KIWI UPDATE 5/23/20!! When we first saved Kiwi, she was so nervous and anxious that she would immediately hit the ground and refuse to move. She slowly started to improve and learned that the leash wasn’t so bad, and with the help of her doggie foster sister, she started to come out of her shell more. We realized that Kiwi’s anxiety was leading to some inappropriate behaviors at home, so we enlisted the help of our wonderful trainer. For the past couple of weeks Kiwi has been enrolled in a training program to work on gaining confidence, improving socialization, and curbing anxiety. As she has continued with training, we have learned that she is a very smart yet sensitive dog who is going to take a bit longer to become the dog we know she can be. That said, Kiwi likely will not be ready/available for adoption until later this summer. When the time comes, she will need to go to a home with an experienced dog owner, a fenced in yard (physical fence; non-electric), another dog in the home, and no small children.
Update from trainer: As I discussed when you came out I started her on hand feeding and this seems to really helped her. She is a lot more relaxed and accepting touch a lot better than before. She will come to me when I call for her now and will hang out with me rather than come and then retreat. She is much more relaxed in an indoor setting when we are working than outside. I can put her on a lead inside and bring her to me without resistance while when we are outside on a lead she is looking for a place to retreat. As you know she loves other dogs so I have allowed her to have a lot of playtime. There have been two times that she was in play with another dog and stopped playing and went up to person she had never met and touched their hand. This is huge for her. Although she may have been looking for a treat, the fact that she voluntarily went up to them was huge. This is going to have to be a slow process. She is so smart that if I go too fast I feel like we will be right back where we started. So we will continue to work and I will keep you updated.
As for a proper forever home, Kiwi is a special dog. She will require a person that is very experienced in handling a girl like her. I have evaluated Kiwi with people, males and females, and other dogs and have not seen even the slightest sign of aggressive behavior. She is very animated when she is around other dogs but it is excitement. Her big movements and vocal sounds that she makes could easily be mistaken. Kiwi is very intelligent and responds to my body language and tones. In helping her to become a more confident dog, I have really had to be connected to her reactions to be able to know when she can handle the next paces I am about to put her through.
If I was to describe her at this time I would say that she is a beautiful, silly girl that has a lot to offer but needs to be built from the ground up.