View Full Version : Our New Little Bella!!
Well after all your wonderful help on my Getting a puppy Thread I thought I really should introduce you to the newest memeber of our Family!
Bella is 6 1/2 months old. We have no idea what mix of breeds she is - any suggestions welcome! She is absolutely lovely. Friendly and fun, calm,and gentle. She walks fairly well on her lead (tugs a bit - we are working on that LOL) Loves to run around on the hill behind our house, and has great recall (we only do this when no-one else around, she goes back on her lead when other dogs/people are about ) She is great with the children - although obviously the younger ones are always very carefully supervised with her.My 18 month old is still a bit excitable with her - tends to rush up to her a bit which she doesnt like much so we are working on him too LOL. When we gt her she was still having accidents at night, but she has been dry the past 2 nights - clever girl!
The only problems seem to be the neighbours dogs LOL One barks a lot and growls at her and scares her - although they are getting more used to each other now, and the other seems infatuated with her - as she does with him, and he is digging away under our fence trying to break into our garden LOL (this is the grogeous labradoodle pup I told you about!) They love to sniff each other and rub noses through the fence, but today she has been getting really mad and excitable when he starts poking hs nose under then fence....not sure what to do about this....
We are still waiting to hear about the neautering vouchers ....fingers crossed, we'll be coughing up for it if not...But the advice is to wait till after her first season. Is this really necessary? If so whatexactly will her first Season involve and how long will it last.Will she go really bonkers LOL Will she bleed much.....apparently she is due round about November and the thought of it is making me nervous LOL (not to mentiuon the thought of next years male puppy breaking into our garden before she's neautered:o)
So all in all everything is going great...I'm sure I have hundreds more questions I wanted to ask you all so will be back soon no doubt LOL
Congratulations! She is beautiful!
Is it possible to invite the labradoodle puppy over to play? If so it might help her from getting too wound up at him coming under the fence :)
Seasons - they're not really as bad as you think. It depends on the dog really, she may become a complete floosie, she may be like mine and be a 'on your bike' kinda gal. (No dog could get near my dog's back end when she was entire!)
She may not even bleed - some dogs don't, in which case watch out around the right time for her season to start for any behavioural changes in her and other dogs because she can still mate even if she's not bleeding.
Seasons tend to last for 3-4 weeks and in that time you have to be very careful with where she goes and keeping her away from male dogs as well as trying to ensure you don't lead male dogs away.
If next doors dogs are entire, they will go mad and yours may do, she may not.
It's good to be considerate of others as male dogs will follow the scent of a bitch for miles and they will do anything to escape when there is a bitch on heat nearby.
You can get sprays to try and mask the smell of her a little but I've not tried these myself and I don't think they work for the entire season - I think it's to help when they're coming off heat. You can also get sanitary knickers to stop them bleeding all over (if she keeps them on!)
You'll have loads of fun :lol:
I found though, when mine had seasons that she was quieter than usual. Even though she couldn't go for proper walks, she was a little PMT-ish and on a bit of a downer! It was almost disappointing when she finished and turned mental again! :lol:
I'd say there's some Staffy in there somewhere not sure what mixed with though cos those ears are rather on the large side =)!!! hehehe!!
She's lovely!!! Enjoy!!
Oh thanks for the replies.
Yes I thought maybe a bit of staffy - she is nothing like the Cavalier King Charles we were originally looking for anyway! But gorgeous all the same LOL
Lotti - thanks for the info re seasons, I feel more informed now LOL Although the thought of sanitary knickers :o:hihi: LOL Will have to watch her carefully then. Will also discuss with the neighbours to find out about their litle labradoodle!
Would taking her for walks in a quiet spot with no ther dogs be OK? We have a hill behind our house, and a woods nearby and if I time it right I may be able to avoid other dogs...... Hmmm yes sounds like it will be a fun few weeks LOL
And yes I am rapidly coming to the conclusion that puppy training is infinitely easier than toddler training LOL:hihi:
Well there's a split census on it tbh... some people say you shouldn't walk them at all... but I'm sure those people must have their own private land!
I did walk Takara in quiet areas at quiet times but you still risk male dogs picking up her scent and tracing it back. Particularly if it's an area where they are usually offlead.
