Harum-scarum Lockdown Puppy Blues
Updated: Jan 29
Did you buy your puppy thinking they might be loyal and obedient just like Lassie? At the start of the Lockdown, it was the 80th Anniversary of Eric Knight’s book Lassie Come Home. Do you remember the old TV series Lassie, based on the book? Every episode Lassie would save her young master from some dilemma or other. Did you buy your puppy to save your children or yourself from loneliness during this lockdown? Are you now being confronted by some really naughty but scary behaviour, where your dog is doing laps around your house and climbing all over you and the furniture? Has your cute bundle of fluff now turned into a delinquent bully? Eric Knight called this the harum-scarum yearling stage, when a bright dog becomes bored and finds their own ways to find entertainment.
Don’t panic - Yvonne Done has written the book ‘In Search of Lassie’ for such a time as this. She lays out clearly the Lassie story and explains why dogs behave as they do. But she doesn’t want to leave the reader struggling so there are lots of tips along the way as to how you can play games with your dog that help build a bond with you, and help the dog to learn to behave, and become a well-mannered pet. The first tip she gives is to Leave the myth of the perfect dog behind. After all, Lassie wasn’t perfect...as she goes through the harum-scarum yearling stage, bites people, and kills cute little rabbits. Yvonne then explains how ‘our dogs have innate instincts that are part of a breeding history that we took advantage of in the past. In our urban environments, a clash occurs when we have given them an equal role in the family. Then unpredictably, they have acted on their breeding history, which leads to the relationship between dog and owner to break down’.
Do not worry Yvonne does not leave the reader without answers. She explains how dog’s need to have their breed requirements met, with activities that suit them. Not only does she give tips on how to ‘game-train’ your dog according to its breed, but she also explains how your dog’s behaviour effects your emotions too. Her top tip is play, play, and play more with your dog. Surely that will not only help your dog have a better bond with you, but will help your own mental wellbeing, which can only help with the stresses caused by the lockdown restrictions.