Behold Eda: a small, quick, bright little creature of wild magic! Eda is a 5 year old Coton de Tulear. She is about 15 lbs and is ready to meet her forever family.
Eda hails from a puppy mill, where she was bred for profit. She is just learning about the world outside of a barn. Despite her background, she is fairly non-reactive to new sounds in the home and in the broader world. She is not bothered by higher foot traffic and car flows, and has not been afraid of passing cyclists or roller blades. She will occasionally be startled by a sudden loud noise or something she is examining and will flinch, but her curiosity always overpowers any fear she feels. Her reactions are mild and brief, and sometimes she will repeatedly examine what is scaring her, flinch, repeat, and conquer her fear on her own. She is a very curious little dog!
Eda arrived in foster care in a state of physical neglect, and her matted and stained coat needed to be shaved. She was nursing a chronic ear infection and her one ear is thickened from a probable history of hematomas and infections. Now that she is groomed and her ear infection has been treated, she has a fresh start. Her soft, fluffy haircoat is high maintenance, and will require frequent combing at home to remain tangle-free, and professional grooming on a regular schedule to look and feel her best. Eda tolerates combing well and was very good for her ear treatment and first professional groom.
Due to her lack of exposure to the world outside a breeding pen, Eda does have some restlessness in the home if you are not sitting down. When she first arrived in foster care, she was not sure where to go, and would run in circles compulsively around us, orbiting with precision as we moved from room to room. She does still display some of this restlessness, but through rewarding moments of stillness, she is learning that settling in one place is rewarding and comfortable! She is doing much better and often offers to sit and watch instead of running in circles.
Eda tends to bond strongly with one family member, and while she will interact with her other family members she is the type of dog who chooses a “favourite.” If her forever home has multiple family members, they must all spend time training and interacting with Eda one-on-one to build a bond with her to avoid excessive bonding with a single person. Positive interactions with multiple family members will help Eda grow in social confidence.
While lacking in some social confidence, Eda is curious, but hesitant with new people. You can tell that she really wants to make new friends, but does not always have the confidence to do so. It is easiest for her to meet people if there is some kind of barrier (her crate door, a fence, her handler’s legs) or if the new person greets her with their back to her while they kneel down to be smaller and more approachable for her. Eda is quite comfortable greeting people when she is inside a crate or kennel, as this is probably what she was used to doing living in a fenced pen in the past. She loves to smile, pinch her eyes and dance in circles to greet you as you talk to her. She will approach people she is unsure of if there is a turned back or some sort of physical barrier, and will accept treats and gentle pets. She will give gentle kisses if she would like you to continue petting her. Once the barrier is removed, some of her confidence deflates, but the curiosity is still there. As Eda grows in confidence we expect her social skills to grow.
In general, Eda comes across as very starved for physical touch and affection. If she is already comfortable with you and you bend down to tie your shoes for example, all of a sudden Eda is splayed across your laces looking for affection and a belly rub. She is learning appropriate ways to seek affection, as she starts to jump and fling herself and nip at pants and put her mouth on hands trying to draw attention towards herself in desperation, especially if you are interacting with other dogs. She behaves much like a puppy who has not had enough affection and has not learned an appropriate way to seek affection. We have been practicing rewarding her with physical affection and calm verbal praise when she is calm and still, and she is learning that offering a sit or standing patiently instead of jumping is ultimately the way to earn the affection she has been deprived of so far.
Despite her tending to be starved for physical affection, Eda does display submissive traits when she is approached with a leash to access her collar, or to pick her up. When she arrived in foster care, she would crouch very low to the floor and urinate a very small amount (about 1 tbsp) submissively. In her foster home, we have been working hard to positively condition the handling of her neck, by offering gentle pats (which she loves), verbal praise, tasty treats and using minimal touch to attach the leash. We also tell her “Up-Up” prior to lifting her so she has a verbal cue that we need to pick her up. The frequency of her urinating has decreased, but she will occasionally still void a small amount of urine in submission and fear when her collar is approached with a leash. As she continues to have positive associations with her collar being approached and a leash attached, she is not feeling the need to urinate submissively as often, but she will likely continue this behaviour when she is new to her forever home as she will be nervous initially. Anyone interested in adopting her will have to ensure that everyone in the home has the patience and understanding to work with a dog that submissive pees. This is not a house training issue, but a lack of confidence, and getting frustrated with her or angry at her will only make the issue worse. She needs her family to continue our training and routine with this and in time it will stop. She needs her people to give her this time and patience and routine. She tolerates being picked up, but does tend to hold her arms out stiffly and curve her body into you in discomfort. She will not appreciate a home where she will be carted around like a fluffy white baby.
Despite her uncertainty with her collar being handled, as soon as the leash is on Eda is the happiest dog! She absolutely loves walking and will run around with zoomies once you get outside. She is a medium energy level and loves long walks of 45mins-1hr and would happily go for even longer walks as well. She does settle well in the home even without long walks, but she does enjoy them and will enjoy a home where she gets to walk with her person regularly. She has not displayed any reactivity towards wildlife on our walks. Eda walks beautifully on a leash as long as you are in motion. She walks very neatly beside you without pulling, and loves to have opportunities to sniff. If you stop moving, Eda does tend to repeat her circling behaviour and will weave around your legs in a sort of macrame. We have been rewarding stillness, and she is progressing to offering to sit instead of weave. She is starting to realize that she can also stop when you stop, and be rewarded for doing so! In general, Eda finds treats, pats and praise reinforcing. She absolutely loves being talked to, and will pinch her eyes or speed around happily as you talk to her. She will also tilt her head as you talk to her in the most adorable way.
