie.
Today, we received a phone call from Cesar’s dog handler to ask some information about Ronnie. She wanted to know more details about him and his behaviour. They are going to make a shortlist and those who get through have to go early on the day of the show, along with their dog and the final choice will then be made.
We are so excited at the possibility of meeting Cesar Millan and having Ronnie be part of his show. Our beautiful puppy is going to be a star!
We started training the puppies almost as soon as they came home. Obviously, the first task was housebreaking but I also wanted to teach them basic obedience and started with sit. Training had to be done separately with each puppy and we used lots of positive reinforcement, i.e. praise and treats. Ronnie was the first to pick it up and we were so proud the first time he did it!
The next obedience ‘trick’ was lie down, which they learned equally as well.
We didn’t teach stay as a separate ‘trick’, we taught it alongside sit and lie down. We always get them to sit and stay at a doorway while we walk through and they do very well with this.
We had a lot of trouble teaching them to ‘stand’. They could do it fine when prompted with a treat but they could not do it without the prompt. When talking to a trainer from our obedience class, she suggested that we put our arm straight down with our hand open and put a treat in between our fingers. Say the cue word, stand, then give the puppy the treat. Eventually, we could do it without a treat between our fingers and feed the treat afterwards, which seems to have done the trick.
I felt like these covered the main obedience ‘tricks’ so I moved on to the more fun ones. I started with paw and other paw
They are currently learning rollover. Wilbur is picking it up very well and needs little prompting while Ronnie is still needing to be prompted with a treat.
We feed Ronnie and Wilbur 2 meals a day now and have done since they were 6 months old; one after our morning walk and one after our evening walk. I prefer to feed 2 smaller meals a day rather than 1 to spread it out more.
They are always fed after walks because in the wild, the first thing a dog would do is walk to find food. By feeding after the walk, it is mimicking their natural instincts.
I also feed at meal times rather than leaving it out all day to reinforce the fact that I am the pack leader and, as such, I control when they get their food.
When we first got them, they were having 4 meals a day, which we reduced to 3 when they were about 3 months. The breeder fed them Wagg Puppy, which we continued for a while and then we changed to James Wellbeloved because we felt it had a better content.
They had small metal food dishes at first, which we were given from the breeder. They used to push them all around the kitchen trying to get every bit of food out of them! We ended up buying them some larger stone ones, which they could almost sit in at first
They have always been good eaters and feeding them meals at regular times helps us to see when they are off their food. This has happened a couple of times and we know immediately that something might be wrong.
Wilbur could eat all day and gets very excited at meal times. He eats it so fast that we are thinking about putting something, e.g. large stone, in his bowl to slow him down a bit. I know that bloat is most common in larger breeds but it can’t be good for him to eat so fast. As soon as he heard the food bag, he would be by your side.
He always used to jump up while we were weighing his food out and was very impatient until he could eat it. We started telling him to sit before we started, which helped a bit but he would jump every so often still. Now, we take him to the opposite end of the kitchen and tell him to sit and stay there. He sits and calmly waits until I tell him to come and get his food.
Ronnie has always had a more laid back approach when it comes to food than Wilbur has. He will often wander around the kitchen whilst I am weighing the food out. If I ask him to sit and stay, he will do so. When I put his food down, he will just meander up to it and eat it at his leisure.
Over the last week or so, Ronnie has not been as interested in his food. A couple of weeks before that, he had gone off his food and was totally lethargic so we took him to the vets and he was given an anti-biotic injection. It is not the same this time, he has had no changes in behaviour, he is just uninterested in eating.
A few times he has only had a mouthful or so and after 15 minutes, we have taken the food away and waited until his next meal time. At the moment, touch wood, he is eating fine again.
We had decided quite early on that we were going to crate train them and this was one of the best decisions we made. Dogs are den creatures so the crate provides your puppy with a safe, cosy place to spend time.
Naturally, they don’t like to go to the toilet in the same place they sleep so the puppy learns to hold it’s bladder whilst it is in the crate. As soon as the puppies came out of their crates, they were taken to the puppy pad and when they were vaccinated, outside to go to the toilet.
They didn’t really take to the puppy pads or newspaper and had a lot more accidents in the house when we were trying to use these. As soon as they had their first vaccination and were allowed to go out into our garden, they got the hang of going to the toilet outside instead of the house.
At first, we were thinking of putting them into a larger crate so that they could be together. However, after doing lots of research on the internet, we decided against this. Looking back, it was the best decision because they were on different schedules for the first few months and if they were in the same crate, they would have constantly disturbed the other.
