Max is an extremely big and very handsome, cream coloured, five year old, pedigree
registered, Golden Retriever. He has been neutered and groomed and has all the
necessary inoculations and documentation to travel to the UK.
Max was relinquished because his family lacked the time to care for him properly
due to work commitments and a growing family. He lived outside so Max hadn’t been
house trained. Kathryn explained that IRR do not ever re-home dogs unless they have
been placed inside a home and have been treated as a fully integrated part of the family
which meant him being fostered in the UK by Nicky who has children, other dogs and a cat.
Unfortunately, acting like an untrained puppy in a large, adult body, meant he became
too much for Nicky’s family so he was moved to an adult only, cat free fostering situation
with Christine and Paul which was exactly the right move for all concerned.
Nicky said “Max is a lovely dog but he is like an overgrown puppy. He’s enthusiastic
and desperate to be loved but he doesn’t understand how huge he is. He would love to
sit on your knee if allowed!!!
He has a loving personality but he can also be nervous and worried. He is a mischievous
thief and, if it isn’t nailed down, he’ll pinch it – life is all a big game to him”.
Christine observed “Max is a friendly, energetic dog who is very active and intelligent. He
will make a great dog for someone who has plenty of time to spend on walking him
and giving him good positive training. He has settled well into our family, is very loving
and loves a belly rub. He is playful and happy, alert and inquisitive but he is also
boisterous and energetic.
He enjoys human company, is very loving and gives lots of kisses as well as following you
around the house but he can get over excited and I suspect children running around would
hype him up too much. He will give you licks but does jump up and even mouths people
if unchecked. On the other hand, quite often, when calm, he will fall asleep with his
head on your feet.”
Although he was in general good health, his ribs were quite prominent under all his fluff
and he lacked some muscle mass to the rear. The vet prescribed drops for both ears for wax.
After his time in foster, Max is now in very good health.
BASIC TRAINING: Nicky thought he had some training perhaps as a puppy as he could sit and lie down and would come if called with food in your hand but he would only respond to his name if not distracted. On the positive side, he is keen to learn. She said “I feel it is still very early days for Max with learning to live in a house and everything is very stimulating for him which makes him full on but the potential is definitely there”.
Christine agrees “ Max is a good looking boy who is full of energy and bounce. He is very intelligent and eager to learn. He does need a firm (but kind) owner who will recognize when he is starting to get over excited and who will be able to calm him down.
The main areas to work on are learning not to mouth for attention and when excited, knowing what is a toy and what is not and learning how to be calm in the home and when meeting new dogs during his walks. We are working on attention seeking behaviour such as bringing pillows in from another room.
Max is confident and intelligent which makes him a fast learner who is eager to please. His new owner will have to be firm when he is seeking attention but Max is responding to training that positively rewards him when he is displaying the correct behaviour”.
TRAVEL: Max gets in the car with little encouragement and travels well with no barking or chewing.
HOUSETRAINING: He is now fully housetrained and will either bark and wait at the door or go to the front door and pace when he needs to toliet.
SEPARATION ANXIETY: Max was quite stressed when he arrived at Nicky’s and was only left during the school run there.
Christine says “He sleeps in the kitchen and does, sometimes, have a whinge and a bark until he settles down. Once told firmly to “be quiet” he soon settles and will sleep a good 9hrs. He
will happily go to the kitchen when he needs to calm down too”.
RESOURCE GUARDING: Nicky and Christine both said Max is not a resource guarder but he had no idea of what was is his and what was not.
Nicky said “Max has to be put in another room during meals as he has no inhibitions about helping himself to the food off your plate. He wolfs his food and will push the other dogs out of the way for water / treats so he is fed separately”.
This has improved and, on a positive note, his love of treats makes him easy to train.
LEADWALKING: Christine says “He has been having 3 walks a day with our other dog and they walk well together. He is walked with a head lead and harness.
Walking with Max is now very stress free, with hardly any tugging on the lead, but he still needs work when meeting cyclists and other dogs as he is over eager to play.
If unchecked, he would lurch but this can be managed by good lead work, treats and avoidance. He has to sit and stay until the dog passes or the owner is happy to allow them to greet each other. He is responding well to this behavioural management.
He used to have a habit of just dropping to the ground halfway through a long walk when he decided he needed a rest but this has improved now his stamina has built up”.
ROUGH PLAY & CHILDREN: Although he is very friendly with children, he wouldn’t think twice about stealing their food or stealing and shredding their toys. Because he mouths and jumps up, although not meaning to hurt them, he really is totally unsuitable for being with children especially young ones.
He is in no way aggressive but is simply trying to incite play, as he would from another dog, in a puppy like, over-zealous way. We suspect Max has played inappropriate wrestling games in the past and he is simply seeking this rough type of play which he, clearly, really enjoyed.
CATS: Nicky said “He will bark at the cat if he can see him in the utility room, he is over interested and he will corner the cat in an over the top Max sort of way. He has chased our cat a few times but, now the cat refuses to move, he’s not quite so bad. Although, no doubt, it is all a game for Max, he really needs to go to a cat free home”.
Needless to say, his second foster home is a cat and child free zone.
FARM ANIMALS: He seems very at ease with horses and livestock which will be from his farm background.
DOGS: Nicky said “Max is very friendly and gets on really well with our dogs but, as with everything, although trying to mix in, he gets very excited and then jumps on the other dogs. This is wearing for our older male dog and can even be too much for our younger, smaller female dog simply due to his intimidating size”.
Max needed a dog who would teach him the rules which he found when moved to Christine.
She tells us “ Max likes other dogs but is still learning boundaries and appropriate behaviour. At first, with our female, he was too bouncy and always trying to mouth her ear and neck but she was able to tell him, in no uncertain terms, this was not acceptable which was exectly what he needed and, now, they get on quite well”.
MAX’S DREAM HOME
Max would probably be more suited to a rural setting in an adult only, cat free home with someone who is at home most of the time. His new owner must be experienced enough to stop him getting overexcited and know when to call time as well as being prepared to continue his lead work and general training.
Max will need an experienced, calm, tolerant, patient, positive owner who has the time and patience to bring him on. He will benefit greatly from living with someone who will continue with his basic training in a firm but fair way, with lots of positive reinforcement and appropriate rewards. The potential is there but he must have a dog orientated home where he will get lots of focus and attention. More than anything, he craves interaction. He would really benefit from taking part in an activity /training that involves him using his mind positively.
He has great potential but he needs somewhere with plenty of space where stimulation and a gradually increasing regime of exercise will satisfy his energy levels in order to help him to relax. A country home or one by the seaside would be perfect for this lovely boy.
Max loves company and is very fit and energetic so he will benefit greatly from having a large, equally fit, well socialised confident dog or dogs to teach him all about good doggy manners. He loves to play rough and tumble but he has no idea when the fun should stop so needs reminding. Doggy playmates would absorb much of his energy but also would help him to face any fears he may have.
Max will make a great family dog. He is always eager to please for treats or love. His
improvement in the short time he has been with his fosterers shows that he can learn
and adapt to his new family’s needs.