This is a very sad day for me. After much discussion with my DH and tears everyday since the initial discussion we have decided it will be in our baby girls best interest to have her re-homed. We are starting a family and unfortunately, while Tia loves children, they must be much older due to her behavioural issues. We really hoped that after investing so much time and money on her that this day would not come. She has been such a great dog and has come leaps and bounds since we first got her. We are devistated that we let her down.
A bit of background.
DH and i suspect that prior to Tia being surrendered to the RSPCA, that her previous owner was neglectful. When we got her, she had severe mites which ravaged her thin bony frame. She is positively terrified of males, sudden movements and virtually anything else. She is generally ok with females, however, it is very hit and miss. In saying she is terrified of males, unusually, she connected brialliantly with my husband.
As you already know from previous posts, she was not socialised as a puppy. This has resulted in Dog Aggressive behavrious. Mainly toward older dogs for some reason. She is happy to play with much younger dogs, so long as it is clear she is the alpha.
What I want for her:
It is most vital that Tia is rehomed with an advanced dog owner. DH and I are only beginners and as a result, were not as equipped to deal with her behavioural issues. Unfortunately, the RSPCA were not to know either. It has been a very costly experience, not in terms of just money, but the fact that we are very attached to her as she has become with us. Tia would be best suited to a home with no other pets and where the attention is soley placed on her. She loves being doted over and sooked on. She loves licking and she tries to snog your face!! She is not suited to owners with cats. She may be ok with a puppy or a dog similar in age to her, but it must be very passive. She is absolutely, most wonderfully fabulas around older children, so long as they do not become too hyperactive. Unfortunately, their hyperactivity causes Tia to become equally hyperactive and then she starts to nip quite hard. But with a firm growl saying "NO" while pointing your finger at her and she stops. She seems to understand "NO". Tia is best suited to more structured games like Fetch (although she hasnt got the jist of "Drop"), she loves playing catch and my favourite - football!
We have taught her to crawl, jump, beg, bow, roll over, stay, come, sit, down, shake and Watch. She is not so brilliant with come and call backs. She can also be halarious when she gets over excited and muddles things up, eventually doing all tricks, just for a bit of chicken!!! We have tried and tried various techniques for callbacks but to no avail, like clickers, chicken, positive reinforcement. She can only come when undistracted and in the confines of training. For this reason, she must always be left on a leash, and preferably on a Halti due to her sheer size and muscle as she can become very uncontrolable otherwise.
She must be walked every day. We walk her 40 mins each day, except when it rains or if we are sick. I have lost 15kgs doing this alone which is great! If she does not walk regularly her appitite goes down and she loses weight. Up until recently we fed her Adult Science diet, but we discovered recently she is sick of this, which resulted in copious amounts of weight loss before we discovered the problem. She is now on Kangaroo meat and another premium Purina brand of dog food to regain the weight. It is important she stays on this food for her coat to remain as beautiful and shiny as it currently is. She is a very attractive dog and gets a lot of positive attention in public because of her adorable floppy ears. Despite her anxieties, she actually copes very well with people placing their hands above and around her head. The most number of people doting over her in one go was 8 children at a birthday party. Tia loved the attention and responded very positively to them petting her from every direction and they loved her!!
Tia would be best suited to a very large yard which is completely fenced in. She is a terrific Guard dog. Does not bark when we get home, but very good at barking with strangers. Tia is a great indoor dog and outdoor dog, but not toilet trained. She would be intelligent enough to learn. Usually we let her play outside most of the day and at night we bring her in to eat with us and watch TV. She is so beautiful as she is content sitting in between me and my husband on the lounge. She usually leans on me like a child sitting in my arms. On cold days i also let her in for most part of the day. She is content following me around the house like my little shadow and just being. If she wants to be alone, she goes downstairs by herself and sits on the lounge. She is very dainty even though she is a large dog and generally doesnt knock things down. She loves watching the tv and napping. Her favourite shows are 101 dalmations, harrys practice (with dogs), send in the Dogs, cricket and tennis. She makes us laugh as when she sees a dog, she will get up and go to the TV and try to talk to them! We are not so sure about her fascination with cricket and tennis though. We use to let her sleep in the lounge overnight until we built the Hilton. Sometimes she was good and waited before going to the toilet. Unfortuantely, other times, we were just too late. She is great travelling in the car. Ideally a ute with a canopy or some other appropriate dog carrying vehicle, but she must always be tied down. She has discovered a bit of a love for water and garden hoses. She likes to help DH garden any way she can. She is great at giving him a head start in digging holes and with the watering.
I really hope that by posting this on a dog lovers website that I will attract a wonderful home for my girl. She deserves that. She has given my husband and I a small amount of grey hairs, but a lot of unconditional love and a whole lot of loyalty. We know and suspect she knows something is up as well. Our hope is to make this as painless for her and us. She deserves never return behind a cage, but more specifically, never to return to rotten home. Tia is a wonderful dog. Something i know the next owner will come to see. I also would not ever want "How Could You" to be my girls story. It brings me to tears to think about this as ever being a possibility.
If you are interested in rehoming my girl, please just send a post. We live in Sydney area.