Mila aka ‘Roo’ is a female 21 months old.
Type of dog (terrier/collie type etc): Sight/scent hound – greyhound shape
Colourings/Markings: Brindle with white chest and white feet.
Size in inches (length from neck to tail): 32 inches
Size in inches (height from floor to shoulder): 28 inches
Reaction to men: Very cautious; most likely will bark at them initially – from fear, not aggression though.
Reaction to women: Better, but still cautious of new people generally.
Reaction to older children: Unknown – not a preference for her.
Reaction to young children (under 5s): Unknown – wouldn’t try; again not a preference.
Reaction to visitors in general: Very cautious. Will bark until realises there is no threat.
Reaction to other dogs:
Friendly, but again cautious until she feels comfortable. Will most likely bark at them. She will pull on the lead and bark, even lunge, when meeting a new dog/s. Reactive behaviour. Non-aggressive however.
I’ve never known her to be aggressive to any other dog, except my one small dog where she sensed weakness and she was elevating herself in the hierarchy position in the pack.
Reaction to cats:
Instinctively chases them but actually loves them. One of her best buddies is a Siamese x boy cat – they playfight. The cat wins!!
Reaction to any other animals or birds: Generally cautious and curious until proven safe. Totally non threatening however.
Reaction to loud noises: Triggers reaction, usually barking. Can become overwhelmed and get caught up in her panic, so she can’t ‘hear’ you until she calms down.
Reaction to collar/harness: No problem. Associates it with walks.
Any other notable reactions: As a sight/scent hound, all noises and scents arouse interest. Highly reactive to these. Can spot someone walking two fields away and pick up the scent all kinds of wildlife at distance.
Walks well on lead: Yes, but normally we walk across fields, so it’s not a normal ‘town walk’ on a lead; she’d be on a long line lead. She’s not using to walking in streets or urban areas: too reactive an environment for her. We’re currently doing more dog training not simply obedience, as she’s very responsive, but to get her to focus more on me and be less distracted by her innate nature.
Do they bark excessively: If triggered and fearful, it can take a while for her to calm down, but she’s getting better.
Any food aggression: No. The only issue has become her recent pack hierarchy challenge in my existing dog pack with a dog who has become ‘weak’(lost use of back legs) and who is naturally very fearful of everything, triggering her dominant behaviour. It’s more about pack positioning than food.
I’ve always fed Roo apart from the others however and even when she’s finished her food, she stands and waits for them to finish, so she can clean out their bowls. Always supervised however by me.
Any special dietary requirements: She has a raw food diet, with supplements and she thrives on that. Happy to share specific details.
Any health issues: In the last week and since I decided to try to rehome, her knuckles on her paws have become red – she’s chewing them. Checking for allergies, as nothing obvious in her environment/food has changed. It’s being treated however.
I think she’s sensing a change…..!!!
Any behavioural issues:
She’s very strong, so if she spots a hare, or a deer, when we’re out and she’s on a lead, if I’m not careful she can pull me over – or close to, (as happened this morning, as she was following a squirrel in a tree!) as she’s so strong and prey oriented, so reacts instantly which can be an issue if you’re not ready for the sudden ‘pull’.
Any specific needs:
She loves company: human AND dog and thrives in a pack environment. She wouldn’t be good as an only dog. I feel she needs another similar sized, aged, but maybe more docile nature (Labrador, retriever, etc who is well balanced and trained) as her ‘mentor’ and role model AND as a play buddy. She’s desperate for a regular play buddy, she has SO much energy and just wants to run and play. Therefore she also needs an enormous area to run in safely (high, secure fencing essential, as she’s a Houdini on stilts (long legs) so she can really stretch out her legs and run safely. She would also benefit from a rural location due to noises triggering and unsettling her, she’s so sensitive. She’s not used to an urban environment at all and all the associated noise.
