Following ten puppies and their families through their first six months together. Telephone psychic Delia goes in search of a big breed dog to live with her in her London flat.
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LIVELY MUSIC PLAYS
We'll welcome a quarter of a million puppies into our homes this year.
Of all different shapes and sizes.
From the most popular... APPLAUSE
..to the very expensive... WHINE
..to some of the smallest.
But new owners be warned,
behind those puppy dog stares lies a magnet for mischief.
In this series, we follow a group of families and their puppies...
..in those all-important first six months together.
I have to say, it's worse than having had a baby.
Poppy bite me.
The puppies will need training, discipline,
and require a whole lot of patience.
They can more than quadruple in size...
..consume up to 80kg of food...
..and go to the toilet more than 1,000 times.
This series explores how the nation's favourite pet
adapts to their new world...
..but also the profound effects they can have
on the lives of their owners.
Yeah! This is the biggest commitment of my life.
Oh, I am a girl who does not take failure very well.
Join us on an extraordinary journey,
as we follow ten very special puppies as they embark on a new life
with ten very different families.
In this episode,
we catch up with trainee search-and-rescue dog Jura...
..as she gives owner Will the run-around...
-Come on, Jura! No!
..while family pet Lola hits a stubborn streak...
Lola! Walk, walk.
..and a single lady looking for a plus-sized pooch
risks biting off more than she can chew.
But we start with Alex and Emily Vaughan,
who are adding to their brood in leafy Surrey.
We need a dog that fits in to the family.
We've got three children at the noisy age -
-eight, seven, and three.
-KIDS YELL PLAYFULLY
And they're just energetic, running around, shouting, screaming,
from dawn till dusk.
And I think we need a dog that likes that sort of behaviour.
I think we want a blonde dog, cos we're all blonde.
Octavia, Albert and younger sister Isadora
all have their own ideas about why they want a puppy.
-Do you want to have a dog to cuddle?
But up until now, the timing hasn't been right.
It was sort of three things we were looking at doing -
moving out to the country, having children, having a dog.
It's a bit tricky, having a dog and being pregnant,
so we waited till I stopped breeding,
so then we could get the dog!
The Vaughans live in a house with 1.8 acres of grounds.
We've got a swimming pool, which the children live in in the summer.
When you do play tennis, it's really annoying to have a dog coming,
trying to join in and run up and down.
I think, yes, it's probably best to keep the dog off the tennis court.
For a little dog, I think she'll have lots of fun.
We're going to get a puppy tonight!
Come on, you haven't got your shoes on.
This is your new home, baby girl!
We still haven't chosen a name.
-What's the name of the dog, Isadora?
This is Poppy,
an eight-week-old Cocker Spaniel.
She's a working breed, traditionally used as gundogs to flush out game.
Lightweight and nimble, she should be more than a match for the kids.
You can't catch me!
The top of that's very hot, the bottom is just very warm.
Never play with her when she's in her pen,
let her have quiet time in her pen, OK?
It feels really natural, that's what's so brilliant about it.
-She just looks like she fits in.
I just love having a dog.
They're a lot of fun,
and they are a wonderful thing to add into a family.
Wait a minute, she might need the loo,
she's going round and round in circles, Alex.
-Where's that pee mat?
-Quick, quick, quick, quick, quick!
-Octavia, I think you're sitting on it.
-Oh, yes, I am.
Here we go.
Oh, it's coming out!
Alex has trodden it round the house.
Too late, Alex, you've trodden it round the house.
-What, she's peed?
-Lift your shoe up!
-You've got it all over your shoe.
And the carpet as well. You've gone all round the house with it.
Good thing we've got a carpet cleaner.
While Poppy has the run of a sizeable house and garden...
LIVELY JAZZ MUSIC PLAYS
..the sixth of our new canine companions will be taking up
residence in a rather compact first-floor two-bedroom flat.
Hello there, Delia speaking.
I've actually got a situation coming up for you, if it's not here
already, where I've got more than one person around you, romantically.
32-year-old clairvoyant Delia Lewis lives alone in South London.
I am so set on getting a dog.
I was ready, like, yesterday, two weeks ago, two months ago.
You know, I'm a lady in her 30s and, you know, I don't have a partner,
and...I wouldn't say that I'm lonely, I do have friends,
but I do wish that I had either a person or a dog here to just kind of
Look at that!
Delia's looking for a dog to match
her personality, rather than the size of her flat.
I love big dogs
because... This is going to sound crazy -
but it's like having another person next to you.
This is how I feel like it's going to work.
Personally, like, this is my side of the bed. Whoosh!
And the dog will be on this side of the bed.
I mean, I even think a Great Dane could fit here.
Delia hasn't yet decided which one
of the more than 40 giant dog breeds to choose,
so has sought out professional help from dog behaviourist
Louise Glazebrook, whose expertise includes helping clients
select the right puppy.
What are the things that you
picture your life being with a dog?
