Est. birthdate: 09/08/2012
Weight: 45 lbs.
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Behavioral: Stranger danger, handling sensitivities, guards toys and food
Brother Wolf rescued Piper from a high-kill shelter in 2014. Because of her behavioral challenges (“stranger danger”, handling sensitivities, and a propensity to guard some toys, food, and high-value treats), she didn’t stand a chance in a shelter that lacked the resources to help her find the right home.
In Brother Wolf’s care, we’ve seen Piper come a long way over the past couple of years. A staff member named April, who is a part of Brother Wolf’s behavior team, started working with her in July 2016. “I started by just making it a point to spend time with her and give her treats,” April says, “and eventually she started to open up and trust me.” As soon as Piper would get comfortable with one thing, April moved on to something else, and that’s how they started to build a relationship.
One of April’s favorite ways to help Piper is to engage her in “real world training” like desensitizing her to baths. She says “I like to do the types of training that’ll be applicable to her happiness after she gets adopted.”
April and the rest of the behavior team are skillfully introducing Piper to staff members and volunteers who have worked with her in play groups, and she has been making progress! “She’s getting better about meeting new people,” April says, “but it’s something that will always have to be managed.”
Piper is a member of Brother Wolf’s Lifelong Friends program. That means that her future adopter will receive free behavioral and medical care for the duration of Piper’s life. By helping Piper learn new skills and giving ongoing behavioral support to her future family, we believe we can help Piper find the loving home she deserves.
Sponsoring Piper with a commitment to $10/month or more will help us provide the ongoing attention and training she needs to grow into a healthy and happy dog.
Last month, Piper’s friend April moved out of state to pursue a job opportunity that’ll ultimately enable her to save more and more animal lives. Piper is so happy for her friend, but the change has set her progress back a bit. According to Emilia, a member of Brother Wolf’s behavior team who has been continuing to work with Piper, “She definitely misses April and the routine they had. I think she misses getting off campus and going for walks and runs.”
Since Piper can be tricky to work with, she doesn’t get to go out with volunteers and staff as often as some of our other dogs do, but Emilia and the rest of the behavior team are working hard to make sure that’s not always the case.
“We’re getting more staff to spend time with her outside in the play yard,” Emilia says. “That has been a good way to get people more comfortable with her.” Having good experiences with new people in a comfortable environment like the play yard will hopefully help Piper learn that most people can be friends.
Emilia has also been working with Piper on a type of clicker training called no-mugging. “You show them that you have a treat in your hand,” Emilia explains, “and then you put it to your side. The first thing they do is try to get their nose in there and try to pry it out of your hand. Once they realize they can’t get it that way they’ll usually sit and stare at your hand, waiting for you to drop the treat. As soon as they make eye contact with you, that’s when we click, say ‘Yes’, then drop it. Piper is doing really well with it, as well as other methods of clicker training.”
Though progress has been slow lately, as Piper adjusts to a new routine, she has been continuing to move forward. Sponsoring Piper for just $10/month allows us to maintain the knowledgeable staff and programs that help Piper learn the skills she needs to find a loving forever home.
Piper has been doing great! She had been getting out into playgroups at least 4-5 days a week and she has made some new dog friends. She’s happy to see them and she put them in their place with quick growl if they get too rowdy for her. After that, they play by her rules. Now that it’s getting hot, she has loved playing in the kiddie pools in the play yard. According to her human friend Emilia, “She enjoys licking my face after I bring her in from playgroups, then she usually takes a nap.” She has been going on some long walks with Emilia and loves stopping to sniff everything she can.
Piper’s friend April hasn’t forgotten about her even though she lives in Florida now. Emilia says “. April sent her a care package maybe 2 weeks ago with more duck plush toys and some cookies, she loved them!”