Following ten puppies and their families through their first six months together. First-time homeowners Alex and Pete welcome rescue pup Pippa, who has an extreme chewing habit.
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We'll welcome a quarter of a million puppies into our homes this year.
Of all different shapes and sizes -
from the most popular
to the very expensive
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.
This is the biggest commitment of my life.
Oh, I'm 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.
The first eight of our puppies have joined their families,
and in this episode we catch up with trainee therapy dog Hunter...
..as he makes himself at home...
Hunter, what have you done?
Did I leave the lounge tidy?
..while Delia faces biting off more than she can chew
with big breed Shiva.
Ah! No. Ah! No.
And we meet the first-time homeowners taking on a rescue dog.
Oh, what have you done? What have you done?
But we start in Hertfordshire,
where the ninth of our puppies will be setting up residence.
So we've got Caring For Your New Puppy,
Fundamentals Of Puppy Proofing.
It says that if you can care for a Cockapoo, the Cockapoo will care for you.
That's nice, isn't it?
Juliet Woolf and her husband Trevor are looking for a playmate for eight-year-old son Rio.
We've wanted a puppy for a long time
and we know Rio absolutely adores dogs.
He's an only child, he doesn't have a sibling.
That was cheating.
He feels lonely. It will give him someone that he can love and cherish.
Like a brother or a sister.
I'm very excited to get a puppy.
When I get home from school I'll cuddle it.
..love it. It's going to change my life.
Rio was born with a rare genetic condition
which meant some of the bones in his right leg didn't develop.
This is my day leg that I use for school.
And this is my one I use for athletics.
He's the only amputee in the school.
It's a very isolating position to be in.
Children can be very cruel,
and sadly he gets bullied because of his disability.
My hopes for the puppy and for Rio is that they'll have a really special bond
and no matter how hard Rio's day at school has been he can be
guaranteed a warm and friendly welcome.
Take him. Let's get you back in the warmth.
It's just been a long car journey.
It's your new home.
She's quite cuddly.
Meet Rosso, a nine-week-old Cockapoo.
The first ever designer dog, the Cockapoo was bred in the 1960s
to combine the cocker spaniel's gentle temperament
with the poodle's love of people.
They are now the most popular crossbreed in the country.
Don't you just love that, Trevor, Rio?
Rosso is going to be one very spoilt puppy.
Are you sleeping? I can't see your eyes.
Every second he's cuddling him and giving him kisses and, yeah,
Give your pyjamas to Rosso so he can get used to your smell.
Yeah, in the bed, maybe.
A lot of people say when you have a puppy it's like having a newborn,
but I'm really looking forward to that added responsibility.
And giving lots of love and affection -
we've all got a lot of love and affection to give.
We're right here.
Now, will you have that?
It's Rosso's first morning at the Woolf house
and he's getting stuck into his breakfast.
He loves it.
High five, high five.
So this is a big milestone for Rosso to have his first meal
here in our home. I think it's a great sign.
It shows that he's feeling more settled and relaxed.
I do feel like we should have a biology lesson for dogs.
-He's doing a poo!
-Are you joking?
Oh, my God! Already!
What happened? You've done a big poo.
-Not a big one.
Where? Oh, my God.
Don't eat it.
Well, OK, that came out much quicker than we thought, didn't it?
I think we'll nominate Rio as the...
The number one pooper-scooper.
The pooper-scooper, yeah.
-He's going to do another one.
-Are you joking?
Grab a mat.
But in truth it will be me.
Yeah, it'll probably be Juliet.
Oh, no! Rosso!
Over the next few days, Juliet is on constant poop patrol.
No, no, no, Rosso.
No, don't sniff it.
Don't sniff it.
I'm quite a driven person, I guess.
If I've got a task to do, and training Rosso being the primary task,
and I want to succeed at doing it,
and I am a perfectionist.
A puppy usually needs to go to the toilet up to ten or 20 times a day.
-Look, over there. On the mat.
-Near the mat.
So a new owner will need to be vigilant if they want to limit the damage.
Thank you, Rosso.
His poo stinks!
Big brother Rio is less than impressed.
And he did a wee on my foot this morning.
-In south London,
Delia Lewis is already seven weeks into life with her puppy Shiva.
Ah! No. Ah! No.
Ah! No. Ah!
But that doesn't mean things have got any easier.
Anyone who tells you that it's easy, a breeze or a walk in the park
is just absolutely lying.
Single lady Delia chose a giant breed Leonberger to provide
the companionship she was missing in her life.
But when Shiva arrived it wasn't quite the fairy tale she'd dreamed of...
I'm going to open the door now.
..as Delia couldn't leave her alone for a second.
She's quite vocal with me just leaving her outside the bathroom.
I'd like to have a private moment.
Look, I'm here. I'm here.