I'm not sure which week they are smelliest - I will find out for you because I'd say for that week, you're better off trying to keep her in if you can.
That said, if a dog was going to find her, he probably would smell her at home anyway whether she'd been out or not!
I have a picture somewhere of Takara in knickers :lol: Bless her heart - we told her she was sexy and she didn't mind wearing them :lol:
Well having posted how great she was ettling in, she does seem to have been in a funny mood today :confused: She didnt want to sit by me on the sofa earlier (which she normally does when I have my afternoon cuppa LOL) and she has growled at my DD and DS:o and has wanted to spend a lot of time on her bed and has even been whimpering a couple of times......She has been great out on her walks, and has had fun playing in the garden...but she is definitley in a different mood from the rest of the week....Do you think she is still just settling in? Bit puzzled as she seemd to be adjusting so well....
Will just give her some space, and see how she goes....
Oh and Lotti, LOL at T in her "sexy knickers!!"
Lou, how long have you had her now? They tend to have a bit of a 'honeymoon period' and then their behaviour begins to change.
At her age, she could come into season any time from now so that is another thing to consider. Have you had her vet checked yet?
If you haven't already, it's worth getting a vet check - just because little problems can affect their behaviour in a big way and of course it could be hormonal. It's most likely to be her settling in but do take note of her behaviour, when the unwanted behavour happens and what happens just before it, what could've caused it etc. Because growling ought to be taken heed of.
hi just wanted to offer my side my from experience, i got my staffy x on crimbo eve from the pound, for the first couple f days she was a fantastic bouncy dog no aggression what so ever, but then it came otu, and i mean came out lol,cats dogs,people,my son,anything but never acutaly bit ,spayong changed her completely and she is now a dofferent dog, altho she does still growl at my son when he touches her paws or tail, infact she growls and runs away now before he even touches her,obviously i stop him but hes only 16 months so dosent realy know, although id rather her growl and run than bite, a growl is the only way they have of communcating so id ratehr her do that bless herx
They tend to have a bit of a 'honeymoon period' and then their behaviour begins to change.
Some excellent advice from Lotti :)
I think for the first few days they are settling and generally you let them get away with things! A lot of dogs then try it on a little so it is a good point to start introducing rules and ensuring you are quite clear on the behaviour you want (lots of fuss for good things and I find totally ignoring or a stern no for unwanted behaviour) They can somtimes get a little bossy if they are not clear on what they are meant to be doing. A very steady routine also works well for settling in too. It's just little things like making them sit before you put lead on/ letting them eat/ take treats, making them go to bed when you want them out of the way, things that really don't seem important at the moment but make a nice polite adult dog that does it automatically if they want things.
She is cute, I think it looks she has some some of staffy cross in her because she is already quite muscular and looks pretty short haired and her face is quite broad, her ears are quite large so there might be some floppy eared type dog mixed in there too, though she will still be growing so it is hard to tell her size :)
Thanks for that Evei
My only personal experience of rescue dogs was Eddy who was just Eddy right from the start! So I can only say what I've learned from other people and sometimes personal experience counts for far more!
Oh thanks , great advice as always.
I do think that initially it was a bit of a honeymoon period, we were all really happy to have a new doggy and probably let her away with too much LOL. It does seem she may be sort of testing boundries now LOL (but hey I have survived 6 toddlers so nothing I'm not used too!!:hihi:)We have been quite firm and consitent with her since though. I have started making her sit before I put her food down, and put her lead on etc... I have told her off for jumping up on us when she gets excited - at firstI thought it was cute, but have decided to stop her doing it cause it is too overpowering for my smaller children. She is learning fast. When you remind her she now sits and wags her tail and waits for a cuddle instead of jumping up !
When she has growled I have told her "no" and moved her away, so hopefully she will soon learn what is and isnt OK. I think I am feeling more confident with her as well which will help, although I am a bit concerned about he rbehaviour changes LOL
I am reading Ceasers Ways (the dog whisperer book!) and working on becoming Pack Leader (although I think it is still working better with Bella than my toddler LOL) (although watching the programme is stressing me out watching all these seemingly lovely doggies turn into crazed monsters cause they werent handled properly:o:hihi: LOL)
Do you think it is really nessecary to wait for her to have her first season before getting her spayed? The more I learn about it the more I think I would like to get her done sooner rather later LOL....although now nervous we may be too late LOL:suspect:
We are off to the woods later with her for a good romp around, she loves her walks and is great when out and about, and is still a softy most of the time LOL:P
will no doubt be back for more tips later!
