Meet Vespa

Its been two weeks since I bought Vespa home for Christmas and I thought I would give him some time to settle in before introducing him on my blog. That might sound silly, but we've encountered a few problems over the past fortnight that I wanted to tackle, collate information and then share my tips and advice here based on our experiences.


So meet Vespa, our latest family member. He's a 4 year old Yorkshire Terrier and he came home to us on the 7th December, just in time to settle in for Christmas. At first, Vespa wasn't too fond of Custard, our female Miniature Schnauzer. She has been incredibly welcoming with him and allowed him to familiarise himself with the house, she's shared her toys, blankets and of course humans. Custard is without a doubt the softest, most gentle dog I've ever known and Vespa has progressed so quickly and positively under her wing. Two weeks down the line, he follows her everywhere, is much more confident in the house and its very obvious he watches her for support and encouragement. 

Then there is the messing in the house problem. Male dogs tend to pee a lot more than females and we currently live in a flat. Its doable as we've worked really hard on helping Custard to understand not to drop her ass indoors, but house training when you live in a flat is quite difficult. Vespa has had a handful of accidents which is understandable and we've found it frustrating considering we're currently living out of boxes due to moving house soon. This has got better over time and he's already beginning to understand that he is to pee and poop outside. We take them both out A LOT throughout the day to encourage this and they get lots of praise when they do it in the garden.


Next…separation anxiety. You can probably imagine the disheartening, anxious feelings I experienced last week when I came home to a note taped to my front door explaining that Vespa had been barking none stop for 4 hours whilst I was out with a friend. It wasn't a nasty note in the slightest, just a concerned neighbour wanting to let us know our dog was suffering with being left alone. I'm not a professional dog trainer or behaviourist by any means, but working with dogs for the past 4 years has taught me a couple of things I thought some of you may find useful. I always leave a radio or playlist on for our two and Custard in particular likes watching films. I know it may seem like a lot of effort to go to for your pets, but its more effective than pandering to them when they're anxious as this can just reinforce the behaviour that we don't want to see happening. The music just acts as a comforting white noise, so they're not entirely alone in the silence. Luckily our lounge is the quietest area of the flat so keeping them in there for the day helps to stop them from getting worked up if our neighbours are going up and down the stairs outside the front door. It also helps not giving the dogs the full run of the house and keeping them in one area helps to make them feel safe. 

Vespa also gets a Kong toy which I stuff with some of his dry breakfast that I keep aside for soaking and freezing. Food goes much further when its soaked because it expands and freezing it makes it last longer and slightly more difficult to get out of the Kong, therefore is more time consuming when your pet is trying to tackle it. This keeps them occupied for longer and takes their minds off the fact their human isn't in the house. You can also get things like thunder jackets and diffusers with calming scents in to help relax your dog in times of anxiety which I've yet to try, as right now we're having to keep Vespa in a large crate so he doesn't pee all over our boxes when we're not here. The crate is plenty big enough and it also stops Custard from stealing his Kong toy throughout the day. However, this means its not safe to leave him in a thunder jacket or a calming collar as they're not suitable for crate use in case the animal gets caught somehow. 


Its been a real experience already and I'll be honest, there were moments over the past couple of weeks where I thought 'oh god, its not going to work' but we've continued to try new things and are open to more suggestions from people who may have dealt with similar situations. As for moving house, we hope to be going within the next month or so which will massively improve the house training results and the separation anxiety won't be a huge nuisance to our neighbours. Its a real shame when you live so closely to other people, especially when one of them sleeps during the day! But we'll get there and its wonderful having Vespa join our little family.

Thanks for reading!

Ellis x

4 comments

  1. Awwwww Vespa is just the cutest thing! 😍😍 Those photographs are absolutely adorable, he has totally melted my heart! Custard seems like the perfect lady as well, talking the little'un under her wing! It must be tricky while you're trying to move house and keep the dogs under control at the same time, but it sounds like you're doing an admirable job! Good on you!

    Abbey 😘 www.abbeylouisarose.co.uk

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  2. Thankyou Abbey - that means a lot! x

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  3. Awww congratulations on your adorable new addition!! Yorkshire Terriers are SO cute...and I love their size! The adjustment period is always such a mess but eventually Vespa will settle in and make himself right at home I'm sure. When I adopted my pitbull mix and she was ripping and urinating all over the carpet of my rented condo (which I had to spend $300 on to deep clean and repair), I'd get really overwhelmed and stressed sometimes. What helped me get through was just repeating, "It's just a phase, it's just a phase" in my head. I felt insane sometimes xD Haha! Keep up the good work, Vespa is fortunate to have you!

    xo E
    www.holaitserica.com

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