Hi all, I thought I should probably sign up rather than just lurking in the background. I have one dog, soon to be two and I'm in Armidale, NSW. I have a lot of background in training, though up till now have not owned a dog. I'd been debating on getting a dog for a year or so, though the dog I dreamed of was something very big and boofy. I volunteer/spend half my life with our local RSPCA, though my focus is the small animals, guinea pigs, rabbits, rats, parrots etc and bringing their profile up, I've always spent a lot of time with the dog carers and I use a variety of training techniques on our fosters. A few months ago we had a very large group of old dogs come in and not enough carers, so as a favour I agreed to take one dog on, and the rest as they say is history :P. Or well not. I'm a sucker for special needs cases (our home is very much a geriatric asylum for animals) and so naturally I picked the oldest and saddest one of the lot. An almost fifteen year old, undesexed, untrained (as in never worn a collar, never been on a lead, no clue what house training is...) terrified shaking fearful mini dachshund x jack russell girl who had been bred heavily in her previous life.
Delia's come through amazingly, and has now learned all necessary commands, is house trained and best of all has turned into a confident social dog who adores meeting people. She even loves going to the vet, which is good because we are there frequently while we continue sorting out her health, we're almost done though, one last visit to have a rotten tooth removed, her teeth cleaned and a few lumps removed and she's got the all clear. We've chosen not to spay her due to her age and the fact she never goes outside unsupervised. She still has a few issues, she dislikes being picked up, but she tolerates it and just disassociates. She could be better at sit, but she has stay and recall perfect. She also gets a touch of separation anxiety sometimes, so we are working on that too.
I fell in love with a new surrender today, a chihuahua x foxy mix who Delia seemed to also quite like, so she's coming to me on foster next week to see if she wants to be a permanent addition to my motley menagerie Apparently I'm destined for small dogs, despite my initial determination that I would never own one... ah well :P. I'm a bit iffy on this new girl as everything I read about chihuahua's horrifies me slightly with the stereotype of neurotic, demanding, spoilt, untrained little yappy dogs, but 'Mini' really didn't come off like that. She was a bit clingy, which is fairly normal for dogs just coming in, but basically sweet and quiet. So we'll see how she goes.