Weim lives matter!

Monday, March 12, 2012

So You Think You'd Like to Adopt Fiona?

Let's talk frankly about who Fiona is and what she needs going into the future.

Fiona is the type of Weimaraner puppy who, if she was at a shelter, would get adopted out to an unsuspecting family and be returned within two to three months.  She is a very pretty, eye-catching pup, who is athletic, energetic and needs to be kept busy.  She is a solidly built dog, very strong and her nickname in our home is Tank.

Fiona is a very smart pup and learns quickly.  She is housebroken and has only had one accident in the over two weeks she has been with us.  Now, I must admit that we are careful with Fiona and try to help her be successful in her house training efforts.  Fiona is allowed free run of the house only when we're prepared to keep an eye on her and she goes from her crate right out the door to do her business before she is loose in the house.  She has started to go to the door to indicate that she wants to go out and she has even made some whining noises to make sure she gets her point across.

Fiona is crate trained.  In our home she is in the crate unless she is supervised and although there are times she'll whine and cry, for the most part she is pretty calm in her crate.  Because my husband is home during the day she has not been left in the crate for over 4 to 5 hours at a time since she's been here, if even that long.  Sometimes she'll dig at the floor of her crate, but other than that she's been good.

Fiona seems happiest when we go for her exercise in the big field near our house.  I keep her on a 40-foot line, but that gives her a lot of freedom and she runs and plays, sniffs and hunts and is always looking for birds.  I've used this time in the field as a chance to teach her to come and when I call she returns to me, sits and gets a treat.  Today we went to a small park and she got a new experience as we crossed bridges over a high, fast-running creek.  She likes water and has walked through a small stream without hesitation.

Fiona's worst habits right now are her mouthiness, batting with her paw and jumping on people.  When she gets excited she just can't contain herself and if you reach to pet her your hand will be in her mouth very quickly.  We are working on correcting these problems, but it's going to take time to change these old habits that are really ingrained in her conduct.  Because of these behaviors Fiona would not do well in a house with young children or older or frail people.  She needs people who can approach her calmly and will not tease her by playing "games" that involve enticing her to bite at hands.

Fiona loves to go for rides in the car, but she is not a dog I'd want loose in the back seat of my car.  I have a barrier in my SUV that separates the back of the vehicle from the front seat and Fiona rides behind that barrier.  She never lays down, she's always on alert.  She barks at cars, she barks at people and she sometimes lunges toward cars as they pass.  I'm trying to log more time with her in the car, hoping that she'll start to relax and not be so hyper vigilant and I think that in time she will be a better passenger in a car.

Yes, Fiona barks.  We have two Weims that rarely bark at home and so it's been a bit different to have a barker in our home.  She has a very loud bark and it can be very menacing if she thinks there is something dangerous lurking in or around the house.  She has barked when the ice falls from the ice maker in our freezer, barked at dogs on TV, barked at noises that are new to her.  Hopefully, as she is introduced to more noises and has more life experiences she will bark less and less.  I want to make it clear that she only barks when there is a reason in her mind, she is not a constant barker and is quiet most of the time.

Fiona has showed no aggression of any kind while she's been with us.  I pet her and have reached into her food bowl while she is eating.  She plays with my 8-year-old Weim and is submissive to him.  I would not put Fiona in a home where there is an older, frail dog, as she plays hard and might cause harm to a dog that could not handle her rough play.  She showed no stress at her first night of dog classes when there were 8 or 9 other large dogs in the room with her.  She has met many people and seemed to love them all.

Fiona would be a great dog for someone who lives an active life and wants a dog to join in those activities.  She could do agility, she would make a great tracking dog, she'd love to go hiking and she'd make a good hunting companion if properly trained.

Fiona really needs a home where there is an adult who has time to spend with her, give her attention, make sure she gets exercised and who will take the time to work with her and train her.  She is a dog who I would probably put a no-pull harness on if she were my dog, but, even with that harness, I would continue to work with her and in a year or so she could probably be walking on a leash with a flat collar.  Given the proper care and training Fiona is going to be a great companion for someone.

If you're still interested in adopting Fiona, I suggest you read all the posts I've logged since bringing Fiona into our home, starting with her introduction on February 22nd.  She is a great pup and deserves a wonderful home.

1 comment:

  1. What an excellent way to showcase Fiona! Thank you for being such an awesome foster mom.