What are the personality traits that's really important?
I like the presence of a bigger dog.
-I like the clumsiness that comes with their elegance as well.
Playfulness is one thing, but over-exuberance all the time...
-Yeah, I understand.
What are the things that you're worried about, then,
about a big dog?
My mum is especially concerned that a big dog is going to throw me all
over the place. I could be left screaming after my Great Dane goes
-galloping into the distance!
With some of these dogs, you know, a puppy can be very sweet,
and then they're obviously going to
keep growing and growing and growing.
And so it is that aspect of a fully grown dog,
and how much space does it take.
So I would like to float the idea of actually seeing what it's like
-to have a large dog...
-..in your house.
-The idea of it can feel like one thing,
and the reality of it can feel like something else.
You know, the amount they weigh, the amount they eat.
So we're going to try a few different breeds.
-Big dog in my home! Whooo!
-You don't know what's coming yet!
Louise has arranged for two different breeds of dog
to visit Delia.
-Oh! He's gone for the slipper!
First up is Great Dane Hank.
-Oh, Hank! Ooooh!
Oh, my goodness! Oh, my goodness.
This is the kitchen, Hank.
Oh, my God, he actually comes up to the stove.
He could steal from the pot as I'm cooking!
Every year, over 200 Great Danes are given up for adoption by owners
unable to cope with their size, strength and need for attention.
For Louise, it's important Delia understands exactly what's involved.
He's proper running! Hello, my... Oh!
SHE YELLS AND LAUGHS
-Take them off.
Delia, I think maybe... Why don't you come and sit down for a minute,
cos I think you're probably getting him a bit excited.
-Cos when you're getting really high-pitched,
-he's getting really excited. He's still quite young.
So let him just... Let him have a little sniff and then he can come
back and find you.
I'm going to leave you to have some fun with Hank,
do all the things that a normal dog owner would do,
and I want you to enjoy him, because he's amazing.
I am so excited and a little bit terrified.
Amelia and Charlie!
At the Paye household in Hampshire,
it was the kids that made the decision to get a puppy.
Come on. Aaaww.
But it took three years to convince mum Claire and dad Andy.
There's three things that make a Lola.
Love, playfulness, and what was the other one?
Oh, yeah, food. Love, playfulness and food.
They welcomed home golden retriever Lola eight weeks ago on the proviso
the kids would help out.
Please, take her outside, Amelia!
That's what I'm saying to you.
But the children are only interested in playing with their pet,
and it's Claire that's been left to do the less exciting training.
What's the point of a pet?
Oh, well, for love and companionship.
You've got an office to go to, you're all right.
You get love and companionship at work!
-Well, they do like me, I hope!
-The last two months have been a battle of wills...
..Claire versus Lola.
No, no, no!
I think it's been an extreme experience so far!
No, on the pavement, Lola, pavement.
If you just come towards me...
What's next, really, is training.
We really need to try and get her under control.
She is a big dog.
We're relying on her goodwill to do anything we want her to do.
Goodwill and snacks.
Lola's now four months old.
In her bid to take back control, Claire's come up with a new tactic -
So the idea is that I hold a sausage in her mouth,
which is really disgusting, cos it means she then licks my hand.
And you walk like that and she goes...
But then, and that gets her walking.
You say, "Heel, good, heel, good, heel."
There you go.
Right, off we go, Lola.
Another battle about to commence.
The biggest battleground is the school run, where Claire needs Lola
to walk the 400 metres from the car to the school gate.
She's just, she's just been sitting down in the car and at home.
She doesn't... Walk, Lola, heel.
She looks at me as though she's thinking,
"Just tell me what you want me to do and I'll do it." But she isn't.
I'm telling her what I want her to do, she's not doing it.
Are you licking... You thinking there's a sausage in this here?
Right, sausage. Lola, sausage.
Now I know I'm in trouble if she won't even stand up for a sausage.
Right. Walking, Lola, walking. Heel! Heel.
Good heel. Good heel, Lola.
Lola! Walk, walk.
Claire used to carry Lola, but since she came to live with the family,
she's almost quadrupled in weight, putting on nearly 16 kilos.
It's like resistance training!
15 minutes later,
Claire and Lola finally make it up the hill to school.
There you go. Get her on her feet.
There we go. Once she stands up...
This isn't right. This can't be right.
I've never seen anyone dragging a puppy along the ground like this.
We're trying to get on a set route,
in a set time, and then Lola won't walk, and it's all just such a
stressful situation. It's quite disheartening.
I question myself.
I don't know what else to try.
In the Scottish Highlands,
Will Davis has been on his own steep learning curve,
training his Border collie, Jura.
She's now 5½ months old and approaching adolescence.
So Jura's definitely ended her puppy stage and she's entered her sort of
See how alert she is and how she's changed, now that other things
are going on.
Eh? Little guard dog.
Jura, what are we going to do now?
What are we doing? What have I got?
-What have I got?
