When I arrived the jumping up and mouthing with teeth was manic – Misty is already a big dog. She was incredibly persistent and it was quite painful!
8-month-old Labradoodle Misty came to them a couple of weeks ago. Not much about her previous life is known, but I would be willing to bet that she was either removed from mother and siblings at too young an age or was an only puppy. Her total lack of bite inhibition points to this. I would guess her first owners couldn’t cope with it because the one thing we do know is that she most of her life in a crate.
Bit by bit and with the help of a lead and harness (it had to be a thin chain lead I carry with me because she would have been chewed through a normal lead immediately) she calmed down. I started working on showing her what behaviour would get my attention as opposed to that which wouldn’t.
I can guess that Misty has spent a puppyhood of being told off and scolded; nobody has shown her what she should be doing. Her default was to approach with mouth open and grab. All the time while she was being polite I fed her tiny bits of food. For now she can earn some of her daily food quota for good behaviour.
In her eight months she has had very little time spent on her. The neglect is evident in her knotted coat as well as behaviour. She has now landed well on her feet with very understanding people who accept her as she is, have rearranged their house and garden accordingly and who are prepared to go the extra mile for her. Her new owners may be skipping ahead too fast, especially with the walking; the missing groundwork needs to be filled in first.
She is highly excitable when she sees people and especially other dogs. She’s clearly had little socialisation. Even her own image in a mirror causes her alarm. She literally helps herself to their food while they eat at the table. She so obviously has come from an impoverished environment.
Greatly in her favour is she has not an ounce of aggression. She is an affectionate teddy bear. I know that she will be very eager to please when she knows what it is people do want of her, not just what they don’t want of her.