I'm here. I think I'm a prisoner.
I'm a prisoner.
Her new guard was also fond of ignoring her every command.
Oi! Come on.
Things came to a head at a puppy training class
when Shiva staged a dirty protest.
I'm a girl who does not take failure very well.
And over their first two months together,
Shiva has more than tripled in size.
I have extra anxieties because she's a big breed puppy. Argh!
Stop that. I just turned around one morning,
she looked normal and then by the afternoon
I swear she'd grown an inch or something and I'd think, when did that happen?
Now Shiva is 15 weeks old and Delia's problems are growing as quickly her dog.
My dog doesn't seem to take no for an answer.
Shiva's growling and nipping could be down to teething.
But she's also displaying signs of something known as the zoomies.
Frenetic and seemingly random bursts of energy...
..often characterised by a wild glint in the eye.
She got me.
The zoomies can be an indication the pup isn't getting enough exercise or mental stimulation.
Where am I bleeding? I don't know.
On my shoulder.
I mean... Puppy teeth anywhere are... Argh! ..are quite sharp.
Come on, now. Down.
As quickly as Shiva's bad behaviour started,
Are you tired now?
Are you finished terrorising me?
She'll probably fall asleep in about five or ten minutes now.
I do have a genuine concern that if I don't get the training right,
I'm not going to be able to control her,
and a 50-kilo dog is not a dog that you,
you know, want to lose control of at any time.
For any new owner, tackling basic training can be an uphill struggle.
But some puppies are specially chosen to become working dogs,
and their owners have much more to lose if they don't get it right.
In Lancashire, the Lowe family are four weeks into their canine adventure.
Take him away again and see if he cries.
Bring him back. Bring him back.
There he is.
They welcomed Hunter the Labrador to act as a therapy dog
for four-year-old Alfie who, along with twin brother Arthur,
has Down's Syndrome.
You like these ears.
Alfie also suffers from anxiety due to autism.
He likes his ears and I think it's because they're soft and warm
and when he touches the ears it makes you laugh, doesn't it?
With five kids at home,
the decision to add a puppy into the mix wasn't an easy one for head of the household Emma.
It is a very big deal for us to get the right dog.
Obviously, if we went out ourselves and bought a dog and brought it in and it wasn't suitable
it would break our hearts to have to find it a new home.
But with the help of canine expert Louise and a visit from a fully trained assistance dog,
Emma was convinced the benefits would outweigh the challenges ahead.
I've never seen him like this around an animal before.
Is that nice, Alfie?
Emma took the plunge and bought Hunter,
who's now a firm favourite with the five kids,
particularly 12-year-old Harry.
But Emma needs him to fulfil his training role as a therapy dog.
Alfie can get so upset so easy.
Because he can scream and cry for hours on end.
Her aim is for Hunter to calm Alfie down independently of her...
-Hunter, come here.
-..instinctively reacting to Alfie's mood without being told.
What I want Hunter to do is understand when Alfie is stressed.
Ooh! Ooh, he's kissing you.
I want him to understand when Alfie is in need of him.
We'll get there. He's still only a puppy.
What are you taking with you? Taking your baby with you? You're not taking Daddy Pig or Mummy Pig?
-Today Emma has decided to make a bold move and test 12-week-old
Hunter's growing sense of independence.
She's leaving him home alone while she goes to pick the older kids up from school.
He's already up to mischief.
I'm not too sure about this.
If this is successful then I can start leaving him in the lounge
and I feel like I can start letting him have a little bit more run of the house,
so we'll see. Come on, then.
Be good. Hunter?
Labradors are one of the top choices for therapy dogs because of their sociable and affectionate nature.
But their love of companionship means when left alone they can be
susceptible to boredom or separation anxiety.
Like Hunter, many dogs react by destroying personal belongings to surround themselves
with their owner's smell, making them feel more secure.
What's happened, Elsie?
Hunter, what have you done?
Did I leave the lounge tidy?
He has totally destroyed the lounge.
Have a look what the dog's done.
It will take two years to fully train Hunter in his future role
as antidote to Alfie's anxieties,
but for now he's just increasing Emma's.
He's now asleep because he's had so much fun trashing my house.
there's no danger of 11-week-old Cockapoo Rosso feeling neglected.
So I'm microwaving Rosso's bed.
Yes, he's a very pampered pooch.
Juliet's laying on the VIP treatment.
What we then do is just slip this inside of here.
So let's go and see if he likes this.
I like to spoil my boys, what can I say?
I think that's a mother's job.
Come and sit with me on the sofa.
Look at you being carried like a king.
You just want to give your family the best and he's a member of our family.
He's my second baby.
After Rio. He's my fur baby, aren't you?
Is Rosso here?
Oh, look - he was waiting for you.
It is Rio's first week back at school since the new puppy arrived.