-Will and Jura are getting ready for a make-or-break
If they succeed,
they'll join the Search And Rescue Dog Association's coveted training
Remember this game? Right, good girl, Jura.
Training began two months ago, with a game called "the runaway"...
Find it! Find.
..testing Jura's basic ability to search out a body.
-What you got, Jura?
-But she struggled with one crucial element.
The only thing missing from your search sequence, Will,
is an indication.
You've got to get Jura to bark.
So for the last eight weeks,
Will's been focused on getting her pitch perfect.
Go find it!
What's she got? Eh?
-Good girl! Good girl!
Perfect! Nailed it.
Speak took ages and ages to get.
Every time she barked, I basically said the word "speak".
-Speak. Good girl.
And then just repeated, repeated, repeated.
Good girl, Jura!
She's a natural.
Jura might have found her bark, but that's not all she has to master.
Will's aim is to train her to work at his side as he patrols the slopes
of the Nevis Range.
This is dangerous terrain,
so he not only needs to teach her search skills,
but perfect obedience.
The recall is essential.
If we're doing a search, she could end up running off a cliff,
so her recall's got to be bang-on.
If I know there's a cliff there and she doesn't know and she's running
towards it, being a daft dog,
I need to be able to recall her, no matter what.
So that's the priority with it.
Come on! This way!
Come on, Jura!
Don't put that in!
Border Collies are the most intelligent dogs in the world,
able to pick up a new command in less than five repetitions.
But even the brightest dogs can't avoid the pitfalls of adolescence.
Jura's selective hearing and desire to roam are signs that she's lost
her impulse control -
a typical teenage trait.
If she sees something that she wants,
like a bird flying low to the ground, she just bolts.
I mean, what I've realised is I've sort of rushed into the search
training, and I've maybe neglected basic obedience stuff.
I need to get this basic obedience squared away.
Just make sure that she behaves and stops getting distracted by
absolutely everything apart from me.
Jura's assessment day is only three months away.
If she shows signs of being easily distracted,
she could be permanently relegated to pet status.
The point of having a dog is to hopefully save someone's life.
It's a pretty big responsibility, getting it right.
I still feel like I'm a million miles away from it.
Will's not alone.
All of our ten owners will need to master the recall command.
But a pup can be reluctant to return to their owner if they're happily
occupied or worried about being punished.
The trick lies in offering a favourite treat or toy, and
showering them with praise every time they come back.
In Surrey, working cocker spaniel Poppy has spent her first week with
the Vaughans... HE YELLS PLAYFULLY
..and has had the children's undecided attention.
A puppy is a challenge, but the biggest challenge is,
it's a new toy and they can't put it down.
They have to be with the puppy and playing with the puppy all the time.
But being so popular is taking its toll.
Poppy isn't getting any downtime.
-Oh, got to go in here.
-You grab her.
Right, now, be careful, because you could squash her.
Don't do that!
I will take that away from you all.
-You're the dog's.
Come on, madam. Don't be an old lady! Come on!
Where's her rabbit, Isadora?
-Oh, there we go.
-Here's the rabbit.
-And her blanket?
-Here's her blanket.
Put her blanket in her bed.
She's going to have a little... No, leave her bone.
We're going to leave her in there and just leave her alone for a bit.
Puppies should sleep for about two-thirds of the day,
as they're developing at such an incredible rate.
A lack of rest can stunt a pup's growth and lead to bad behaviour.
Yeah, give it a little bit of a shloosh out while she's asleep and
then fill it up with water.
But less than ten minutes into Poppy's sleep,
the kids are back, pestering her.
Isadora, when the puppy's in there, you must leave her alone.
While Albert and Octavia are learning
that Poppy needs some space,
Isadora's too young to understand the rules.
Three-year-old girls will do what they want and Isadora is going to do
whatever she's told not to do.
-She's not a...
-She's not a ballet dancer, is she?
-She's a dog.
She's not dancing. And no dancing with her.
Don't pull her like that.
-But I want to.
-No, you can't, though.
If I don't have my wits about me and I leave the puppy and Isadora,
I will find the puppy dressed up like a baby doll...
..in baby-grows, sunglasses, you name it!
And then she'll be put in a pram and pushed around,
and that'll be Isadora's little baby forever.
Poppy, come here.
Poppy! Poppy! Poppy!
-Are you drying her hair?
Poppy. Poppy. Come here. Poppy, come here.
Isadora, when the puppy's in there, you must leave her alone.
Unhappy with the situation, Poppy is starting to fight back.
-What happened, my angel?
I think you're OK, aren't you?
You all right?
Can you explain what Poppy's done?
It's a cut.
-What, how did it happen?
-Poppy did it on purpose.
I can see. I'll give you a kiss.
-And it's...it's blood.
She's had a few nips, but not in an aggressive way.
And there's been a few tears because of that.
But children know that it's play and it's not aggression.
Play-biting is called "mouthing".
