Shyla's a perfect fit for her new family

Posted by Nerilie Watson on 10 April 2010 | 5 Comments


We adopted our dog Shyla, a two year old Staffy-X-girl, from your shelter 6 months ago, and it's about time we let you know how she is going. We had wanted a dog for years but our circumstances were never right until now. So we had lots of time to think about what we wanted in a dog, and we always thought we would have a happy-go-lucky dog that would spend hours on the beach, playing and running around. Well, that wasn't Shyla.

Good dog Shyla

When we met her at the Shelter we fell in love with her the instant we saw her sitting in her kennel, looking up at us with her huge brown eyes. She came home with us the same day, and while the shelter staff described her as shy she appeared comfortable with us straight away. She also decided on her first day that she wouldn't be sleeping in the lounge room at night by herself; she refused to go to sleep until her bed was moved to the bedroom - and that's where she's been sleeping ever since. She now has three beds scattered throughout the house so she can always be close to us.

Inside, she is just the quietest, best behaved dog – she hardly ever barks and is happy just following us around, laying down at our feet and always ready for a cuddle.
While Shyla stays by herself without too much drama, she definitely prefers not to. And we’ve found it very hard closing the door to her little face as well. So it’s a good thing she can go to work with Sven every day. She is very well behaved and sleeps under his desk most of the day, even with people coming and going constantly.

Shyla dreaming

However, outside it was a bit of a different story. When we first adopted her, Shyla was very reactive to almost everything - plastic bags, a-frame signs, power domes, birds, cyclists and most of all other dogs. She would strain on the leash, lunge, bark and whine, making outings very stressful for all of us.  I started taking her out for walks at five o’clock in the morning to avoid meeting any other dogs. We also took her to group training classes, one-on-one training, a homeopath and read tons of books to learn how to get her behaviour under control.

Shyla attacking a kong

And we are very happy to report that Shyla’s reactivity has decreased immensely. She gets two hours of exercise every day – one long walk through our suburb in the morning, a quick dash down to the park at lunch time and a long run at the beach or in the park in the evenings. She’s now meeting heaps of people and other dogs off-leash and this seems to have helped to greatly boost her confidence and poise. People who knew her when we first took her home sometimes can’t believe it’s the same dog when they see her now. We are so proud of how far Shyla has come.

There is still a bit of work ahead of us but we are confident that with some patience and a bit more training we’ll get there as Shyla is a very smart girl. Since coming home with us she has learnt to come (most of the time), lie down, go to her bed, shake paw, touch and other commands. Her enthusiastic sit-stay before crossing the road earns her lots of smiles and compliments from passers-bye.

She’s very eager to please and is very good most of the time but she’s still a little boofhead after all. Her biggest weakness are baked goods. She does everything for even a piece of old bread and goes to great lengths to get it. We’re still not 100% sure where the Turkish Bread went that was left out on the very back of the kitchen bench to defrost overnight but Shyla is the prime suspect though we don’t know how she managed to climb up (she’s only knee high!) and get it without us waking up. However, after she wolfed down

Shyla hard at work

four danishes from a box on the coffee table while we were standing outside around the barbeque (I could have sworn I was cuddling her the whole time!), we know what she’s capable of when it comes to her favourite food.

Anyway, we basically just wanted to say a big thank you for introducing us to Shyla and allowing us to adopt her. She is our perfect dog and an integral part of our family. Shyla also seems very happy living with us if her constantly wagging tail and her readiness to sit on our laps and get hugs and cuddles are anything to go bye.

Kindest Regards,

Uta & Sven & Shyla

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  • nice blog thanks for sharing :)

    Posted by elsita, 09/05/2010 10:20am (8 years ago)

  • i cannot see how people could treat these animals in sutch a way. They are the most loving companions good to hear everything is going well.

    Posted by andrew, 22/04/2010 10:58pm (9 years ago)

  • Hi, i work in the office in which Shyla comes along with Sven and i must say that she is always "Employee of the month" she never complains, is never a distraction, but unfortunately sleeps most of the day and therefore doesn't get paid! with the occasional HUGS....

    Posted by Frances, 19/04/2010 5:23pm (9 years ago)

  • Great story. We adopted our collie/husky mix a few years ago from a local shelter. She had been so abused, she was afraid of everything, especially human hands and feet. We would reach out to touch her and she would put her paw over her face to protect herself.

    It took two years of re-training and lots of love, but she is now a normal dog.

    Posted by, 15/04/2010 11:16pm (9 years ago)

  • Shyla sounds like a sweetie!
    Well done on training her so kindly and well.
    Em from the Ref x

    Posted by Emma, 15/04/2010 9:23pm (9 years ago)

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