This puppy's going to play such a pivotal role in Rio's confidence
and his self-esteem, having had such a hard time at school.
My favourite thing about Rosso is that he loves cuddles and stuff.
I love you. You love me.
I love you. I love you.
He's a different child.
He's just made a world of difference, he really has.
It means that you're really happy, aren't you, now?
That you've got Rosso in your life?
Your little fur baby brother.
He may be Rio's perfect playmate, but on other matters...
-Oh, no. You're not doing something, are you?
..Rosso's not yet the perfect house guest.
I think we should try and do puppy training with the treats, yes?
Down. I know you can smell it.
I don't want to be cruel. I'll let you have one to start with.
Do you want to come and help me do this in a minute?
-Treats can help your pup to pick up commands,
but only if they're given sparingly,
and crucially for the correct behaviour.
Rosso. All right.
Right, I'll have to give that to him.
Spoiled fur baby Rosso manages to charm treats out of Mum regardless.
That's not fair, you're teasing him,
so now you've got to give it to him.
Right, well, that's teasing him
if I don't give it to him.
OK. No, no... No...
Sit. You're supposed to sit down.
No, your bottom needs to go on the floor.
I'm very pleased with the fact that he's already learning to sit nicely.
It was because he was sitting so well.
Oh, OK. I left that out for too long
so I have to give it to you.
No, no, no.
Between the front paws.
Bottom down. Bottom down.
Right, just have a couple and then let's try.
40 treats later, it's time to head outside.
Rosso. See this, see this?
I would like you to fill this, OK?
Do you want to have a run around?
You're just waiting for the treats, aren't you?
Rosso might be keeping everyone waiting but Juliet's not one to miss an opportunity for more training.
Good boy. Rosso, come.
I'll trip over you. Rosso, come.
-That's one more treat for Rosso but no number twos for Juliet.
Leave it. Rosso, you must need the toilet.
You must need the toilet now, come on.
I don't think it's going to happen now and it's getting a bit cold, isn't it?
All right. Let's try again a bit later.
Come on, then.
Thank you, Rosso.
The toilet training is a big, big problem.
He's just not getting it.
He's not getting it outside at all.
You've come to inspect your work, haven't you, Rosso?
Nine of our puppies are now making their mark in their new homes...
..leaving just one who's yet to meet their family.
Oh. That's cute, isn't it?
In North Lincolnshire, 25-year-old Alex and 30-year-old Pete
are settling into their first home together.
Neither of us wear the trousers in the relationship.
Describe Pete for me.
The couple met seven years ago at Pete's restaurant where they
both worked, but it wasn't love at first sight.
I really hated him at first, he was horrible.
She's a vegetarian.
I remember putting a load of salami inside her purse.
I think it was one of those "treat them mean,
"keep them keen" sort of things.
I don't know how it worked, though.
You just wanted me.
That's all it was.
The only missing piece of the puzzle is a dog to make their house a home.
It's not like we're just going out to get a new telly.
That's it now. We leave the house now, and that's it,
we'll be back as a three and we've got this little animal that's relying on us.
Dependent on us.
And they've chosen a puppy that comes with a history.
We've always wanted a rescue dog, haven't we?
I don't like the idea of going out and buying a puppy
when you know that these are all in shelters waiting to go to homes.
It is like a moral thing.
It's almost like bringing a baby home, isn't it?
Yeah. Well, it's a big enough commitment as well.
It is. Yeah.
You're excited, aren't you?
She's so cute.
And this is Pippa, a seven-month-old Labrador cross.
One of the 47,000 dogs given up in the UK each year,
Pippa's previous owner couldn't cope with her excessive chewing.
The last straw came when she destroyed a brand-new mobile phone.
Are you excited to come home?
Come on, then. Good girl.
It is quite maternal for a rescue dog, like, the feeling.
Cos you are rescuing it and I suppose, yeah,
you do get that motherly feeling, like, looking after it and giving it a good home.
-She OK about that?
-I think so.
Then I'm happy.
Before they take Pippa to her new home, Alex and Pete decided to introduce her to the local park.
We know what trouble she's got,
we know that she's a bad chewer and we're prepared to help her with that.
Pippa. Come here.
-Come here, girl.
she chews our house up but we've got to find ways to deal with it
and help her with it.
She seems like she's taken to us pretty well.
She's quite happy with us, aren't you, girl?
-Yeah. Good girl.
Within minutes of arriving home...
Tennis balls everywhere.
She doesn't know what to do with them all. Look at all these!
..Pippa's quick to demonstrate the chewing problem that landed her in trouble with her last owners.
Oh, what've you done?
What you done?
She's making light work of the tennis ball at the minute, isn't she?
One tennis ball destroyed, time for something more robust.
It's that one. Look, you were playing with that in the car.
