When you’re big and brindle, it can be hard to find a home, even if you’re very well-behaved. It isn’t hard to see why someone may be put off from taking a chance on Nala, but if you take her home you will find that she is very easy to have around.
Nala hasn’t had an accident in my home in all the times that I’ve had her over, including overnight. She is quiet and well-behaved in her crate all night and when crated during the day. She has all of her basic training and enjoys training sessions.
Nala is incredibly tolerant, willing to put up with all kinds of silly outfits in exchange for treats. She’s a beautiful model. She even moves her head to different angles when I move the treat. Her intelligence is clear in her patient expression.
Most of the time, Nala naps. She loves to lean against my leg while I type. Wherever we go, she puts her back against me when she lies down. It makes me feel like it’s us against the world.
Nala excels in environments with lots going on. She enjoys meeting everyone at the farmer’s market: people and dogs. She is very gentle and considerate of little dogs, giving them space to come to her after she rushes up to meet them.
When she first comes out of the kennel at Animal Services, Nala wants to play. She can be an intimidating playmate, roaring in a very lion-like manner and rolling her eyes back in her head when we play tug.
She knows how to “drop it”, although sometimes it still takes a little bit of convincing. Nala sits and stays for her toy, which allows for crazy rushes to play tug again when I give the word, or for me to toss the toy up for her to catch. I always enjoy playing with Nala.
Nala only plays for about fifteen minutes before she’s worn out and ready to be her easy-going self. She is always excited to see the harness and “Adopt Me” vest. I buckle Nala into a seatbelt in my backseat like I do with all of the dogs that I take out. She generally chooses a window and sits calmly by it, or spraws out in the backseat.
When I walk Nala on a leash I usually attach the leash to the martingale collar, rather than the harness. Nala doesn’t pull often but when she does she is STRONG. If she puts her weight into the harness at the wrong moment she may really pull me over, but with the martingale collar that is much less likely. I’d like to train her with a head harness going forward, and conditioning her to that may be my next step.
As with all of the dogs that I work with, my walking training technique for Nala is simple. If she pulls, I stop. That’s all there is to it. Nala nearly always responds to me stopping. Rarely do I need to change directions to encourage her to follow me. Simply stopping is enough to remind her that I would rather not be pulled .
Nala is always a hit with kids. Despite her huge and intimidating looks, children aren’t at all afraid to run up to her and rub her big head. Nala loves the attention, sitting like a good girl for pets. She is very sweet and gentle with kids on outings.
Nala is a very focused student, even in a highly distracting environment like the market. She is a clever girl who doesn’t easily get overwhelmed. She will almost always do her tricks for me and for willing volunteers that we meet. Depending on her mood, treats or toys are both great motivators.
Nala is very affectionate and cuddly. She tries to return the affection by nibbling or “flea biting” sometimes, but we discourage this, as it tends to startle people who don’t know her.