Susie is a really sweet dog who has started to come out of her shell since I brought her into my home a little over 5 weeks ago. Since arriving at PAWS she's been a little reluctant meeting new people. You need to give her a little time to warm up and once she gets comfortable with you all is well. She seems to be a little less wary of women (she warmed up to my daughter right away) than she is of men. What I've learned is that if a new person meets Susie and goes slow, she'll be fine and will warm up once she's comfortable. I found out at Winnetka AWT that Susie is perfectly fine around kids. We had her in a book store to cool off and when I stopped by to check on her and her handler, to my initial horror there were kids sitting next to her and petting her. Her handler reassured me she had been fine the entire time with the attention from adults and kids alike.
Susie is always up for a walk. She is so easy on the leash, stopping to smell and do her business. With Susie, walks are more like strolls, laid back and comfortable. Susie has one trick she likes to perform on her walks. She likes to walk the curb and goes quite a ways before she'll step off to check out an interesting smell. She loves being outside and as soon as she gets into my back yard and is off the leash she immediately hits the deck, rolls over on her back and wiggles back and forth in the grass. This is something she really loves to do as she'll repeat it a few times.
Susie is not a resource guarder. I'm able to walk up to her when she's eating pick up her water bowl, refill it and bring it back without any reaction. She doesn't seem to want or need toys. I've presented her with soft toys, but she's simply not interested. She does like treats and will respond to them in training.
Susie is fine with personal grooming. She lets me brush her, standing still until I'm done. I use a furminator as she has the typical undercoat you find on Shepherds, Collies, Huskies, Malamutes and Samoyeds. All it takes is about 10 minutes a couple of times a week,and her coat stays beautiful. She allowed me to trim her nails with no issue. But because they were black, I couldn't see the quick and so had one of the PAWS vet techs trim her nails. Susie was soooo good, not flinching and letting them work on her. Her future vet will love this.
Susie is selective when it comes to other dogs. She got on famously with a little PAWS poodle mix at the Angels With Tails in Winnetka, and she seems to like my neighbor's 10 month old Shar-pei. They sniff each other through the fence and she wags her tails. There are also other dogs who she does not like that we pass on walks. She seems to get more agitated with bigger dogs than small ones and will usually only react if they start barking and reacting on the leash.
She is the perfect house guest as she is 100% house trained. She has her favorite spots where she likes to lay and is definitely not a dog that is underfoot because she always has to be around you. Susie gives you your space and when you want to give her a scratch behind the ears she'll come when you call her. She's not a dog that seems to like to lick her people or give them kisses. On the other hand, she now wakes me each morning by nosing my hand or arm and then waiting for me to get up. If I don't respond, she puts her wake up strategy in to play. First she will go lay down for a few minutes. Next she gets up and walks down the hallway and back to my room. She will repeat this as needed. Now, since I can hear her nails as she walks on the wood floors I know there's no going back to sleep so I finally get up and take her out.
Susie's got a fierce bark and uses it when she hears someone outside or when delivery people or the mail carrier comes to the door. She actually didn't bark for the first 3 weeks that I had her, then one day she heard something and I was really surprise at this big woof that came out of her. When there is someone at the door, she'll bark but will also respect my command to get back--this is when her protective side really comes out. In some ways it's nice to know that if you are home alone and someone you don't know come to the door that Susie's bark will make them think twice if their intentions are not good. I should mention that she's perfectly fine with strangers you bring in the house. So no issues with workers coming in. Once they are in and she's met them, she's fine with them, and basically ignores them.