Alfie says it tooooo cold – and he is not coming out!!!
We are making huge progress. 5 months on from me getting Alfie – he is now 16 months old. He is now dry in the house (such a relief!!!!!!!) – almost paper trained for his ‘jobs’ – but now goes in the street on the way to work! He has made a few doggie friends – and now is starting to make human friends. We are through all the panic attacks and night terrors – still have food / kitchen issues (I think noises may be a big part of this) – and wide space issues to cop with.
We recently had a big festival in the town and Alfie had to face walking through the most people he had ever faced – and a long walk to the car – he has ever faced. Yes – total panic – and so hard to lead work (me – a wreck!!!) – BUT – really in a really short recovery time – and no overhanging panic issues – did not hide when we got home – all he wanted to do was play.
His whole stance is so much more confident – he has to go to my shop everyday to work – my customers have been amazing in taking it all on board and are really helping him – and he is really working hard to do stuff. Luckily I lead a really calm, peaceful life – so he knows how things work.
I just can’t believe the progress we have made in the past 6 months to turn around this scared little wreck into a confident growing puppy.
Alfie has been with me for almost 6 months now so her’s a quick little round up of his progress.
We are through the panic attacks – the night terrors – and he has the muscle control not to wet himself every time someone talks to him. He is dry in the house now – which is a huge relief I can tell you! – and he is almost there with his paper training.
It’s hard to find different, stimulating activities for him as still has outdoors fears – so this week we had a bath. He has quite a tight medication routine to solve some of the health difficulties he may have after his rough start – so there are only a few days in the month before he has his topical treatment that he can have a good scrub. He seemed to really enjoy it! He was a bit panicked when I lifted him into the water – but he soon settled and was perfectly still with no shaking while I was pouring the water over him – and the loved the soap rubbing!
Well – it seemed to tire him out – he still has very little stamina
I am soooo proud of the Alfster – – he has gone 1 whole week being dry in the house! That is so amazing – not 1 single ‘accident’ – and he fetched me to his paper space so show me what he had done – so that shows that he is starting to get muscle / brain messages happening – gosh – so proud!!
Bare in mind that 4 months ago this dog had never had any personal contact at all – no idea of what snuggling was – how to get on a sofa – and was totally freaked by the TV – how far have we come!
Yeah – next week we will have ‘accidents’ – and we still have such a long way to go – – but ‘this week’ – scrummie puppie takes all the prizes
Who’s a smoochie puppy then?
So – vet check up today – William’s boosters were due too – so we all went – Rachel is amazing with them – how many vet consultations have you had that take place on the floor at dog level!
Rachel was really pleased with the progress that Alf has made these past 2 months. He has put on weight – his coat looks amazing – his teeth are cleaner – he is standing up sooo big and tall – – and – – he is interacting with others. He is so keen to learn and get involved – and is responding to the outside world – bless him – he is trying sooo hard.
Because of his start in life Alfie has a special type of worming tablet- and he has to have one every month instead of the normal 6 or 12 months. All puppies are born with worms – but – because of our treatments in the UK they are blasted out of the dogs system in the first 12 months and you just have to keep it topped up. Alfie has not had this and we have to take extra care for the next few years.
The same thing applies to his other parasite regime. Normally a dose of Frontline every 4 – 6 weeks will take take care of this – but because of his street life Alfie has a mite problem. We use advocate – a stronger, slightly different formula than normal that includes a chemical to control mites. Apparently they will be there even though we can’t see them – and they are a bad thing!
I am so proud of him and the progress he has made is such a short time
I made a HUGE mistake the other day. I told Alfie off!!
I was tired – and cranky – and I wanted to get on with what I was doing – and he was barking and carrying on and I needed to talk to someone – so I barked back and tapped his bottom.
– Totally normal training reaction – for a totally normal dog.
The instant I had done it I thought to myself – you silly cow – you can’t do that!
And Alfie went of in a total panic and hid for the rest of the day.
A split seconds loss of concentration – bugger!
That’s the thing with trying to train a nervous dog – my training rule book has totally been thrown out of the widow. No normal rules apply. You can’t scold a nervous dog – not can you put them in their place or dominate them. You have to coax them out to do the right thing.
So – he went off and hid in absolute terror for the rest of the day – he would not be coaxed into bed to snuggle – and it was 2 days later that he started to interact with me again. I feel such a muppet – but it was a really good wake up call. Alfie has made huge progress in the past couple of months – but it has only been a couple of months and there is such a long way to go yet.
