Tilly: Day 54 foster update:
This is the gorgeous Tilly who is 25 weeks (5 ¾ months) old. She is a smashing little pup who we suspect had a slow start to life due to a lack of early socialisation or habituation to the outside world. Although she missed out on this most important socialization period (between 8 to 12 weeks of age) don’t let that put you off; she’s a very smart pup and is keen to catch up with her peers. She is therefore looking for a forever home with owners who will be prepared to handle all her meeting of people and animals, visiting different environments and enjoying new experiences slowly, so that Tilly can remain relaxed and unafraid during any encounter.
Tilly has been very busy during the last 8 weeks in her foster home. She currently lives with an older, confident, well-mannered dog (6 years) who has been showing her the world and trying to help her gain confidence. She also lives with a cat, but still being a pup she is keen to chase/play with it if the cat runs or jumps. This however will be overcome as she ages and starts to realise cats aren’t actually all that exciting. She has also received some helpful informal feedback from a qualified animal behaviourist (ABTC & APBC) who saw a video of Tilly meeting another dog: “although there’s conflict behaviour she also indicates she quite likes dogs, as long as they are presented to her in a way she can cope with. This is very commonly seen in dogs who are worried but interested at the same time. Better to teach her to only go forward when she is ready to. Proceeding too quickly will end up with her either being really bullish with dogs, which will get her into lots of trouble or panicking when close and making contact with a dog”. This is something new owners should be prepared to help Tilly with.
Tilly has attended puppy classes and she is learning the desired approach to other dogs and how to play nicely. She has good recall, which has even progressed to being quite successful when there is a distraction (such as a running cat or barking dog opposite). This will no doubt get even better with further training/practice. She has started to experience the big wide world and has shown great self-control around cows, sheep, hens, geese, horses, tractors, deer and pheasants (all whilst on lead). She is no longer scared of passing vehicles. Tilly walks really nicely on her lead (yes, there is the odd moment of pulling when she sees something of interest or has a mad puppy moment) and most of the time the lead is loose and she remains happily by your side. Tilly also travels well in the car, but prefers to be looking out the windows.
She is still timid when approaching people, and may sometimes give an anxious bark, but these days she is choosing to approach people she hasn’t met before rather than pulling away to escape the encounter. With each day that passes and each new positive encounter of meeting a stranger, Tilly is becoming more relaxed, confident and braver. Her new owners will need to be aware of this and help her to meet people at her own comfortable pace, but there is no reason for her not to become a well-rounded dog with a fantastic temperament around people in future. She just needs a little education now to help her along the way. Tilly does currently bark initially when people visit, but as soon as she has approached and sniffed them she is happy to settle or indicate to the visitor that they should give her treats or play. She does not jump up at visitors or strangers in greeting.
She has a great drop command, and will drop something she is playing with or intending to chew/eat when requested (especially if swapped for a tasty treat). She has shown no toy or food aggression, but will try to steal food/toys from other dogs if they will let her, otherwise she will sit until permission to take the food/toy is given. She is accomplished in basic training skills, with Sit, Lie Down, Stand, Wait all successfully understood. She is fully toilet trained (as long as you remember to let her out at regular intervals). Tilly is also crate trained and is happy to sleep quietly in her crate and can manage a good 7 hours without needing to toilet. If she does need to toilet she will whine to let you know. By the way she is only crated overnight due to the cat having free roam of the house.
Tilly happily entertains herself with chew toys or Kongs. She might chew things she shouldn’t (as she’s still a puppy) but she can be easily redirected to an appropriate toy if you are paying attention to her. She has been left alone indoors for 10 or so minutes without issue. No barking, chewing or accidents. Again this can be lengthened with appropriate training, but there is not yet any obvious sign of separation anxiety.
So what are her bad points I hear you asking? Well on the whole very few: She snores (loudly for her size which often means the telly volume should be increased), likes to dig a little in the garden, will counter-surf if the opportunity presents itself and is full of energy. She just needs some understanding and patience to help her catch up with learning the world is nothing to be scared of.
Good points then? She’s biddable, intelligent, cute, responsive, cuddly, willing (and ready) to learn. She’s young and has her whole life ahead to spend in her forever home and adore her owners/family. Ideally if she can go to a home with another confident dog, who will be happy to play with her and act as a role model, then she will have found everything she needs. At her current foster home Tilly does not get to go on sofas or the bed, but if you want a dog that will join you for snuggles she will be more than willing. That’s your decision depending on your house/dog rules. What’s that Tilly? Oh yeah, she says she’d also like a garden too ;)
Tilly is a lovely 6 month Boxer cross Akita girl who has come to NRBR. Tilly is still only a baby and is such a gorgeous girl. Tilly is great with other dogs she just wants to play she is also proving to be ok with cats.
Update from Tilly's foster mum:
Tilly does not food guard. Tilly is also great at “drop” or letting you retrieve toys from her mouth. She is a brill pup in this respect.
She is fine going outside in the dark for walks or early morning toileting. She enjoys playing with the ball and zooming about, she is also happy to entertain herself. She loves a bath and thinks the towel is something to play with.
Tilly attended puppy school yesterday, it took a good 10mins of coaxing to get her into the building let alone into the class. Once inside our only goal for her was to make her feel semi ok with being there. Her puppy friend from the day before was there, as was the behaviourist, and 3 trainers on hand (one of whom has been doing the visitor sessions at our home). Tilly was given lots space and lots of treats. By the end of the class Tilly was fairly comfortable with all the trainers and was following them around our area of the hall but was very timid of anyone else. She did manage to sniff a Cocker pup and Dachshund pup but didn’t want to approach any of the other pups. At the end of the class toys were put in the centre of the room and the puppies were put into groups (Tilly had her friend from yesterday’s play and the male Cocker pup) and they were encouraged to go off lead and play (her lead was kept on just in case). Well mixed emotions as she didn’t want to go but then followed one of the trainers with treats but then just sat nicely while the other two sniffed and checked out the toys. I know I should be happy as this was great progress for Tilly …however this was tinged with sadness when compared to well-adjusted pup’s behaviour around her! She did however proceed to have a good old sniff too but then wanted to get back to the safety of her spot in the hall and me.
Tilly: Day 58 update:
As always Tilly has had a very busy week starting with the photoshoot (please see our last post and help us decide which photo shows her off best). She’s met off lead dogs, met lots of strangers (real ones – not ones set up by us) and coped well, she’s been introduced to new environments (albeit at quiet times so as not to flood her). We took her to a retail park on Sunday just after they closed to start getting her used to a more urban environment with a few people staff closing up and going home but Costa was still open (so she did stand outside and gawp through the door) She’s also been to a park in town where she met an off lead dog and got to see children at playtime and people taking lunch breaks and was fascinated by a child feeding loads of pigeons and swans (have we mentioned she wants to play with birds?). She’s been to dinner at friend’s house who have only met her briefly once before (over a month and a half ago) and have a JRT where she behaved impeccably. So proud this, not so little, pup can take the rules of the home and apply them to other locations…Tilly happily greeted the hosts, she settled nicely within their home, didn’t once beg at the table, or when we lapped desert, she didn’t try to get on their furniture even though the JRT is allowed, she had no qualms going into their garden at night for the toilet and didn’t wreck it or their home. Only small downside this week was Tilly not being quite so comfortable at puppy school we assume she was either having an off day, or the larger amount of owners and children combined with the two week break was bit overwhelming for her. We’ve also been working on her “leave it” and recall with distractions and she’s doing great with both! She has definitely turned a corner whoever adopts her will be a very lucky owner, surprised they’re not queuing up already.