Kerrin – 2 year old female Cross-Breed

Kerrin is a 2 year old female Cross-Breed. She is beautiful, possibly including Greyhound, Dalmation, and Staffordshire Bull Terrier, but hard to know for sure! She has been in foster with us for most of the last year since she arrived in the UK so we know her very well.

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Kerrin was living on the streets in Romania with her brother. Her brother was found severely ill with heat stroke and malnutrition, dying on the road, and was taken to rescue. She followed him there and waited stalwartly outside the rescue for him until they also took her in.

Kerrin is superb with people in general, fantastic with our kids (aged 2 and 5), and has no fear of strangers. We have had many visitors in and out of our house, and she has never shown anything but delight to have a new person walk into her home.

The postman is her best friend. She still jumps up to try and lick your face when excited, and this needs ongoing work. There was one person in a previous home she reportedly showed some aggression towards, but of the many dozens of people of all sizes, sex and age groups we have mixed her with here, we have not been able to replicate the problem. She is hugely affectionate, loves touch, and glows with attention from people; she would spend the day on your lap or under your desk if she could. She “speaks” to you with many woo-woo varieties, and is the first dog we have fostered that can replicate a Wookiee noise.

Kerrin is a robust and adaptable dog. She is not frightened of fireworks, loud noises, traffic, children or chaos in general (which is a good job in our house with three rescues and two young kids!). She is delighted to see the vet. She does not have separation anxiety at all. She can be left for several hours at a time. She travels well, sleeps well overnight, and is meticulously clean in the house (and does not shed!). She is not destructive round the house, though has been partial to the odd kids’ toy!

Kerrin loves other dogs, loves playing and wrestling with other dogs, and would ideally be homed with another energetic, sociable dog. She chases and rough and tumbles with our younger dog for hours every day, flying through the house like a tornado of eight dog limbs.

We have not found a dog she has not been able to gel with after a couple meetings, though there have been two occasions where the first meeting resulted in a brief scuffle – quickly over, and then the dogs were grand together, but noisy and alarming at the time depending on your experience with dogs! This is more likely to be an issue when she is stressed for other reasons, eg being taken out by a human she is not bonded with, out of a familiar environment, and generally out of her comfort zone.

For the first few weeks in a new home, therefore, I wouldn’t flood her with new dogs out and about, let her bond and find stability with you first, so that you are her much-needed secure base for exploring the world. With visiting dogs in and out of our house, she has always been relaxed and happy. At one point we had to take in an extra two dogs as an emergency, young female setters who were found straying in a terrible state on our road, and she was friendly and gentle and had no issues sharing her home.

Unsurprisingly, given she was starving on the streets, food can be a trigger for stand-offs with other dogs, usually when she is stressed or uncertain for other reasons at the same time. This was an issue with one of our other dogs for the first few weeks but they now have an understanding, and she respects both other dogs around food and mealtimes. She lets us take food out of her mouth and has never snatched or challenged any human here for food, though she will beg around the dinner table if given the chance.

On the plus side, we don’t need to clean up the floor after the kids have eaten more. She doesn’t counter-surf now, but I would still class her as a food thief and not tempt her! Her food drive means that she is extremely trainable. She will do literally anything if you have a biscuit in your hand, including coming away from a rabbit she wants to chase or a dog she wants to play with. She so wants to please her human and will also work for affection and attention. She enjoys toys when she is relaxed but isn’t too interested in chasing a ball. The downsides? Kerrin is a fairly big (25-30kg), lively and energetic dog who needs a lot of exercises and ongoing training, which the rescue will help with.

She is a true athlete of a dog, fast and agile, with a definite prey drive (although we have found this can be diverted with food). She is an excellent running companion, and regularly runs long distances with my husband in running groups – she is a good pacer and seems never to tire. For anyone interested in can-cross or fitness, she is your girl. But I would not be rehoming her with cats or chickens, or to a house without a reasonable outdoor space. The key downside, and the reason several potential homes have not followed through, is that when stressed (ie with a new handler) Kerrin is very strong and excitable on the lead, and reacts like a noisy kangaroo to seeing other dogs.

This is largely excitement and desperation to play, with high-pitched squealing whilst bouncing and leaping around you on her hind legs, but it can spill over into growling occasionally. Because she is a big, athletic dog, this can be alarming, depending on your dog’s experience. This settles with time, and with us, she now walks reasonably on the lead and just whines when she sees other dogs coming from afar or at the other side of the road; she can be easily distracted with a “touch” or “watch me” and a treat.

However, with the many dependents in our house, we do not have time to do one-to-one with her and take her to dog parks, etc to consolidate her lead reactivity, which is what she really needs – moreover, it is as much about the human as the dog, and she needs to learn these life skills with her long term owner. Off-lead, she is generally superb with dogs, but again, a secure base and lack of other stressors help to ensure successful meetings. What else?

Kerrin is spayed and microchipped. She has been checked by vets and has no health issues. I think she is a special, lovely, one-off dog with huge potential and so much to give to the right family, but the first few weeks to months will be tough for her; she has been moved around so much, and we are the only stability she has known in her life.

Potential owners need to be aware that lead reactivity is a marker of stress and uncertainty for her, and is likely to flare for the first few weeks in a new place. The rescue can help with this. It will take some time for her to feel secure again. The key requirement in an owner is that she will be given time, love, time, time, and patience.

Forget Me Not Reading Rescues
Forget Me Not Reading Rescues

For further details about adopting a dog from Forget Me Not Reading Rescues, please contact Serena by emailing hollyhocks1958@hotmail.com

All dogs rehomed via this rescue will be vaccinated, neutered/spayed and microchipped. Home checks apply and full post adoption support is offered.

Rescue specialists in the rehabilitation, training and rehoming of rescue dogs.

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