The Puppy Diaries – The Second Year
Some of you may remember our popular puppy diaries series that we ran last year, following the progress of lockdown lurcher puppy Murdock, from birth to 12 months. Last week, Murdock turned two, so we decided it was time we checked back in to see how he is getting on.
At two years old Murdock is now fully grown and has calmed down quite a lot although he still gets incredibly excited when he sees anyone he knows as he has a small group of ‘favourite people’ that he loves to hang out with. He can feel a little bit intimidated by larger dogs and always barks at anyone bigger than he is, but he would never actively cause trouble, they are just warning shots I think!
Murdock is incredibly affectionate, much more so than my other lurcher, who was a mixture of Greyhound, Bedlington and Whippet, whereas Murdock is around 75% whippet. He loves to lounge around and sleep all day and never asks for a walk, although he does love to be outdoors once he is out and about. He loves the family and is very cuddly with everyone. He likes to lick the children when they come home from school. He has finally stopped chewing everything (it sometimes felt like he never would) and is now pretty laid back about 90% of the time.
When we go on walks he loves to do zoomies in open spaces and he still really enjoys going to the beach. He has chased after deer in the woods a few times which can be quite worrying as once he is fixated on them he won’t come back when called, so I tend to keep him on the lead in wooded areas now. He likes to walk fairly close by anyway so he’s fine with that.
Murdock doesn’t really like being left behind at home and prefers to come with us in the car if he can. He still loves riding in the passenger seat, paying attention to see where we are going and barking at any dogs we see on our route!
On his second birthday, 30th April we met up on the beach with nine of his brothers and sisters and his mum. It was the first time they had met up in a while but they all got on very well, apart from one brother who has become slightly aggressive. It’s really interesting to see how their personalities have developed – some are very bold and brave, some like to play fetch and chase a ball (Murdock has no interest in it) and in some cases their names seem to have determined their personalities like his gorgeous brother Tigger who likes to boing up and down and his delicate little sister mouse who is more like an Italian greyhound. I think this 'nominative determinism' is definitely a factor in their behaviour, the woman who taught us during our puppy training classes said the same thing. So the fact that we named him after ‘Howling Mad' Murdock from 80s TV show the A-Team is perhaps quite telling!
Now summer is here I will need to leave Murdock at home more frequently as he can't sit in the car when I pop into a shop or anything when it is hot. I think he copes OK with being at home, he isn't destructive when we are out but he does seem quite clingy when we return as he would always rather be where we are so I am planning on investing in a LickiMat or something similar where he has to lick treats from a mat. This is something that I mentioned in our article on doggy depression a while back. This kind of activity can be just as stimulating for a pet as taking them for a walk or playing with them and should be included in enrichment exercises to make sure they are getting the sort of motivation that they need. It can certainly keep him distracted if we have to pop out and will help to settle him too. I will return to let you know how he gets on!
Want to read more about Murdock and his progress? You can find all of our puppy diaries here. Do you own a lockdown puppy? Let us know how you are getting on in the comments section below.