Bertie 'bolt'

Bertie arrived with us on 11th October 2020.
He was so quiet in the car but immediately took to my son. Plenty licks and cuddles during the 40 minute journey. Upon arrival I put my other dog Bella outside and let Bertie wander the house for a few minutes, which did consist of him ‘marking’ his territory. 

As nervous as we were on the two dogs meeting we finally took Bertie out to the garden. It was instant - the bond they had. Bella was jumping on Bertie, Bertie was running and jumping over Bella. It was amazing. By the next day they were both cuddled up together and have remained that way ever since. 

Bertie has been on a roller coaster and his behaviour has changed up and down. We quickly learned that it was best to feed the dogs separately to begin with. Bertie is very dominant of his food and did try steal Bella’s. However Bella holds her own and after a few weeks he dares to go near her dinner. 

The ‘marking’ territory did go on for about 3 weeks but I soon realised that Bertie likes a routine. Now that we have it established, if I’m even 10 minutes over I get licked and licked and licked until he gets his walk or dinner. 

He is so so loving but within 6 weeks his behaviour suddenly changed when out walking. He started barking and trying to nip men, it then progressed to other dogs. This was a real struggle as he is so strong and fast (why we now Nick name Bertie Bolt). He also started licking himself so extensively that he ended up with a huge bald spot on his leg that became infected. Working with the vet we realised that Bertie was anxious. He so wants to be loved, cuddled but gets over excited and scatty when in a situation he is unsure about. In particular playing with toys. I don’t know his back ground but I can only assume he was beaten and mistreated. 

I haven taken Bertie back to basic clicker training. I have been meetings friends and family outside to allow him to socialise and mix. He also gets 2 tablets of herbal nutricalm to help his nerves. We are now 3 months down the line and it’s a complete 360 turnaround again. When he greets people he is so friendly, a very soppy licker and calm. He has mastered basic training and is able to give a paw, sit, lie down and a high five. 

We still need to work in his recall but hiring a secure field allows him to train and then run free. 

He now loves his toys especially a ball. 

The main concern I always had was his relationship with Bella but I shouldn’t have been. They are best friends and so loving to each other I could not have asked for a better match!