He loves his family and showers us with kisses!

by Angela
(Massachusetts )

Our Rocky is just that-as solid as a rock when it comes to protecting his family. He came to us at 7 months as a sort-of rescue (private owner rehoming), and we could see he lacked confidence right off the bat. He barked to warn us off, but when he realized I was not a threat by my giving treats then retreating he decided I was "His Person" and that was that. But he loves the children and even tolerates the overly-affectionate special needs young adult in our home. His insecurity has been a challenge to help him overcome and we have had to invest in training, so make sure the person designated as the primary trainer is able to handle that as we find he can become overwhelmed by sounds, smells, loud noises and quick movements of others. He has barked at several of those who live here, usually as a greeting but a few times as a warning when startled so we are doing conditioning training to help ease his fears and reactivity. He has also nipped at strangers so we are using a yellow ribbon that is part of a campaign to alert others to a dog in training or who has behavior issues. This we believe is most likely due to his previous life. We have seen improvement with consistent training and positive reinforcement.

He loves to be near whoever is in the house and my bed is a favorite hangout, but enjoys his independence as well. We have found if we are strict and consistent but kind with training he responds very well. He is intelligent and has responded to commands outside the normal usage-we can say "Kennel" when he is crazy outside and it is like a trigger, boom, he is in! He barks to alert us to "problems" as he perceives them so training is key to help Silkies to keep the barking at bay. Treat often to encourage desirable behavior!

He is quite the affectionate dog and loves to lick and give kisses so get ready for the doggy bath with this breed. We love it and when he becomes too much of a "toothy terrier" with mouthing people we remind him to kiss, no bites. Works every time! Did I say smart? That is the breed, as well as tenacious as he works to get those treats out-he even managed to remove the treat-filled insert to a plastic bone toy, without damaging the toy, wow, was I impressed! He had some potty training issues as he has a tendency to go when excited, in a new place or just to mark his territory inside. Again, consistent scheduling has mostly solved that problem and we have trained him to "tell us" by his sitting and waiting by the back door. He loves the backyard and the snow was such a fun treat for him!

He doesn't like anything falling on his coat, and he loves to dig so he does require more care for his coat. It is so funny to see him on his little rain coat, even more so when he is using it as a toy in the yard, tossing it into the air. And he can chew through most anything, as evidenced by the multiple collars, harnesses, pens and various other household items, so it is best to really dog proof until they are old enough to know what is theirs and what is not. We have many different toys, from rubber tubes to Kongs with treats to plat stuffed animals that he loves to destroy. Poor things, many of them have lots their little stitched eyes, noses and stuffing. He has only once chewed my shoe and being out in time-out and told "no" seems to have worked.

This breed is a great family dog for those that enjoy being outside and is good with a ball, when he spares their lives. He is learning to bring it to to us and leave it, although he often drops it just outside my reach to tease me. Quite the kidder he is, and finds it entertaining to chase our cats. That is one trait we have been working on with little success, but we will continue and hope that he catches on soon.

Overall this has been a great choice for our family and we adore him to pieces. The breed can be challenging and strong willed so firm is key with them. Loving and fun, they add so much joy to the family. Coat needs brushing almost daily but they often come to enjoy the quiet attention. We love our Silky and would not trade him for anything!

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