Meet… Shogun!

UPDATE: Shogun found his new forever home at the end of January in Utrecht, and you can follow his adventures on Instagram.  

Last Thursday we welcomed Shogun in our house – we are fostering him because his owners’ serious health issues became too much to care for him anymore.

Instead of going to a shelter, a friend of ours took him in because he is from a breeder she knows and where her own dog is from (and also where Grace is from). But because that home has two intact dogs (one male), Shogun came to stay with us instead. Now, we are looking for a new forever home for him.

I know most if not all rehoming ads say that the dog is lovely, but he is genuinely a lovely guy – very handsome, affectionate and gentle doggo. If it wasn’t for the fact that we already have 2 dogs, one of which a grumpy middle-aged lady, we’d seriously consider keeping him.

Shogun’s background story:

81236350_775382059637984_1575138541586467691_nHe comes from a reputable Polish Hunting Spaniel breeder in Poland – the same one as Grace – and he is actually from the same litter as her mum. This means he has a full pedigree and can be registered with the Kennel Club in the Netherlands (and other countries that recognise PSMs).

He originally came to the Netherlands to train as a therapy dog with someone who was a dog therapist, but unfortunately, her older dog rejected him and he needed a new home very soon after arriving. We don’t know much about his life at the second home, except that he probably did not have many toys, and may have had a limited life experience as he lived in a city and mostly had leash walks – which is a shame because he really needs the off-leash exercise!

Shogun also has a small physical issue: he injured his back leg in an accident as a puppy at the breeder and had some minor surgery to fix the leg. He was fine when he left but possibly due to the limited exercise the muscles at the back are not as well developed as they could be. He doesn’t limp nor is he in pain – the vet said that the back leg muscles are simply shortened, so we think varied exercise, some physio and glucosamine tablets would help him a lot because our own dog (Nell) has had similar issues and received that advice from a dog physio. He can easily keep up with Grace in the forest, it’s just that stairs are currently a bit difficult for him and may always be – we don’t know.

You can see him running in the forest in this video:

Shogun’s temperament:

Unlike most rehomed dogs, we know his history: he spent the first 4 months at the breeder (until he was the age dogs can be imported to NL) where he was well socialised with her 10 other dogs. This means that unlike many rescue dogs, he has been taught essential skills early on – even on day 1 he allowed me to handle him, lift him, cuddle him (he even seeks it out), kiss him on the nose… Like Grace who has been with us from a puppy.

His general temperament is calm – calmer than our two dogs – which is why he was selected as a puppy to become a therapy dog (in addition to being very human-friendly). As we know the breeder well, we know she selects dogs according to their aptitude – some become actual hunting dogs if they show the right instincts, some family dogs and some go to do detection/trailing or work as service dogs – he is calmer than the average Polish Hunting Spaniel which suggests he could do well as a support dog too.

Like Grace, he shows a lot of interest in nosework so that could also be a hobby for someone with him. Although he is calm, he is a smart spaniel who needs stimulation – forest walks, training and brain toys – and a lot of attention because this breed “needs to feel seen by their humans” (as the breeder said). He seems pretty good with other dogs – taking into consideration the stress of moving around, he has adapted well to our household.

Since his chemical castration is very recent, he is still displaying some behaviours that an intact male might towards other males when out – we’re figuring this out what exactly scares him (e.g. Weimaraners and labs seem to be are fine, but any shepard looking dogs are not). I’ve managed this by walking away from the large dogs, or just calling him away – because his recall is good, this has worked as a management strategy. Smaller dogs are all fine, bigger dogs he is afraid of because he was bitten by a German Shepherd. He is also good off-leash – just after 2 days, we trusted him enough to go off-leash on a walk at the dunes in Zandvoort. Like our other two spaniels, he sticks close by (sometimes right by your legs!) and comes when called. He is also good on leash – doesn’t really pull, except for minor excitement (nothing that some training can’t quickly sort out).

Example of his recall in this clip – he’s been with us for 3.5 days, and his recall is so good I trust him to be off leash:

View this post on Instagram

Doing pretty well on recall!

A post shared by Busy Doggies Nell & Grace (@busy_doggies) on

Shogun in a nutshell

AGE AND SEX: Male, 2yrs 2 months
CASTRATED: No (currently chemical castration)
SIZE: height approx. 43-44cm, weight 20.5kg

CHILDREN: He is ok with children as far as we know, but hasn’t grown up with them. We think he needs more attention right now than a family with small kids can offer him, but older kids would be fine. He is super gentle so from that perspective, it could work.
CATS: Not sure but safer to guess no.
BEING ALONE: He was fine left alone in our home the next day after he arrived.
WALKING STAIRS: Preferably with a no-stairs home.
GARDEN OR YARD: Yes, necessary
MOVEMENT: Very active
HUNTING INSTINCT: Yes, but does not appear overly strong.

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