Kiwi is a 4 year old female Cockapoo. He has come into rescue as her owners were struggling to cope with her lead reactivity and didn’t feel they were in a position to help her over come it. Kiwi is a sweet natured little lady who has had a bit of a turbulent time.
Kiwi was purchased from a pet shop as a puppy and attempted to be used as a guard dog by her first home. This is probably where a lot of her anxieties stem from as she missed out on a lot of early crucial socialization and was instead encouraged to react to things in the incorrect way. When her anxieties proved not suitable to that of a guard dog she was sold to a lovely couple who really tried to do right by her.
Unfortunately from having no early walking, training or puppy socialization Kiwi became very reactive whilst outside. Sadly Kiwis fear of the outside world manifested quite badly and her new family were incredibly scared to take her out anymore for fear of her behavior on the lead. Kiwis owners’ anxieties began fueling her anxieties and making the situation far more exacerbated than it needed to be. In the end both hit a brick wall because neither had the confidence to move forward and her owners heartbreakingly surrendered her into our care.
Kiwi is quite reactive to people and busy places and vocalizes quite loudly when faced with something unfamiliar to her. We have been working on Kiwis reactivity for a month now and it is nicely under control in most areas. She can walk calmly in busy public places now and is much more receptive to training in general. She is still unsure meeting new people and we are continuing our work on this but she is young and smart and responding well to being given a new way of thinking.
Kiwi has always been timid in nature and weary of strangers from an early age. Whilst her family have done their best to combat this she has not overly been pushed out of her comfort Zones due to fear of how she will react in new environments so has not come on a lot with meeting new people. The good news is that whilst Kiwis lead theatrics are at the top of their game she has not bitten and the behavior manifests in vocal outbursts rather than volatile aggression.
We do believe this is coming from a place of fear in an unstable environment where she was struggling to cope with adjusting to things rather than an ingrained behavior. This is basically fear reactivity coupled with his fear of strangers. She will need training with people and a positive association will need to be built with new people entering her space. We can advise on this further with a training plan we have set out for her.
Kiwi is a typical example of her cross breeding; a complete live wire, boisterous, mouthy and incredibly sweet lady when he knows you. She is quite nervous with strangers and does bark but this is really improving with gentle encouragement and positive reinforcement. Kiwi has so much character. She enjoys being fussed and loves companionship. If you sit down she jumps onto your lap and begs you to stroke her and she gives wonderful kisses.
Kiwi shares her suite with another dog and gets on well with them. She has not previously lived with one. She does have some issues around food and attention with other dogs and can low key guard stuff from them and generally be a bit jealous. It’s a shame because having a canine companion around would help her anxieties.
We would potentially consider an application with another dog providing the dog was tolerant and social and the adopter can display the skills needed to manage this behaviour. It is quite easy to correct. She mingles with lots of different characters without problems and she enjoys having a play.