-Do you think she'll be all right with that?
She's not going to chew through that or anything?
No, they said that she shouldn't be able to chew through that but if you see her chewing a tennis ball,
I think we should try and swap it for that one, where she can't...
She's not going to eat through that one, hopefully.
So that theory didn't last very long!
A dog's desire to chew comes from its wolf ancestors.
Those with strong enough jaws to gnaw on bones after a hunt were more
likely to survive and pass on their genes.
And although dogs were first domesticated over 15,000 years ago,
taming their wild side is no walk in the park.
As Delia is finding out in south London.
Leave it! Oh, my goodness!
Shiva is now four months, but at 24 kilos,
still only halfway towards her adult body weight.
And she's still following Delia everywhere she goes.
I am concerned about not making...
Basically not being able to control her as she gets bigger and bigger and bigger.
Dog behaviourist Louise is no stranger to pets who won't listen.
Or indeed their owners.
Shiva! I'll just give her my shoe.
Having previously worked with Delia to find the right breed,
Louise is back to help her rein in Shiva's bad behaviour.
-Hello! How are you?
I am exhausted...
-Overwhelmed puppy parent.
You are a puppy parent.
Shall we go upstairs?
Oh, yes, please! So, when I last saw you,
you told me the dog you were going to get, you were very excited.
-Where are we at now?
I can't believe I have her.
In good ways and in bad ways.
There's lots of anxiety and worries, there's a lot of love,
there's no regrets, but there are some...
-Her day to day...
-I'll show you...
Argh! Stop it!
So, she actually bit my calf there.
I don't feel confident that I'm doing the right thing
and that I'm going to continue to do the right thing,
and I actually feel quite upset by saying that!
What do you mean you feel upset? What...
I just feel that I'm not doing very well.
Because it's not like you didn't know she was going to be a big dog.
I want to really do well for her.
OK, but you don't know what to do.
-OK, that's fair enough, but you have to remember,
this is totally normal - this is not, you know, you're not the only person.
We can get you on the right path.
We can make some tweaks and I would hope to see some differences.
I feel like what you're experiencing is excess energy.
I think you could also be experiencing the fact that teething could be kicking in.
Once these teeth on the side start to come through,
they can get quite grabby because what they're trying to do is
create tension and pull on it to ease the pain,
which is why we're getting a lot more biting.
Shiva's toys are too soft to bite on
and not interesting enough to hold her attention.
Let me have a look at what you've got.
Very empty cupboards at the moment!
-That's fine. Do you have a tea towel we can use?
-Louise has an idea to tackle the problem.
-Right, then what you're going to do, little bits of treat.
-Do you know how fun this is going to be?
Let's give her that.
Go on, then.
Yeah? So, where she's basically got her paws on it,
she's holding it down and then what she's doing with our mouth is pulling,
which is essentially what she's doing to you.
Louise wants to deal with another pressing issue.
In the bathroom.
-So, don't call her, just leave her there.
Delia thinks Shiva has separation anxiety, but Louise isn't so sure.
Let's count, OK?
One, two, three, four...
15, 16, 17...
..28, 29, 30...
OK, I think we could keep going but that would be enough time to come in, do a wee and go out.
She can do this.
But you're just assuming that she can't do it.
Yes, that... Yeah.
When you go out we're just going to go and sit down.
When I'm saying to you to come out and try and ignore her,
it's because I don't want you to be rewarding the fact that she's stood waiting for you.
As soon as we walked back in the room,
she just walked back over to her chew toy, which is great.
So, what I want you to do every day is make an opportunity to leave her on her own at some point,
so if that's the toilet, whether that's the shower,
whether that's nipping out to the shops, you can do that.
Absolutely! I'm very happy with that.
250 miles north, three-month-old Hunter is out for a stroll.
He's not moving.
-12-year-old young carer Harry
has appointed himself the family's official dog walker.
A role he's warming to.
Good dog, come on!
If I walk Hunter every day, I get a bit of time on my own.
No, don't lick in there.
So, I've got Hunter as my friend now.
As I walk down here.
I'm very proud of my Harry.
Because he does so much and he never, ever moans.
Best dog, aren't you? Aren't you?
Yes, you are, you're the best dog!
Back home, life with a new pup is a little less relaxing.
See, look at that, did you see him?
Like any puppy his age, Hunter's adopted a therapy-unfriendly habit.
Ah-ah, Hunter, no!
I'd definitely say the toughest challenge about Alfie
and Hunter is the nipping.
It can add more stress.
Don't bite. Don't bite.
He wants my hair.
Hunter, come here! Sit down.
Today, training on Hunter's biting and chewing starts in earnest
and Emma's got him a special outfit for the occasion.
I'll put this on, so he learns to calm down when it's on.
