She is a high energy girl. If not given the space and other opportunities for exercise, Miso must get a good one hour, several mile (5-6 miles) long brisk walk, or running session, in the morning and another in the evening (2-3 miles). Once she has had her exercise, Miso is a mellow girl. She is happiest with her people, but not needy; and content to spend most of the day lounging around with you while you cook, do household chores or desk work. In the evening when the family is watching TV, she likes to snooze while resting her head on someone, or curl up so she is touching you. Besides loving to be in the house with her people, Miso loves her bed. He fosters placed her bed in their bedroom next to theirs. When they tell her “Go to bed,” she will enthusiastically bound up to the bedroom and happily throw herself onto her bed and stay there quietly for the night.
When at home, if the doors are open and she can be inside or outside, she will choose to be inside, sometimes she enjoys being just inside the open door and looking out. However, her people must be able to see the world through her eyes, and think at least two steps ahead of her, to keep her safe. When she knows her home, she will stay close and just wants to be around her people. However, Miso is VERY athletic, fast, and impulsive. If she sees something compelling on the other side of a fence, she can be very motivated to climb or jump over. High, sturdy fencing is a MUST to keep her safe. Until Miso knows, and has bonded with, her new family, extra caution should be taken to prevent escapes from the house, yard or car. If she knows you are leaving her alone, she will whimper a little and usually settles down after a few minutes. She has not chewed on or destroyed anything when left alone in the house.
During car rides, she sits very nicely and quietly in the back seat. She seems to enjoy watching the world go by in the car. Miso is generally a quiet dog, unless there is something to bark at (another dog, or someone at the door). She may whine if you are standing around with her too long on a leash and she wants to be on her way.
Miso is the great combination of a highly intelligent, thinking dog, who very much wants to please her people. If she knows what you want her to do, she will try to do it. Currently, she knows Sit, Look at me, and Go to bed. She is also housebroken, and has done all her business outside when taken out. If the door is left open, she will go out on her own.
Miso shows her herding tendencies in only the mildest ways. Cattle dogs often use their paws like hands. Miso will gently touch you with her paw when she wants some attention, or for you to increase in your level of attention. The only time she does any mouthing on human hands, is when she is having her belly scratched, and she may softly take your hand in her mouth, to fondle it. She does like chewing on raw knuckle, or marrow, bones and rope toys, and has not chewed on anything she has not been given.
She is always excited to go on walks and share her outdoor experience with someone. After about the first brisk mile she stops pulling and walks nicely with a “loose leash.” However, if she sees a squirrel or a cat, her prey drive will be triggered, and she will pull to chase. She will also pull when she sees another dog coming.
Miso was in heat when the shelter released her to us. We thought her reaction to other dogs may be due to her hormones, but we aren’t yet sure as the hormones aren’t completely out of her system. We also suspect that traumas have happened to her involving other dogs. When on walks in urban and suburban areas, the sight of other dogs approaching causes her to be very agitated. Her environment must be managed actively during walks, and her people need to be ready to - have irresistible treats ready to go in her mouth one after another when another dog is seen, cross the street when you see an approaching dog, use cars to block her view/access to approaching dogs. Miso is very strong and can be hard to manage if she gets overstimulated when encountering another dog. Because we can’t predict if/when Miso may snap at another dog, for safety reasons, unknown dogs should not be allowed to approach Miso (or Miso approach them) when on an outing. For this reason, early morning, or late evening walks may work the best for Miso and her human, and it’s best to stick to routes that have wide streets, and few dogs, if possible. The good news is that Miso is a very quick study. Her foster mom is working with her to “Look at me,” when Miso sees another dog, and our girl is quickly learning to manage her response when most dogs are passing by, and to look to her person for a treat. However, if not distracted soon enough from another dog, she may begin pulling. Miso would benefit from leash work, and de-sensitization to other dogs with the support of a professional behaviorist.
Her reactivity when encountering other dogs makes it a challenge if long walks in a highly populated area are her only means of exercise. For this reason, we feel that adopters in a quiet setting with room to run, and where her dog encounters will be minimized, would reap the most benefits of Miso’s best traits as a happy, loving and devoted companion. Because she loves being with her humans more than anything, and so far, is still not keen on interacting with other dogs, she may do best as an only dog. However, she could possibly be fine with another dog in the same home, if the dog is mellow and not in her face. During her first week at her foster home, Miso would occasionally growl at her easy going, senior, canine foster brother if he entered a room she was in. Now, they sometimes nap together. She has NOT shown any resource guarding behavior with other dogs or humans. Because of Miso’s desire to chase cats, squirrels, and probably other wildlife, we do not recommend her for homes with cats or free range poultry.
Miso's foster mom will miss her when she is adopted, and said "...the only thing she needs to keep working on are her impulse control when seeing other dogs and creatures, and her leash manners."