Betty with some of her sisters!

Betty being important

Up until today I had only taken Betty on several short car journey’s, I hadn’t planned it that way, it was how my life was last week, she was fine in the car but a bit squeaky. It might have been easy to think she didn’t like the car because of the squeaking, but I suspected that she was already finding the trips exciting! Yesterday I had to go to Colchester and I decided to drop in to see Annie and the remaining puppy’s with Betty. The journey is about forty minutes and Betty squeaked a bit for the first ten minutes in her crate, then slept!  No more squeaking coming home either, I will ensure we do more longer trips over the coming weeks to make sure she learns to settle in the car.

It is only because I know her temperament and my experience of dogs, that I knew it was the life experience she was having that was producing the wrong behaviour in the car, how easy it is to go wrong with puppy’s, but once spotted can be put right easily too!

Betty was very excited to be back at her first home, she was full of herself with the other puppy’s, I could almost hear her telling them what a girl of the world she is now. she strutted round them full of self-importance! Her Mum Gracie was so pleased to see her, Gracie is a lovely Mum and even loves to play with her babies, many bitches are fed up with their pups by this time.

Betty was a little more demure in the garden with the bigger dogs though!

Bronte is Annie’s puppy from Buffy, (see “a story of a whelping” blog) and two weeks younger than Betty, I am sure Bronte and Betty will be great friends as they grow up! Annie’s dogs are like extended pack to mine and vice versa as we are great friends, meet regularly and have each others dogs to stay.

Annie's puppy the long awaited Bronte!

Does this look familiar? Have you got a photo of the real thing to share?

Spring is coming and the dogs will be spending more time out there, typically I am sure to be having a lot of questions about how to stop the puppies turning the garden into a bomb site! In anticipation here are some tips for those of you who are keen gardeners and do not want to lose your favourite plants this summer!

The good news first, dogs grow out of gardening by around their second birthday! If they don’t, it is not normal behaviour and you need to come and see me to correct the misunderstanding they have!

While growing it is natural for a puppy to explore their world and the garden is a wonderful place for them to do this, eating dirt, chewing sticks up, eating plants, digging around for insects, or just to see what is there is all normal behaviour, and if you fight this natural need to explore you will create more behaviour problems for yourself.

Management is the answer, by either fencing off an area that you give over to the puppy, or protecting your precious shrubs by fencing them off, to protect them from your puppy will make your life simpler, and allow your puppy to develop without upsetting you!

Ideally create a digging area for your puppy that is more interesting than the rest of the garden, this can be an earth area or you could make a sand pit, to reduce the mud you might get in the house. For a sand pit/digging area to be interesting you will have to dig it over once a day, add toys and objects of interest to the area, preferably bury these bits to make it more fun to find them!

Remember if you have just dug a part of the garden, or even better planted bulbs or plants, your puppy will make a bee line for this spot, your scent will make him think it must be interesting, prevent the puppy having access to this area for a few days until your scent has faded.

I am always delighted to have your queries and comments on any of the articles as it can lead to more clarity! Do you have a photo of your puppy digging in the garden for me to add to this post please?

For first time dog owners the world can seem a dangerous place for their precious puppies! But I have to tell you puppies have remarkable constitutions, this is a born scavenger and nature equipped them with a stomach that can withstand most natural materials and decomposed matter!

If you allow your human squeamishness to interrupt your puppy eating rubbish every time, and this will be frequent while the puppy is young, you will be giving out this message: I want what you have, it is something I am interested in and I am competing with you to have “it” first! Young dogs learn from older dogs in the pack what is valuable in this world, if the other dogs are interested then it must be good! You or the humans in the puppy’s life play this part in a human home.

If you don’t want your puppy to keep showing interest in stuff then you must not either! If you are too disgusted use some tasty food to distract your puppy from the thing, do not let your puppy see you remove “it” or you will be back to encouraging again. By using something tasty to distract you will be actively demonstrating that there is something better to eat as well as demonstrating your lack of interest which over time will teach your puppy not to go for inappropriate things to eat.

Stones are one of the commonest problem that I come across especially in new dog owners, though some more experienced owners do make the same mistake. The reality is that puppies will pass small stones easily, and they are bound to consume a few in discovering that stones are not food, by distracting the puppy over and over with a tasty tit bit you will soon persuade them to leave stones alone! If not this problem can soon escalate to eating larger and larger stones that could block the bowel and endanger your pets life or incur large vet bills.

The other downside of not addressing this issue is that the puppy can become possessive over something as simple as tissue if you constantly remove them from her.

here is a list of stuff that puppies can and should be allowed to explore that are harmless and will if ignored soon be forgotten:

  • Tissue, including kitchen roll, toilet paper
  • Paper in any form
  • Cardboard
  • Wood pieces (do not throw or play with sticks)
  • Tea towels (leave old ones lying around until they get bored or old bits of cloth)
  • Ash, bits of coal
  • animal excrement!

Dogs will take food that is left out, if I leave my kitchen with food on the side I don’t expect it to be there when I return! It is the nature of the dog to scavenge, and fighting this natural behaviour will just give you a headache and spoil your relationship with your dog.

If your dog is already possessive about any or all of these items please contact me, this is curable!

What to look for if you think your puppy has eaten something dangerous

  • Lethargy
  • Sickness
  • Diarrhea
  • Loss of appetite

call your Vet immediately!

Let the training begin! Here is the first step of preventing or curing food possession in any dog, any age!

Follow the steps on the clip and repeat every day for  2 weeks, if your dog is already food possessive you may need to continue for a month, it will work, if you have any questions or comments please post them?

Dry food is ideal for this process, wet food can be used, but if you have a food possessive dog please consider changing to a good quality dry food. Contact me if you want more guidance.

Please show tell all the dog owners you know about this simple method of preventing food possession, it will save lives and injury to people!

More information coming on upcoming posts, watch this space!

As dog owners I believe we all have a responsibility to help members of the public that are afraid of dogs, not by pushing our dogs at them, but by demonstrating the dog is under control and therefor no threat!

Never dismiss anyone’s fear of dogs, it is real and respect of another’s feelings is the first step to helping them get passed their fear.

I was out with one of my dogs one day near the beach, I stood by the car changing my boots, my dog Teddy, was running round nearby, when someone walked into the car park, Teddy was near the entrance and though not taking any notice of the person was obviously to close for comfort for this person, I saw the  scared look and the person freeze, my first instinct was to call out “it’s okay he won’t hurt you” but immediately realised that was irrelevant for this person and instead shouted “down” to Teddy, who hit the deck immediately and I called him to me, once I had him with me I apologised for the scare they had had, and put Teddy on the lead to further reassure them that they were safe.

I knew they were safe with Teddy on or off the lead, but this person did not, I could see the surprise on the persons face and the relaxed look that soon replaced the scared look. Teddy and I did more in that moment he obeyed me than any verbal reassurance from me could ever have done!

The Pie!

October 21, 2009

"The Pie" looking gorgeous!

"The Pie" looking gorgeous!

Yes he has one blue eye! whenever we are out everyone comments “he has one blue eye” I wonder if they think I hadn’t noticed before then? 🙂 When we were in Italy I even learnt to understand that phrase in Italian so not just brits that notice!

I assure you he can see with both eyes just the same and I chose him because there was a good chance he would have a blue eye!