I hope it's okay to post something of this nature... I'm just trying to find a perfect home for our dog and am exhausting all avenues.
Our five and a half year old dog, Pippen (“Pip”), needs a new home! Are you looking for a guard or farm dog? He’s your guy!
We got Pip from a shelter in Shelton four and a half years ago. They said he was about a year old. He was happy and docile when we got him and hardly ever barked. We took him on walks nearly every day and he slept very happily in his crate in our bedroom at night.
About six months after we got Pip, we went on vacation and took him to a doggy daycare while we were gone. There he was allowed out to play with the other dogs during the day. Something happened there that triggered in his mind that he needed to be overly protective, because when he came home he seemed a different dog. He would now bark at the door when someone came to the house (something he hadn’t done before), he would bark at the neighbor’s dog, he would pull and bark at dogs on our walks, and when we took him camping for the first time he’d bark and snarl at anyone who came near to my husband and I.
Over the years, his guard dog tendencies have only increased. He does seem very menacing. He lets us know when someone is at the door – he lets us know when anyone closes a car door in our driveway. He barks at the people and dogs he can see walking – whether he’s in the house or in the backyard. New people who come to the house are given full instructions to completely ignore Pip and allow him to investigate them – this involves allowing him to sniff them and observe them for a few minutes until he feels they are not a harm to my husband and I.
BUT! Once Pip knows you, he LOVES you! He is a lover of a dog. He would be so happy to cuddle and lick your face all day. We have a friend of ours who comes over quite often and as soon as Pip hears his car pull up, he looks around for a chew bone and grabs it very playfully and waits by the door. Once our friend has come in, Pip ‘shows off’ a bit with his chew bone and tosses it around and brings it to our friend to give it to him. Once our friend is sitting on the couch, Pip will ‘sneak’ into his lap and commence face licking for as long as our friend will let him! Hehe. It is very cute and endearing. And he never forgets. That particular friend of ours was in Hawaii with his family for two whole years, and when he came back Pip was just as friendly with him.
Pip hasn’t shown any actual aggression towards anyone in our circle of family or friends. But, I cannot honestly say that he isn’t capable of biting. I am overly cautious and put forth a lot of effort to make sure Pip is never in a situation where he could bite someone. Pip doesn’t get to go on camping trips anymore, he stays in a dog kennel (the place is in Bothell and he has stayed there many, many times. I would recommend he continue staying there as the staff know him and he’s completely comfortable there). We can hardly take him on walks – it’s very exhausting and frustrating to do so. We have to make sure he’s securely in his crate when new people come over. We have stopped bringing him to my parent’s house when I know there will be others coming over. We can’t take him hiking, to the dog park, to the lake, etc… And we’re very outdoorsy people! It’s very frustrating and sad that we have this dog that we can’t do ‘dog things’ with! It brings tears to my eyes because he misses out on those fun things! I just wish he could understand that if he calmed down and let US be in control, that his life would be much more fun!
And, to add – we have tried numerous training with Pip. We did Pet’s Mart obedience training and behavioral training, we have a thunder shirt, we have tried clicker training, we have tried “Ceasar’s Way”, etc – but nothing has worked to calm him.
Phew. Let me grab a Kleenex for the tears. : (
The biggest thing for us now is that we’re expecting our first baby. I want to make clear that I’m not trying to find Pip a new home just because we are expecting – we have two cats and another (very docile) dog in our home who will all be staying. What drives me to find Pip a new home now is that I don’t feel we can modify our lives anymore to fit the needs of our dog when we will need to be, also, trying to fit the needs of a baby. I’m not going to be able to run to the back door and call Pip inside every time he starts barking at a neighbor or someone walking. I’m not going to be able to take a barking, snarling dog on walks with a baby in tow. I’m not going to be able to restrain Pip when people knock on the door when I’m also having to hold a baby. And I no longer want to stay home from family functions, hikes, camping, etc just because we have a dog that cannot do those things.
I also want to make clear that I’m not fearful that Pip would have aggression towards a baby. He is a loving member of our family who has not shown aggression to anyone in our household – including the cats and our other dog (who is smaller than him). I know that Pip would be watchful and loving with our child.
So, now that I’ve told you about Pip, I want to tell you where I see Pip fitting in. We’ve never really decided what breed Pip is, but he’s definitely a herding dog. He will herd our cats. When we did take him to the dog park years ago, he would herd the other dogs. He’d chase the other dogs who were playing fetch – he didn’t want them getting away from the pack. And he’s definitely a guard dog, as you now know. I can see Pip being a great asset to a farm – where his wanting to protect his family and his property would be valued. And with a little training I think he could make a great herding dog, too. I could see him living with someone with a lot of acreage that wants protection from animals, too. Other dogs, raccoon, bear, etc. I can see him living anywhere where his personality can be nurtured instead of needing to be harnessed.
If you’ve read this far, I commend you. We are looking for Pip’s perfect new home, and we are going to be very picky. He’s been with us for so long, we have lots of love for him, but lots of frustration, too. We don’t have a time line or date that he needs to go by, so we have plenty of time to search for the right home for him. And we will be doing a home check. He needs a yard, and a big one.
Here are some other points to know about Pip:
- Fine with cats
- Fine with other dogs of the family –he’s fine with our other dog, so a proper introduction is essential, but Pip should integrate just fine into a family with other dogs.
- Has shown food aggression. Pip is a food monger. He loves to eat and works VERY well for treats – but you need to be cautious around him with food. If you just walk up and try to take away whatever he has, he was growl and snarl and protect his food/bone/treat, etc. However, if you walk up to him and stand over him and tell him to “LEAVE IT!” he will walk away.
- Very trainable. He knows quite a few commands, and he knows them well. If there are treats involved, he’ll do ALMOST ANYTHING! He learns new commands very quickly. He has a great recall (“Come”) if he knows you have treats. Otherwise it might take a few calls.
- Very well potty trained. We haven’t had any accidents with Pip since we got him. He can be in his crate over night or for 8-10 hours at a time without any accidents. And he will let you know when he needs to go.
- Crate trained. He sleeps in his crate and can also go in there when we are away. Though, we no longer keep the crate locked at night, so he usually sleeps at the foot of our bed.
- Squirrel chaser.
- Does fine in the car. Will bark once the car slows and comes to a stop, because he’s excited to get to where it is we’re going.
- Needs to be muzzled at the vet – unless you can get an appointment time where there are not many other dogs there and you can instruct the vet and vet techs to give him treats (and not just toss them to him, but make him SIT, DOWN (lay down), etc and then give him the treat).
- Loves to play fetch and tug-o-war. We stopped tug-o-war because Ceasar Millar doesn’t approve of that, but he really loves to play that.
- He barks a lot when playing with our other dog. They like to rip around the yard and Pip barks almost incessantly while they do so.
Like I said, we’re unsure of Pip’s breed, but he’s about 60-65 pounds. He eats about 1.5-2 cups dry food per day, and he will come with a small bag of his food so you can acclimate him to the food you want to feed him. I would recommend staying with the Orijen or Arcana brand – Pip has horrible gas with economy foods!!
Pip will come with his leash, collar, crate, blankets, and some food.
If you feel like Pip would be an asset to your family rather than a burden, please contact me. Like I mentioned, we will be very picky as to where our dog goes – so please don’t contact me if you cannot provide him with an amazing home.