We are still looking for the perfect home for Clyde, who requires some special care and attention. Clyde, in almost all aspects, is a perfectly normal puppy, very affectionate and laid back, plays well with his littermates and his mum, and generally unfazed by startling sounds and sights.
However, Clyde is extremely sensitive to being restrained. If you try to hold him against his will (eg. on his collar or pick him up), he will give some warning growls. If you persist on restraining him, he has shown attempts to bite. We believe that this reaction is not out of fear, but rather out of frustration and escalates much faster than normal, especially for a puppy of this age. He was previously destined for a family with a young child, but we feel that it would be irresponsible to place him in a home with kids under the age of 10.
What we're looking for in Clyde's new home:
Given that these situations can be actively managed, and he has not shown any other behavioural issues, we would be comfortable placing him with a family that can demonstrate a willingness to commit to consistent, gentle training, and an ability to protect him from uncomfortable situation (eg. telling strangers who may want to pet him to stop). We are being highly selective to ensure that it’ll be the right fit for him AND his new family.
Based on how he interacts with Victra, I think he will be fine in a two-dog household, if the other dog is not particularly high-energy and I am confident he will also thrive as a solo dog household. Because of his relaxed personality, a fenced yard is not necessarily a requirement, and he should be fine in an apartment or townhouse, as long as he gets 2-3 leashed walks daily.
I believe he will be on the bigger side and already at 10 weeks, so it will be challenging to fly him in-cabin. Our preference for placement will be to a family who can come pick him up and drive to his new home.
More about Clyde:
With these guidelines established, let me tell you a little bit more about Clyde. Aside from that one behavioural issue, he is truly a great puppy. While he is fairly environmentally focused when he is in new situations, once he's checked out his surroundings, he's comfortable interacting with new people, so long as he's not forced to engage with them, and can retreat when he's uncomfortable.
He is incredibly affectionate and will bond strongly to his people. He will run to you when you come him, with his little tail furiously wagging. He will crawl into your lap to receive pets, scratches, and rubs anywhere on his body, as long as you aren't trying to restrain him while doing so.
He will shower you with kisses and nibbles (which is unfortunate right now with his razor sharp puppy teeth), and he will run and hide by you if he's scared. He gives a little more leniency to people he trusts with his sensitivities (eg. we've managed to pick him up without prompting his growls) but it'll be important not to push him TOO hard and break that trust.
Clyde is currently 6.6kg/14.5 lbs at 10 weeks old. I would expect him to be about 50-55lbs fully grown. He will be cream grey - aka mostly cream with gray guard hairs over top, and a black mask.
He is a phenomenally relaxed puppy, not particularly high-energy, and loves to chill. He is also a surprisingly quiet puppy - it is rare to hear him bark unless he's stressed and wants you to know it, or surprised at something that he deems scary and even then, it is often only a few short quick barks in succession. If you are looking for a drivey dog, Clyde is not it!
Sounds, sights, and new experiences:
Clyde is not sound or sight sensitive. He's been exposed to fireworks, trains, planes (including fighter jets!), sirens, etc. and while his ears will prick and he notices them, he's not particularly nervous or scared. When something interesting or new catches his eye, he observes with bright-eyed curiosity from a distance.
He has no sensitivities to walking on new textures including metal gates, rocks, grass, sidewalks, etc.
He has been exposed to neutral dogs on three occasions, and was fairly neutral in return - he preferred to stay back and watch them from a distance as opposed to approaching and greeting them, without being excessively nervous or stressed.
Training and motivations:
Clyde is very smart, and picks up on new concepts quickly. He enjoys training and and has rapidly absorbed some commands, including focus/eye contact, lured sits, lured downs, and response to the puppy call. He is currently quite reliable at following his people but he generally is less interested at strangers.
During the barrier challenge performed at his temperament test, where I hid behind a barrier and called to him, he was one of the faster puppies in the litter to figure out how to get to me (37 seconds where the range was 0:23-1:47 mins) and he improved significantly on his second attempt (8 seconds) indicating that he understood AND remembered how to solve previous challenges.
Clyde is not particularly toy-motived, but he'll play with them if you "activate" and engage them in front of him. Clyde IS food motivated and will run to you at the sign of a treat bag rustling, and sit in front of you politely, waiting for a treat.
Crate training, potty training, and separations:
Clyde, like most puppies, is quite attached to his people, however, his ability to settle by himself is one of his most impressive aspects. At 10 weeks, he sleeps overnight in his crate with some minor fussing initially (less than 2 minutes of quiet whining), and he can be crated at home alone for short periods of time.
He has been crated with Victra in a separate crate next to him, for up to 2.5-3 hours, and has been crated by himself at home alone for around 30 minutes. He has shown to be completely fine travelling crated in a car for up to five hours (with a break in the middle), but he doesn't love being confined to smaller spaces in the car (eg. he fusses much less travelling in the larger Variocage compared to travelling in an airline carrier bag where he is unable to stand up).
We have not observed any potty accidents from him for at least 2 weeks.
We will be consulting with a board-certified behaviourist (at our expense) so that we can give the new family more professional opinions and a tailored training plan to help Clyde overcome his insecurities.
In the interim, we will continue to expose him to additional handling with specific body handling drills daily, and use an elizabethan collar (cone) to safely practice restraining him without allowing him the opportunity to successfully bite.
If you think that you'll be a good fit for Clyde and you are interested in him, please feel free to reach out via email and introduce yourselves!