A lot of people neuter before the first season. I prefer to wait til after because of the emotional/behaviour changes that take place in their first 18 months - two years. Stopping the hormones at a younger age can leave them in a younger mental state of mind and it's also worth considering that whilst spaying helps many with problem dogs it isn't a miracle cure and can make problems worse.
When you neuter a female dog you unbalance the normal hormones by removing the female hormones. Leaving only testosterone - testosterone is the sex hormone that stimulates aggression. That said, there is no doubt that it has helped some - it's a bit of a gamble really.
I would be concerned about what is causing her to growl before telling her off for doing so. Dogs can't communicate in the same way as us and their growl is their vocal communication, dogs that are punished for growling but not given the necessary help to cope with the stimulus that is worrying them will still be uncomfortable but know that growling doesn't make the problem go away.
Dogs have a natural progression, they will show calming signals that are very subtle signals that your children won't pick up on and you may miss. If the calming signals don't work, then they growl. Growling doesn't work so they snap. If air snapping doesn't work they're more likely to make contact in future.
I would seriously consider trying to discover what is upsetting her enough to growl and working on it with her. Growling is a fantastic communication for you to know she's unhappy and take heed from it. There is no reason, imo why a dog should not be allowed to communicate unease with its family. Teaching her to tolerate the thing that is making her uneasy will stop the growling. However - in the future, it can be helpful for her to communicate. For example - should she be hurt/uncomfortable and you try to touch her you would surely rather she growl than snapped? I've been through it with a dog who was a serious resource guarder and used to growl. She got told off (not by me!) and resorted to snapping. I worked on her resource guarding and the growling stopped. I know these days if she growls there is something seriously wrong and I need to find out what it is.
There are also some fantastic books out there by dog trainers/behaviourists who don't torture the dogs in their care. I can recommend The Culture Clash by Jean Donaldson, The Power of Positive Dog Training by Pat Miller and The Other End of The Leash by Pattricia McConnell to name a few. (I have loads more if you want a reading list!)
Good luck :D
I had Pippa spayed before 1st season as my vets advised it and had no problems at all. Having her done before her 1st season practically erases the chance of mammary cancer as they never become active.
Ok have been doing more thinking about the growling - I think a lot of it may be her way of asking to be left alone! I think she was tired when my DD got growled at , and when she growled at my youngest son it was when I was helping him to stroke her , which he was doing really gently, but she was on her bed , and on reflection think she was probably tired and just wante dto be left alone. I have instigated a new rule that she should be left alone and not stroked when she takes herself off to her bed, and should be alowed to go out to the garden on her own without always being followed by an enthisiastic child LOL Our house is definitely a lot busier than what she is used to so I cant blame her for wanting to get some piece and quiet!
She is still tugging badly on her lead when out on walks though.....she is great off lead, but not so great on it. She is the worst by roads , and seems to hate traffic. I am currently just keeping her on a short lead to try and keep her steady and not let her tug too much, and just staying calm and rasuring her near traffic....I'm sure with practice she will get more used to it. I get the impression she has spent more time running round the park offlead than walking on her lead.
On the whole though she has been great today. We had a loooong walk/romp around the woods though the woods this morning which she loved, then she dozed in the shade in the garden whilst I was out there playing with the DC.....
And yes I see what you mean about spaying her too early... its not that I think she needs it behaviour wise really - justthe thought of the season itself stresses me out LOL Cant imagine her not going for a walk for 3/4 weeks ....think she'll go mad LOL
But if it will help her to develop more fully then obviously waiting is the right thing to do.
Thanks all for the tips!
Louise, it all sounds like you're doing very well! The new rule about leaving her be is a very good idea and will help her settle in and trust your children better.
When she goes on her bed, do take the opportunity to walk past it, but don't bother her and just drop a treat in her bed and tell her she's a good girl. Ask the older children to do this too so she isn't being pressured to interact with them but she is always learning that people near her bed isn't necessarily a bad thing.
