February 13th 2010 8:10 am
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I figured I'd keep this diary for Sally, so I can get all of my thoughts strait in regards to her issues, and how I plan to fix them.
To begin, I'll recap slightly what I have discovered since first bringing her home five days ago-
Her coat condition is poor. She appears to have several hot spots on her rear, and a small bald patch on her back that looks like it might have come from a puncture wound. She also has bald patches on her elbows and feet.
Her current diet is Purina Veterinary Diets EN GastroENteric. This is, of course, a poor quality food, that is no doubt adding to her poor coat and hot spots. I am in the process of transitioning her to Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream. She would probably benefit from an oatmeal bath as well, but I have not yet determined how willing she would be to have that done.
She has many behavioral issues. Having lived on the streets, she has no basic house manners. She is house and crate trained, however, thanks to the kind vet staff where she was staying.
She is not aware of boundaries. While I am eating, she will jump up on the table, or get in my face to take whatever it is that I have. She does not appear to have any resource guarding issues with me, and I can take her food, bones, etc away from her without any problems.
She knows no basic commands. I have been attempting to teach her "sit" for the last few days, but she does not seem to be picking up on it. When I raise the food above her head, she dances around on her hind legs to get it. When I try gently placing her butt on the floor, she squirms and simply moves away.
I have had some success in teaching her "down". I have been able to lure the behavior out of her, but have yet to determine if she has connected the action to the command.
I feel that her recall is perhaps her best attribute. While I do not believe she yet knows here name, she seems to understand when I am talking to her. While playing at the park on a longline with Mulder (who was off lead), she often ran back to me when I called to her. I think Mulder will be big help in teaching this to her, as his recall is, for the most part, quite good.
It should be noted that she is an extremely sensitive dog. Loud noises and sudden movements frighten her, though she seems to have good recovery from this. She will flinch, or recoil, but does not run away. A simple "no" will stop many unwanted behaviors.
She is a destructive chewer. Even with exercise she seems to have a need to chew. I purchased for her an all natural rawhide, which she destroyed in record time. I will need to find a more durable chew to last her.
She is also a digger. She digs in the carpet, on the couch, and in the blankets in her crate. This does not seem to be as big of an issue as the chewing, and appears to decrease with exercise.
She is a mouther. To get attention she will sometimes grab at my pant legs and tug. Twice now she has taken my arm in her mouth, not aggressively, but bites down with enough force that it hurts afterward. When she is board, she will attempt to chew on my feet.
She has, twice now, attacked seemingly unprovoked. The first with the cat Lynyrd, the second with Mulder through the bars of her crate. The cause of this is not yet known. She seems to be good with cats outside of said incident, and enjoys playing with Mulder.
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