My former husband died on Fri. He owned a BC/Cocker Spaniel mix since she was a few months old. She was never taught anything. I mean nothing. No sit, down, stay, etc. She had complete run of the house and car. He would let her out his back door to romp the forest for hours and play fetch with her in the house at the annoyance of anyone else. Everyone always remarked about how much he loved that dog, maybe even more than his children. I never thought it was very loving not to stimulate her more and teach her some manners as well. All that being said, I'm going to become her new owner Thursday night. I'm afraid anyone else would lose patience and hurt her or have her put down. She deserves more than that. It's not her fault she wasn't raised better. I've not had a lot of interaction with her, but the times I did, I thought she was a sweet, special little dog. I would actually think, "If you were mine, you would be so much better off." My 16yo daughter thinks I've lost my mind. She would like to have the dog but thinks it will be impossible to teach her anything. I disagree. I think this dog is still trainable and I am will to invest the time in her. How long should I wait until I enroll in formal obedience class? I think she should have an adjustment period to our home first. She will be coming to a house with two cats and a 10yo female Golden Retriever. Both dogs are good with cats and other dogs. The GR, is a lovely laid back ol' girl who is no trouble at all. Excellent manners. It's also very important to me that she not feel left out in some way. Both dogs are on the timid side. I think this is because my ex was a screamer. He wouldn't dream of screaming at the dogs, but he would scream at us, the TV, the thought of some injustice he imagined he had experienced from others. The dogs would run for cover. Will one of the dogs become the Alpha female? She also had accidents in the house. My daughter's older sister (a sister from another mother), said it was because he forgot to let her out. He had some early onset dementia from alcoholism and a stroke he suffered. He also pretty much lived in an alcohol induced black out for the last 2-3years. I am certain this dog was never physically abused but neglect is neglect whether it was intentional or not. So, you see, this dog hasn't been in a great situation. I still believe she can be potty trained appropriately. The dog is not crate trained because he thought it was cruel. I intend to crate train her and fortunately my husband is retired and around when I am working so she won't be stuck for hours on end. He has enriched my Golden's life since he's been on the scene (7 years) so I expect the same will happen here. It took some time but he won her over and it appears to me he is her favorite. He worked extra hard because she's a little afraid of men. My biggest concern about the BC is that she's a barker. For some reason I think that will be the biggest challenge. Over the last few days I've done a lot of reading about BCs. I understand mental stimulation is as important as physical. My next biggest concern is "off leash" time. Seems as though a lot of BC owners really believe this is important. Is it? Is hiking on leash adequate or does she need "off leash" time? I know this a long post and the questions are scattered but I am looking forward to any responses that might help me. Despite all the problems this dog has, I am really looking forward to her being a part of our family.