Monday, 8 August 2011

So, how's Suki?

Suki Loves Destroyed Footballs!
We've had Suki for over 9 months now and the time has flown by, I feel like she has always been in our lives and has just fitted in perfectly.  

Attempting to completely demolish the ball..
Things don't always run smoothly though and over the last few months we have had some issues with Suki, she suddenly started making a mess on the floor every time we went out of the house together.  We don't go out very often without Suki, when we do it is never for a lengthy period of time.  Suki didn't really do this before so when she started to behave this way, we were quite concerned.  At first we decided that we would go out more often in an effort to show her that no matter what she did, we would continue our occasional night out but this only exacerbated things (we were also shattered after consecutive nights out!)  Eventually I did the thing I probably should have done first, checked my Dog Bible!

You didn't want to use this ball for anything did you?
The author of my Dog Bible is Victoria Stilwell who is a fantastic dog trainer and I have followed her career since she burst onto our screens with It's Me or the Dog which is still my favourite TV show.
Shake it!  Shake it!
The advice Victoria gave was that when we left the house we should not make a big deal of it and not bother with saying goodbye to Suki (usually we both make a fuss of her and tell her we'll be back soon) and to follow suit when returning home, ignoring her when she jumps up to greet us etc.  We both found this quite hard and the look of shock on her face when we first left without saying goodbye was hard to see but it has worked wonders!  

The book also helped us to realise that Suki has a touch of "separation anxiety" and I could kick myself for not recognising this before as I would have taken steps to encourage her to be more independent sooner.  In order to help her with this we have been trying especially hard with letting off the lead more which she is doing very well with.  She gets a bit carried away sometimes but she is so happy and free and it is helping with her independence.

The only down side to Suki running freely through the wild flowers is that she has unfortunately contracted conjunctivitis so the next challenge is administering eye drops!
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