I want him to realise it's actually work time and it's time to be that therapy dog for little Alfie.
There was a good boy!
Was a good boy!
Emma's been advised to massage Hunter's mouth and jaw repeatedly,
to teach him to be gentle and not to snap.
So, even if they open their mouth and you put your hand in it,
they soon learn not to, like, bite, bite.
There you go, he's doing it now.
Look at them peggy teeth.
Look at them peggy teeth.
Give me a kiss.
Good boy, that's nice.
Ooh, he's licking your face! Good boy!
Ready to roll.
Right, let's go.
In the car, where Emma spends half the day
ferrying her children to and from school,
there are signs Hunter is growing into his role as a support for Alfie.
Alfie can get very stressed, you see, and very upset, so,
since he's had Hunter in the car, I feel that he is a bit more relaxed.
Now and again, he'll lean over and touch him,
so that's quite nice.
One of the secrets to Hunter's ability to soothe Alfie is the power of stroking.
For all of us, stroking is an effective way to relieve stress.
It releases endorphins,
the body's natural chemical that blocks pain and encourages relaxation,
as well as oxytocin, which reduces anxiety and promotes feelings of trust.
It takes just a few strokes for this chemical reaction to take effect.
And for Alfie, helps alleviate distress.
Are we nearly there?
Are we going?
He's excited. Yeah!
In North Lincolnshire, it's the humans who have the job of therapist,
settling in rescue pup Pippa.
Over the last 48 hours,
she's made light work of every toy she's been given.
Oh, what have you done?
She does a tennis ball a day. It's about 30p a tennis ball.
Yeah, she's not having a tennis ball a day.
-Just cost us a few quid in chew toys.
For the next 20 years!
Go on, then!
Pull it! Doesn't seem interested in the furniture at all, does she?
-Which is good.
-I think it's initially probably started from boredom.
And then it's now a bad habit.
She's obviously been quite unsettled before she's come to us, you know,
she's only a seven-month-old pup and she's had...
This is her fourth home already.
So, we just want to get her settled in and let her know this is her home now. This is it, you know?
You're not going anywhere.
After such a tumultuous start in life,
it's important Alex and Pete get things right for Pippa from the outset.
It's something expert Louise knows all about,
having taken in a five-year-old Great Dane herself last year.
I'm really excited for Alex and Pete.
I think genuinely taking a rescue dog can be a brilliant thing
for a family. Erm, they get a bit of a bad press and actually,
most rescue dogs don't even have issues and the ones that do,
it really is about starting on the right path in the beginning because if you do that,
with some clever strategies and the correct training,
then you can really help a dog that's in distress overcome all of that and succeed moving forward.
Oh, you're very shiny, aren't you?
So, this is Pippa!
Look at you.
Right, so, how's it going?
Yeah, she's doing good, isn't she?
-Yeah, she's settled in.
-She seems to have settled in quite quickly.
So, what was her background and everything? What did they tell you?
-So, we don't know too much, but apparently she chewed really bad with the previous owners.
Then she ended up in the rescue centre.
-We haven't seen any chewing of the furniture but lots of chewing of the toys.
Chewing basically can become like a stress reliever,
it can be a way to get rid of anxiety,
it can be a way to make them feel better,
it can also be a boredom activity.
So, there can obviously be a lot of reasons behind it,
it's not as simple as that it's just a destructive behaviour.
The first step towards settling in a rescue dog is to try and understand
their particular behaviours - good and bad.
Each new owner must try and build up a picture of their history.
They need to become part social worker, part detective,
to unravel just what makes their dog tick.
So, one of the things that I started when I got my dog last year,
I kind of started putting a piece of paper on the wall that my husband,
myself, my dog walker, anything that they saw, we would write on there.
-So, if you're walking her and you're at work and you're not going to be home until midnight,
if she freaked out from seeing, say, a cow, you should know that information.
-And the same with anything that she loves,
anything that she's chewing, anything that she likes,
any fear that you've seen because this helps you start to build up
-this picture of Pippa.
-Definitely dislikes being left alone.
-OK. Chewing, obviously we can say...
Definitely number one.
Any kind of soft rubbers and that, isn't it?
-So, I think what would be great, if you're happy,
-is if we pop it up on the wall and then you guys can add to it as time goes on.
It's easy to see.
-Is that all right?
Next clue in the detective hunt, food.
Louise wants to find out what Pippa's eating,
as it could be contributing to her desire to chew.
If you look at something like dry food,
maize and rice are essentially carbohydrate...
-..type things that are not a huge amount of benefit.
-Not providing much to her.
-Turkey meal and meat meal,
-do you know what that is?
So, imagine, like, the carcass...
-..of, say, a chicken.
But everything's been taken off it.
-Beet pulp is essentially sugar.
