Louise Richards – Coco

Our experience of the puppy package

At the time of writing, we have a 6 month old Staffie called Coco and we are first time dog owners! Coco is thriving and is a lovely, friendly girl whose only “fault” is her total enthusiasm for everything and everyone! We could not imagine family life without her now and we are totally grateful to Sarah and her team for helping us achieve this.

Although Coco clearly inherited a nice temperament, she didn’t have the greatest start in life and as she has developed, her ‘boisterous’ side could become really difficult if we had not learned early on from Sarah about the key ground rules to put into place in our home. We knew about Sarah from friends who used her services and who spoke really highly of her- and how right they were! The minute we met Sarah and her colleague Julie, we felt in safe competent caring hands.

We signed up to the puppy package and had our first session before we brought Coco home. We wanted to do the right things by our puppy and had done some reading and preparation ourselves before meeting Sarah. However, I cannot emphasise enough how helpful (and so much better!) having Sarah and her colleague Julie come into our home and talk to us face to face. Sarah was warm, encouraging and straightforward in her approach. She listened to us and our initial ideas/expectations and at the same time assessed our home and garden. She suggested the best place to put a crate (somewhere entirely different to where I was thinking and which would have been a nightmare for toilet training!!) a really helpful layout using stair gates to our kitchen and inner hallway to create a contained area for the puppy as well as guidance on housetraining and feeding. She really helped us understand the needs of the puppy as well as the importance of clear boundaries being established from the word go in order that our puppy had the best chance of developing into a happy friendly dog that would be great to be around.

We were excited about having a puppy (especially my sons!) but if I’m honest I was also feeling somewhat daunted at the prospect. Sarah grasped this but her calm clear guidance encouraged me to feel confident and look forward to bringing Coco home. And Sarah’s support has continued to help us enjoy our puppy but also understand the importance of clear rules and boundaries in the home, and how this in turn enables us bring up a well behaved dog.

We have all come a long way since those early weeks of having a new puppy, and subsequent to the puppy package, Coco has also attended the puppy foundation class and is currently working on her bronze level obedience. It has not always been plain sailing and as Coco goes into ‘adolescence’ there are challenges ahead, but thanks to Sarah’s advice, we have those very important ground rules in place and we are confident our happy friendly puppy will mature into a happy friendly obedient dog.