Dalla is an adorable 5 year old apricot Miniature Poodle who weighs about 14lbs. She is very sweet, loves to sniff around in the garden, and just wants to spend time with her humans.

Dalla has had a rough few years before landing at her foster home and had never received any socialization to people or the world around her. She had been terribly neglected; a product of the puppy mill trade. She has come a long way in her short time with us. She has been spayed, and she had 5 teeth removed near the back of her mouth. She may need more teeth removed in the future, so good dental care will be really important for her. Dalla will pace and spin in a circle when she is anxious or bored, this is a result of her past life. This behaviour has improved in the 5 weeks she has been with us, and should continue to improve over time as she feels more confident in her forever home.  She doesn’t show any other issues though, and she is quite good about being poked and prodded during exams or at the groomers.

Dalla has learned how to sit and come on command (when not over excited or anxious), and she is becoming fairly confident on a leash. Dalla should never be off her leash when out for a walk or in an unfenced area as she will be a flight risk.  She is food motivated, as long as it’s the good treats. While she has turned her nose up to a few things, most treats are tasty.

She enjoys medium length daily walks of about 3 kms and is a very happy girl during them whether it is in the city, or through a trail. She is nervous when meeting humans on her walks, but her curiosity usually wins. She will need patience when meeting other humans, and those humans need to be gentle, as her experience in the world is still quite limited. When meeting these other humans, we ask them to stand still (if they want to meet Dalla) and let her slowly come to their hands. If she is curious, she will go in for a sniff and will then expect endless rubs. Dalla is generally good with older kids when on walks, as long as they follow the wait for “her to come to you” rule.  Dalla will shrink to the ground in submission if approached too quickly.  More time being socialized outside and walking with larger groups will help Dalla increase her confidence.  Because she is shy of people and fearful of loud noises, quick movements and needs a quiet, calm home, she will be looking for an adult only home or one with older teens.

Dalla likes to go for longer walks too. A weekend trail hike that is 5km or more can be quite delightful for her and she is a total happy snuggle bug afterwards.   Dalla has enjoyed long walks on some of the worst weather this winter without complaint because she just wants to be with her humans and also really enjoys the outdoors.

During walks she tends to walk to the right in front of the walker. She will need continued training to not trip her human, although if it does happen you get lots of kisses. She doesn’t pull on the leash, unless a squirrel gets her attention. Generally, she is steadily improving on walks, and she is eager to please her walking companions. With a bit more time she will be an excellent walker.  She is learning to stay at a heel position on the left side and is getting better at maintaining this spot while walking.   Dalla is nervous in the car and needs more exposure to car rides to fun places to teach her that car rides lead to exciting times and good places to sniff.

Dalla is great in her crate overnight, and will settle after a while in her crate during the day if the area is quiet. If given the opportunity Dalla could have real separation anxiety issues. Her home will need to have a good understanding of those signs and work hard at building her confidence and ensuring that she has independent time alone in her crate every day so as to build up her independence.  This time will help to build her confidence and reduce the issues with separation and hyper-bonding. Dalla has strongly bonded with one of the foster family members and as a result has also shown some signs of resource guarding when around that one person. This is being worked on and her favourite person has taken steps back in her care to ensure that she bonds with the other members of the family. This has to be carefully watched and corrected if she shows a distinct preference for one person in her forever home.   When this person is not at home, Dalla is a confident dog and is happy to be with any human.

Dalla discovered squirrels for the first time in our yard. During this discovery we learned that she can briefly fly off the deck and then sprint unbelievably fast. She has decided that all squirrels are not allowed to be in our backyard.  And, nary a squirrel has been seen in our yard since!  She could easily catch one that wasn’t paying attention. Dalla has yet to distinguish between cats and squirrels too, so we do not recommend a house with cats. There have been very few interactions with other dogs so far. She is automatically submissive to other dogs, but we don’t know how she would do long term with a second dog in the house. At this time, we recommend that Dalla be a much-loved ONLY dog in her house.   Dalla would prefer a home with a secure fenced yard to patrol for squirrels daily.

Dalla accepts humans of all kinds, she absolutely loves to be with other women, and she is okay with visiting older gentle children. Dalla does like her space too. Quite often after cuddling for half an hour or so, she will pick herself up and go to a quiet corner of the couch to snooze. This behaviour is good to see as she is setting her own limits. Dalla has come a long way in her time in her foster home and is ready now for a patient, loving forever home where she can continue to blossom and grow and experience the wonders of the world around her.