Dog | Female | Age: 3 | Spinone Italiano & Standard Poodle Mix | Spayed/Neutered | Up-to-date on vaccinations
Willa is the sweetest girl and the biggest snuggler! She is silly and very affectionate and likes to be close at all times. She doesn't know her own weight and likes laying directly on top of you. You will be her best friend. She is very intelligent (which can mean that she'll have a different opinion than you at times) and craves opportunities to prove her abilities. She loves puzzles, educational baby toys and learning any new skill you will teach her, much like a toddler. She is also very sensitive and picks up on others emotions easily. If you're feeling on edge, she will be too, if you are relaxed, she will be too. If you're sad, she will comfort you. Willa will not get in the car on her own, so you'll have to be strong enough to lift her at 55-60lbs or come up with an alternate method. As a puppy she was extremely car sick and always threw up after just a couple blocks. She outgrew that for the most part, sometimes when she has an ear infection she'll look car sick but hasn't thrown up in years. Willa has a pretty textbook Spinone Italiano personality (read about them if you are not familiar) and may be best suited to a family that knows and loves Spinone's, rather than someone who knows and loves doodles as they are very different dogs.
Willa LOVES other dogs and would likely cohabitate well with another pup. She doesn't like yappy little dogs but does like silly/mellow ones. She likes all big dogs and doesn't seem to be bothered by an Alpha. Willa would possibly prefer to be the only animal and the absolute center of someone's world! She is very jealous and wants your non stop undivided attention. Willa does not do well with cats. She is a hunting dog at heart with an intense chase drive and she will stalk and torment the cat. Even though she isn't aggressive with cats and enjoys following them around 24/7, it is not a great life for the cat. Willa comes from a 2 cat household with no other pets and has lived with a baby since January 2021 and while she loves the baby, he makes her anxious which can quickly lead to an unsafe situation.
Willa is spayed, is up to date on her shots. She goes to the dog park regularly (Yahara Heights) and has attended a camp for dogs (Camp K-9 in Sun Prairie) once a week for a full day since she was 6 months old. She is highly socialized. Willa has a history of recurring ear infections and varying degrees of skin allergies. The skin allergies seem to be getting better each passing summer instead of worse. It seems to be that Willas ear infections may be the result of an unidentified food allergy. The vet suggested a hydrolyzed protein dog food, but since they are so expensive, we are looking to get her on something with limited ingredients. Please know that you may need to permanently switch her onto this expensive food. It is possible that cow skin rawhide bones are an allergy trigger. If this proves to be the case she enjoys almost every other animal based chew available. Just things to keep in mind. At times Willa has needed her anal glands expressed. This typically coincides with her allergies/ear infections. It is advised that her vet use a muzzle during anything invasive, such as gland expression until they know her temperament well enough to decide if it's necessary. Her current vet is Four Lakes Veterinary Clinic. The groomer (Rufus de Monde) does not muzzle her during ear cleaning/plucking and has not had an issue. She may get nippy with ear cleanings when they're sore so take it slow and gage her reaction.
An ideal placement for Willa would perhaps be with a family familiar with the Spinone Italiano breed. A person/family with a calm/fun loving/easy going vibe. Because Willa is so sensitive, she will be stressed in a home that isn't this way. A family who resides in the country or an area with minimal noise and foot traffic. A yard that she can play freely in. No children or children older than 10. Most importantly a person/family who will love her, involve her in activities, and show her constant affection.
Willa has a history of biting. She recently nipped our baby on the face while she had an ear infection. She didn't break the skin and he was okay, but because of her history we are no longer comfortable having her in the same room as him which has led to baby gates separating the front and back ends of the house. While she has plenty of room she is not getting the love and attention she deserves because we have to be with the baby. This separation has certainly impacted Willa's quality of life and we are hoping to find a home that will give that back to her. Willa's biting occurs VERY seldomly and is predictable, so that helps to navigate around the behavior. She bites for 2 reasons. 1.) If she gets food scraps and you attempt to take them from her, she will bite reflexively but she is not combative and will not charge you to get food from you. She may lean into you while you are eating to try and swipe something from your plate so it's important to set clear boundaries. She absolutely does not have food aggression with her own food, however, this could change if she lives with another dog, it's hard to say. When we first got her she was frantic about her food but quickly outgrew this because there was no competition. Trying your best to avoid her getting food without permission and allowing her to eat it if she does get it has been our best practice for safety. Willa's love of all fruits and veggies is adorable (and nutritious!), but when you start giving her little bites of food here and there she becomes more and more forceful in the following days which can open the door to aggressive behavior. She will eat the vegetables right off the plants in your garden! 2.) When Willa gets worked up barking, for example, when someone walks by the house with dogs. She may bite you if you get between her and the door/window. This only happens when she is very escalated and there are usually pretty clear signs that you should stay back. It is best to intercept before she gets worked up.
Please note that the animals in these listings have not been assessed medically or behaviorally. If you are considering bringing a new pet into your home, we strongly encourage you to request vet records and the animal’s full behavior history from the previous owner.