Well, would you believe it, December has crept up behind me so quietly I didn’t realise we are already in THAT month, the ‘C’ month !
Personally I would love to spend Christmas day curled up with a good book in front of he fire with a bottle of champagne to keep me company, but we always spend the day with friends and, of course, have a a lovely time. I remember once when I lived down south Ernst had the opportunity to go skiing with his family over Christmas but I couldn’t go because of work commitments. I waved him off quite happily and had a lovely meal with girlfriends on the 24th. On Christmas Day I opened presents and a bottle of bubbly in the morning and thought how nice it was to do whatever I wanted whenever I wanted. The second glass of fizz confirmed that I was happy on my own. The third and I thought it would have been nicer had Ernst been there, the fourth went down and by the fifth it was “how COULD he leave me alone on Christmas Day ??!!” Poor Ernst chose that moment to ring to wish me Happy Christmas – he didn’t ring again before he came home !!!
Anyway that’s all very boring, you want to know how dog adoptions have been going. The answer to that is good !! Juno will soon be off to a new home, we have our fingers crossed for Rocky, Gracie has been adopted (by the receptionist at our vets !), the black Labrador has been homed and Girly has gone off down to the Cote d’Azur.
Please look at Freddy, a lovely dog and by giving him a home you permit his owner to die in peace.
We still have puppies who would make your household much more fun. However, we do not let pups go to new homes over the Christmas period where people tend to be either stressed or hyper or excited. Best they come to you when all the celebrations are over and your home has been restored to calm.
Recently I homed a very dominant poodle with a very gentle lady who was anxious about the dog taking over. Dogs are only dominant over humans when they think they are in charge and it is their responsibility to look after the human. Our job is to show the dog that WE are there to look after them and all they have to do is to relax and have a good life. Dogs who bark and cry when left alone don’t do it to be a pain or ‘get’ at you. They do it because they are anxious that ‘their’ baby is out alone. Imagine if your young child went out and you didn’t know where they were or when they would be back. Dogs don’t destroy things to ‘get revenge’ they do it because anxiety activates their saliva glands and chewing relieves them.
Here are a few points to show your dog that you are the alpha and he doesn’t have to worry about you.
1) Never go to your dog to make a fuss of him (thereby showing subservience). Always call your dog to you to be stroked. You can do this as much as you like.
2) If your dog comes to you when you haven’t called him and paws at you to be fussed or ‘leans’ against you, this is not ‘cute’ the dog is showing dominance. Turn round and walk away. You can then call him to you.
3) A good way of showing who is in charge is at feeding time. Put a biscuit for yourself in the dog’s bowl and stand so that your dog can see you but don’t talk to, or look at him. Then eat your biscuit out of the bowl (still not looking at him). When you have finished, just put the bowl down (still ignoring your dog) and walk away (you can stay in the same room if you want to.) This shows the dog that you are ‘alpha’, you eat first and the dog gets your leftovers. When your dog has finished eating, or has walked away from his dish, pick the dish up and don’t put food down again until next meal time. This shows your dog that he eats when you decide and not when he does. Never, ever take a food dish away from a dog whilst he is still eating to ‘test for aggression’. Wouldn’t you get rather peeved if someone took your plate away whilst you were still eating ??!!
More tips to help your dog to be stressfree and happy next month. If you can’t wait I recommend The Dog Listener by Jan Fennell.
Have a wonderful Christmas, I’ll be back in 2012 !!!