Last week his toilet habits were disastrous to say the least – was that a consequence of his telling off and him losing confidence? or just a bad week? Who knows – this will be a long road of humps and bumps – but I hold my hands up – I could have done better this week.
OK – SO Alf has just turned 1 years old. Yeah – got that – 1 year old – just turned one – getting to be a grown up – testing his boundaries – doing grown up doggie stuff. SOOOOO – past the nerve tingling, gut wrenching puppy tricks then?
Yeah – Right – – – SOOOO Wrong!!!!!
Bring on the shoes, books and toilet roll!!!
I have been struggling to get my head round the shoes issue for the past couple of weeks. I have lost 2 pairs of shoes (one was my good pair that I was hoping to get at least another year out of) – a pair of cheepie old slippers – and the old goat has lost a pair of crappie canvas shoes. I understand that behavior in babies – lost loads of shoes when Wills was a pup – big people smells and teething!!! ( We don’t ‘Teethe’ as a 1 year old???)
Add to the mix – we have now just discovered toilet rolls – and newspapers – and scrumpled paper – and balls of wool.
Oh – I get it – I know the ‘whys’ – at 3 months old – NOT 12 months.
Stuck between a rock and a hard place here. You can’t tell a dog with anxiety off in the ‘normal’ way – in ‘theory’ you have to praise the good and distract from what you don’t want them to do with other things.
Bless him – it’s as if we have hit the reset button and now he is starting as a baby puppy – he is soooo funny.
We are still having house training issues – food issues – street / people issues – but every week it is like we have a new animal, learning new skills and coping with the world in his weird way of thinking – but we have baby steps of learning to cope and deal with it rather than bullying the animal into repression/submission. It takes waaaay longer – but is much healthier for the dog – and he is such a superstar!!
Oh – and – by the way – he has just run off with a wooden spoon from – somewhere – no idea where he found that one!!!!
Alfie update – I think we have had a bit of a revolution – well 2 steps forward at least.
Alfie is taking more notice of the outside world – he is ducking in and out to the garden. Look at dear old Wills watching him!
Alf understands that the summer house is at the end of the garden – all I have to do now is get the keys and shout that we are going ‘summer house’ and he dashes about the garden round me. 4 weeks ago I was dragging him down on the lead.
He is out first in the morning to get his wees (still coming in to use the paper for his business – but at least he is keeping it one place!) Routine is the key. He has the sweetest nature and is trying so hard to please me
I need to say a HUGE THANK YOU to all my customers!! You are amazing. I have people dropping in every day just to say hello to Alfie and get him used to being talked too – and I have people bringing in their dogs to say hi as well. Everyone says how much he has changed already and I am so grateful for their feedback – it’s hard to know how you are doing when you are working day after day – you see the teeny tiny steps – but you mis that it all adds together.
His body posture is so much better now – I didn’t realise quite how big he is! He cowed in just below knee height when I first met him – now his nose bumps my bottom!!
We went to the vet’s to sign Alfie into the practice today. I have left it a while so that he would settle in a bit first. I have to admit that I was a bit concerned he would find it all too stressful and have a panic attack so instead of the usual nurse weight check up and exam I asked to see one of the long time vets. I had several technical questions to ask that I felt needed a practiced more hand.
She was absolutely amazing. Saw Alf’s problem as he walked into the exam room and she sat down on the on the floor – so did I – and we did all the work with our legs spread out with the a dog rolling about in the middle and he was amazing.
Result is – keep doing everything the same – slow and steady progress.
– He needs to put a ‘little’ more weight – he is still a puppy so needs to eat well.
– He has one ‘sticky’ ear that needs keeping up with cleaning.
– His teeth are a bit of a mess. She thinks that in may have been malnutrition (either his mums or his as a baby) – she has never seen anything quite like it – but recommends he learns to have his teeth cleaned – I had already started to give him a toothbrush to chew so he gets used to the feel in his mouth.
– flea – mite – worm protection is a big priority – particularly mites – to protect his immune system. So I need to schedule the medication as it’s not compatible.
– His heart and the physical inspection were all fine.
– And she said he liked me and was bonding well. – He likes me – He likes me – what more is there!!!!!
At the moment he is crashed out on the sofa – completly shattered.