Over the Bank Holiday I saw Tilly who is a 2 year old female Whippet who is a rescued stray and in her 4th home, Ony who is a female rescue whippet who is almost 5 and Paddy who is a male Whippet.
I went to see them because since the arrival of Tilly tensions were running high within the pack. She’s a very independent madam and when she’s in the house she is quite bolshie with the other dogs, quite stressed in the fact that she doesn’t take to settling very often, jumping on tables, climbing units, scrapping when there’s food around, not all of the time but some of the time and just basically pushing the boundaries as you would expect a teenage dog that has had a lot of upset in their life to do.
As a pack on the whole walking out as become really, really stressful. Paddy is not keen on other dogs, and actually Tilly is the opposite of being out on a walk to being in the house, she becomes very anxious when she sees other dogs, hides between her owners legs and chatters her teeth. Paddy starts barking so the whole experience has become a complete nightmare.
We had a lovely session, setting some clear rules and boundaries for Tilly, as she liked to test which was quite funny. We took zero tolerance towards the aggro she demonstrated towards the other dogs. Actually having some mental stimulation and the owners taking the decision making role, instigating some lovely team building games, just seeing the girls suddenly start working together rather than being concerned about each other and on what’s going on, was lovely to see.
Something else that was a first for the owners to see was that they had never seen Tilly drink out of a bowl. So I made a suggestion of putting some water down in a plastic bowl rather than a metal bowl and they saw her drink for the first time. Some dogs are not keen on the reflective surface of the metal bowl so if you see a dog that’s not keen its always best to try different water containers until you find something they feel comfortable to drink out of.
It was also lovely to see tensions subside and then enjoy themselves. Paddy who normally didn’t like to be in the garden if Tilly was out there comfortably and happily started to join in the games, which was a bit of a revelation for his owners because he’s normally quite a lazy boy.