We picked code words (wee, poo) and said these everytime they went to the toilet. We then gave them lots of praise and a treat so that they knew they were doing as we wanted them to.
We started to learn the signs that told us when they needed to go to the toilet, e.g. turning in circles, sniffing at the floor, losing concentration, etc.
We also tried to take them out to the toilet often; as soon as they came out of their crates, after playing, immediately after eating, approx. 30 mins after eating and before they went into their crates for the night.
They were never punished for any accidents that they had. If we caught them having an accident in the house, we told them ‘no’ firmly. We had read that you should lead them outside after they have an accident in the house and wait for them to continue to go but we didn’t find this helpful.
We used Bob Martin’s disinfectant and odour removing spray to clean up any accidents that they had thoroughly and despite our best efforts, they had loads of accidents!
When they were about 12 weeks old, Wilbur started weeing in his crate overnight. They were sleeping for about 6 hours a night at this age and we assumed that he wasn’t able to hold his bladder for so long. However, he then started weeing in it frequently, even during naps of 1 hour or so. He also didn’t seem to care that he had weed where he slept and was often sat/led in it when I let him out.
This really confused us because it had gone against everything we had read. After some more research, we thought that he might have been used to going at a regular time during the night. If this was the case, we would need to break the habit.
That night, we got up with him at 4am and took him out to the toilet. He had not weed in his crate so we were pleased and took him outside to go and then put him straight back in his crate. He fell back to sleep almost immediately.
As this had worked, we continued to get up with him at 4am for the next few nights. He wasn’t weeing in his crate anymore so this seemed to have done the trick. We gradually increased it by 5-10 minutes each night until we reached 5.30am, which was their usual wake-up time.
To date, they have not had an accident in the house for quite some time. They have more recently learned how to tell us when they wants to go into the kitchen by standing at the door and looking from us to the door. If we don’t see him, Wilbur will often come over to us to get our attention and then walk back to the door.
Our kitchen leads out to our back garden and if they want to go outside, they continue on to the back door where they stand and wait for us to let them out. Neither of them make any noise to get our attention but as we get closer to the door, Wilbur gently paws it.
The last accidents they had have been when they are waiting at the door and we don’t see them so they either give up and just go or start playing and then go. We have seen on the internet that some dogs ring a bell when they need to go to the toilet and I like the idea of this.
Once they get outside, the puppies will go to the toilet on command, which stems from us using cue words right from the beginning. It is much easier to tell them to go, especially in a time pressured situation.
We always get them to sit and stay at doorways while we go through first because this reinforces our pack leadership. Whilst I always do this on the way back from the toilet, I haven’t been doing this on the way to the toilet. This is confusing for the puppies because they are not getting a consistent message. I will be trying to improve this.
We went to pick them up about midday on the 2nd of May and they did very well on the 2 hour journey home. Wilbur just led in my arms but Ronnie was interested in the car and wanted to explore.
I had wanted a puppy for a long time but we finally made the decision to get one after my Mum died in March 2009. We were all finding it hard after her death and wanted something positive to concentrate on.
I was looking for a dog that needed moderate exercise, was fairly easy to train and was going to be very affectionate. I thought that the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel had all of these traits. I would have chosen to get females but my Dad and Lauren wanted males so that’s what we were looking at.
We found the advert for Cavalier King Charles Spaniel/Toy Poodle cross puppies on the internet and first went to see them when they were almost 4 weeks old. The breeder lives in Bradford, UK, which is about 2 hours away from us so we were hoping our trip wouldn’t be a waste of time.
When the breeder first brought the puppies out, they were in a small washing-up bowl with towels in. We couldn’t believe how small they were because we didn’t know how old they were at this point.
I had done lots of research beforehand about how to choose a puppy, what to look for, what to ask, etc and one piece of advice that stuck with me was not to get the smallest or runt of the litter, not matter how cute. However, as soon as I saw them, it all went out of my head.
Wilbur was, and still is, the smaller of the two and he just slept for most of the visit. However, Ronnie was more active, looking around and walking between us. We had only agreed on one puppy but when we got there, my Dad said we should get them both and have one each.
I was very nervous about getting 2 puppies, especially litter mates as it was our first experience with a dog, never mind a puppy. All the research I had read advised against it but we had already agreed to get it so I was determined to make the best of it and put in the extra effort.
The puppies couldn’t leave their Mother for at least another month so we spent the next month or so puppy-proofing our home and garden and doing even more research. I had already decided on crate training so I knew this was one of many things we would have to buy.
Even just preparing for them was exciting and we had everything set up ready for when they came home on the 2nd May 2009.