While biting on toys is totally normal puppy behaviour,
biting people should be discouraged,
not least because a nip from their razor-sharp baby teeth
can be painful.
Although usually an innocent form of play and exploration,
biting can also be a sign a puppy's not happy or wants to be left alone.
That little nose. Toothpaste on.
Ouch! And biting.
Ouch! Poppy bite me.
-Show me where.
Isadora has been, as expected, quite challenging.
She'll get hurt by the dog, and then two minutes later she'll be in
the cage with the dog. Right up close.
Which she's not allowed to do.
Come on, little girl. You need to go into your little cage, don't you,
my little girl?
We don't want to have a grumpy, stroppy puppy that snaps at people.
If she gets utterly fed up, she will lash out and snap, and that'll
stop the children disturbing her.
And I'm not sure that's really a pattern of behaviour we want
In South London, professional psychic Delia is enjoying an intense
afternoon with Great Dane Hank.
Oh! Dinner time.
Delia is desperate for a big dog to share her flat...
..but before deciding what puppy to get, Louise wants her to experience
the reality of looking after a giant breed.
I have been told by Louise that feeding Great Danes, and all dogs
actually, could benefit from raised eating and raised drinking.
Louise actually meant from a raised box,
but however she feeds her Great Dane,
Delia would have to allow for a sizeable food budget
of more than £50 per month.
Oh! Drool on the hands I can deal with.
Now, this is the sleeping position.
See, dog on one side, Delia on the other.
-Look at him! God!
I can't have you on the bed with all of that!
Don't give me that look!
As Delia's discovering, Great Danes are prone to slobber.
Excessive drooling is caused by a specific gene that some have
and some don't, and Hank definitely has it.
HANK GRUNTS PLAYFULLY
Not the slippers!
Not Mr Sniffles!
Can I have it back?
I'll have it back.
Before today, I'm thinking I really loved Great Danes,
but the play is immense.
It's, you know, it's big.
And yeah, you kind of don't know whether to freeze, run away,
scream or just join in, so...
might have to hit the gym.
I think he farted.
Hank's visit has given Delia much to ponder...
-Take care. Bye.
..and sister Lizzie has her own opinion.
The dog is too big. I'm sorry, it's too big.
I feel like you're not supporting me in my dog choices.
-I am trying to make you see reason!
I don't want to see reason.
You have to, you're always prattling on about me not being practical.
So now I will prattle on about you not being practical.
In Hampshire, the Payes chose a very practical family-friendly pet
in golden retriever Lola when they got her three months ago.
But so far she's defying her breed's amiable nature and refusing to walk.
I'm an optimist in some ways.
I think maybe today, "Maybe today she'll walk."
And today could be the day!
The first six months of a dog's life is the easiest period to nip tricky
behaviour in the bud.
So it's the ideal time to call in canine expert Louise...
Oh, hello. Hi.
..who's spent over ten years teaching owners the correct way to
train their dogs.
To show Louise the problem,
they're heading back to school, to get Lola to do a dummy run of her
-I thought dogs all wanted to walk...
..and that they were enthusiastic walkers, and one of the reasons we
got a dog was to get us out walking as a family, and...
-She doesn't want to walk?
-..she doesn't want to walk. No.
What I'm scared of is, if I'm ruining her at the moment,
cos I'm not doing the right thing and, you know,
that she won't turn out as we're hoping because I have...
Do you feel like most of the pleasure's on you?
Yes. I feel all the pressure's on me.
Right, shall we get out? And let's see what Lola's doing.
Let's see. She'll probably be really well-behaved today.
OK, you just do what you would normally.
-Is this what she normally does, a little lie down?
So, this is when the clock is ticking and I've left too late
to get to school.
OK. Right, now, walking, walking.
Walking, Lola. Here we go. Here we go. Right, good walking.
Well done. No, you're going over there again.
-Why are you lying down?
It is funny to watch, because Claire, bless her,
is constantly talking to her.
You don't need to lie down to watch the cyclist.
But I think she's just talking at the wrong times.
What are you doing there, Lola?
You're supposed to be walking to school.
SHE SIGHS AND LAUGHS RESIGNEDLY
Dragging and pulling isn't advisable,
especially as Lola's bones are still soft.
Was that fun, Lola?
The first thing Louise wants to pull Claire up on
is her haphazard approach to giving treats.
Some of your rewarding
is sort of inadvertently rewarding the behaviour
-that you don't want.
I think it's just about kind of training her
-to be rewarded for walking...
-..rather than lying down.
And then it's like, as soon as she lies down,
something comes out for her.
So, essentially, if she goes to lie down...
..I'm going to leave her to do it.
And then as soon as she decides to get up and move,
I'm going to reward her.
So the movement gets rewarded rather than the lying down.
Because, at the moment, when she lies down,
Claire goes over and gets the treat and gets her to get up.
She's still lying down.
It takes patience.
Good girl, Lola!
You're so clever!
Time for Claire to give it a go.
