DoB: September 2010 (estimate)
ISSUES: Deaf with quirky, startle behaviours.
There are many good articles to be found on the web about training deaf dogs.
SECURE, FENCED YARD REQUIRED
Because of her reactive startle response - loud bangs, unexpected/unseen approaches, bumped during sleep (which she does a lot) - we do not recommend a home with children younger than 12 years. She tends to startle awake & snap at what disturbed or touched her before checking to see who or what it was.
She likes to chase after the yard toys, pouncing on them like she was hunting mice. She also likes to play tug with the holy balls or sticks when another dog gets the toy first. She does play fetch with balls & frisbees & is very good about bringing it back to be thrown again. Her previous owner had done some initial agility training with her but she'd need a refresher course if that is an interest. She definitely wants to do stuff and it is hard to remember that she is deaf.
Her ideal home would be where she is your constant companion and you have a relatively reliable routine. She likes to go everywhere with you, travels really well & loves to be your navigator all the time. She can stay quietly in a hard sided crate for short periods if she can't go with you, though. Her previous home had indicated that anything but a hard-sided crate will not hold her - she would desperately try to get out of a wire crate or over a chain link or solid wooden fence. She did try jumping over our 6 ft chain link fencing initially, and she did succeed in getting over the 6 ft yard gate a few times before we could stop her but didn't get too far before we got her attention and back in the yard.
Since she cannot hear us to come when called, we put a bear bell on her collar (we do that with all of our deaf fosters) so we can tell where she is. As long as we can hear her, we can track her down so that we are in her line of sight. Once she can see us, she is very responsive to hand signals.
Mariah has a few quirks that, although they have lessened during her stay in foster care, still occasionally surface. We have not been able to link her behaviour with any particular triggers but sometimes, mainly in the middle of the night, she is startled out of her sleep and appears to panic. She pants excessively and may pace or will try to find a high spot to curl up on. In our house, that happens to be the dryer. If there are things on the dryer, she doesn't care - she simply scrambles to get on it, pulling everything off. Often, she can settle down if put in her hard-sided crate. However, if she is sleeping in her hard-sided crate, or does not want to be there, she starts violently flip-flopping around in the crate & the only thing that will calm her is to let herout to sleep on the bed.
Mariah was owner surrendered because she would desperately try to get out of any wire enclosure (crates, dog runs, chain link) to be with her people. As he was going to be gone for 6 months training for a sled dog race, he did not want to leave her in someone's care only to have her escape & potentially be injured or killed while on the loose. Her desperation to get out of wire enclosures was to the point of doing injury to herself.
She did have a lot of damage to her teeth, bad enough that it must've hurt to eat because she was not at all interested in her food unless it was softened, even if only with water, & she was too underweight to safely spay at the time of intake. Thanks to Dr. Stew & the Woodland Vet Clinic, all the broken teeth were removed & any other teeth issues were fixed or cleaned.