Lady was given up because owners had a 2-yr old toddler who “tormented her” according to the owners, to the point that Lady bit him on the face.The owners admited that they weren’t keeping dog/toddler separated and were not protecting Lady from the toddler’s constant attention.We suspect that he would squeeze her, pull her tail, perhaps come up suddenly behind her .... maybe he even fell on her by accident when he was learning to walk.
Consequently, she was VERY sensitive about being touched from mid-ribcage back to her tail.It’s as though she was guarding against being hurt again.Lady was very intelligent and we felt she would be easy to obedience train.She thrived on positive reinforcement ~ your voice, facial expressions & body language telling her when she’d done something right, that she was a good girl.
Lady was extremely playful…. enjoyed chasing/tugging plush, sock and rope toys. On the down side, she was even more "alpha" then our Princess Sashi [both had been spayed while young... both felt they were "top dog"]. She'd pick fights with Sashi and had to be watched closely. When she acted up, she'd be put in her pen for a time out .... and would grab her plushy toy, shaking it with a vengeance because she couldn't have her own way [can you say Terrible Twos Tantrum ??].
Because of her dominant, sometimes bratty behavior we wanted to be sure she went to someone with sheltie experience .... more importantly, someone who would immediately contact a qualified trainer to start Lady on the right track in her new home. We were very fortunate that the perfect sheltie mom contact us :) Her letter is shown below [submitted for the Sheltie Newsletter].
Meet our new Dog: Lady
After our other dog, Lassie, passed away in December, our 3-person family was devastated. Christmas wasn’t the same—no dog to put fake antlers and a collar with jingle bells on, no dog sniffing every package, and playing with the wrapping paper. No fourth stocking to stuff and hang on the mantelpiece.
About two weeks after Lassie passed away, I called the Sheltie Rescue people, to tell them about Lassie and to let them know that we would be interested in another dog. I gave the woman all our specific needs, and said that another Lassie would be perfect—a two or three year old bossy female Sheltie who was okay around kids. I figured that it would be a couple of months before they could find a good match for us. We were hoping to get another dog in the spring, and not have to walk the dog on cold winter nights.
Well, to my amazement, about a week later, I got a call about Lady, a 3-year-old female Sheltie. She sounded like a good fit for our family, so my husband and 10-year old son Jackson and I met her, and decided she was the one. So, barely one month after we lost Lassie, Lady came into our home and our lives.
While there are many similarities between Lassie and Lady, the differences are plentiful too. Lady actually prefers me over my husband, which is the exact opposite of Lassie. Lady seems a little timid around my husband and will stand next to me when he’s around, as if she needed protection from him! She prefers sleeping downstairs on our couch, instead of on the L.L. Bean dog bed Lassie loved, which is still at the foot of our bed. Lady is a yard dog, meaning that she is only outside to do her business and then she wants to go right back into the house. Lassie used to take forever to find the right spot, which allowed me plenty of time to carry our recyclables to the recycling hut. I now have to drive my cans and newspapers there. Hopefully, Lady won’t mind taking a longer walk with me once the spring arrives!
We had 5 sessions with a dog obedience trainer, who showed us how to teach and train Lady. Lady will do just about anything for a tiny piece of string cheese. We’re working on getting her to do High Fives with her paw, roll over and other tricks.She also needs leash training, because she never was on a leash.
Now that Lady has been with us for 5 weeks, she’s settling in, and seems happier. She went through a lot, being put up for adoption after 3 years with the same family, and then spending a month with her foster mom and two other Shelties. I hope she is starting to understand that we’re her new family, and that she’s here to stay. There’s nothing like a dog greeting you at the door, chastising you for being away, to let you know that you’re home!