NEEDS FOSTER HOME
When Maya entered the park, it was clear that she had never spent much time in such an environment..she was very distracted. Upon being placed directly in front of a couple of sitting (intentionally) strangers (staff members) she barked and backed up a bit, demonstrating a very slight case of stranger danger. This was not surprising given what we know of her last 2 years.
Unfortunately, despite being a caring, loving and nurturing couple, neither she or her husband knew much about dogs and absolutely nothing about German Shepherd Dogs. Yes, Maya was safe and cared for but she was also in a pack of 4 dogs, 3 of which were females. There were conflicts which required management, but the end result was that 2 years of what could have been great progress for Maya, instead was no basic training, no socialization, never got off her property and most significantly, no leadership.
We spent several hours working with Maya and foster Mom, patiently waiting for some focus. from Maya..it took over 2 hours before we actually achieved eye contact. Maya had been pulled from the county shelter intact, at approximately a year old. This is usually an indication that nothing much was done by the original owners either. Thus, Maya has what you've heard us describe as a "puppy brain". Have you ever tried to get a very young puppy to pay attention and focus on you in a distracting situation for a period of time? That's a puppy brain.
When dogs like Maya have few to no social skills (a learned behavior) in addition to no leadership, they are accustomed to being the decision makers, something they are ill equipped to do. It is always amazing to see the transformation in their responses once they acknowledge that a leader now has their leash. And once that occurred, Maya was a joy to work. The uncertainty or fear diminishes, then vanishes, and a blank slate ready and eager to learn is exposed. The upside of a puppy brain; it's a sponge.
We are looking for a foster with no young kids, no other dogs or a well balanced large breed male, and some dog training and GSD knowledge; one willing to take Maya thru some classes at our expense as well as meet with our staff regularly for continued training and socializing.
If you meet this criteria and are willing and able to help Maya's adoption along, either foster or foster-to-adopt her, please submit a FOSTER APPLICATION:
I am spayed, vaccinated, chipped, crate and house trained.
UPDATE: Maya was scheduled to begin a 5 week obedience class with our trainer, more for getting her comfortable in her own skin when away from her comfort zone than for basic obedience per se, however, something came up for her Mom who canceled. We're hopeful they can get started this coming Sunday.
Once they've gone through a couple of classes, they will be working with a staff member closer to Maya's home during the week to reinforce what they've learned. The problem is that Maya needs a handler with confidence and foster Mom has the same need which is why a foster home is so critical for Maya; we would have regular access to getting her ready to be shown. She is a different dog in the right hands...she wants someone to tell her, "hey, I've got your back..don't worry".
Please check back for updates or let us know if you wold like to foster this sweet gal..
UPDATE: Maya continues to meet with our volunteer who is familiarizing her with the many wonders of the outside world. Next week she will conquer the unexpected surprises that pop up around the corners of the aisles at PetSmart. Hanging at the entrance to the store will also give her the opportunity to be approached by many friendly strangers.
Our gal is doing great, making rapid progress!
Our gal had a rough day yesterday having been attacked by another female in her pack at home. We are trying hard to find her a safe foster home. We picked her up today for another socialization trip to PetSmart. While walking up one of the aisles, around the corner came two huge Great Danes suddenly standing right in front of her. Maya held her training and did nothing, though she was initially startled...Good Girl!!
Her post session reward was her very 1st Frosty Paws. She wasn't quite sure if she should bite it or...? It did not take her long to figure out just how to handle her cool & tasty new treat! Thanks Aunt Darlene
UPDATE: Maya has made significant progress and can be in the company of other dogs without being reactive. She respectfully ignores them and has become increasingly more comfortable around them. That said, she must be an only "child" in either her foster or forever home. Maya will not be placed in a multiple dog household.
She is a lovely girl, simply a victim of circumstances. As a result of the inappropriate pack dynamic in her home of the last two years she does not appreciate another dog in her face or space and will let them know they are too close. She is understandably uncertain about their intent. Maya will continue to improve in this regard so long as we have the opportunity to work with her on a consistent basis. Without a foster home her chances for happy ending are diminishing.
Adoption fee to be determined.