Why didn't we change her name?
A lot of people have asked us this.... Generally, I think it's a good idea to change an adopted dogs name. Most dogs' names are "poisoned" because they have been shouted at (or worse) using that name and so they probably wouldn't want to come when called etc. However, as Dolly can't even hear when you say her name, and her name is kinda funny, we decided to keep it. :)
The Good News:
Dolly and Ruby are getting along famously! They are great friends right now and I can only hope this trend continues. Dolly and Baxter had one more little tiff but they have gotten to know eachother more now and they have started to understand how the other operates. For other dogs, spaniels (especially young ones) can be intimidating. They come running up at full speed and mouth the other dog in the face. Dogs do greet face first (not just bums) and spaniels like to put things in their mouths so it makes sense that the first thing that goes in their mouth is the other dog's snout. However, I have not met 1 other dog who enjoys this (okay excluding my sister's crazy little miniature Daschund as they were puppies when they first met). This generally tends to lead to the other dog snapping or growling at the spaniel. Unfortunately for me, Baxter mostly takes this as something incredibly scary and goes into fight mode. Thank goodness my dogs have excellent bite inhibition and have never bitten another dog. Anyway, so this happened with Dolly too, of course. And she really needed to learn that this is how they greet and play. On the other hand, Baxter and Ruby needed to learn Dolly's modus operandi. Dolly stares them down (which Baxter hates) and then goes low down to the ground stalking them, then runs FULL SPEED straight at them barking loudly and then nipping them in the side!!! It was a bit disconcerting at first and my 2 spansies were visibly shaken by this. However, we all soon realised that this is just how she plays (she wants to herd them of course, lovely wooly things that they are). So, it has been 1 month and the 3 of them run around like mad things together. Growling (as part of the game and is not a bad thing), fake/air biting at eachother (no dogs were hurt in the making of this play group), chasing eachother, playing tug with eachother, digging together (they almost dug to the neighbours!!) and so on!
The Bad News:
Dolly's CCD is pretty bad. We've since found out that she chases planes flying over, chases flies even when they are not there, goes beserk at flying insects, goes barking mad every time a light goes on, compulsively drinks water (i think) (wow that's actually a thing!), and more. It's my goal to get her doing agility so that her mind can be filled with more activities. This will hopefully reduce her CCD which is a product of boredom and other circumstances. However, I need to work on her obedience first. She's a major jumper upper, and this is the first thing we are working on. She is doing a very nice sit right now, I want it to become a default behaviour. (I.e. I don't know what to do so I will sit. I want something so I will sit.) And we only give her attention when we get home if she sits, not when she jumps up. This works wonders on all our dogs. Next step is "stay", "down", etc :)
Oh yes, and she is a thief. Shoes, clothes, blankets, towels, and so on. She takes them and puts them in a pile. She obviously wants to be near our smell. Shame poor thing. Trying to teach her what toys are and that she should be playing with toys not shoes! This may still take a while. And one more thing, she is not potty trained and still goes in the house sometimes, so we are working on that by positively reinforcing every good potty she does. :)
I will keep you all updated with our progress!
Thanks for reading! xxx