Betty’s first 10 days; finding a routine

Betty’s first 10 days were very busy.  Her previous owner did say that if we had any problems she would take her back but Betty’s taken everything in her stride.

With some bank holidays and working from home, I’ve been around full time for Betty’s first 10 days with us.  We’ve taken her to the pub, she’s been to the yard and met Abbey the horses as well as cattle, met my parents (and their cat), visited my Gran in her nursing home, met the neighbours dog, met the yard dogs and we’ve started training (who says you can’t teach an old new tricks?!)

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On the whole she’s settling in very well.  It’s a big change from her previous home where there were lots of other dogs.  Here she’s the only dog in the household.

Her previous owner warned me of Betty’s passion for food….she wasn’t wrong, it’s definitely her weakness! It’s all food…dog food, human food, horse food….

Our first three meals had Betty bouncing on her back legs at the table, barking! I know she wouldn’t have done at her previous home (she was kept behind a baby gate with the other dogs) and she didn’t keep it up her for long here.  By meal four, the jumping had stopped and by meal 6 the barking was a whimper.  Now she sits patiently waiting.  All we’ve done is ignore her and when she’s put her paws on the table she’s been told ‘no!’ and gently pushed off.

While she has been crate trained, sleeping alone is new for Betty. She’s taking a while to settle – whimpering and barking for an hour or so.  She’s waking after 4 or 5 hours and we’ve had one night when she wouldn’t settle back down.

Opinions on dog training forums is mixed…with puppies there seems to be consensus that you start with the crate in the bedroom and gradually move it further away until the crate is where you want it.  Others think that you leave them and only go to them when they are quiet or restart crate training from scratch.

Betty is happy and settled in her crate during the day, in the car at the yard and at other times.

At night I’ve been trying a mix depending upon the type of noise she’s making.  When it sounds like a scared whimper I am reassuring her from the bedroom with a ‘it’s alright, settle down on’ but when she’s barking like she sometimes does when I am talking and she wants my attention I am saying in a stern voice in a low register ‘enough now, settle down.’

A friend suggested taken her out for a short walk late in the evening to tire her out a little too.

Generally my resolve has been pretty good but I did need some encouragement one morning when Betty woke at 3.30am fresh as a daisy.

The only other “issue” (obviously completely for normal for any dog) is her love for horse poo. Specifically, eating it and rolling in it….which inevitably lead to her first bath.  She’s not keen on baths.

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