Diesel had an opportunity to interact with quite a few other dogs and quite a few kids over the holidays (youngest 3). He does exceptionally well with other dogs. If Chief (our 11 year resident grump) even looks at him, Diesel gives him a wide berth. But he remains optimistic that an understanding can be reached (meaning he doesn't cower in a corner) but he doesn't push the issue. He was a little shocked with our neighbor's 1 yr old pups' energy at first but then figured out how to play with them (a Vizsla and a Braque du Bourbonnais - both spayed females & with a ton of energy). My sister brought her 11 year Miniature Schnauzer and Diesel was respectful of her grumpiness as well (typical little dog issues - spayed female). My niece brought her 1 yr old and 9 month old mini Aussies and he did great with them (the older one is a neutered male and the younger one was an intact male at the time...he's now wearing the cone of shame from his neuter. The older one is deaf but both are relatively submissive dogs). Five dogs total and a ton of people on Saturday and he did great. My mother-in-law has a younger mixed breed dog (about 30 lbs that has some herding instincts) and they played well together (spayed female, very submissive). My brother-in-law brought his 5 year old Carolina dog (spayed female). He was nervous that his dog wouldn't do well with Diesel as she sometimes doesn't with other dogs -she is more dominant. She and Diesel did great together (she & Chief not so much). (Sunday was only 4 dogs and less people). The Schnauzer arrived Friday evening and left Sunday morning and the Carolina dog arrived Sunday and left on Monday morning...otherwise the other visits were just day visits.
Overall Diesel does well with kids...they simply adore his cuddliness and energy and he enjoys the attention. He did have a couple of issues with stealing hats and the jumpy, humpy, mouthy thing (but more on the needs improvement piece a bit later).
He doesn't understand what a tennis ball is really for but he likes sticks. Definitely not a dog that will play fetch for long though. He doesn't seem to be overly tough on toys but does really like to pull the stuffing out of the travel pillow we let him have. He has zero aggression when it comes to toys...if Chief walks over and wants what Diesel has, he doesn't even think twice about challenging him. He is using a Kong Wobbler for kibble and figured that out very quickly. Diesel likes shoes and clothing but mostly grabs them & runs off because he wants your attention and wants you to play with him. He loves to be chased.
He does well with horses...gives them the space he should. He has found our barn cat and is curious. Our barn cat is not interested and will hiss at him. Most of their interaction has been with her at (human) eye level in her elevated bed...he can put his feet up on the ladder steps and try to engage her...I think he could really get at her if he wanted to. She did run down the aisle once and he went after her...but definitely not the same intensity that we have dealt with Chief. It wouldn't surprise me that with a dominant cat used to dogs, he'd do just fine. He did also chase a mouse down the barn aisle...in my book it'd be a plus if he killed it but he didn't catch it. I would say his pursuits are because he wants to play.
We haven't had many accidents in the house and they have diminished quite a bit lately...I can't recall the last time he peed in the house but he's only pooped once in the house. We were a little concerned at one point that he may have had an infection because he peed a lot but at this time, I am no longer suspecting it. He does completely fine overnight and while we haven't kept him in a kennel much, he's not messed in there at all. Because my husband is at home, we can't provide a 'his fine for X number of hours' assessment.
Diesel is convinced he is a lap dog and will not be told differently. To our discredit, we do indulge him with this and cuddle him like a big baby when we're in the recliners (loveseat with recliners on both ends) or on the dog couch. He is allowed to sleep on the bed with me (he and I are still sleeping in a separate bedroom) but prefers the floor or the couch to me. He actually seems to do better if I leave the bedroom door open and I have done so most nights...last night Fred, our Roomba, caused him to come find me in the bedroom (not bed) and I shut the door so Fred wouldn't come in. When we had company, I stayed in our bedroom which has always been Chief's sanctuary. We kept the door shut and Diesel was kept gated in the game room on our side of the house. He had access to all the shoes, hats, mittens, etc in the entryway overnights and didn't bother them at all. But when people were awake and he felt like he wanted some attention, he knew where to find them.
I would remove the label of fussy eater. He is doing well eating and no longer even needs me to sit with him. He is not an overly fast eater. He takes treats very nicely. We keep asking ourselves if we think he's gained weight or we are just getting used to his scrawniness...consensus is he's gaining some weight but still looks far too skinny. He is getting dry puppy food - a mix of the adult Natural Balance Venison and Sweet Potato and puppy Blue Buffalo Chicken and Brown Rice. He is quite active but I think I'd like to have an evaluation on his thyroid just to rule out any issues there. He is a bit itchy but not overly so...not causing any sores from scratching and it isn't constant so I am chalking it up to a significant change in environment and diet and it being winter. Does a little butt dragging that would be a vet discussion as well.
He is quite the counter surfer...doesn't even need to be food he goes after and for the most part relates back to the attention getting issues. On the mornings I've had to go to work, I was keeping him gated off in the other end of the house ... which included the kitchen ... and even leaving him with his food and toys and trying for a quick shower, I was coming back to things removed from the counter. This morning, I just left the gate open and he didn't go after anything on the counters (true, he has been helping cure my tendency to keep too many things on the counter but there was still things out). He just really wants to be with his people. I ordered another gate that arrived today and he looked so sad as I was putting it up. I observed quite the display of anxiety over my husband leaving him in the house with me yesterday afternoon. I did watch it for a bit (& grabbed video) but once I calmed him, he was fine. We can't think of a single time he has barked...but he whined quite a bit during that episode. Overall he is an incredibly quiet dog...his tags are basically the noise he makes. (BTW...he LOVES my husband).
Now for the kicker...he is a very good dog and then all of sudden reverts to the jumpy, humpy, mouthy fiend we struggled with in the early days. The jumpy, humpy is less but the mouthy piece remains. He doesn't break skin but he most certainly produces pain. We are searching hard for triggers that produce this behavior but haven't zeroed in on anything. I'd label it as overly aggressive play...probably would do better having a resident dog that would play with him in this manner, but trying to make him understand that with people, he can't behave that way. Getting him to stop and settle down is a challenge. We learned with Chief that there has been some more advanced studies into thyroid levels causing aggression in dogs (to the point where someone was collecting data on the average thyroid levels by breed and not just a dog average). Given he is so scrawny and this issue, I am very curious to have his thyroid tested. Minus this behavior, he'd probably be ready to look for forever homes. With it, I think we have some work to do to ensure safety and that he isn't returned to GRRoW.