Additional comments or observations:
She needs a very experienced and very patient, gentle, calm (and strong) owner/s, someone used to training reactive and/or sight/scent hound natured dogs. And who has the time and is committed/prepared to put in more training with her on solid recall. Someone working mostly from home ideally.
Maybe also prepared to develop her scent capabilities with Mantrailing or similar activity, so she can develop her strengths vs have them subdued through training.
I think an experienced dog owning person/couple without children would suit her best. She would also benefit from a calm environment generally, no raised voices, shouting, etc that might accompany children inc. teenagers.
She also definitely needs a play buddy; a ‘sibling’ of equal size, who also wants to play and one who is ideally more placid in nature, to complement her more highly strung temperament (she is definitely reactive, although less so than originally). Ie; Another dog who is well grounded in obedience training as a role model and modifier of her natural reactive (sight/scent hound) tendencies.
She’s not good on her own and hasn’t ever been left on her own, she always has had me and/or dog buddies with her and she’s never been left, even with them, for more than 3-4 hours.
If I go out, I still keep my absence within her walking/feeding routine, so she’s secure in her daily structured routine.
She also needs a very, very, very large, secure garden/field in which to run and play.
She’s very good at finding weaknesses in fences or even jumping over them (a recent learned ability), so secure fencing is an essential. A fox sighting means she will do everything possible to get out and chase it; her prey tendencies are strong.
A rural environment that is quieter would also suit her basic nature more as she is used to a very quiet rural environment (we live in the middle of fields) and any external noise will set her off barking and she can get ‘lost’ in her reactivity occasionally and it’s difficult to ‘reach’ her to calm her down if something scares her significantly.
She loves cats, but cats don’t always love her and her desire to chase them (she does have a bad habit of catching the cats tails as they come in/out of the catflap, which she finds hilarious); a cat with character will however enjoy her company, as does one of mine who gives as good as he gets. Very funny to watch.
NB: Roo does like to stick her head through the catflap to watch the world that way too; given her size that is quite a feat!
She is hugely food oriented and, due to her size will climb on sofas, tables, kitchen countertops to get at food. Nothing is safe unless in a cupboard/fridge with a closed door. She will try to eat anything and is good at catching mice out on walks. She can also scavenge corpses of various kinds whilst out and about too if not stopped.
With our training, she is learning to increasingly bring her focus back to me and is very intelligent and picks up things really quickly; tricks, commands; she’s very good and very quick to learn.
One thing she won’t do easily, however, is release her ‘tug’. She wants you to wrestle with her and the tug and getting her to drop it is not an easy task. Her ‘tug’ is her favourite toy.
We have a daily routine that she has settled into well, so she knows when to relax between ‘activities’ too. So if I need to work or do other things, she will relax and sleep. I do know when the postman arrives however – very noisy indeed, but she settles when she knows it’s him.
She is THE most affectionate and loving dog and very cute too. A beautiful soul and a delight to have as a companion. She will come and seek you out for love and affection.
She is also very sensitive to being ‘told off’, so she needs someone who is patient and calm and doesn’t raise their voice to her when she does something wrong. She gets scared/intimidated easily.
She loves to sit/lie on the sofa and put her head in your lap, on your shoulder, or gradually push you off the sofa, so she can stretch out fully. She also loves lying next to you on the bed, if you let her. She likes being as physically close to you as possible. She’s a true snuggle dog; I’ve never experienced anything quite like it before! She is really cuddly; amazing for a big dog!
In winter she feels the cold with her short fur, so she has various indoor fleece jackets to keep her warm.
She also has heavier ones for outside when it’s cold too (for snow, wet, or just cold weather).
Travel: Roo is so large I’ve never had the space for a crate that would fit her, so she’s not crate trained, however her preference in travelling in a car, is in the footwell behind the front passenger seat. She’s clearly too large and we don’t do a lot of travel – or haven’t been able to – but only once has she dared to get onto the back seats (laid down) which make a large lying down space. She prefers the safety of a smaller space.
Currently living in Leicestershire.