There you go, right. Good girl.
Who's going to give you a treat next?
So, leave her, don't talk to her.
So, what I'd also try and do, and I know this is really difficult,
-try not to have conversations with her.
Use a particular word,
and that's like, "good girl" or "walking"
or whatever you want it to be.
That's so it's consistent rather than chatting to her,
otherwise, if we talk too much,
-she can kind of end up filtering it all out.
-Oh, OK. Yeah.
I'd also say that what's difficult is that because these two
-walks are the only ones that she's sort of generally doing...
..you've got, like, a time-sensitive element to it.
Lola's more worried about kind of doing all the things
that dogs want to do.
We do need to factor in time for her to work things out.
At five months old, the world is still all new and exciting for Lola.
From the scent of a flower to the taste of a leaf,
for this innocent young puppy,
every inch of her environment is tempting her
with new smells, sounds and shapes.
So, look, that's, like, perfect example of being...
The world's amazing because a leaf has blown past.
-Yeah, she loves leaves.
-So let her do that. Good girl!
-Oh, good walking, Lola. You're such a good girl.
I think today was wonderful. It was really wonderful.
I love the tips that Louise gave me for walking.
I'm looking forward to putting them into practice on the school run.
-And she's just given me a lot more confidence with Lola.
What I really want Claire and Lola to do is start enjoying each other
and having fun together, because if that relationship is cemented,
all the other things can come from that.
That takes time, but it's totally achievable.
Jura, come here!
Oi! Come here!
For all novice owners, a dog's disobedience
can be frustrating and inconvenient. But for Will
in Scotland, his Border collie Jura's wilful nature
is also putting their future plans at risk.
Because of having to switch up and stop the search training
and go back to obedience,
we've hardly been doing any search stuff over the last few weeks.
Good girl. Stay!
I'm definitely behind schedule with where I should be
for this assessment at the end of winter.
It's getting a little bit worrying that I'm still concentrating
on getting my dog to sit, or come back to me,
rather than go and find someone.
But I've still got total confidence in her,
just a lack of confidence with myself!
-Yes, go on.
Come on! Hello!
Despite all the training,
Will's still concerned about the risk of Jura running off.
Come on! Woohoo!
Cliffs, right there.
We've got so many things to be thinking about in the morning,
there's so many things that go wrong on a daily basis that are kind
of out of our hands, and then the dog runs off,
it's the last thing I need.
For Jura to succeed as a search-and-rescue dog,
she needs to be fully focused on Will's commands 100% of the time.
To add to the challenge, when Jura's assessment comes in the spring,
the Highlands will be teeming with wildlife and livestock.
One of the biggest things standing in the way of her becoming
a search dog is her very natural interest in sheep.
She's a sheepdog.
So I'm trying to untrain her natural instincts.
-Come on, Jura, this way. Come on!
Jura, like all Border collies, is descended from wolves.
Their desire to herd is a modified version
-of their ancestors' instinct to hunt and kill...
..toned down through 200 years of selective breeding.
Ah-ah! Good girl!
Will thinks he can conquer this natural behaviour with some of
his own tough aversion therapy.
Every time she even looks at the sheep,
just trying to make sure she knows
that's not what she's allowed to do.
Hey! It's not very nice for her.
It's not particularly nice for me to do this either.
You know, I don't really like doing it.
She's looking at them a lot.
That was a strong look at them, there.
There are now only two months to go until the assessment
that will decide Jura's fate.
If I don't nip this in the bud now,
then she'll always be bad for it and she'll fail her assessment.
It's that black and white.
As Will's finding out, in any human-dog relationship,
striking the perfect balance is a tricky art to master.
Come on, come here! Good girl!
And it's not just the dogs that have a lot to learn.
At the Vaughan family estate,
15-week-old Poppy is growing at a phenomenal rate,
putting on around 12% of her body weight each week.
CHILD SHRIEKS WITH LAUGHTER
But for mum and dad,
rearing a puppy and small children
is still proving to be a challenge.
-Poppy just bit me!
Ooh, little girl, we'll go back to the house.
Here comes the Poppy. Poppy, can you take the sledge up for us?
It can drive you round the bend.
Managing a puppy and a three-year-old is difficult.
I mean, it was one of the things that slightly surprised me about
Poppy is, she's not the problem, the three-year-old's the problem.
As a mother of young children, and dog-owner herself,
Louise knows all about the potential pitfalls of combining the two.
-Oh, hello! I'm Emily.
-Nice to meet you.
-Nice to meet you.
-How are you? Come on in.
-Do you want me to take my shoes off?
-No, it's fine.
Hello! This is a nice place for her to sleep.
-And we've already taught her how to sit.
-Oh, well done, you!
Poppy, sit! Sit, Poppy.
-If she's lying down, it won't work!
Octavia, how do you think Poppy's doing?
Um, well, except now and again, she's biting us.
-I want her to stop completely.
