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Sunday, September 14, 2008

Not as old as he looks!

I'm starting to feel, more and more, that Alfie is not aged between 10-12. He has so much energy. He's already had three walks today, and he'll be demanding another one in a couple of hours. If he doesn't get all the exercise he demands, he starts chewing and scratching chunks out of himself, so I can't exactly tell him to shut up, and ignore him. I guess it's what happens when a dog has been cooped up for years without exercise or stimulation.

Despite being a small dog, he has lots of spaniel instinct and energy, and loves nothing more than sniffing everything and everywhere. I have to watch him, though. Spaniels have very keen noses, and Alfie has got a bit of a thing for sweet foods and junk food. I've had to fish goodness knows how many sweeties, chunks of chocolate, half-eaten sausage rolls and even sweet wrappers, out of his mouth.

I just hope I can persuade him to give up the self-mutilation. It's purely a behavioral thing, mainly related to stress and excitement. When he sees me getting ready to walk him, he starts scratching and biting himself like something crazed, and doesn't stop until I dangle the leash in front of him. He seems a very happy little dog, though, so maybe once he's fully settled here, he'll stop doing it. I hope so. Otherwise I'll make him wear a vest and booties so he can't hurt himself!


LadyBanana said...

You've given him a new lease of life - he might wear you out though! LOL

Dragonstar said...

Oh yes! I'd love to see him all dressed up! I think that wee dog has fallen in love with you/walk/both!

Tiffany Aller said...

Hey, Siani! Just a thought on his biting himself - I had a cat who used to tear into himself. There are sprays available that you can douse him in that are bad tasting but not toxic or harmful and that helped convince my cat that he tasted BAD and biting was BAD. You can make your own, too. Mix a bit of strong vinegar with water and spray the bugger.

For scratching, that's a pretty common nervous habit that he may or may not grow out of. Just ensure that you keep his nails trimmed as short as possible to he can do the least amount of damage to himself.