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A.K.A Willy, Willy-Burr, Willy Wonka
18 months |Tri-colour Cocker Spaniel x Cavalier | House trained | High Energy | Loves Children 5+ | Great Leash Manners | Slow Introductions with Dogs| Not Cat tested |
Willy is quite the character, and really knows how to warm your heart within moments of meeting you. He is a bit of an insecure boy, so he tends to revert heavily to relying on his people to stand up for him. In his foster home, his biggest challenge is learning how to soothe himself and grow his confidence in a healthy way. Because of his strong ability to form unhealthy bonds with his people, we strongly recommend continuing his crate training for periods throughout the day, when you’re not home, and overnight as well. At this time, he is still learning to find comfort in his crate, and definitely likes to watch the world around him, but this can make him more anxious, so we strongly recommend covering his crate with a blanket.
Wilbur loves to greet his people with his voice! He sings the song of his people, and is learning that he does not get the attention he’s looking for this way, so he has learned to calm quickly. Wth dogs, we are still working on his reactivity – so at this time, it still looks a bit frantic. He does a very loud baying sound, and needs to be redirected with the leash. Changing directions, and distracting him to get him to focus on you is key, but can take a fair bit of work and commitment. For this reason, it will be a required part of his adoption to have a balanced trainer set up prior to his arrival in his new home.
Wilbur is approximately 18 months, and definitely still a puppy at heart! He absolutely LOVES to play ball, and will do so for as long as your arm can take it! He quite enjoys his walks, but when comes to favourites, BALL IS LIFE! He requires an adequate amount of exercise, and would make an excellent partner for hiking, running, camping, etc! Due to his anxiety, he has trouble settling in the home when not crated, and for this reason making sure he is appropriately exercised will help with his ability to settle.
When left alone, he is crated, and we recommend very strongly that this be continued. He is not a destructive dog by any means, but being crated allows him to settle and truly relax when his people are not with him. It does take him a few minutes, but he settles nicely. In his foster home, he is crated around other dogs, so if he were in a home without other dogs, we suspect he would regress on this. Consistency will be KEY!
At night, Wilbur is silent as anything! He doesn’t wake too early either (unless you do)! Again, because he is crated at night and with other dogs in the same room, a regression is to be expected. Allowing him to sleep in bed would be thoroughly discouraged as we try to make strides with his anxiety. On leash, Wilbur is an absolute DREAM! He uses a slip lead for walks, and walks in a perfect heel for as long as you’d like to go! Not much spooks him by way of transportation, but his foster home is somewhat out of town, so if he were adopted to a home in the city, there may be new sounds that he is not used to.
With respect to the leash reactivity, this would be the only time he shows his wild side. We have made leaps and bounds with his progress, but this is something that would need to be worked on DAILY. In his foster home, he lives very happily with other dogs, but needed slow introductions with each and every one of them. On leash, he does not have the opportunity to greet other dogs, and we do this on purpose. His reactivity is fear-based and stems from over-socialization.
In the car, he is crated as well. We do this for many reasons, but the main one being safety. Safety for both the dog and the driver. As he can be anxious, we do not want to provide an opportunity for him to begin stress-inducing behaviours such as pacing, jumping from seat to seat, or building a reactivity for passing vehicles. For this reason, it is strongly recommended he be contained some way while in the car. Our preference would be in a crate, but we understand not all vehicles can accommodate this. We recommend this for all our adoptions.
As the mentioned many times in his bio, Wilbur does suffer from anxiety. Currently he is being managed on 2 different anxiety medications and is doing well. At this time, he is not ready to be weaned off, and we are not sure if he ever will be. The adopter will be responsible for booking an appointment with their veterinarian to ensure his medications are refilled in a timely manner. In addition, we suspect Wilbur may also have some food allergies, so he has been put on a vet prescribed hypoallergenic diet and has been doing phenomenally.
The ideal home for Wilbur would be someone dedicated to continuing his training and working through his quirks. He is a loving boy who is happy to please his people, but he just needs a little support in return! An active home is preferred to ensure his exercise requirements have been met to offset the anxiety. He would do well in a home with another dog, but this is not a necessity. He would do well in a home with respectful children. Detached housing is not necessary, but know that he may be a bit noisy when making his transition.
Wilbur has been a work in progress for quite some time, and though he’s still got a lot of work to do, he is ready to find his forever home! If you think your family may be the right fit, feel free to submit an application!
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