Big-dog-little-handler: Moving home.

How stressful is moving home? If it’s stressful for us humans imagine how stressful it is for our four legged babies! They have no idea what is going on.

I was extremely worried about moving. It concerned me even before we got the go ahead we would definitely be heading to a new home.

Duke was not a fan of the boxes! Once our belongings started to get packed up he started getting unsettled. He would sulk while I packed and wasn’t a big fan of the tape gun! Despite the chaos he managed to settle pretty quickly. He wasn’t happy with me moving his bed all the time that’s for sure. We survived the packing phase with a few extra walks and cuddles.

A week before we moved I took the stair gate down to our bedroom so he was quite happy to kip on our bedroom floor at night. I quite liked having him in the room and he was pretty good with not getting on the bed … most of the time.

Moving in day was a little more stressful for him. The night before we had dismantled the bed which Made him get quite concerned… but once he realised a mattress on the floor meant he could sleep ON the bed with us he quickly turned it to his advantage! Ever the opportunist.

People coming and going on the day did unsettle him a little bit and he found joy in barking at people every now and then. He eventually settled down in his new home good as gold! We used kongs, new toys and an old blanket to help him settle. Throughout the day he had his Dad to keep him calm. We also made sure we ended the day with a walk to get rid of any energy!

Duke’s newest toy

The following few days consisted of shorter-than-normal walks, disrupted routine and the lack of a sofa (which Duke sees as his downstairs bed!) As a result he quite often struggled to settle in the evenings… but he always found somewhere eventually. There was a-bit of unnecessary panting and he kept moving around the house trying to find a comfortable spot. We used toys and new treats to keep him busy and lots of ball games in the garden. I tried not to shut him out of the room when we where doing house bits and DIY, instead we let him investigate and decide if he wanted to hang around.

Duke was at times very anxious. But he was also pretty good. He managed to adapt realy quickly to the change. Once the sofas arrived he well and truly made himself at home. The garden is by far his new favourite place.

Duke has had mostly lead walks recently till we get use to the area; but we found a few places to run free. He is a bit of a wimp so the new walks have brought lots of new scary experiences. But he’s getting braver. At the moment in the dark he is scared of: bangs, cars, cats, motorbikes, people drinking out of cans and small children with scooters or sticks. There are some truly beautiful walks for us and still lots to explore. We are exploring on the lead first! Mostly so I can get my bearing. My hope is if I’m confident he will feed of that and be confident and well behaved. We have used lots of interesting treats when walking to help him through the scary bits. His best friend lives round the corner so he’s loving the opportunities for play time!

My biggest worry in a new home? Barking… but that seems to be getting better. Having a garden helps as we can keep boredom down to a minimum. We have had a little extra woofs but we are getting there.

Our nervous and sometimes worried boy has settled very well and has made himself at home. I think all three of us are going to be happy here!!

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