-The last thing we want to be doing is filling her full
of sugar, carbohydrates and stuff that she doesn't need...
-Yeah, yeah. Definitely.
-..and then expecting her not to have energy
or expecting her just to be calm and chilled out.
If you look at how our dogs used to be fed, it was scraps off the table. It was things from the butcher's.
-Especially with him having a restaurant, he'll get like...
Be able to bring bits of meat and things like that back, and I've got memories of that when I was a kid.
And, you know, everyone, whole family, used to,
dog bowl up on the side and scrape your plate.
-If you've got all of these amazing scraps, vegetables,
meat and all of that stuff, from work,
it would be a real shame for her not to have the benefit of that.
Pippa needs to burn off excess energy.
-Oh, she's found a ball...
-But as she's not ready yet to go off-lead,
they've brought her to an enclosed paddock.
If you can get, sort of, two hours a day, off-lead play, interaction,
sniffing, I would honestly think that that chewing behaviour
would not be something that would be a big concern.
-She's such a happy-go-lucky dog, isn't she?
-She's that proof of how brilliant a rescue dog can be.
Her disposition is happy, she's enthusiastic, she's affectionate,
-she's loving. That basis of what you would want as a companion dog is all there.
In south London, over the last two months,
Shiva the Leonberger has grown to two thirds of her adult size and weighs in at 35 kilos.
Come on, Shiva! Come on!
Delia's been following Louise's advice to the full,
introducing more involving toys, upping Shiva's exercise
and ignoring her when she goes to the toilet.
I definitely do feel like we've come a long way, that I can pee on my own!
Thank you, that one.
In a way, she's taught persistence because, yeah,
I would wake up, yes, I would feel really downtrodden and, like a fool,
I felt like an idiot, like, why did I get this big dog?
I clearly can't do this.
But here I am!
-Today, Delia's taking her sister, Lizzie, out for lunch.
Be back in a bit.
Shiva's staying home.
You know what I don't miss?
I don't miss walking out of the shower and thinking,
is that water from the shower or is that her pee?
Because you just didn't know.
I can leave the house in confidence that nothing's going to be destroyed,
that she's going to be OK.
I really thank Louise for that help and giving me the confidence to get out.
And then the million-dollar question,
would you get another Leonberger?
I can neither confirm nor deny
that I would get another Leonberger.
For Delia, life is now unrecognisable from the day
she brought home her then small bundle of fur.
What a journey.
What a journey. I'm a different person, she changed my life.
She really blew up my life!
Wrecked it and then changed it into something really beautiful.
Despite all the bad times, somehow,
your puppy looks up at you and doesn't give up on you.
You know, because she didn't give up on me, I didn't give up on her.
I couldn't really imagine life without my little Shiva.
But Shiva's not the only change in Delia's life.
I've got a boyfriend.
He moved in. And now,
I'm part of this family unit and life is really bright and wonderful.
In Hertfordshire, family life is going a little less smoothly.
It's very nice having someone who's naughtier than I am.
He gets all the tellings off and I don't.
It's like having a naughty brother.
I need to take you outside.
Five-month-old pampered pooch Rosso is still doing his business everywhere but the garden.
You are restricted, you can't go to other people's houses,
you know, even to go to any shops where dogs are allowed,
it's a worry because you never know when the urge might take him.
Most puppies will be fully toilet trained by six months but Rosso's not even close.
In a bid to salvage her cream carpets,
Juliette's called in the cavalry.
-Hello, I'm Louise.
Nice to meet you!
-Thank you. Do you want me to take my shoes off?
No, don't worry.
We are a live wire!
Oh, we're very excited, aren't we?
All right, so how are things going?
He's progressing well on a lot of fronts
but the main issue is the toilet training.
The toilet training?
Yeah, toilet training. You can't relax.
We've taken him outside and we've been outside playing,
-you come back in the house and you're on edge because you think he's going to have an accident.
Even though we're following the...
Shhh... Right, he's been barking because it's lunch time, so...
Rosso? Do you want to come and have some lunch?
Show me then what you get up to...
Yes. As soon as he's finished his last mouthful, we go straight outside.
-And it is that because you're hoping he's going to do a wee or a poo or both?
We'll take him outside and nothing happens.
Then we're out there maybe 15, 20 minutes, playing,
we'll come back inside for a few minutes, go outside again,
Rosso, are you going to do your wee-wee and poo-poo?
So, when you're out here with him,
would you normally kind of just let him whizz around, or,
would you like normally just sit down, or...
No, I don't sit down with him.
I'm normally interacting with him,
so we can be out here for 20 minutes and I'll be doing some commands
with him and waiting patiently and nothing happens.
OK, when you say that you're doing commands with him, what do you mean?
Rosso? Rosso, sit!
He's not usually already laying down.
-No, that's fine.
-He's worn himself out.
