Monday, 16 December 2013

More About Mia The German Shepherd.

Phew! Day four with Mia the German Shepherd draws to a close. It is hard work but every day gives me another little insight into her character. And hers into mine of course. I spend an awful lot of time shouting, "NO MIA!" Well one has to be firm with her. She is a big dog, and needs to know who is boss.

She is so lovely and affectionate with people, which is wonderful. Sadly she appears not to feel the same about other dogs. Every time we come across a dog on our walks she lunges at them, barking madly, giving the impression that she wants to tear them limb from limb.

But I am now of the opinion that this behaviour is not simply aggression. I think it is fear. I come to this conclusion because of the way she behaved to my extremely beautiful daughter Jodie's dog Skye today when they came to visit. Mia's reaction at first was as I described above, and she definitely wanted to bite Skye. But EBD Jodie was surprised at Skye's reaction to the aggressive behaviour. Because Skye who is a very timid dog appeared to be totally unconcerned. This made us think. We then, with a certain amount of trepidation, allowed Mia to get closer to Skye. Close enough to touch each other. Success! No biting.

We all went for a short walk across the back field. Short because it was bucketing down with rain. Mia still displaying a little aggression sometimes but by the end of the walk I can tell you that we all, human's and dog's, were far more relaxed.

I still haven't let Mia off the lead (I fear she would run off and never be seen again if I did) but come the time when I do, I think it's going to be fine. Mind you, keeping her on the lead is a good thing. Today she was not pulling so much and my arms have resettled back into their sockets. She is learning to walk to heel already. She is not totally restrained at all times though, EBD Jodie gave me a long lead to use in the fields. I want Mia to be able to experience things and she must be allowed to investigate and have a good sniff about.

Mia barks at everything. The birds on the bird table, a slightly raised tuft of grass in the field, an errant plastic carrier bag, even a leaf falling from a tree! It is almost as though she has never had much opportunity to experience the world outside. Strangely though she did not bark at a fast trotting horse and cart that went hurtling past us today! Weird that.

Bonnie the Ginger Cat has not run away from home, but Mia is still scaring her by barking every time she see's her. Mia now sleeps in the bedroom with me, - on the floor by the way. I'm not that soft- with the door closed and Bonnie can then come indoors safely and have her food and a bit of home comfort, at least until the morning. She also sometimes gets brave enough to come indoors when Mia and me are out. Bonnie is my only real concern regarding Mia at the moment. I am sure they will accept each other in time - at least I hope so. I just have to keep reminding myself, it has only been four days.

Sorry there are no accompanying photo's. The weather has been awful since she arrived.

Things are going to be fine. Today progress was definitely made.


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  2. Sounds like you've found a good girl there. Good luck with her.

  3. As you said it will take some time for Mia to feel secure. She seems to be doing remarkably well for such a short time. It is good that you have such patience. How nice that EBD Jodie is helping too. Mia will feel like family in no time.

  4. I think you're right about fear...but isn't she making good progress!

  5. Continued good luck and progress with Mia. Glad things are heading in the right direction.

  6. One of our rescued labradors was like Mia, barked at everything - even people, and she would jump up (especially when paws were muddy) when she met someone for the first time. It took a while but we got through it. It's a learning period for dog and owner, don't you think, John?

  7. Hi John. I think however she behaves now was learnt from her previous owners. Didn't you say she was living in a town? If so, did they take her for a walk? Or was she left on her own a lot?

    When I first started walking Rocky he was aggressive towards other dogs, because he wasn't taken for walks so didn't meet any, and didn't know how to behave when we met them. He is fine now. They need to socialise with humans and other dogs, so keep doing what you are doing. When you meet other dogs ask the owner if it is ok for them to meet. Do as you did with Skye, as often as you can. It will come right.

    Good idea to keep a door shut between Mia and Bonnie, you don't want Bonnie to leave home. Introduce them gradually, don't leave them alone together. Good luck

  8. Sounds like a big job. But, I think you are right that Mia hasn't experienced very many things... a sheltered dog. You are doing great.

  9. Everything takes time, and as my Mum used to say, "Rome was not built in a day," so with Mia it will take time for her to get re-acclimated to her new surroundings.
    When Brownie first came to live with me, things that I took for granted with my other dogs were all new experiences for him. He had to learn how to walk on a tiled floor and how to manoeuvre around a door curtain....and he's doing fine now.