Another two weeks have passed with Karick in our charge and, along with off-the-leash training, we’ve toddler-tested him.
It might seem trivial on the surface, but part of being a foster parent to a dog means you have to know how the dog will react to certain stimuli.
Small children are one of those stimuli that can affect the adoption of a dog.
Some Corgis love children, while others do not. I think this is linked directly to the exposure a dog has to small children.
However, we don’t always have the whole picture available when a dog comes into a foster situation.
Sometimes dogs come to us off the street and we have no idea how they will react to anything.
Also, Corgis are herding dogs with natural instincts to herd — an activity that can involve nipping at the heels of whatever they are herding.
That can be an issue with small children and sometimes leads to herding dogs being surrendered.
Karick is a bit of a mixed bag — we have some information about him, but there still are gaps.
We know he belonged to an elderly couple, but not whether that couple had grandchildren to whom Karick would have been exposed.
So we are left to test his reactions and be on alert for any signs that there might be an issue.
As it happens, I have a wonderful 3-year-old niece who has been exposed to other dogs.
Last weekend, we took Karick to my parents’ home for a family day, during which he made many friends who gave him lots of scratches.
He was able to roam the ample back yard and sunbathe while we were busy working in the kitchen.
After dinner, we ventured outside … and something happened for which we were not entirely prepared.
Karick sniffed my niece, who was seated on my lap, then sat down in front of us so he could be petted.
I expected Karick to be a little less open to dealing with a toddler, but I also expected him to have a herding response.
My niece was calm and quiet, knowing he could be less than open to being touched. This is not the typical response of a 3-year-old to a dog.
This is how we found out Karick really doesn’t mind children in general.
Shortly after their initial interaction, my niece and brother started racing each other around the backyard, an activity in which Karick was sort of interested in participating. No matter how loud she became, his reaction didn’t change.
Squeals of joy were met with indifference or mild interest — but no herding instinct.
In short, now that he is toddler tested and foster mom approved, I’m confident Karick can be around kids without any issues.
The only downside to the entire ordeal was that he was exhausted at the end of it — and an entire Sunday of napping followed.