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  1. So my wife has a friend who works for the 11th hour rescue who asked us if we could foster a 2 year-old smooth coated BC or possibly BC-mix. We have six year-old twins and three Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, but we figured we'd try it for a couple of days and if it works out we'll keep her for a couple of weeks to keep her out of the shelter. You see where this is going? Well, of course our new black-and-white, long-snouted friend stole our hearts from the get-go. She seems so happy to have a family again and loves to snuggle with us and just enjoys our company. So now we're considering adopting her permanently. But... I know that BCs can be pretty challenging dogs and that this isn't a decision you should jump into just because a dog swept you off your feet, so I'm trying to go about this the right way. About our family: We live in rather big house with 6-yo twins, my in-laws and three Cavaliers. Our house has a fenced-in backyard (6ft dog proof fence) of almost an acre, perfect for dogs to run around in. I grew up with boxers and my mom was very active in competitive obedience and tracking, so I think I know the basics of dog training. About the dog: The shelter said she could be a mix, but our vet (who's also a dog show judge) is almost certain she's 100% BC. Her temperament is surprisingly well-balanced. In the five days we've had her, I've seen very few bad tendencies. She cries a little when people leave the house, but she quickly gets over it. The herding instinct is definitely there, but we haven't seen anything excessive. She did try to herd one of the cavaliers, but she immediately stopped when we told her to. She's extremely affectionate and loves to snuggle up with our kids. Now the kids are like you'd expect 6-yo kids to be and has a problem leaving her alone, but she's very patient with them and seems to enjoy the attention. She seems to have some basic obedience, but needs more work. When it comes to "creative play", we've tried some basic "hide and seek" and she truly enjoys it and is eager to learn more. After she's had a nice walk or a good play session in our backyard, she simply relaxes and takes a nap. We took her to our own vet for a second opinion and she checks out OK physically and the vet thought her mental state and personality was very nice. I've noticed a couple of bad tendencies: First of all, she's very submissive to men. It's much easier for my wife to train her. When I try, she gets down on the ground in submission as soon as my voice gets too harsh. Maybe it's just a matter of her gaining more confidence and trust. I have a feeling a male person has been overly harsh to her in her past. Second, she has a tendency to playfully nibble people and out cavaliers. Her teeth barely touch, but I know from experience that this is an unacceptable behavior we need to work on immediately. Other than that, I can't really see anything I don't like about her. So now is here is the question: Given what you know about this little girl and our family, should we permanently adopt her? Giving her back will break our heart, but not being able to give her what she needs and deserves would be a bigger tragedy.
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