Two years ago, Coby was found abandoned in a field in Holland. No more than four months old at the time, the puppy was emaciated and near starving. The Holland Dog Warden brought him to the local animal shelter where they spent the next month trying to get him in good enough shape to be put up for adoption.
Coby was still very thin when he was adopted by an older couple, but took to his new home with a shy good nature. Unfortunately just two weeks after he was adopted, Coby was hit by a car, suffering two broken legs and a broken shoulder. His owners sought out the best care through Great Lakes Animal Hospital who performed successful orthopedic surgery on him.
Because his adoptive parents were older, Coby lived in an isolated setting and had little opportunity to interact with anyone aside from his two owners. After being struck by a car, Coby became skittish whenever he was near the road. His owners therefore did not take him for a lot of walks where he would be exposed to other animals or people, thereby increasing his isolation.
Coby spent a lot of time lying next to his former owners, his head in their laps while they watched TV. Even though he isn’t a small dog, he never played rough or broke any of the many antiques which were in the home. He had free rein of the house during the day, and at night went right into his kennel to sleep.
He was well looked after, regularly taken for dental hygiene visits, current on his vaccinations, and groomed professionally every five weeks. He loved to ride in the car although he tended to whine whenever the car wasn’t in motion. Coby also played endlessly with his favorite toy: a yellow rubber ice cream cone with little barbs that stuck out from it. As a result of having been starved as a puppy, Coby has a very healthy appetite, often gobbling up his food immediately as though fearful he may never eat again.
After two years however, Coby inexplicably bit both the male owner and his adult daughter. The owners quickly contacted K-9 Specialists in Zeeland for help but he was unable to take on the case for another week. In the interim, the couple put an ad in the paper which was answered by a young man who loved Shepherds. Coby took to the man immediately and he went to the new owner’s home against the advice of the trainer who had recommended several weeks training before placing him with another family.
Within one day there was another biting incident at the new home, and K-9 Specialists was called to take the animal away.
K-9 specialists — Zeeland’s own ‘Dog Whisperer’ — placed the dog under quarantine for ten days, then took on the eight to ten week task of training Coby, socializing him for what we hope will be his permanent home. The original adoptive parents have agreed to pay for this training.
This is a dog that has already been through far too much trauma in his young life. Abandoned, starved and most likely abused as a puppy, he then went through the ordeal of being badly injured in a car accident. Although his adoptive parents dearly love him, they are an older couple who aren’t up to the task of properly training and handling him. By isolating Coby from other people and animals, they left him ill-prepared to handle these situations when they arose. And after the biting incidents, the owners were literally keeping Coby on an extremely tight leash which helped to exacerbate the animal’s dominance issues.
The trainer wants people to know that this is a very good dog, who was simply not in the appropriate skilled hands. Coby’s sudden aggression resulted largely from the owners’ inability to properly socialize him. In his previous home there was no pack leadership and Coby tried to fill the void. With the right people, however, he has shown himself to be quite calm and submissive.
Just one week into training, the trainer began to see marked improvement in Coby. After an initial wariness, he was playing with other dogs within four hours of encountering them. In addition he is now being exposed to the variety of people who visit the training facility. He loves to go for a walk on a leash and is calm and playful, possessive of his new toys.
Coby will need an additional three weeks training, but after that he requires an owner who is willing and able to take on the responsibility of being what the trainer calls a good pack leader. In order to make the right choice, the K-9 specialist will not only interview the prospective owner but ask that they complete 2-3 weeks training with him, coming in for sessions several times a week.
Coby is a playful, good-natured dog who needs a dominant personality in his life. This person can be male or female but needs to understand the dynamics of a dog pack. Importantly they have to realize that being a dominant alpha leader does NOT mean treating the dog harshly in any way. Coby needs calm assertive people around him who don’t yell, but instead only have to point to get the proper response from him.
Although he does plays well with all the dogs at the training facility, he especially loves little dogs, and seems to be quite enamored of charmers Maggie and Trina. It is the trainer’s judgment that he would do best in a home with smaller dogs, or no dogs at all. And the trainer does not recommend a home with children.
K9 Specialists has assessed Coby would do best in a male only household. His new owner must have previous experience in dog ownership and understanding of strong pack leadership skills. Coby is almost through with his own training and does not need to go into another failed home experience. The trainer is confident that he will do well in a good home with people who are serious about their commitment.
Two years after a starving puppy was found abandoned in a Holland field, it is long past time for this big guy to finally get a chance at a happy home with the right family.
For more information please contact:
K-9 Specialist, LLC
4613 34th Street
Zeeland, MI 49464