Wow it has been a bit since I had time to get on the blog...sorry.
I received an e-mail from a lady tonight and thought I would ask our blog friends to assist me with an answer. It is a bit long...but here it goes...
We have a 2.5 year old poodle-terrier spayed female (15# or so). We have had her since her original owners left the state when she was almost 1 year old. She settled into a pretty good fit with our family (myself-work outside the home part-time, my husband-who works 2 on/2off @ North Slope, 16 yo daughter, 12 yo & 7 yo sons..and a college aged son & his wife who visit on breaks between terms) and things were going relatively well until recently. More about that at the end of this email...first the good stuff:
Her personal ad would read like this:
enjoys kids (plays well with our younger boys)
used to get along with cats just fine
warms up to other dogs and does fine
rides in cars easily
tolerates the bath
puts up with brushing/combing, doesn't really seem to enjoy it, but she waits quietly and is still until done
"asks" to go out by ringing the bell attached to the back door
On command she will
walk on the lead
go into her kennel "night-night"
exit the kitchen "out"
lay down "bed"
get down "off"
The only thing is that while she knows these commands, she only will comply if she thinks she has to do so.
She likes to chew on raw hides & her toys. She leaves the kids' toys alone (except the Lincoln log piece that is the one-er and certain lego bits). She doesn't bother the cats' toys. She has never been interested in the Kong (even with peanut butter inside)...when I leave her with it, I find it in the same place when I return, untouched.
She is up-to-date with vaccines and vet care. She is clean & has no mats in her hair. She is a cream/light apricot color, has some terrier guard hairs, has mostly curly poodle-ish hair.
Now for the not-so good stuff: these are things that are safety issues for herself and for others:
maneuvers very quickly out of the backyard via a shut gate to chase bike riders & dog walkers
scares the people on the bikes
scares the people walking their dogs
worries me that someone will be hurt
chases our cats in the house (up onto and over any piece of furniture (dining table included), "trees" them on the drapes & chases them between people's legs) and barks at them during the chase and the treeing process - new behavior in the last month or so
her "play" with the 2 cats has changed in the past 2 weeks from pushing them with her nose to placing her mouth over their heads to holding their heads in her mouth so they cannot get away
She does these things that are just plain old pain-in-the-neck behaviors (these are not new, they have been part of her since the get-go):
bothers anyone who comes in the house (won't stay on her bed if she isn't watched-whines loudly & incessantly if she is placed in her kennel under that circumstance)
eats women's panties (mine)
new part of this behavior is that she digs these panties out of the covered hamper and that is kept in a closet (she pushes the door open and the opens the cover of the hamper...and then I find ruined panties on the floor)
She has developed a new behavior this week that is about driving out of my tree:
looking me square in the eye, and peeing in the middle of the wool oriental carpet in the living room (2x)
this is after she has been outside & I have seen her pee out there
She used to get on the couch whenever we weren't looking. She stopped doing that when I put some set mouse traps (brand new, never used for mice) on the couch. After she'd snapped a few (never caught her) I was able to place un-set mouse traps on the couch for several weeks off and on resulting in the desired behavior of no dogs on the couch. So she can learn to not do stuff that she really wants to do.
Currently, when I go to work, I will use the baby-gate and gate her in the back entry area (10' x 15') with her water bowl, toys, chewies & bed to lay on. The back door has a full length window so she can watch the birds & squirrels in the back yard. The cats hang out in the "public area" of the house during that time (bedroom & bathroom doors shut), and can jump the baby gate to join the dog if they so desire.
I kennel her at night so that she doesn't chase the cats throughout the house and wake the entire household. She is fine with that, no whining.
She does better in all regards when we take her to the lake cabin...she seems more settled and more occupied, but we live in town. I wonder if she is bored and just looking for fun...although she is being rather teenager-y about fun.
Maybe it is spring, maybe it's something else, but she has "forgotten" her manners and is driving me nuts! Suggestions for behavior redirection are welcome...but if you know of a home that is in search of a smallish medium sized dog who would love to be pampered and be the center of attention, at this point, we would be happy to accommodate.
Thanks in advance,
My first response is "a tired dog is a better dog" so maybe lots of exercise or doggie daycare would be a good option. Otherwise...any other suggestions would be GREATLY appreciated. Remember, I deal mostly with a "pack". Altho' individual doggy issues are familiar to me, I have less experience and want to provide the right assistance so this family and dog will have a happy home together. Thanks for your help!!!
PS Wonderful News...Cherri (the beautiful black Lab who is in our blog picture) found a great new home (with some friends of ours...Michael and Jerri Spring) and is adopted. She is happy and very loved. She waited for the most perfect home...and she got just that. Way to go Cherri. And the bonus...Cherri's new mom visits with me so I still get to see Cherri and her brother, Dozer (also a handsome boy the Spring's adopted from us). YaHoo!!! Ain't life wonderful when things come together oh so well?