Max is a handsome brown brindle fellow with a white chest and a white sock. He thinks he's a little doggie but is actually a 38kg Staffy crossed with something large – possibly a Mastiff. But don't let his size fool you, he is the most loveable, gentle boy ever and has a beautiful sensitive soul. He's sometimes a bit of klutz- a very loveable klutz! There's also something about Maxie that draws people to him and seems to bring out people's nurturing side.
Max doesn't bark a lot but can be quite vocal when excited or impatient and needs to communicate his emotions. Particularly if there's something he's really keen to do. He has a wide repertoire of Staffy noises. Waking up, meal time, getting into the car, getting out of the car and putting the lead on to go walking all involve a range of interesting sounds. His repertoire includes grunting, squeaking, snorting, sighing, loud yawning, whining and occasionally purring.
The world can be a little scary to Max. We think he has been mistreated in his past. As a result Max can be jumpy at times. Things that can be scary include: some toys (particularly squeaky ones), sudden movements, blow flies, putting on his lead (even though he loves going for walks) and people enthusiastically approaching him (more on this below). Agility is not a strength of Maxie and living in a house where he needed to negotiate flights of polished timber stairs would probably not be suitable.
His recent months since coming into foster care have involved treatment for a range of conditions which haven't made life easy for him. He's had surgery on a ruptured cruciate ligament followed by some tendonitis issues which took some time to settle. He's now recovered well and getting fitter every day. He has also had to be treated for a range of ailments - kennel cough plus infections to his ears, throat and an eye infection. This has involved a lot of vet visits, anaesthetics and unpleasant treatments such as injections, ear drops and eye ointment. While the worst seems to be behind him now, the one ongoing medical issue to be aware of is that he has been diagnosed with dry eye. The vet says this will be a chronic condition requiring lifelong treatment – currently Tacrolimus ointment daily to each eye. He doesn't love the ointment but has grown to tolerate it quite well. He is also now trialing a course of Zactin tablets for his anxiety around strangers.
While Max likes meeting people, he can be wary of strangers, particularly if they approach him enthusiastically or go to touch his head. He may have been hurt in the past. As he seems to attract people wherever he goes (after all he is a gorgeous boy!) they need to be warned. Most people are understanding but some still persevere. Then he's likely to growl at them. Sometimes just a gentle warning but at other times a deep grumbling growl progressing to a bark which can be quite intimidating. Getting to know him requires patience. By allowing Max to approach you once he is ready, he will eventually be rubbing up against you wanting his back scratched or his belly rubbed.
Max responds well to routine and there are a range of things that Max likes, including:
· Eating. He loves eating and is constantly on alert for the possibility of food. He'd eat 24-7 if allowed. If he thinks you have food, Max will gaze lovingly into your eyes! He is a gulper and has been eating from a “tornado bowl” to slow him down. On walks he will try to eat any food scraps he finds. Some vigilance is required as he's becoming surprisingly fast at pouncing on unhealthy scraps.
· Going for walks. The appearance of the lead is a cause for incredible excitement. Max loves walks, but if you are looking for a dog to accompany you running or bike riding Max is not the one. Since recovering from his injuries and ailments Max has become more energetic and can now comfortably walk for up to an hour or more. This improved energy and confidence has meant he sometimes requires some reminders not to pull on the lead. It's essential that he knows who's the boss so that walking him continues to be pleasurable. Also, being a dark coloured Staffy, he does not cope with being out in hot weather. Sometimes when he spots some shady grass he'll sit down, then lay down for a rest and roll over for a belly rub
· Parks & cafes. He loves hanging out watching the world go by. He's very happy to sit and observe people and watch other dogs running, playing, and fetching balls. And often he gets treats, so what's not to like about that!?
· Cuddling, back scratches and belly rubs are all appreciated. But Max is not keen on having his head patted and may growl. Once he knows you well he'll accept it but he is very wary of strangers patting him. Maxie much prefers back scratches and belly rubs. We suspect he may have been hit in his past and perhaps his medical issues have meant he is a bit sensitive around the head.
· Hanging out at home with the family. Whatever you're doing Max wants to be nearby. He will position himself in a strategic spot where he can keep tabs on everyone and then just lay down and chill. While he loves to be close to people, he is not particularly demanding of attention. For a staffy, he copes reasonably well with being left on his own, but it wouldn't be ideal for him to be left alone for long periods too often.
· Meeting other dogs. Max likes meeting other dogs and does it gently. Most times he's happy to have a short sniff hello and then move on. However he can be cautious and exhibit stiff body language which can look intimidating to some dogs. He is remarkably tolerant of bad behaviours in other dogs. In his time in foster care he has experienced charging dogs, barking dogs, snarling and growling dogs. In each scenario, Max has either ignored them or simply moved away. A couple of times a particularly over enthusiastic dog has jumped on his head. He didn't like this and responded with a warning growl.
· Sleeping. When nothing else is happening, Maxie boy is a legend at chilling out and sleeping. He does a lot of it. In addition to 12 hours each night, he tends to nap for much of the day.
· To date Max has shown little interest in playing with toys or chasing of balls. Apparently they can be scary. However he's now starting to get the hang of playing with some toys and we expect he may continue to enjoy this more over time.
Max has spent most of his life living with another dog who bullied him. Since coming into his foster home he has enjoyed being the only pet. But he has had doggie visitors and gets on with other dogs, so a doggie sibling may be good for him. However they would need to be quite placid. No high energy types. Equally, he would be content to be spoiled as the only dog in the home. He has proven to be quite relaxed with children, but we expect that most children will be too boisterous for him. His encounters with cats have either been total disinterest or extreme agitation wanting to get at them.
Max is now ready for his forever home. His forever owner/s will need to be experienced and be prepared to protect him from “scary” advances from friendly strangers. Someone who is patient and spends time nurturing him will be rewarded with a gorgeous companion who will provide a lot of love and loyalty.
Max is desexed, microchipped, up to date with vaccinations, flea and worm treatments.