Wednesday, 25 January 2012
What a bit of extra attention can do
I have always been aware of the affects of too much attention can have on your dog. We are so used to saying we spoil our dogs that it no longer truly describes the harmful effects. Now I don't mind a good 'ol dose of loving, squeezing and kissing ( despite being told daily not to let the dogs lick me cos they've just licked their bums) what I am talking about is actual spoiling of your dog.
Mila is a whopping big St bernard who was rescued:
When she arrived she was in good physical condition but still mentally affected, simple things like never looking up and panicking if any raised voices. With good basic care, lots of affection and a routine she came on leaps and bounds really very quickly. She changed and yet no one around her changed or saw her changing. They just saw the lost little soul.
When I look at my guys I just melt, good intentions often fly out the window so you can imagine what it was like with this big lump.
All has been going well until a few changes in the household, a new arrival and a change in family dynamics started to take affect. Belle the original Bernie started to be withdrawn, she sought out more comfort from us and we saw her often just standing watching. Mila on the other hand was becoming a bully.
It started off with little shoves and a demanding of attention, then she started really shoving other dogs away more especially Belle and dogs who paid Layla, her little housemate, attention. Then there were the looks she gave whilst dogs jumped into the van. We immediately changed our routine, only putting her in an individual cage so she couldn't learn to control dogs in the van and ignoring all demanding attention.
After speaking to her owner they admitted to giving her more and more attention because of all she had been through and Belle helped me out by doing her most dejected, ejected face. Once they realised they had been had by the greatest trickster of all, the dog, things quickly changed and has pretty much reverted to a happy healthy relationship. Belle now no longer gets overlooked, all spend individual time in the house having their 'me' time and any signs of aggression have stopped.
I feel relieved that the change in her had been spotted before a major incident and that simple changes have made such a difference. It makes me look at our doggy relationships to see if we are falling for any of those amazing traps dogs can set!