As they take up a lot of my life, I thought I’d waffle about our dogs. Lately the girls have been improving their behaviour around other dogs, and I’ve been working hard on thier social skills. Well today that went a bit tits up! Blokey had taken Freya and Doris onto the fields after giving me breakfast in bed. As I stood in the kitchen loading some cups in to our dishwasher I see Doris mucking about with a neighbours Staffie and off lead on the front grass. This is not normal, so I stepped outside barefoot and called her.
At this point an older chap (not a neighbour) starts shouting at me “where’s my dog?” So I reply “no idea? What sort of dog are you looking for?” and wondering why he’s yelling at me? About 3 minutes later Blokey jogs towards me holding two leads and asking for help to catch Freya and Doris. They come to me in under a minute, then carry on playing with the neighbours sweet Staffie, but now on extendable leads. Blokey gives me the short version of what is going on. He checked the field for other dogs, it was all clear, so he let them off for a run. Being salukis they really can run which is why we check for dogs they don’t know first.
This is where the old chap comes on to the field. He had a flighty miniature poodle, so when Doris tried to play chase it’s run off terrified. Not much else Blokey could have done, he called our woofers back, and followed them when they chose not to hear him. So this chap didn’t check the situation first, then gets angry at us. Not great!
This is such a shame as the last couple of weeks I’ve been so proud of them both. They played nicely with a dog they’ve been afraid of for years, even the other dogs owner was stunned. A different neighbour (who we didn’t know until they got a puppy) has been kind enough to let us walk with him. The last walk was excellent, our neighbour walked Doris, I had Freya and the puppy was keeping my sons busy. Whilst both of our hounds made noises neither of them had hostile body language. After a few minutes with Doris he said “she’s got such a kind temperament, it’s a shame she growls and gets vocal before she plays” I nodded.
Both Doris and Freya were wonderful, until puppy knocked Jen (my 7 year old lad) off his feet and licked him whilst he was on his back waving limbs about and laughing like an upside tortoise. Jen was laughing so hard he was crying, and pup was on his tummy. Everytime he nearly got to his feet pup floored him again…. until Doris growled in a tone of voice that wasn’t playing (not showing teeth though, good girl) and puppy took the hint and released Jen. Once Doris had checked Jen over and sniffed his face all three dogs were buddies again. She was protecting Jen, but still being gentle about it.
It was beautiful to see Freya and Doris playing nicely with another dog, and it was amazing that another owner trusted me about my woofers. They give the wrong first impression, but they are adorable little souls really. Sadly they both struggle still because of the bad start they had.
I hope that with regular walkies with this puppy as she grows, they’ll realise that bigger dogs are no more scary than a puppy. They are only vocal because they are frightened, so I think playing with a livewire of a collie puppy is going to settle them down in public. I would love to be able to walk near other dogs, without Freya having a panic attack and Doris then copying. Dog shows for example – I know that they would love the attention if they could just be near strange or bigger dogs without barking like a possessed pooch.
Anyways, I feel that I should bring something to your attention fellow dog owners. This week microchipping of dogs in the UK becomes compulsory. There are charities that are willing to do this for free if you live nearby. I’d recommend Chip my dog from the Dog’s Trust. If you aren’t lucky enough to live near one of the locations listed then please phone a local vet. Compare prices if you like, as I have heard of microchipping for £10 but you’re more likely to get charged around £30. Always make sure it is a professional person doing the chipping, but it doesn’t have to be your usual vets that do it.
But if you are caught with an unchipped dog it could cost you a £500 fine. Plus it makes it much more likely that a lost dog would find its way back to you. Our woofs have PetLog chips, so I had a nosey at their website and they have a very helpful microchipping FAQ page.
Are your dogs chipped? You only have until the 6th of April before its law.