-You'd like her to stop completely?
To get a better idea of why Poppy might be biting,
Louise decides to join in with the children's play session.
So, when she goes in the box,
what does she normally like to do when she's in there?
-She likes to chew it.
-OK, maybe don't rock it, though.
-Issy, don't rock it!
-Oh, I think let's keep her so she can see.
Because you wouldn't like to be
in a box without being able to see, would you?
-Oh, she is having a nice time.
-Why did you just put the...
-Yeah. She likes the scratches.
Oh, do you want to come out of there, poppet?
I would say, from my point of view,
what you're getting is a lot of
biting and nipping,
essentially to try and get you guys to stop doing things.
And I think, like now, I know, Octavia, you want to stroke her,
but she's lying down on her own,
so she's not come and sought out any interaction.
If she keeps having boundaries broken,
potentially she is going to get to a point where at she uses something
that...an aggressive display that you don't like.
I mean, it hadn't really occurred to me that
she would not expect anyone to interfere with her
when she was lying there.
If she wants...we've always had that as a space that she can...
Yeah, which is great and I would keep that.
And it's worked reasonably well. But I think we need to enforce it.
-When she's asleep there she needs to be left alone.
I have a two-year-old and a four-year-old,
so I'm fully aware of...
..let's say how challenging they can be sometimes.
As young Isadora's resistant to the idea of giving Poppy any time alone,
Louise has another suggestion.
-If you put a baby gate on here...
..and, actually, the dog ones are here,
so, actually, Isadora wouldn't be able to open it.
She gets to go in there.
She's got amazing access to outside and then,
if you're cooking or you need to make a phone call
or you can't physically see what they're doing,
if you pop her in there with a chew, actually, what you're saying to her
-is hang out on your own...
..with something that she can get on with.
And she will associate the space as hers.
With good things.
It's a classic problem of what happens with children and dogs,
because children want to be with the dogs,
dog starts nipping and biting,
it can really easily be put down to teething, whereas, actually,
I think with Poppy, a lot of it is that she wants some
space and needs to be left alone.
Isadora, do you now understand that
-when Poppy's having a little bit of sleeping...
..lying in front of the fire, what do you do?
-You leave her alone, do you?
-Because that's when she wants a little rest.
What happens if she turns over onto her back
and wants us to tickle her tummy?
Unless she actually says, explicitly,
"Can you please come and tickle my tummy?"
Otherwise, she's only got one choice, because she can't talk.
If you keep pestering her,
the only choice she's got is to give you a bite.
For ski patroller Will and aspiring rescue dog Jura,
it's finally judgement day, and both are looking to impress.
I've been working up to this moment, really, since I've had Jura,
so that's seven months now.
Everything I've been doing at Nevis Range,
it's kind of all boiling down to this weekend.
The Sarda training team and all the other handlers
are going to look at her, they'll look at me
and decide whether, uh...
..she's trainable and I'm trainable, as well,
but they could say she's not
what we're looking for and then that's it.
I've just got a pet.
The assessment is taking place in the Cairngorms,
where Will and Jura have two days to prove themselves worthy of joining
the Search And Rescue Dog Association's training programme.
It definitely feels pretty real now, but, uh,
I'm quite intimidated, to be honest.
I've just got to keep my head down and prove myself, hopefully.
There are 14 dogs here at different stages of their training,
including six rookies like Jura.
A little bit concerned about her.
Don't want her to get too nervous and shy.
Change of routine,
loads of dogs.
I guess maybe she can sort of sense that I'm a bit tense.
Today, Will and Jura will be judged by Will's mentor, Tom Gilchrist,
and his Sarda colleague, Darren Steatham.
We'll be looking at Will and Jura as a team.
It's not just about the dog,
it's about Will himself and how he's going to respond
to the association, to the training,
to the job that he's hopefully going to be aiming to do
at the end of it.
It's going to be a high-pressure weekend for them both.
Will and Jura will be tested on the three key elements
of the "run away" game.
Finding the body...
..and, crucially, not getting distracted.
That's what we want.
Two-year-old Malinois Hamish has done a perfect run.
Time for Jura to show what she's made of.
Jura wants to go, wants to play that game.
If we get a bark out of Jura, I'll be very, very, very happy.
Instead of going directly to the body and staying with it,
Jura gets distracted.
Go find it!
I don't know what happened when she went in,
I think she just got a little bit confused.
-How did that feel?
-I think she was maybe distracted by something.
Jura has just one more chance today to impress the examiners...
..with the added challenge of a new body for her to track.
-Come on, then, Jura!
But once again, Jura loses focus and wanders off.
Work it out, Jura!
It was all right. She's done better,
and she got distracted by something both times.
Yeah. Don't get despondent.
Certainly, the enthusiasm of the dog's good.
-But just a wee bit more from yourself.
-She's under no illusion, wherever she's gone,
that what I've done is right.
I'm a little bit disheartened but,
yeah, there's a lot going on for her.
