Dog of the month: Matt & Holly

Meet Holly.

Holly is a purebred miniature American Eskimo. She’s currently 13 years old and without a doubt has she changed the life of Matt (pictured below).

Matt and Holly have many memories shared together. When I asked Matt what memory stood out the most, he said it was simply coming home from school and seeing her wait at the door, eager to greet him hello.

Holly was his first dog, and his first pet. Matt learned many valuable lessons growing up and training Holly. He learned that with any pet, comes responsibility. He recalls a time where he forgot to take Holly out before going to bed, and woke up to find a nice little surprise waiting for him (if you get what I mean).

Matt’s one tip for new dog owners is to be consistent. Consistent with their food, sleep, and potty schedule. Sticking to a schedule will allow your pet to get into a routine and become more easily trained.

Growing up, Matt was a shy kid and having Holly as his best friend allowed him to be more comfortable and engaging around others. Matt says “I bet Holly doesn’t even know it, but she’s my best friend”.

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Be sure to submit your story and a picture of you & your pup to for a chance to be featured on The ‘Ruff Life.



Owning your first pet is life-changing and teaches you many valuable lessons. These lessons can be learned the hard way, or you can be ready and equipped for your dog’s very own adventures. Welcome to The ‘Ruff Life – your one stop-shop for everything & anything dog related. This blog will take you through Lorie & Trooper’s journey together.

Meet Trooper.

Trooper is a Pomeranian-Shitzu (pictured below). He was born on June 2016 and has been growing fast ever since. Trooper is always full of energy and can always be seen exploring around the house. Trooper has been a positive impact on Lorie’s life but it is without a doubt a huge responsibility.

Lorie’s a first time dog owner and because it takes 8 weeks until they can be released from their mother, she had plenty of time to get ready & do some research before bringing him home. Here are a few quick and easy tips that she used to help Trooper adjust to his new home.

  1. Comfort & space is key
    Make sure you have enough space for your puppy. Although they may be small right now, these little pups grow fast! One week they’ll be small and tiny, and another they’ll be completely different in size.Space is a big thing too. Because puppies are full of energy, they’ll want to roam around the house freely and explore. They’re in a new environment, so its best to give them space that is free of clutter and free of hazards.
  1. Have a schedule
    With everything that you do in training your dog, make sure you’re being consistent with its sleeping, feeding and potty schedule. First time owners do not capitalize on this and it is so important to maintain a regular schedule that your pet can follow. New pet owners often go with the flow and try to feel ‘things’ out but it’s actually better to have a plan set out before even bringing the dog home. Lorie said that doing this made a huge difference to Trooper as he didn’t dictate the schedule, but rather adhered to it. Of course there are exceptions, but generally speaking, be consistent amongst all schedules.
  1. Be diligent
    Being diligent with your new pet means you taking control over the situation as opposed to the other way around. Often with new pets, new owners don’t know where to necessarily set boundaries, what’s acceptable and what isn’t. Sometimes what happens is that the dog tries and see where and what they could get away with. Because of this, right from the get-go, you should be setting a general set of rules which your dog should abide by. For example, if you don’t want them on the couch, you should be signalling them actions that indicate ‘no’ whenever they do so. Doing this early on will instill these rules in the minds of your pet. Lorie said doing this really helped with guiding Trooper where he could and couldn’t pee.
  1. Schedule enough time to play with them
    Puppies are ever-growing and learning. It is important to play with them and stimulate their minds. Playing games will help your dog learn and adapt to the given environment. As simple as the game ‘fetch’ sounds, initially many dogs actually struggle with the concept. Often what happens is that they will chase after the toy or item but they won’t actually bring it back. Fetch is such a basic game that can easily be translated into many items such as a ball or frisbee which makes it universally-friendly.Lorie said this was the thing she struggled most. Being a full-time student and working part-time, it was often hard to keep up with playing with Trooper. As a result, he’s had difficulties with learning the concept of ‘fetch’ and simply catching onto other games.
  1. Name recognition
    It’s better early on to call your dog’s name by its actual name. Doing so will really help instill in the dog’s mind its name and the name it should answer to. Right from the get-go, calling your dog its actual name will help remember its identity and who they are. This is vital as it is one of the key steps in training your dog. Once a dog learns its name, it can answer to any call and essentially follow your commands.

By focusing on these 5 things to start, you can get a head start in ensuring your puppy is comfortable and ready to be trained.


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Follow The ‘Ruff Life with Trooper’s journey to the big dogs!