Gabby is my first foster dog and my first doodle. She came from the wonderful people of Arizona Poodle Rescue.

Gabbie was found by animal control wandering the streets of Phoenix. She was filthy and parasite-infested. She was so shy of people that if anyone just reached out a hand to her she darted as quickly and as far away as she could.

When I picked her up she had been clipped but still needed that flea and tick bath. She was terrified of the car and had to be physically stuffed in. Oh my, how she stunk. She has had no training (although she seems to know NO).

She'd been at my house for two weeks now. We go to the dog park almost every day. Yesterday was a huge milestone for her. She actually let someone (other than me) pet her head! But most amazing of all, when we left she walked calmly back to the car, patiently waited her turn and then jumped in all by her self. She now comes about 70% of the time when called. She knows to sit for food or to go in and out. She's so sweet and really wants to be loved but is very untrusting.

A short video of her is posted on Youtube:

She's quite the little thief. She will sneak up on something, grab it as fast as possible and she's off. It's so darned cute that I have a hard time reminding myself that she really needs to learn better manners.

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Member Since 2009
Comment by Gwen A on September 25, 2009 at 2:45pm
A Gabby Update:

Hard to believe she's the same dog. She's so happy and feeling more sure of herself all the time. We have been working on manners and a few tricks. She walks beautifully on a leash. She's still a little timid and not anxious to be touched but she wants to sniff almost everyone. And she just loves other dogs especially her foster brother Hoot.

No peeing in the house lately but I've not let her out of my sight for a second and I make her go outside often. She has discovered that if she charges the east fence barking the two dogs next door will come running out of their doggy door and carry on. I'll allow her one or two barks and then expect her to be quiet. She's pretty good about it most of the time but will run back and forth whining or grumbling to try and get more response from her unseen pals.

I have been trying to teach her to Beg. She's so cute because her Sit is that knees-splayed puppy sit and sometimes her balance isn't so good. But she does the most adorable two-paws in the air wave when she gets it. She can't balance for more than 3 or 4 seconds yet but I hope I can get some pictures...especially when she's sitting side-by-side with Hoot and their both sitting up so pretty.

We are going to go to an adoption fair next month and I really would like for her to be more receptive to strangers. So we are going to be going out in the non-dogpark public alot in the next few weeks. She gets so many compliments on her beauty but she's just too shy to let her fabulous personality shine.

She's sweet, submissive, quiet, mellow, beautiful, smart. Hard to believe someone just threw her away.

Comment by LM Fowler - Admin on September 4, 2009 at 2:39pm
Wow, not only a good girl but a smart one, too!

Member Since 2009
Comment by Gwen A on September 4, 2009 at 12:27pm
I just have to share our experience at the dog park this morning. Our Tempe park is quite large and is semi divided into two sections. I had put down one of the leashes and forgotten to pick it up before I started my walk to the back side of the park. Gabby was running and playing, totally not paying any attention to where I was, so I managed to get far enough away that she could not see me although I could see her. I watched as she started to lift her head to look around for me and run back and forth. I wondered if she would be able to pick up my scent and find me so I waited. She found the leash that I had left on the ground and sat next to it. There she waited until I came back around and she found me. How did that Good Girl know I would come back to that spot (I actually didn't even know I had left the leash there until I got to her and saw it). Isn't she just the sweetest?

Comment by LM Fowler - Admin on September 3, 2009 at 3:58pm
Sounds like she is growing by leaps and bounds. The man thing may take longer. It took Ginger to about 2 years before she would let a strange man touch her. And even now is still leery but tolerates other men. They are resilient if given love and understanding, which it sounds like she's getting from you.

Member Since 2009
Comment by Gwen A on September 3, 2009 at 1:36pm
I'm going to try to teach Gabby the bell-on-the-door trick when she needs to go out. Maybe that will focus the activity more to the outside. She's very good on her SitStay, getting better at LaydownStay and has now learned to GiveMeFive (she doesn't know she only has four). She's starting to grasp the idea of learning and I hope to give her enough confidence to do some cool tricks.

It's amazing that in 6 weeks she has become such a sweet lovebug that I can forgive her almost anything. After her morning comb, she loves to lay her head in my lap and be snuggled. At the dogpark she will run and play but every few minutes she needs to come back and get a couple good thumps on the side. She has become much more interested in other people recently. Sometimes she will walk right up to a woman for some sniffing and head-petting (but still pretty shy of men).

