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Sage or Quimby – I have to Choose!

This is Sage. He is almost 4 years old. I raised him from puppyhood, age 10 weeks. He is incredibly sweet and funny – he loves people. I love this dog and he called to me from the time I first saw his puppy picture.

Unfortunately Sage is a dog that is easily over-stimulated. He was heavily socialized as a puppy, but never learned to tolerate other dogs and becomes fear aggressive if they get too close. He is fearful of all other dogs and has only accepted Denali, the adult female that we had when he was a puppy. I think he thinks she is his mother. He adores Denali and looks to her as his pack alpha and protector.

He is good with people (very affectionate), but needs a few minutes to get to know them. Initially he is fearful when meeting someone new, but has NEVER been aggressive with a person – and I’ve purposefully pushed him to test this. Due to his coloration (clear red dilute) he isn’t a show dog. Accordingly he was neutered when he was about eight months old.

When I took Sage I was hoping for a competitive obedience dog. He is SO smart – forms concepts incredibly quickly. We started training right away. He was able to compete in Rally at the Novice level (on leash), but can’t be trusted off leash in a dog show environment. After three years of training, I just accepted that he would have to be a pet.

He loves to give kisses and has my heart and the idea of him leaving our household leaves me feeling just shredded.

Sage has always been playful. He’s still like a puppy in so many ways. We thought he might accept a puppy more easily than another adult dog, so in March 2012 Quimby joined us.

Enter little Miss Quimby – now age 9 months. She joined us at 12 weeks of age. She is the dog everyone wants. She has a solid temperament, is sweet, affectionate, super smart and very biddable. 

Quimby has almost completed her third obedience class, starting in “puppy” class when she was 12 weeks old. She has amazing focus, loves to work and shows great potential as an obedience/performance dog. She also called to me when I first saw her puppy picture. I tried to find something that would disqualify her,  knowing we really didn’t need a third dog, but just couldn’t. She was exactly what I was looking for!

When I first met Quimby, at 8 weeks of age, I knew she was “my dog.”  Subsequently she has bonded closely to me. Sadly, Sage has refused to accept her and evidenced fearfulness around her from day one. As she has grown things have become more strained between them and we have an unsafe home situation. I can’t imagine letting Quimby go, but she has now realized that Sage isn’t to be trusted and has become defensive with him. I don’t want to risk spoiling her wonderful temperament either.

It breaks my heart, but it has become clear that it isn’t safe for Sage and Quimby to remain in the same home. I am completely torn as to what to do.

Sage is my little boy. He’s got a quirky personality and needs to be in an only-dog situation with someone who “gets” him. For reasons I’ll never know, he is just extremely fearful of other dogs and feels the need to defend himself. He needs a knowledgeable, understanding owner with whom he can form a bond of trust. I feel terrible when I think of letting him go and worried as to what might happen to him if I do.

Quimby is about as nice as a dog can be. She  could go anywhere, but she too has my heart. The idea of seeing her go is devastating. And if she leaves, I lose the obedience candidate I’ve been looking for for so long.

It is a very emotional dilemma for me. Both dogs came from reputable breeders who have fully supported whatever decision I make and will work with me to find a good home for whichever dog becomes available.

Even so, I am struggling horribly with this decision. I know there are a number of “cardigan people” out there who have faced this sort of an issue. I also know that in the end the decision is mine, but would be interested in advice, observations, inputs from others who have faced this decision in the past.


One Response

  1. I so do not wish the decision you have to make. Unfortunately, I have 2 dogs at the moment. Not corgis, but other herding breeds. It would not be a good fit. I wish you the best of luck in placing Sage. I know there is a person out there looking just for him. Good luck in your quest!

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