Sophie does it once again! She has found me, Jika, a foster home by the end of the week-end as she had hoped. This will limit the further confusion of moving back “home” for a few days, moving into a foster home, to then move again into a permanent home.
As well, it will be less emotional for everyone and will be less time consuming to continue working on my issues with one foster home.
My week-end away was very positive as my evaluation and assessment showed, once again, that I am a great girl and have allot of potential for working through my leash aggression.
This new foster home knows Shelties, has learned through Sophie how to be alpha and show me who’s in charge so I should keep getting better during my stay with them.
I’m looking for a permanent home who will know how to keep me structured and level headed so that I continue to grow and learn how to become a model citizen while out on walks.
Despite this minor setback when encountering other dogs on leash, I really do enjoy the company of other dogs in an off leash environment. I do play in a bit of a dominant way, could be perceived as a bit of a bully if they ignore me but will back off if other dogs get annoyed by me.
Because I’m a new arrival, if I was to find a permanent home shortly, it would be better to be in a family with no children. Hopefully, as my training goes along it will help determine if I in fact like kids.
What I can tell you is that during my week-end, I got to meet 9 different cats and was great with all. I tried annoying the family Pitbull, he told me off and I totally respected him. He was the pack leader and made sure I knew where my place was. What a gentle man he was, he was very polite in explaining the rules and with a smile like his how could you not respect him.
2 thoughts on “Jika”
This is Jika’s foster home reporting on her progress. We’ve had her for a week now and she’s an AMAZING dog. Let me break it down for you:
She improves little by little each day. The first day she was very agitated, she barked and tugged at the leash and didn’t want to calm down. But by the fifth day, if there is a dog walking across the street from her, chances are she’ll ignore it. I often bribe her with treats. If I see a dog coming towards us, I act very happy and give Jika a treat. Most importantly, I remain calm and do not tense up in any way. I’m trying to enforce that another dog is a good thing and so far, it’s working. I also make her focus on me and look into my eyes and maintain that eye contact. I’m trying to make her understand that I’m what’s important and not the other dog. This reinforces that I am alpha and she should give full attention to me and look to me for direction. However, when she does get aggressive, we’ve found she responds best to voice commands as opposed to repeatedly tugging on her leash. All that needs to be done is to hold her collar, tell her to sit and then block her vision by standing in front of her. She calms down within 30 seconds and we continue on our walk. Despite being agitated, she has never once reached back to snap at my hand when I hold her collar. I’ve been walking her every day for an 45 minutes to an hour in the morning. On leash, she ignores everything that isn’t animal. She has growled at a cat once and she likes to chase after squirrels but she stopped when I told her to. Other than that, she ignores any and all other humans.
Behaviour at home:
After she’s had her morning walk, she’s good for the day. She is very sensitive to the mood of the house. My roommate and I are relaxed easy-going people and as a result, Jika just lounges about. She’s very quiet at home. I cannot emphasize enough what an angel she is indoors. She’s also very sensitive to tone of voice. A firm hand is not required with this dog, but a firm resolve is. She is used to getting things her way so she may not like to listen all the time but she has very quickly come to understand who is alpha in this house and listens to us every single time. If I am upset at Jika, she senses it and when I stand up, she immediately lies down and stops what she’s doing. She makes noises and soft barks in protest but she understands that when I’m upset and I stand up, I mean business.
Jika is a very affectionate dog and LOVES when you pet and rub her. When you stop petting her, she puts her head into your hands or she pokes your hands with her nose to get you to start petting again.
She never begs at the table and she never takes anything that is not given to her. She does not chew on shoes or anything else left around the house. Once, by accident, we left food on the table while Jika was alone and she didn’t even try to get it. It was there when we got back.
Therefore, we’ve found that Jika can be left alone at home. She has never once given us reason to doubt her.
Sophie gave us a crate just in case but we find that we never have to use it. Instead, we put a blanket in it and we leave the door open. Jika likes to sleep in it. She also likes to sleep in any corner, under the bed or at your feet.
As far as we’ve noticed, Jika only barks on two occasions. 1. On leash when another dog is in sight (but this is getting to be less and less of a problem) 2. When someone is at the door. When our neighbors go in or out of their apartment, Jika barks loudly and suddenly. But we’ve found that if we stand in front of her and tell her to sit and lie down in a firm, authoritative voice, she listens and the barking stops within a minute. We’ve had friends over and when they come through the door, Jika barks at them but it’s not at all aggressive. It’s a bark that says “HEY! There’s someone here!” Again, we hold her back, tell her to sit and calm down and within a minute the barking stops. As for our friends, after she stops barking she wags her tail, sniffs them and then collapses on her back begging them to rub her belly. Yesterday, a new friend came over and she walked right through the front door without knocking. Jika let out one bark, ran up to her and started wagging her tail and licking my friend’s hands like crazy. So even if you don’t hold her back, we’re sure that the barking at strangers at the door is not at all aggressive or defensive. It’s just so she can inform us that someone is here and she’s happy.
At the dog park:
Despite her leash aggression, she is a model citizen at the dog park. She plays nice and loves to run around. With bigger dogs she tends to play rough but stops and backs off if you tell her to “Be nice!” I’ve also noticed that when a dog tries to dominate her, she walks away. When it’s time to go home, she comes when called.
Tricks and training:
Jika is a very smart girl and she knows how to sit, lie down, stay, dance, shake hands and high five. She also understands the commands “No” and “Leave it alone”. She is a very intelligent girl and I believe that she can be taught anything. She has a high drive to please and will do anything to make you happy. Initially she was possessive of her toys and would growl and bare her teeth if you tried to take it away from her. However, we’ve taught her how to “give”. So whenever she is playing with her toy and you ask her to ‘give’ she drops it in your hand, in your lap or at your feet. In fact, it’s come to the point that whatever toy she has, she will automatically give it to you without being asked. Two days ago, I let her play with her Kong because she was being a good girl, but instead of chewing on it, she dropped it next to me, on my left. When I didn’t do anything, she picked it up again and moved it to my right side. She kept going back and forth and when I still did not do anything, she put it on my lap and pushed with her nose.
At the park, she LOVES to play fetch and returns the Kong every single time. She’s a really fast runner. However, she tires after 10 or 15 minutes of running.
Jika is housetrained and asks to go potty. She sits by the door and whines. As mentioned before, she is an angel at home. She can be left alone, uncrated.
In short, Jika is a perfect dog. We don’t know why she hasn’t been adopted yet. Her only drawback is the leash aggression but there are visible signs of improvement every single day. This leash aggression is completely curable, it’ll just take time. But she does need an owner who knows how to be alpha. She does not need a firm hand but a firm voice. Keep in mind that we never shout at her but we just change our tone of voice. I am impressed at how well she listens. She also reads body language and hand signals. She knows the hand signal for stay and you can show her and she’ll listen. You don’t have to necessarily say the word.
To end this update, Jika would like to add, “Please give me a forever home! I love you! And I’ll show you what a perfect little angel I am!”
Could you please tell me Jika’s size (weight), age, and breed (Shelty-mix?).