Will and Jura have only one more day to prove themselves.
It sounds really brutal, but we have to have 100% confidence that,
at the end of this training,
when we put Will and Jura out onto a job or a rescue for real,
that they have the skills and the training that they're
going to need to succeed in that job.
If we have any doubts in our mind, then we can't do that.
Oh, she's coming, she's coming.
Hello, sweetie pie!
In Hampshire, it's judgment day for Claire, too.
8.30am and, as usual, Lola's joining the family on the school run.
Right, let's go, Charlie.
It's been three weeks since Louise came to help tackle
Lola's stubborn refusal to walk.
Good walking, Lola.
Good walking. Well done, Lola, good girl.
Good girl, Lola, good walking.
I think probably what's changed is that I've just learnt to be more
patient with her and give her more time.
It's been nice and quick today.
It's been a tumultuous five months since the Paye family
welcomed Lola home.
Off the lead. She loves it everywhere.
But reluctant owners Claire and Andy are starting to see the benefits.
It's definitely getting easier.
You've got the fact that there's another member of the family that
the children adore,
absolutely adore her,
and you can see that she wants to sort of
shower her love on you.
Here she comes!
I think there's just much more going to come out of the
relationship, you know, it's not just an annoying puppy,
this is a being. I think there is a connection coming.
And as for the kids...
Lola's definitely like a third sister.
Ah! Just in doggy form! Yes.
I wouldn't change her for the world.
I wouldn't even choose her for a Labrador.
I love all dogs, some dogs, most dogs.
Most dogs. Most dogs.
In South London, Delia's still deciding
which breed of large dog she wants to share her small flat with.
Although I'm keeping very open-minded,
I just think it'll be really difficult
for any other dog to top the Great Dane experience.
Louise has arranged for Delia to meet another candidate.
And in preparation, she's bought new footwear.
You would think I would have learned my lesson.
Oh, no, no!
No, I'm here with another pair of slippers.
This is Nelson - a two-year-old Leonberger.
Nelson, hello, Nelson!
Oh, my God, this is making my day.
You're not going to kill my slippers like the Great Dane, are you?
The Leonberger comes from Germany,
and was originally bred to resemble a lion.
He's got 'em!
Its life expectancy is four years longer than the Great Dane,
and it's slightly smaller.
But an adult male still weighs in at a hefty ten stone.
I mean, obviously, he's quite a big boy,
but, like, he's very considerate of play time.
He's not pulling too hard.
I know he can. Come on.
Have a seat. Sit, sit.
Oh, yeah, happy doggy!
Who's a happy Leo?
You're the happy Leo!
Aw, and you've fallen in love.
He's lovely, he's really soft in, like, temperament,
SHE SHRIEKS WITH LAUGHTER
Ah! Agh, Nelson!
I kind of feel like we should have had a date first.
You know, maybe dinner, wine.
Unlike Great Danes,
Leonbergers have a double thick coat and moult heavily twice a year.
This is a lot less than I was expecting
for such a long-haired dog.
You know, it's... This is quite manageable.
But if Delia opts for this breed, she'll have to consider additional
costs for professional grooming of up to £300 a year.
Have you made yourself comfortable, Your Highness?
Yes? Your Royal Highness!
You want your cuddles, do you?
Definitely put a spanner in the works.
Trying out big dogs is just confirming to me
over and over and over again
that...I really love big dogs.
This is so hard now.
Great Dane, Leonberger...
We will see.
-Where's Albert? Where's he gone?
Cocker spaniel Poppy is now eight months old.
The kids have found the perfect game to play with her...
-Where's he gone? Where's he gone?
Where is he? Where is he, Pops? Where is he?
Poppy! Poppy, come on!
This game stretches Poppy both physically and mentally.
Like Jura, her hunt instinct relies on her senses.
She has exceptional hearing, far superior to humans...
-Where's he gone?
..allowing her to hear even a small bird land a quarter of a mile away.
Aw! Hi, girl!
-Oh, good girl.
-I'll get you your treat now.
Inside, while Poppy's having a well-earned break...
Where does this go?
..the rest of the family have learned to occupy themselves,
Whiz, what do we do when Poppy's sleeping?
-Not go near her.
Poppy's great. She's everything we wanted.
Imagining a life without Poppy, it was easier, but...
It wasn't as much fun.
She adds that little bit of joy, doesn't she?
And there are times when we just look at each other and just think,
"Yeah, we definitely...definitely done the right thing."
She just wants to be with us as part of the family,
which is exactly what we wanted.
Poppy's my favourite thing.
I think she's just a joy to have at home.
there's nothing else you could really want.
It's early Sunday morning in the Cairngorms.
After a disappointing first day of assessments with Sarda,
Will's pinning all his hopes on Jura upping her game.
We could have setbacks that are even worse than yesterday.
There is that total uncertainty.
I've got to chill out and I've got to be...
Yeah. I can't be passing on this tension and nerves to the dog.
