Miss Daisy (ADOPTED!) s a young, curious, sweet, super smart, playful, 48 lb., Australian Kelpie (mix?). Although we were told that she is over 2-years old, she behaves and moves as if she is still very much a puppy. Daisy is an Eliza Doolittle for sure, who needs someone with excellent positive-only training skills, and another confident dog to learn from.
Our girl shows the promise of a super friendly, happy dog, which we see when she feels safe and trusts people. However, she currently approaches everything and everyone new with great caution. She spent her first two days hiding under a bed. Socializing Daisy is a work in progress. It took less than 2-weeks for Daisy to begin trusting her foster family and become very eager to play with the two male cattle dogs in her foster home.
It took her a month to come out of her shell. Now that she feels safe and trusts her fosters, she is a happy-go-lucky girl when at home, who follows her foster mom everywhere and looks to her for direction. Her person of choice, however, is her foster dad. She likes to climb into the recliner with him to cuddle. When meeting people, Daisy is much more afraid of strange women than men, and will allow a man to get closer to her much sooner.
When our fosters met her, she was afraid of everything, especially the leash and reaching for her collar. Wearing a harness helped diminish some of her fear of leash walking. She is now better with collars and leashes, and associates them with going for a walk, and is excited to go for a walk. She does still startle easily.
Her new home should have some securely fenced property for her to freely explore for personal enrichment before she learns how to be out in society. We have had dogs like Daisy before, who have never been outside the confines of their yard, or without the company of another dog, and they are terrified. Daisy is not yet a dog to go on regular leash walks around the neighborhood. We have had scared, unsocialized dogs in the past, who in their panic with a stranger and unfamiliar surroundings have escaped from adopters within the first day. Daisy fits this exact profile as these other fearful dogs, who are then almost impossible to recapture because of their great fear and avoidance of people.
Not being used to living inside a house, and very much like a puppy, she would get into everything. She is now learning proper house manners and routines. We quickly learned that she had zero socialization and training prior to coming to us. She didn’t even know the “sit” command, and was not housebroken. Her fosters are working on everything with her. Teaching her commands began as a slow process, because she was afraid of being punished, but she is now enjoying all the treats and praise during her training sessions.
In the evening, when hanging out with the family, Daisy will now settle quietly with everyone, and often place her head on someone’s lap to ask for petting and human attention. However, during the day when people are working, she must be kept busy. Similar to a bright and inquisitive puppy, she will not remain idle, and will find things to chew on if not given something to do. A treat puzzle toy filled with peanut butter will have her working on it for a long time. We don’t believe that Daisy had known toys before. She likes to chew on sticks and other ‘chewable’ items. She does like balls, but is very cautious when they are being thrown.
Since we feel sure that she was not exposed to much outside of the yard in her past home, Daisy doesn’t seem to know about other animals. She is curious about chickens, cats and horses, but not obsessed.
Daisy loves the other dogs at her foster home, and she is learning from them how to play and be a dog. She definitely needs another dog, who is a confident, patient, leader dog, to show her the ropes. Daisy is a quick learner. She follows the other dogs and copies what they do, If she sees the other dog approach their/her people for petting or a towel rub down after the rain, she will also approach to be petted or want a rub down. If Daisy has no other dogs to show her how to be in a given situation, she will hide someplace, because she doesn’t know what to do.
When another dog wants to play ball, Daisy makes up her own game and runs with them. She can run like the wind and moves very fast, but her activity is in spurts and she is currently a moderate energy dog. As she rebuilds her strength with improved nutrition, she may become more energetic (or not).
Daisy adores playing with her older foster dog brothers, but she can be too much for them and her excitement to play often overwhelms them, especially the more submissive gentle male. She should not be paired with a submissive dog. As she tries to find her place in her foster home, she sometimes tries to prevent the submissive male from entering the living room, using growls and nips at him. Her fosters are teaching her not to do this. Any dog at her new home must have a confidence that earns her respect, as well as tolerate or handle her young puppy-like play.
Her fosters very recently realized that Daisy has diminished hearing, which is one reason she startles easily. When they began using hand signals, super smart Daisy learned to sit on command in 5-minutes. This is likely why she never learned verbal commands. She has now learned to sit, lie down, and to walk on leash. Based on her responses to loud sounds, Daisy is not completely deaf. She will usually come when her fosters call for her as “Miss Daisy,” but not when they just as “Daisy.” We believe she can hear higher pitched sounds. She can hear a whistle, but cannot figure out which direction it came from. Also, when the other dogs begin barking in excitement, she hears it. In the beginning she would run and hide when they barked, and now she joins in. Daisy also responds to feeling vibrations. To stop her from an activity, her fosters stomp their feet to get her attention. She will look at them, and they will give her a hand signal to stop. Slamming a door startles her. She will whip her head around and duck down. She doesn’t immediately run, but is prepared to. She will recover and relax when she sees a trusted person at the door. Daisy is also fearful of and will also run away from passing trucks, usually towards her people.
Daisy is a good eater and loves treats. She is very food motivated. Not knowing house rules, if food is not put out of reach, she will take it off a counter or table. She does not have any guarding behavior. If you approach her food bowl, she will run, as if she is about to be punished for eating. With time, trust in her new people, and routine, this behavior should disappear. Because Daisy had been starved in the past, she still scrounges and forages for food. She will try to find things outside to eat, including berries and acorns (pull out any mushrooms!).
As mentioned, Daisy is a work in progress and still needs a lot more socialization. She recently had an outing to a farm supply store. While Daisy was fine in the car, when they entered the store she was terrified and began shaking. They gave her a treat and got her back into the car and went home again, much to her relief. The other day, there were visitors at Daisy’s foster home for the first time since her arrival. She panicked and hid in the bedroom the entire time the ’strangers’ were there. They tried to walk her on the property with the visitors, and she hyperventilated nervously the entire time.
She will need a calm household with extremely patient people, who have experience and knowledge of how to build trust and confidence, and work with a timid dog who expects to be hit by people she doesn’t know. She is in constant fear that a human moving towards her or moving a hand would hit her. She would NOT do well in a home with young children, or a busy household where there are frequent sudden moves and raised voices. Daisy is NOT a dog for a first time dog owner. And currently, she needs people who can be with her most of the day to teach her how to live in a home with people who love and care for her. When she has been left alone (with the other dogs) for a few hours, she has chewed on furniture and other household items. For now, Daisy should be in a kennel or crate if left alone for several hours without human supervision.