Adopted Dogs‎ > ‎

Montana (Collie)

Merle   Size: Medium
 Gender: Female (Spayed)  Age: 1.5 year old

Update posted by Montana's foster family: July 31, 2014

At 1.5 years of age, Montana continues to be a joy and a challenge. In many ways, she has fitted quite well into our family of three adult humans and two mature Rough Collie females like she belongs here; it will be very difficult to give her up to her forever family, and that’s why it is important to find her the right home. We need to feel that she will be cherished for the dear little dog that she is, and that her new owners will have enough patience and understanding to help her grow into the fine, mature dog she will be.

Montana is a busy, energetic little girl, always attentive to her surroundings. She has found several places in our home to relax; through the day, she prefers being under the desk in Steve’s office, either to be near him or near Amy, our ten-year-old collie, who has claimed first rights on the best dog pillow in the room. Montana joins us to watch baseball games and movies on the television, usually in the evenings, along with Kate, our six-year-old collie; it’s Kate she runs to when she is unsure of things. At night, she and Amy trade-up sleeping pillows through the night; on hot nights, Montana prefers to sleep on the floor of our ensuite, under an open window.

Montana is smart and quick to pick up on things. She was unfamiliar and anxious about stairs and doorways when she came to us, but she mastered the stairs in three days, and doorways within the first week or so. The stairs represent going for a walk, which she loves, and the doorways were her only way to be with us inside or outside the house. She walks well on a loose lead, she sits and lays down on command (most of the time), she has learned to shake-a-paw (we are working on ‘the other one’). She loves to go to the dog park, usually finding a compatible dog to play chase-and-be-chased; her curiosity sends her off to find out what’s happening in all areas of the park. She has learned to go through the elevated ‘tunnels’ at the dog park; after less than an hour of fumbling around trying to show her what I wanted, another dog came by and showed her the wayJ On command, she will jump up onto the benches scattered about the park, and, though a little nervous at first, she will sit on them as well. She usually comes to a whistle or when called, but she is easily distracted and we continue to work on her reliability in that task. We have a sense that she would do well in agility and obedience, perhaps even herding activities, in the hands of the right person.

Montana is good with other dogs and cautious but friendly with people. She was very anxious about children when she first came to us, their voices and their movements; she even barks at children’s voices on television and radio. She has been somewhat socialized to children by encountering them while walking in our neighbourhood, but feels overwhelmed when several are approaching her. She is less apprehensive when the children are older than six or seven, but is wary of toddlers and babies. We socialize her on the local trails, at the dog park and on our summer camping trips and family visits, and anywhere else she is welcome to be. For this reason, we recommend that Montana be placed in a home without very young children, or with an owner that is knowledgeable and intelligent about dog/child interactions and introductions.

So far, she seems pretty perfect, yes? However, there is a dark side to Montana, perhaps more of a shaded side, which we continue to work on. Montana is a barker, and though most dogs do bark, it is their only way to verbalize their emotions and ideas, Montana’s barking can be a problem. In the six months she has been with us, we have come to recognize her various barks: the alert bark when someone comes to the door, or is walking down the street, that we have been able to control somewhat using commands such as Stop or Enough, and her play bark which usually makes us laugh, though it is rather shrill and loud! The one bark that we continue to struggle with is her sky-is-falling bark which can erupt quite unexpectedly and is extremely loud. Montana was not raised in an urban nor home setting for the first nine months of her life, and when she came to us, she was frightened and anxious about many sights and sounds we take for granted in our daily lives: opening and closing cupboard doors; opening, loading and unloading the dishwasher; using a salad spinner; bringing out the vacuum cleaner; turning on the ceiling fans (or any fan for that matter); someone wearing a hat or carrying a laundry basket up the stairs – to mention but a few. This bark is generally accompanied by running around, growling, as anxiety and panic set in, and it takes her a while to calm down. Our response has been to keep her in the kitchen while opening the cupboards or working with the dishwasher to desensitize her, or to put the laundry basket down so she can inspect it, or to remove the hat so she can see us better. She is comforted by being put on leash and kept beside someone as she calms down. We have had good results in the past months, she has responded fairly well to some of our interventions, but she does continue to display her anxieties in this manner. For this reason, we feel that Montana needs to be placed with someone knowledgeable about dog behaviour, and someone who will have the patience and time to work with her as she gains confidence as she matures.

We feel Montana has benefitted from having our two dogs as company while she has been with us, both of our collies are very accepting of new dogs coming into our home (Montana is our fourth foster, not counting Amy who is our foster failure:). However, Montana tends to be quite bossy and demanding of attention; she is not aggressive in any way, but she will try to take over coveted areas of the house and chew bones. Our alpha dog, Amy, let her know right away where her boundaries are regarding behaviour, and, for the most part, Montana respects those boundaries. Our more submissive dog, Kate, tends to be less assertive, and this has created a behaviour problem that we have only seen between her and Montana. Kate is playful and her favourite game is chase-and-be-chased. Unfortunately, Montana’s play style with her is very rough and intimidating; she will bite down on her tail or neck and pull as hard as she can which has caused injury to Kate’s tail on occasion. Needless to say, we monitor their play together and have tried various methods to discourage Montana in this play style, with little success so far. She does not display this style of play with any other dog she encounters, either at our home, visiting other homes, on the trails or at the dog park. For this reason, we would recommend that Montana be placed in a home with a confident, stable dog or perhaps no other dog at all, although she does like canine companionship.

So Montana is a work in progress, and her forever family will need to be willing to take on the task of helping her to mature into the confident collie she will become. Her spirited, playful and loving energy outweighs her faults, and, if at all possible, we would provide a home for her ourselves.

Posted :February 16, 2014

“ Montana is petite by collie size standard.  At 1 year of age, she weighs only 16.4 kgs and stands about 16 inches at the shoulder.   

Montana is quite the character! We have been able to teach her 'sit' (for treats and food), still working at getting her to sit when we put her collar on, because she gets so excited along with our two when the leashes come out!  She is improving on the leash walks, but that nose of hers leads her into all sorts of trouble!   She will cuddle if we sit on the floor with her.  Today we are celebrating her going out and coming in the back door on her own initiative as she has been hesitant since arriving at our home.   We have enjoyed taking her to the dog park where she can run like the wind, and she is so friendly and accepting of other dogs and people.  We hope her forever home is one that will give her the activity and attention she needs.  She really is a treasure, such a wonderful little girl, that continues to surprise us with her good humour and playfulness. "

Posted:  January 2014

Hi there!  My name’s Montana and I’m a bundle of joy!  I’m one year old so I have that puppy energy and mischief but I’ve got through those baby things like housebreaking and have learned a few manners too.  I love people, dogs and playing and I’d like to be in an active home that will do lots of things with me.    Right now I have two collie foster-sisters and we’re having a blast.  I do have a cautious side with things that are new to me but I’m curious too and am gaining confidence with every passing day.  I learn really quickly and am quite easy-going.  I’m healthy, up to date on my shots and was just spayed.  I also have a sock collection – yes I steal socks from my foster mum and stash them in my crate but I think I need to find a better place to put them now because she just figured it out.  So now I just need to find a forever home that has lots of time to play and maybe do some dog sports with me.  Another playful dog friend would be a bonus.  Am I the girl for you?

 Contact for information
 How to Adopt