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Rosie Roo breakthrough

I've had a bit of a breakthrough with Rosie.  She seems more confident and less whingy.  She is eating much better, has put on a tiny bit of weight and started begging for food (for most dogs this might be a bad thing, but for a dog that is this hard to get food inside, it's excellent!).  Her manners have improved around other dogs (she's not perfect, but a lot better) and her recall seems better too.  She's more likely to focus on me when we are outside the house, and will even take treats (she went through a long period when she wouldn't eat much, and ignored food outside of the house.

Several things may have helped:
1) I started walking her on a double-length lead, and put the muzzle on her for meeting unfamiliar other dogs.  This meant she could leap and yell and not feel so restricted, without my having to worry she might bite.  Oddly, this seems to have left her feeling less likely to want to leap and yell and more likely to greet nicely, and she has made loads of new friends.

2) I have been watching her very carefully when approaching other dogs, and if she seems at all reluctant or worried, we change direction and get clear - even if I'm in a hurry to get back, and the other dogs are approaching from the direction of the car park.

3) She hurt her leg, and had to have a couple of weeks with either no walks or short on-lead walks.  I think this may have helped her become calmer.  I think maybe I overloaded her small brain, trying to get her used to too much exciting stuff at once.  She didn't like missing walks, but I think maybe the rest let her come down from any adrenaline high she was on.

4)  We caved, and decided that she was allowed to sit on the sofa.  Normally we have a strict no-dogs-on-sofas rule, but I've always ended up bending the rule for whippets, because whippets are only small and love cuddling and get so utterly miserable without furniture.  Most sighthounds are perfectly happy with dog beds and beanbags, but whippets are different.  Rosie is kind of huge for a whippet, but she is SO happy to have access to the red sofa, that it's worth it.  That sofa has covers on most of the time anyway.   Although she does sleep in the dog beds too.

5) the gas fire is back on for the winter.  Rosie *loves* the gas fire...

She is not alone in her fireworship.

For some reason he likes to sleep like this.  Presumably it's more comfortable than it looks.


( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
27th Nov, 2014 22:32 (UTC)
She has a sweet face. Love your cat.
28th Nov, 2014 09:49 (UTC)
Wonderful photos! I love the fire-worship, and Brythen, heavy-headed, with the great lurcher sleepiness suddenly come upon him.

And I'm so glad to hear that Rosie the Very Large Whippet has been showing glimmers of Good Dog behaviour!
28th Nov, 2014 14:30 (UTC)
That's good news about Rosie, hope the reformation continues :-) I think Brythen sleeps like that so his excess nose moistness can be absorbed, rather than dribbling onto him :-D
29th Nov, 2014 09:34 (UTC)
Oh my gosh, those photos, especially the last one. Dogs, man, dogs. I'm glad Rosie seems to be less anxious.
29th Nov, 2014 18:16 (UTC)
Love the photos - and well done!
10th Dec, 2014 22:22 (UTC)
Funnily enough, your list of things that may have helped Rosie's behaviour is not dissimilar to things we have been trying with El, esp (2) avoiding triggers and potentially anxiety-inducing/stressful situations, and (3) making sure there is enough downtime and chances to come down from overstimulation and newness. Possibly your dog is autistic? I hope we can have similar success in getting El to do less leaping and yelling, show better manners, focus on the adults in charge of him and be more confident :-)
11th Dec, 2014 19:12 (UTC)
There has been some discussion recently on a lurcher forum I frequent with a couple of people who have experience with children who are autistic, who feel convinced they can recognise similar behaviours in one of their dogs. Difficult with a different species that can't talk, of course.

She certainly isn't the best at reading other dog's social signals. Luckily Brythen is great at that.

Leaping and yelling : always difficult! :-D
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )

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