BHRR's Dyson came road tripping with myself and one of our amazing approved BHRR Volunteers, Margaret on June 1st, to do a home-visit in the TO, Ontario area. The home was really taken and smitten with BHRR's Jetta(they had met her at our November BHRR "EXPERIENCE' Mini Open House) and, we said we could bring another dog to this home visit and, they chose BHRR's Dyson.
He did great on the car ride, no surprise there! 😉 BHRR's Jetta was the car seat hog!
It was clear to see from the moment we arrived, that BHRR's Jetta was the right match hands down and BHRR's Dyson, was not as comfortable and was a bit stressed. This is why home-visits are so important. This ended up being a great experience for BHRR's Dyson for he was able to visit a new home, travel, try more at city life and, have even more hands love on him. We went for a walk to the boardwalk on the beach(gosh, that experience for me was second to none, as it was for Margaret too!) and, he demonstrated yet again, that there can be a dog or two that makes him not comfortable and, with positive correction(he will do a small bark and pull a bit), he carries forward on the walk without any issues. It is fear that makes him that way and, it is more male dogs than female dogs, size does not matter and, when he meets the dogs, no problem. However, if the dog starts barking and lunging at him first, he will bark back and stiffen in fear. In all the time that we have had him, I have only witnessed that once and, that is in an earlier blog. We do not allow him to meet a dog that, he will bark or do a small pull at. That can enable 'negative attention seeking behaviour' and, the meeting will be on our terms, not his. By taking this approach, this does not create a 'monster'.
This is why it is SOOOOOOOOOOOOO important to get this otherwise, goofy boy in the hands / homes of a dog experienced home ONLY. Dane experience as posted previously is not the most important thing. He lives in complete harmony in my home and, has seen many a dog come in and out during his own time with us and is crate trained, housebroken, proven to be great with dogs of all sizes – even the 30 pound puppy here right now – the guinea pigs, horses etc. – yet, there can still be a dog or two upon our journeys' out and about that can make him uneasy and, a home needs to know how to positively, quickly and effectively handle this and, then passively ignore and move forward. We do not 'feed' into any anxiety and, we do not reward the behaviour. He is given a calming word/signal and, positive correction and we carry on. Since his time with us, I can count five dogs that he has barked at and, he has been to a LOT of places with us.
It is essential that anyone considered to adopt him be well aware of this, and, that we want him continuing to be the best dog he can be. He is not a dog that you just let loose in a dog park(most dogs and their owners do not belong at dog parks as is!).
As for cats, we were originally told her was great with cats and, he has not given me any reason to suspect he would not be good with cats, yet, integration is key for the success of all involved. He has not officially been cat tested at BHRR. He has been fine with the ones he has seen at work at the Hospital and, at Pet Valu when we were there. The cats that we saw on our walk in Toronto did not phase him. There was one flighty small dog that, I think he thought was a black squirrel that caught his attention and, he was reminded of his manners, and, we kept walking on the leash.
I do not want to see him in a busy city environment. A quiet neighbourhood in the city is fine yet, at this home visit in what is called 'the beaches' in Toronto, was way too much for him. He was alert and a bit strained. Yet, by the time we left many many delightful hours later, he was much more relaxed(not yawning or lip licking so much) and, asking for love. Before then, if he was not pacing, he was trying to stress sleep and, did not want me out of his sight. He was happy to explore the home, did great on the stairs and, had no issues with the three other dogs in the home.
Country or rural home is great too yet, I want to be assured that he would have continued exposure to new things – he did fine with air brakes in Toronto and alarms and sirens and crowds. Was not his 'thing' yet, he was not panicked or terrified. He is initially a bit reserved and aloof with people he does not know and, we just ask people to allow him to come to them. Once, he 'stakes out the land', he can be sitting in your lap if you blink too slow. 😀
He still resources over his kibble and he remains eating in a crate and, the resourcing is not to humans(we are always careful to make sure he knows we are there and, going to take his bowl) yet, to other dogs. This is not uncommon behaviour on a dog that was emaciated at one time. He is allowed to eat in peace and, he shares the water bowl without any issues.
With all the dogs here, he is not the dominant one by any means and, is quite an easy keeper, yet, we are a very experienced dog home, a multi dog experienced home also.
He can still pull on his leash in distraction types of settings yet, better and better!
He is a magnificent dog and in that right matched forever loving home is going to thrive yet, he is not a status symbol, a 'cool' colour of dog to have and nor is he perfect. He is 100% perfect in all of his imperfections though! 🙂
Below are two photo's from June 1st in Toronto, Ontario. I am still in awe that we were only 11 minutes away from the CN tower yet, the beach was right there off the lake, parks(three of them) and so much more. Felt so tropical!