OK. Because you're sitting nicely, you're laying nicely, that's OK.
Rosso, stand! Rosso, stand!
Rosso, come! Rosso, come!
Rosso, lay! Rosso, lay!
Rosso, are you going to sit? Rosso, sit!
Are you going to come? Maybe just going to...
OK, Rosso, come over here. OK.
We'll throw a piece to the side and then wait for him to come back
and see whether he sits in readiness for the next command.
I've got some other treats I can try if you like.
Thank you, Juliet. Well, I've seen... I think I've seen enough.
-What he's not doing is associating coming out here with going to the toilet.
What I would like you to think about is you're just going to come out and
-And I want you to essentially just ignore him.
-I want him to basically start to make his own entertainment because I want him to walk around.
That movement is going to be the thing that gets him to go to the toilet,
whereas if you start doing commands and stuff with him,
-you're going to bring his attention back to you.
From now on, Juliet should only interact with Rosso
and reward him with treats after he's done his business.
What will start to happen is that every time he gets rewarded for going outside, it's a good thing.
Dogs are drawn to the scent of their own urine and are hard-wired to go in spots where they've gone before.
The more he does it out here, the more likely he is to do it out here.
Once he's done it, it will start to become a habit,
rather than going inside is becoming the habit.
Ooh! Ooh! Well done! Well done, Rosso!
-That was great!
Well done, Rosso.
There's one more thing Louise wants to pick up on.
There was an instance over there where you gave him a treat...
-..but then you just threw a handful of those same treats on the floor.
I know! I know, I sort of just thought, oh, he's sitting nicely,
I'll give him a treat, but, yes.
But that's where, like, look at him and be like, good boy, well done!
Let him know that he's doing the right thing.
But without feeling the need to give him an actual treat.
-No, I was aware myself that I think I'm giving too many treats.
In Preston, Hunter is now five months old and well on his way
to developing the muscular physique
that makes the Labrador one of the most lithe and athletic breeds.
But he still has the energy and temperament of a puppy.
Hunter! Come here!
Sit, sit, sit!
So Emma and son Harry are trying to teach him how to be calm for Alfie.
I want to try and train him so he can learn to come over to Alfie.
Come here! Hunter!
Hunter! Come on, come on.
Practice makes perfect.
Come on. Good boy.
Hunter, no, sit down.
He's already sensing when Alfie is upset.
So, hopefully, in the future,
he will do it without me having to give him the command to go and do it.
Good boy. What did he do?
Did he come to you, Alfie?
I honestly do believe that Hunter is having a positive effect on Alfie.
Good boy, well done!
-There's also been a surprise development.
Along with his day job,
Hunter's been working his magic on Alfie's twin brother, Arthur.
Arthur has Down's syndrome, too, and up till now has struggled to learn to walk.
Arthur's become more mobile since Hunter's been in the house.
For him not to be walking at four was quite frightening,
something that we've been battling for years.
Go on, then, get it!
Look at that!
He's walking on his own!
Like, on his own!
How ace is that?
Oh, he's come to give you...
For him to stand up and walk, it was like a huge achievement.
Hand on heart, I do believe that Hunter has actually helped him succeed in that.
We're the champion!
With so many needs to consider,
getting a puppy was a difficult decision for Emma.
But it's beginning to pay off.
We all love him to bits.
Don't we, hey?
He's loved so much.
We are very proud of him because he is doing exactly what we've asked him to do.
Erm, bacon cranberry?
-There you go, madam.
In Lincolnshire, it's Alex and Pete that need to prove themselves,
ensuring rescue pup Pippa has the new life she deserves.
Chef Pete has been getting creative with his restaurant leftovers...
..to provide Pippa with a healthy diet.
Mushy peas would be good, a bit of haddock, take the batter off it, like.
She's definitely going to be well-fed, yeah,
she's going to be one of the best-fed dogs in town.
And he's even going to the trouble of cooking the offcuts.
Yeah, I'm just taking the salmon out of the oven,
so these are just all, like, the trimmings and stuff like that.
These would normally just go to waste.
Right, Pippa, on the menu tonight, we've got poached salmon,
broccoli stem, a little bit of cabbage,
all with a mere hint of steak-and-ale pie.
Very nice. A bit jealous myself, to be honest!
There you go, pup.
Pippa's new gourmet diet is a big hit.
All growing puppies need nutritionally balanced meals.
But it can also be a great way to tackle behaviour problems,
like Pippa's excessive chewing.
Avoiding additives while providing the right nutrients stabilises blood sugar and serotonin levels,
leading to a calmer and more content dog.
All good, Pip?
Would you say?
Up you get!
Now Pippa's happier,
her destructive chewing habits have given way to more fun activities.
She's proper learnt.
Ding, give me a treat!