Can you get your dogs to sit to attention, please?
Today, another Sarda examiner, Angus Steven,
is joining Tom to judge Jura and Will's performance.
The focus has to be on the body, because that's what we're really
looking for them to do. If the dog starts getting distracted,
particularly at this early stage, it's like a foundation -
if you don't get the foundations right, then the rest of it
just goes to pot. If it was a member of my family that was missing,
would I be happy that this dog could go out,
search and perform as it needs to?
Now Will and Jura have just two chances left to pass the test.
Go for it, whenever you're ready.
Good girl, Jura!
That's perfect, still focused on the body, not interested in Dad at all.
Got the toy.
If Jura succeeds today,
she'll spend the next two years on the Sarda training programme.
Using over 200 million receptors in her nose,
she'll eventually be able to find a body by scent alone.
That's grand for a wee dog.
-Right, come on, bark.
Good girl, Jura! What have you found?
That was good, as well, cos that was a very short break between the two
-So it's still kept her focus.
Come on, good girl.
-How do you think that went, Will?
-Good, I think. Yeah.
-Did you see a difference from yesterday?
-No distraction, straight to the body,
total focus and spontaneous indication, as well.
-Didn't tell her to speak.
But the main thing was just total...
No running past her, no smelling anything around her,
-just straight to the body.
All Will and Jura can do now is wait
while the judges deliberate on their verdict.
I think I've got the potential to make a good dog handler.
Whether those guys do...
You know, I've certainly tried to make a good impression.
I think, I hope,
that everything they've been watching of me and Jura
has sort of pleased them, you know, and I've met their standards.
-How you doing?
-Come and take a seat.
-How's your weekend been?
-Yeah, good. Good.
-Yeah, definitely enjoyed it.
Learnt a lot about what else can go wrong.
It's just, it's not easy, you're working with an animal.
Animals have good days and bad days, you have good days and bad days.
-And your animal picks up on your good days and bad days as well.
So there's a lot of variables in there and it's not easy.
You know, there are people that don't make it,
there are people who breeze through it and then there's people who work
hard and get there. So...
We hope you've looked at the other dogs as well
-and you've seen what they're doing.
-Yeah. I haven't stopped...
-We have high standards.
-Yes. Yeah, yeah.
-And they have to be met.
-They have to be met.
-And if they're not met...
-Sorry, that's it. That's the end of it.
Yeah, yeah, totally understand, yeah.
So, we're pleased to be able to say to you that at this stage,
we've accepted you into training.
We'll review you in two or three training weekends' time,
make sure you're still making the progress in the right kind of
-direction we're looking for.
-We think you have the potential.
-Thanks for that.
-Yeah, I'm in!
Well done, you!
I am now a dog handler and, yeah,
she is officially a working dog now.
I'm immensely proud of Jura.
Jura's totally changed my life, but for the better.
She's a very, very special little pup
that's developing into a pretty hard-core legend of a dog.
600 miles away in London, Delia's after a soulmate of her own.
Louise and her Great Dane, Fred, are on their way to find out
if the try-before-you-buy approach has solved Delia's dog dilemma.
-Do you think it was useful?
-I think it was exceptionally useful.
-OK, I'm glad.
-When I thought about each breed, I changed my mind,
I would even say I've got a better appreciation of each dog.
-So the puppy I have decided to go for is...
-I knew, I knew!
Not only have I made a decision, I'm actually collecting a puppy.
-Oh, my goodness, when?
-Yeah. This weekend.
Next time, new families with very different puppy dreams...
..a dog to help with autism...
Hunter. Does it feel nice?!
..and a pug to turn into a media star.
Oh, I like the look over the shoulder, that's good.
And we catch up with Delia,
as the realities of puppy life hit home.
I'm actually terrified.
Every year, we welcome a quarter of a million puppies into our homes and in this series we follow ten of them. We explore how the nation's favourite pet develops, learns and adapts to their new world, but also the profound effects they can have on the lives of their owners, capturing both the mayhem and delight a new puppy brings, from toilet training and first walks to sleepless nights and getting used to their new owners. On hand to offer our families expert advice is dog behaviourist Louise Glazebrook.
In this episode, we meet 32-year-old telephone psychic Delia as she goes in search of a big breed dog to live with her in her two-bedroom London flat. Louise arranges for her to try before she buys with a visit from great dane Hank and leonberger Nelson.
Cocker spaniel Poppy joins the Vaughan family in leafy Surrey. Poppy gets the undivided attention of the children, but three-year-old Isadora is a bit too eager to play when Poppy wants to rest. When Poppy bites back, Louise arrives to offer advice on puppies and young children.
We return to the Scottish Highlands as border collie Jura faces an assessment in her bid to become an avalanche search and rescue dog. And we drop in on golden retriever Lola as she battles it out with owner Claire. Lola is stubbornly refusing to walk without being fed sausages. Will a visit from Louise see a truce be called?