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Betty is growing up! And a local dog walking warning!

It never ceases to amaze me watching a puppy grow, this week Betty had a day of going off her food, not just her food but treats as well! I know Annie (her breeder) won’t believe me:) she has been such a greedy puppy! The only tummy upset Betty has had is from over eating, which she has always been willing to do! She seems to have a cast iron stomach, never suffering from upsets from the rubbish all puppies eat. It has only lasted one day, Betty is back to normal now! But the day seem to mark a change in her, I wonder if her hormones have started to kick in, as she also seems since to show signs of more grown up behaviour. Last night she sat on my lap for more than an hour having cuddles, the longest she has done that since she would fall asleep on my lap as a baby! I think her first season cannot be too far away now, I am keeping her entire so that I can have some babies one day!

I would add that Betty would have eaten my food on that day, just not dog food, she wasn’t ill! Plus Betty at 7 months has done most of her growing now, which her dip in appetite confirms. In response I have reduced her meals slightly to fit her new appetite. I have seen clients who at this point in their puppies development, believing the puppy has gone off the food being fed, change the diet. Not a good plan as this can lead to the puppy starting to pick and choose what they eat, controlling their owner in this way is a signal that will have a negative affect on the relationship! A puppies appetite reflects how much they need, if fed a well-balanced food, low in salt and additives.

The same day she was off her food was also a bit traumatic for her:) Betty came out to help at the Thursday morning puppy class. We were discussing what to do if your puppy is approached by a scary dog, and I had Betty out to demonstrate how I would protect her, by getting her behind me and stamping my foot and shouting “no” and shooing the dog away. Betty had not seen me do this before and thought I was a bit scary! As we progressed with the class I moved a pole on the ground, as I lobbed it Betty ran under it so that the pole bounced off her head! I hastened to add it was light weight and did not injure her, but she did jump! A few minutes later I managed to tread on her! Poor Betty, what a bad morning! Betty was almost afraid to move for a while, and laid down every time I looked at her! Watching the class doing more fun things soon cheered her up though, I am pleased to say!

The reason we had been talking about unfriendly dogs is that a friend of mine had a very nasty experience with her dog. There is a Staffie that lives in Dunmow that has hospitalised 4 dogs that we know of (in Felstead), and last week her dear boy ended up with 2 wounds one of which is a foot long, and he was on lead! The attack would have killed a smaller dog. The owner jogs in Felstead on a Tuesday and Friday morning, and seems to have the dog off lead and not muzzled to date, despite the dogs history! He goes out early between 6.30 and 7.30am, I would imagine he goes out in Dunmow other mornings possibly. It is a brown Staffie called, Holly and wears a flashing collar . If you see them watch out! He must be reported until he, the owner, gets the message! Dogs that do this should not be allowed to live on and continue to terrorise us! It is not the dogs fault that she has got like this, but it is too late to change now! If you have any more information on this dog, please let me know?

I was conflicted about telling you about this Staffie, my heart goes out to the really responsible Staffie owners out there, especially my clients, who I know would be mortified if their dog even growled at another dog!

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