It’s been a while since I last did a pupdate for my doggos.
So, Rollo turned 2yo in January this year, and Brina turned 2yo in July (last month). In the last post (Puppy Tails (5)) I mentioned that Brina had come into her first heat/ season – despite being neutered, Rollo was a handful! We managed through and had had to separate them at times (to give her peace from him, and him a break from all the exciting pheromones) but we all managed!
Brina has been neutered now, as we do not plan to breed from her, we were waiting for her to get through a couple of heats/ seasons, before booking her in for a spay. She had her umbilical hernia fixed at the same time – this would have needed to be fixed before breeding, if we had decided to breed from her. As a result, she had a bodysuit on, along with the buster collar (a.k.a. Cone of Shame) so that she left the stitches alone.The largest size the vet had fit her okay, aside from being tight round the front legs; I noticed that the bodysuit was cutting into her front legs! I cut bigger leg holes at the front, cleaned up the wounds (daily) and raised the issue with our vet at the follow up appointment – the action I had already taken seemed to be correct as the vet was happy with the fit if the suit (with the bigger leg holes) and happy the leg wounds were healing nicely.
Having never used a bodysuit for an injured/ recovering dog before, this isn’t something that I would have thought to be an issue – being too tight in just one area. If I ever use one again, I will be sure to check the fit of the bodysuit when I put it on and after the dog has moved around a bit, and make adjustments accordingly, to prevent injury.
Having moved house a year ago, the dogs are well established now in their new home and environment. I think Rollo misses seeing the cows in the various fields every day (Brina doesn’t), as he used to like to interact with the cows. But they have some new friends locally – my student pup, Bailey the Golden Retriever, and another Lurcher (he is more greyhound like than Rollo) called Kodey. Having a big garden is great as they can run around and play to their hearts’ content (weather permitting), just the two of them or with their friends. We also now have the option of occasionally nipping down the road to my uncle’s farm so the dogs can have a run in one of the fields (if there is an empty one) – this is fab as I don’t think Rollo can quite reach full speed and stretch in our garden, but he can in a field!
As for the teenage behaviour of my dogs:
• Brina has developed a dislike for cats and barks at every last one she can find… she often wants to chase, too! So, we are very much working on this behaviour as it seems very unwarranted from her. Rollo had some experiences with nasty cats back in England, so you may expect a dislike of cats from him – he does sometimes bark at them, but Brina has had no experience with cats, aside from with the cats on the farm where she was born (likely forgotten). I have speculated that the behaviour from her is due to the lack of exposure to cats, prey drive or just a GSD thing – either way, it’s an undesirable behaviour from a 30+KG dog in an area with a lot of cats. She has much improved on this since she started the behaviour, but we have a way to go yet.
Brina is walking on a martingale collar now, instead of the Gentle Leader. We got both dogs the martingale collars for different reasons from Dog House Collars and Coats (they can also be found on the website Supporting Small Businesses page). This works for Brina in the same way a half check collar would work, but it’s all fabric with no chain. The collar, on its tightest, is how tight a normal collar should be. When she walks nicely, it’s a bit in the loose side, but when she pulls she can feel the tightening of the collar, without the size reduction causing any harm. She is learning with this, and walking a lot better. We stopped with the Gentle Leader as she had begun to pull against it and it was resulting in a bald patch on her muzzle.
• Rollo, since turning 2yo, has simmered down considerably. He still loves to play fight Brina, and he is still a cheeky boyo, but he is much better at listening again and obeying commands. We still get the odd teenage behaviour show through, where he chooses to ignore a command or act like he didn’t hear, or that we were talking to Brina, not him… but in the whole, I feel he is well on his way to becoming a well-behaved, good adult dog. But time will tell 😜
Rollo walks well on the martingale collar, but he walks well on a normal collar. The reason we got the martingale collar for him was more for his own safety – he has the typical Lurcher big head with slim neck, and the talent for slipping out of a regular collar! As with Brina, Rollo’s collar is fitted so it is the size a normal collar should be, when it’s on its tightest. He can walk normally, but if there is any pulling or indication he may want to remove himself from the collar, it is just pulled to its smallest size (normal collar fitting) and he can’t slip out of it. As Rollo isn’t really a puller, it isn’t often used for the same reason Brina’s is. But both dogs have benefitted greatly from these collars .
In summary, they’re both still cheeky teenagers, but we are getting there with their training. Patience and consistency is yielding positive results.