As for the traffic. It's a tough one when you have six kids! I would usually say to take any opportunity to sit a little distance from traffic and just sit and watch it go by quietly. Try not to fuss her too much in reassurance because this, whilst done with the best of intentions can actually cause them to believe there's a reason to be stressed. So just do as you are, keeping calm and watching it go by but try not to talk to her or reassure her. Just act as though you haven't noticed it at all. If it helps get a lead long enough that you can hold the handle and stand on it and it still allows her to stand naturally. That way you can just put her in the 'parked' position (standing on her lead) and ignore any reaction from her.
As far as the spaying and seasons go. Most vets will always say to neuter at 6 months before the season comes on. However, I am 'just' a dog trainer, not a behaviourist. Feel free to get some other opinions from professionals in the field and see what their thoughts are. All dogs are different and some don't mature anyway :lol:
I personally would wait with my own because I wouldn't want to risk stunting growth/maturity but as Rach says there can be health benefits to neutering before a season.
Interestingly I had my own dog spayed due to nervousness. She was a very good example of her breed and I had waited to see if I wanted to breed from her (her breeder was keen if she was upto it) but I decided I didn't want to breed and she was too nervous (she'd make a fab mum but would freak out with the mating and could possibly end up with nervous pups). I had her spayed partly due to phantom pregnancies and partly due to nervousness.
It did absolutely nothing for her nervousness and it was only afterwards I learned from behaviourists that it can cause behavioural problems to become worse and can actually make bitches more nervous than they ever were. (Typical that my dog was one of them!)
So I'm only saying what I have been told by behaviourists and my own experience. I have not read the studies or carried out any of my own proper research. By all means feel free to ask others!
Sounds like she's settling in well though and she is going to be mightily loved! Will look forward to hearing more about how she's getting on!
Thanks Lotti. Yeah she has ahd a great day today. And the idea of dropping treats in her bed is a great idea too. I will ponder the whole spying thing a bit more....
I am going to look out a couple of the books you recomended too. Have read the og whisperer book now, and some of it makes a lot sense, but some of it sounds a bit extreme.... not sure about the strictly controlled affection, or the need for an hours walk every morning before attention can be shown etc... Think I need som eother perspectives too...I'm sure there lots of very happy balanced dogs out there that get lots of cuddles and affection....I do agree about limits though, and her needining to know who is in charge....
Also am thinking about doggy classes with her...have looked at you website Lotti and they look great - do you think something like that would benefit us?
Ok have just done a bit more browsing and thinking and have decided that I really dont like a LOT of that Dog whisperer stuff. It all seems so harsh, and I cant imagine it would ever do anything to fostr a strong loving trustful bond between dog and owner....definitely going to trust my own instincts more and read some other books...and as soon as I get some spare cash will sign up for some classes!
Right off to give little Bella some hugs!!
Louise, I've had people come to classes for various reasons - some want to learn something very specific, others have got puppies and want an overall thing and have had a few who have just literally come to experience the class environment and haven't really been upto doing any of the exercises.
The classes are tailored as much as possible to meet the needs of the individual teams so there's no reason why they shouldn't suit you and Bella :)
Enjoy your reading! Best place to find the books I mentioned is Amazon because they can be quite pricey otherwise (not to mention practically impossible to get hold of)!
Oh thanks Lotti. I will have a look on amazon. I think I would really like the classes - I'd like really to just gain general confidence in how to interact with her in a way that leaves me in control, but also reasures her that I love her and lets her trust me. I would also just really enjoy meeting other little doggies and ther owners LOL (and I would also love to just have the chance to get out the house without the kids!) I will have to wait for your next round of them though sadly as I dont have any spare cash till next weekend ...LOL and of course their is the small problem of her HATING going in the car......:hihi: will keep my eye open for your next course :)
For some reason I've had much less interest in the course this time and currently only have two people booked on!
So it may not be starting next Friday :lol: I will let you know if it gets postponed again!
oh thats a shame lotti that youdont have more people booked, but I woudl definitely be up for it if it started the week after as I could pay for it by then LOL, so please let me know.