Eda is also doing very well with housetraining. She has had very few accidents, and will quickly pee/poo outside on command. She seems to understand that she should eliminate outside, although she does not reliably alert us yet.
In terms of her interactions with other dogs, Eda is generally dog social. She enjoys meeting other dogs and is quite respectful in her greetings. Eda does have quiet interest in dogs while walking, especially if they are passing directly on the same sidewalk, and will try to angle to gently introduce herself. We do not encourage on-leash greetings with our fosters in general, and Eda is easily redirected and will pass them quietly. Eda currently lives with 2 medium sized dogs and lived with one larger foster dog in the past as well. She coexists well with them and sometimes cuddles up next to other dogs on the couch as long as her people are there too. She has tried to play with our dogs only a handful of times. She does not need to live in a home with other dogs, but wouldn’t mind visiting known dog friends every now and then. She walks well both by herself and together with our two dogs. Any dogs in her forever home must be very tolerant of little dogs jumping on them while Eda is still learning appropriate ways to seek attention from people and deal with people handling other dogs that are not her! Due to her insecurities and lack of confidence, Eda does sometimes view other dogs as competition for affection and attention. Touching other dogs causes her to speed over and fling herself at the hands touching the other dog in attempts to draw the attention to herself. Although she generally shares very well, Eda finds snuggling or being next to her people a highly valuable resource, and she has displayed some resource guarding with other dogs in this situation. Most times she will come and snuggle quietly and confidently, but sometimes she seems to startle and realize other dogs are also touching her snuggle resource and she feels the need to growl and snap at them. This behaviour stems from a lack of confidence, and must be managed positively with the help of your trainer. We are careful to position Eda in a place where she is not able to control other dogs coming onto the couch, and she is responding well to positive reinforcement in the form of verbal praise and treats, to pair the approach of other dogs with good things. In general, she is a great snuggler and a very respectful couch guest, and does not try to take snacks or objects from other couch citizens. She finds it easiest to settle in the home sitting beside you on the couch, and will sit quietly with you for hours on end. If you are not seated on the couch she tends to curl up near your feet.
Eda also lives with cats in her foster home. At first, we were not sure if Eda would be cat friendly as she was barking at our cats in frustration as she observed them from her crate. She no longer barks or vocalizes at the cats after her day one excitement. Any cats must be dog-savvy as Eda would definitely annoy a cat that is not used to the company of a dog. Eda likes to follow the cats every now and then and see what they are doing, and will sniff at their bums and bodies in a way she thinks is respectful, but many cats will disprove of. She also will rush after the cats if they are in a hurry somewhere and can be very nosey. Our cats are very tolerant of our foster dogs and do not take issue with Eda, so we expect a very tolerant cat will do fine with her. She snuggles well with her people and the cats and can settle on the couch next to them now.
Although she will never go hang out in her kennel on her own, Eda has been doing well with kennel training. She will only go in on her own after her last trip outside at night, and for meals as you prepare her food. She is crated for varied periods in the day, and usually needs a treat tossed in or a gentle push to encourage her to enter her kennel. She is generally quiet in the kennel, but she does get quite vocally upset if she sees you going outside without her. Similarly, if she sees you handling other dogs and she is in her kennel, she becomes vocally frustrated. Visual barriers are helpful for her in remaining composed and calm. Every now and then, Eda will emit a soft howl like a little ghost or haunted owl/pigeon as she is always happier being in the same room as you. Ultimately, crate training with positive reinforcement builds confidence and is good for Eda’s well-being. She is very good at self-soothing and is not always protesting, but may not be the best apartment dog due to the soft, intermittent cooing noises during the daytime. She can be crated for a typical workday without issue (cooing aside). She has not been too interested in chews or Kongs while in her crate. Eda is always quiet in the home and only barks or makes sounds if she is crated and is not with you. She sleeps very quietly in her crate overnight.
To help encourage good feelings about her crate, Eda is fed all of her meals in her kennel. She finishes all her meals and loves meal times. She is a fast eater so may appreciate a slow feeder and some puzzles in the future as she becomes more accustomed to life indoors. Puzzles have the added benefit of building confidence!
Eda is not quite interested in toys yet, but she will occasionally try to take down things like hand towels or pick up the stray sock, so will likely develop an interest in toys in some time! She is very curious and while she has not been destructive, could get into things as she does like to touch various objects and try to pick them up and carry them if they are in reach. She is easily redirected as all she wants is positive attention and praise from people.
Eda travels very well in the car. She is crated in the car due to her size and for safety. We have a separate crate apart from her home crate, and we set it in the car once we have loaded her into it. She has not displayed any car sickness or discomfort, and is quiet and calm for the ride.
Eda is a very silly, sweet and quirky little dog, and has made us laugh so much in her time with us. She will be best for a home with some dog experience or an extended commitment to positive reinforcement training due to some of the behaviour we have reviewed above, and the need to build her confidence to help her be the best dog she can be. We don’t recommend young children for Eda due to her social insecurities and puppy-like inappropriate attention-seeking, but teens can be appropriate. As Eda takes just a little bit of time to show her true silly nature, you can see some of her progress in her foster journey @twiceluckyfosters on Instagram. Eda will keep you delighted and laughing for years to come if she is the right fit for you. Thank you for considering a rescue dog