Her hair is getting longer and fluffier and is the prettiest white. She gets lots of compliments when I take her out. Almost all of the bald spots and scars on her face have grown over and she looks much less scruffy and street-tough. The neck fur is just starting to grow back in so she does have an interesting ring-around-the-collar.

Yes, she's adorable, loving, pretty, trainable...she is going to make someone one fantastic dog.

Comment by LM Fowler - Admin on August 27, 2009 at 9:57pm
See, there is always another side. It will get better.

Member Since 2009
Comment by Gwen A on August 27, 2009 at 7:03pm
I suppose I was really quite lucky because I don't know how long she was uncrated for and she really could have chewed up most of the house and furniture.

Comment by LM Fowler - Admin on August 25, 2009 at 4:15pm
Gwen, I am also sorry for the tribulations we must face along with the successes. The housetraining thing will come in time. My foster has this problem too right now. My view is that they weren't taught in those very early months when their right and wrong is formed, they are used to going when and where they are because they were not taught when young the correct thing to do. I have used this method with other dogs and it is beginning to work with Jazzy, now. When they soil, wipe it up with paper towels all the while saying "No, this goes OUTSIDE," stressing the word outside. Then pick up the paper towel and the dog and take them to where you want them to go outside and put the dirty papertowel there, for me it's in the grass on my side yard. I keep repeating "Pee-pee and poopy go OUTSIDE." When I see them starting to circle or look like it might be that time, even Jazz was in mid-pee one time and I yelled "OUTSIDE" and he stopped and ran out the dog door. It's an association thing. I leave the papertowel out there and their scent is now OUTSIDE. It takes a few days, but now Jazz is associating and it's been 3 days with no business in the house.

Also, get some Natures Miracle Spray and as soon as you clean it up, spray right away so the scent doesn't settle in. As far as the chewing...FROZEN MARROW BONES from the butcher. Long lasting, yummy and good for them too. Give them only sparingly, like when you are leaving or she needs to be crated for awhile. They will keep her occupied. I have never been a crate person and when I first got Jack, I came home to an entire sofa torn to shreds one day. Talk about sitting down and crying. Marrow bones worked to stop this until he got past that stage.

Sending patience vibes and hugs your way. I hope this helps.

Member Since 2009
Comment by Saratera on August 25, 2009 at 3:20pm
Hi Gwen,
Sorry to hear that your patience has not yet been rewarded in the potty training area! Thanks for sharing the discouraging parts as well as the victories. Not many things in life are 100% positive nor 100% negative.
Hang in there!

Member Since 2009
Comment by Gwen A on August 25, 2009 at 3:01pm
Discouragement and despair!

She just doesn't get the don't pee on carpet thing. I have caught her mid squat twice, tossed her out with NO NO. Her command to eliminate is Take a Leak. She knows it. Expects excited Goodgirls when she responds correctly. Always, always asks to go out when confined to the linoleum. I now have at least eight pee spots I'm hoping will not always smell and will not collect dirt.

Even worse...last Friday I had a short after lunch meeting. I usually have Friday afternoons off so I thought I would go to the meeting before going home. Of course it started late, ran late. Long story short, she was crated for over 6 hours and it was just too long. Somehow she escaped from her crate. I think she must be part cockroach because the opening she amazingly managed to create was much much smaller than her body in any dimension (cockadoodle? roachadoodle?). And because she couldn't possible soil the linoleum, managed to escape the kitchen, get into two different closed rooms and then had very runny, very large piles of very stinky diarrhea on my almost new, almost white carpet in both rooms. Yes I sat down and cried when I got home.

So I cleaned what I could and ran out to rent a carpet shampoo machine. I still have 3 very ugly stains. I can't begin to related how discouraged I am.

This morning while crated for less than one hour while I was out, she completely destroyed a $50 dog pad.
She has eaten my beautiful hardwood baseboards in the kitchen, gnawed on the corners of the bottom kitchen cabinets, chewed a hole in one of my (far too expensive) kitchen chairs, torn up the grass, thrown up in my car, and made my house dog-stinky.

Please send Patience Vibes.

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