Age: 5 1/2
Weight: Thin, a bit underweight at 39 lbs.
Fostered In Wisconsin
Toby is a rather fearful dog and will need an exceptional home that can give him the patience and security he needs. He has not been well socialized so he is fearful of new people and new dogs. He spent a lot of time crying and pacing once in his foster home. He had accidents in his kennel. He had a lot of stress from the transition. Toby has been known to try to bite to protect himself if need be, so he really needs a home that can give him time and will not put him in unnecessarily uncomfortable situations. But he also needs to continue learning to socialize and do normal dog stuff.
In the last few weeks Toby has certainly made progress in his foster home. He is learning to socialize with people coming and going. At first a new person would stress Toby all day but not he warms up in an hour or two. He does bark at things but not in an aggressive way. He has started playing tug-of-war with the young dog in the home. He loves squeaky toys and finds comfort in routine. He is a real lover once he gets comfortable.
Daily Routine: Toby likes to wake up early and that means he typically barks from his kennel around 5:30am wanting to go outside. After he is up he likes to drink water from a stainless bowl that has ice cubes in it (yes, we may have spoiled him a little). We also give him a bowl of hard food at this time with 1 ½ cups of food. Toby was quite thin when he first came to us so we have been leaving food down all day if he chooses to eat it. He does not over-eat and has no food aggression towards people or other dogs. We have a fenced in back yard with a deck off the patio door and while he does go potty in the yard, he also likes to go potty on the deck. He spends a lot of his day sleeping or playing with our 8 month old coonhound puppy. Toby would prefer to stop playing after an hour or so, but the puppy is somewhat relentless and he gets pretty tired by the end of the day of playing. Between 3:30pm and 5:30pm all the dogs are fed, each in a separate area and Toby is still learning that the other dogs are not fans of sharing their bowl of food with him. We give him another 1 ½ cup of food.
We have a couple of senior dogs that don’t have many teeth left and have to eat soft food. When Toby ate canned food he did get a bit if diarrhea so we make sure that he sticks to his high protein hard food.
When we eat supper we’ve found that for a calm peaceful dinner time, we need to kennel both Toby and the puppy. If Toby were in a home with just himself I feel that he would not need to be kenneled during people meals. With four dogs in our household, there is too much playing and chaos for it to be calm at dinner time so the two youngest go into the kennels.
Between 9-10:30pm he is kenneled for the night.
What I love to do: Toby loves anything squeaky and loves to play tug of war and chew on toys. Any toy with stuffing and a squeaker is doomed. He does not counter-surf, but if you drop people food on the floor, you can expect it to be gone in an instant. Toby likes to sit on the furniture and snuggle with you. He does not lay in or on dog beds during the day, he prefers the couch, but I believe he could be trained to stay down. The thing I love the most is when we let him outside and he knows that he can run free and he runs as fast as his little legs will carry him. He is FAST and loves to run even though his little front feet are very crooked. One foot almost turns all the way backwards.
Toby loves to bark with the deepest Basset Hound bark there is. Some people are scared by it, but he likes to warn people that he’s nervous around new people and a little afraid of them. He also loves to look out the windows and does bark a little when people are walking by the house.
Of course he loves ear scratches and rubbing. He loves snuggling and even tries to be a lap dog.
Personal goals: When Toby is ignored and doesn’t get enough play time or attention he likes to pull his bedding out of his kennel and chew holes in it. When he is active and has plenty to do during the day, he does not exhibit this behavior.
Toby’s number one issue that is still a work in progress is his ability to socialize with others outside of his own human pack. I feel that the household he came from had no established “leader of the pack” and Toby was allowed to show aggressive behavior towards humans. He was not socialized with other people, places, or situations. Once he came to our home we have been working to assert that he is member of the pack and will be submissive when his behavior is out of line with new people and situations. When he first home with me it took 5 days for him to warm up to me enough that I could touch him and he learned that I could be trusted not to hurt him, although he was still very nervous if my hands were anywhere near his back end (where other animals attack). After a week, my daughter and her boyfriend came to visit. After 5 hours Toby was still not comfortable with either of them but did not attack. He just barked and showed very nervous behavior. I asserted myself and addressed the behaviors. A few days later my daughter came over and after about 3 hours Toby was letting her pet him and give him treats, although still cautious. After another week has gone by, my husband came home from a vacation up north and Toby took about 2 days to get accustomed to my husband. Now, 4 weeks into Toby’s time with us, my daughter came over and within 30 minutes he was on her lap getting petting and attention.
I would not trust Toby in a household with children at this time or at least until he has a year of socializing with many different people, pets, and situations.
I do not feel that he is totally housetrained and we currently kennel him when we leave the house. He does not signal us when he has to go outside. We have a pack of dogs and he goes out when they do. He does bark to come back inside. He will require some leash training inside for housetraining at his new home so he can learn the boundaries.
Favorite thing to do with my best friend: Toby spends a lot of his day sleeping or playing with our 8 month old coonhound puppy. Toby would prefer to stop playing after an hour or so, but the puppy is somewhat relentless. He goes in and out all day with the other dogs and still hasn’t realized that we have a 1 acre fenced in back yard that he can roam in.
Kind of family I want: Toby would love to be in a family that could just give him love and attention while he sleeps next to you on the couch and when he wakes up and wants to play with some squeaky toys that you would play with him. Sometimes he even gets so excited he runs around the house like a goon! Toby came from a home with a cat and has been exposed to a cat in our house. He just ignores the cat. While I think he would get along with one other dog, Toby can share attention with other dogs but is so submissive that he just lets the other dogs take all the attention. If he could be the only dog in the house so he could get all the attention, or at least in a home with a dog that doesn’t mind sharing attention, he would love it. We did let him sleep in bed with us a couple of times and he LOVED it, but we didn’t want to spoil him too much if his new forever home wanted him to sleep in a kennel.
Biggest fears: I was told by his previous owner that he was attacked by another dog when he was small and has shown fear of dogs since then. I would agree that he shows fear of all other dogs and is very submissive to all of them. It took about a week to get used to our older senior dogs but they just ignore Toby. The puppy we have has forced Toby to interact and learn to be social with him.
Toby is very nervous about going in car rides but we have been working on taking him for rides, but he still cries and is nervous. He does love to go visiting places once the car ride is over. Toby does not like getting his nails trimmed. I would suggest that he be muzzled while learning to get his nails trimmed until he gets used to the getting them cut.
Ideal weekend plans: While we have not taken Toby to the dog park yet, this would be a place that he would love because he can run unleashed. He comes back to you very good if you call, “TREATS Toby, Treats!”
When you give him a treat, if you ask him to sit and shake he can do both! He’s so cute with his little paw looking for a shake. The next thing that he would like is to visit a pet store and be able to pick out his very own toys!