So, Serenity is my Kelpie x ACD, she is a year and a half. For me, she is fun, lovely, loyal, smart and a joy to be around. When it comes to other people, Serenity has issues. She has had these issues since she was a pup, I'm talking 8/9 weeks here.
I've come to the point, I don't know if I'm the right home for her as I don't %100 believe I will always keep her from harming some one and I'm not able to give her exactly what she needs. I've been thinking about putting her to rest, finding a suitable home (such as a work farm since I wouldn't just give her to the average owner) or if I continue to work with her and believe I can do right by her, I'll keep her.
Can people give me advice, please. I do have some questions.
Serenity is very eager to please and work, she love's to work with me. So, I know she has hope in her.*
I'll give some history on Serenity, you don't need to read it but I thought some may be interested.
Between 8-10 weeks I took her to my work (I worked with children) so she could socialize. She'd never want to stay with the kids. If they had her, she'd always fight to come back to me.
As she grew a bit older, she'd start charging at certain people, barking, sometimes. Other time's she'd run forwards people (not barking) but then she'd run behind me.
At 3/4 months she growled at this boy she had met before. I was at the park with her when two kids came to it, she stared at them and then growled.
At 5months when some one went to pet her, she lunged for the lady's face.
While at a pet shop, a guy came around the corner and she stared him down, she stood in front of me went stiff, growling. I walked away with her but when I was in line, the same guy came near us, this time she layed down on my foot, stared at the guy and growled. She was fine with the other people in the pet shop though.
My big wake up call was when she was over a year, I was at my dog training school when something about a lady set her off, she became fearful, she started barking/lunging at everyone BUT they managed to be able to feed her, though she was still fearful.
Back in November I was hiking with her and I sat down because I was tired, I placed her leash beside me (not holding it). I heard some one walking by, before I could grab Serenity, she was nipping at the guys leg. I did manage to get her off of course.
Just last week my brother (he's interacted with her a few times) came into the back yard and she went after him to nip him.*
Since she hit a year, she hasn't been charging/barking at people, all the charging/barking was when she was a pup. Keep in mind, the above negative behaviors arn't happening all the time.
I've made her sound horrible but these are some things that have happened but she HAS had GOOD days. When I took her lure coursing, she'd ignore the people. While growing up, she'd let some people pet her and she seemed to enjoy it, including a few kids. She fell in love with my friends gf as soon as she went my friends gf; first time meeting her. Before the bite back in November, I was slack and I wasn't paying attention, while a lady was petting Sunny, she pet Serenity and Serenity did fine. I took Serenity to the pet shop about 4 weeks back, when I was paying for my stuff, Serenity jumped on her back feet, placing her paws on the desk. She then pushed her head towards the lady for a pet. If you have food, she love's to eat it from people.
So, she is very mixed at times and that's what worries me but also give's me hope. I don't know if she feeds off me being anxious/fearful at times. I know when I feel uncomfortable, she will become defensive, especially around males/or if some one surprises me/her. I sometimes wonder if this is more due to fear, her being anxious, being protective or feeding off me or a mix of all of that, depending on the situation. I just don't know.*
I have been to a behaviorist and have been doing what the behaviorist has told me. I am getting a few books to read. I know a few of you own or know about herding breeds so I'm hoping for anything that may give me hope to want to keep working with her. I have even got a communicator to speak with her and with what she said makes me believe Serenity is feeding a lot off my emotions, she feels she needs to protect me at times but she also may need more work then I can give her.*
1. Is it possible to get her to the point of being comfortable and fine around strangers?. Even maybe enjoy being around strangers?. I've been told it is and I believe the person that told me.
2. Would it be possible to do agility/lure coursing/herding with her?. She's done these before but after nipping some one, I'm afraid of having her off leash around people.
4. Would giving her some medication maybe help her anxiety?.
5. Does anyone know were I could get her evaluated so actually see if she's fearful or just anxious or whatever?.
6. If I were to try and find her a home on a ranch (granted she will actually work) where could I start looking for a home like that?.
If anyone has anything else to say, feel free to tell me. I'm lost because I really do adore her and want her to stay but at the same time, I don't know if it's for the best. It's hard to say since I even favor her over Sunny to a extant.