Can we imagine life without Pippa?
-I wouldn't want to.
-Neither would I, actually.
-No, definitely not.
-As annoying as you are, I wouldn't want to.
She's not annoying. You're annoying, actually.
-You're more annoying than she is.
-Oh, my God!
After spending the first seven months of her life moving from home to home,
Pippa's search for a permanent family is finally at an end.
With her coming from a rescue, I think you can have more...
Pride in the fact that we've...
-Come on! You got yourself in...
-Come on, good girl!
I think we've done a lot in the sense of learning about Pippa
and we've took a lot of time to understand, like, what she likes,
what she doesn't like.
Come on, then!
We're taking her out a lot, she's got a lot of attention,
she's got lots of toys to choose from, whereas, if she didn't have anything and she wasn't going out
as much and she was getting bored, then that's probably when the chewing was going to start.
So, I think, for ourselves, that's something that we're quite proud of.
Would we class her as part of the family?
She's been a massive part of making the house feel like a home.
Rosso, are you going to come? Yeah?
At pampered pooch central, things are also looking up.
Oh, good save.
The toilet training's going really well, actually.
We're hardly having any accidents at all at home.
When we go in the garden,
I took on board exactly what Louise said about not using that time for training.
If it takes half an hour, you know, as we've saw,
when Louise was here, it takes half an hour, you've just got to watch and wait.
These days, treats for Rosso have been replaced with patience.
I haven't played this for so long.
And it's the family who get the rewards.
Good boy, Rosso!
Everyone in the world, Rosso's done a poo here.
-Can I clear it up?
-Can you clear it up?
Did I hear you correctly?
Are you feeling OK?
-Are you sure?
-Can I get a new...
-Are you feeling quite... Ah! Did you hear that?
"Can I clear it up? Can I get a new ball?"
In the same sentence.
Lovely, thank you.
Since Rosso first arrived as a companion for only child Rio,
the pair have become firm friends.
Cos he's my best friend and he's very cute,
he looks like a teddy bear, seriously.
I'm not joking, he does.
And he's amazing to be with.
He's basically like a fluff ball of fun,
he's all we ever dreamed of in a puppy.
We've spent six months in the lives of our ten puppies...
..documenting all their highs and lows
as they transformed from nervous fledglings into bold young teens,
ready to take on the world.
Although our pups still have a little room to grow,
their brains are now adult-sized
and their unique personalities are flourishing.
And for our families,
the roller-coaster ride has continued since our cameras left.
You're digging another hole.
In Hampshire, the battle of Clare versus Lola continues.
Let's just see how my voice of authority works.
Lola! Come on! Come on!
I'm walking away. Walking away...
No, it's not working.
How are you doing over there, Butch?
Online sensation Butch Cassidy is about to hit a milestone.
He's slightly obsessed, he doesn't get out of bed for less than 400 likes.
Well, at least we know fame won't go to his head.
Isn't that right, Butchie?
Up in the Highlands,
Jura's Search and Rescue training continues apace.
Just another day at the office for Jura pup.
She's not scared of helicopters, at least!
And in the East London nail salon, for the first time,
there are now three dogs to welcome passers-by.
Our owners embarked on an extraordinary journey
when they welcomed home their newest family members.
But none of them regret it.
I would never have thought that a dog could become a family member.
But actually, he is.
-No amount of research could prepare you for having a puppy,
if you haven't had one before.
But we're growing to love each other.
I was a bit taken aback by how much I love him.
It's very genuine, unconditional love.
You can tell they mean it.
I knew it was going to be good, but for me,
it's been so much better than I hoped it would be.
As for Juliet and Rosso in Hertfordshire,
one final thing hasn't gone unnoticed.
So, there's a hashtag, #dogalike,
and people have actually stopped me in the street and said,
"Do you know that you look like your dog?"
Yeah, that's me without hair product!
We chart the ups and downs of ten puppies and their families through their all-important first six months together. Every year, we welcome a quarter of a million puppies into our homes and in this series 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. We capture 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 our final puppies. First-time homeowners Alex and Pete welcome rescue pup Pippa, who comes with an extreme chewing habit, while the Woolf family bring home cockapoo Rosso as a playmate for eight-year-old son Rio. The first thing they have to contend with is toilet training.
We catch up with Emma Lowe, who is training young labrador Hunter to act as a therapy dog for her son Alfie, who has Down's syndrome and autism. Can Hunter show signs that he can react to Alfie's moods and act independently of her, providing him the comfort Emma so desperately wants? And the battle between professional psychic Delia and her giant breed leonberger pup Shiva reaches crunch point when Shiva begins to bite and scratch. Can Louise help Delia and her companion have a happy home together?
We also catch up with all our ten families and their puppies at the end of their first six months together to discover if, in the end, puppy ownership has all been worth it.