Australian Cattle Dog
DoB: January 1, 2016
HERDING INSTINCT: Interested
ENDEARING QUALITIES: Loves the game of fetch, does just about anything for food, athletic, affectionate (once she gets to know you), smart, good in the house, crate trained.
ISSUES: Fear reactivity to approaching strangers & unpredictable snapping (IE: triggers are unknown).
EXPERIENCED ADULT ONLY HOME REQUIRED
Like most smaller dogs, Leia tends to meet new dogs warily but when she likes them, she likes to play wrestle with them, especially those close to her in age or younger. She does have a tendency to 'heel' most of the dogs though, especially border collies, & they do not appreciate it. So she seems to lose her friends as quickly as she makes them.
She loves her toys, especially the game of fetch. She loves her treats & takes them fairly gently for a dog that is always mouthing or grabbing at hands when casually walking around the yard. She is crate trained but we are still working on her house training - her desperation signal is a soft whining so it can be difficult to recognize.
As for her fear of strangers, that is something we do not see a lot of out here because we do not get a lot of unexpected visitors. When we have had visitors & they ignore her or she can leave at her leisure, she seems to accept them more readily & will often bring the ball to be thrown. As long as you are willing to play ball with her, she does not seem to care. However, once the game stops, she then realizes she doesn't know you & may bark or snap & run.
When on leash, we have seen her act very submissively to approaching strangers (who were prepared for the unexpected) & she did let them pet her while she crawled forward but then she lunged at the hands. It is unclear why she presents this behaviour with some, but not all, people she meets. With other people, she has just ignored them or sniffed & turned back to us to see what we do next.
Leia will require a very experienced owner. One who had a 360 degree view of the world & a 6th sense so they can intervene before Leia even thinks of what she should do.
Leia was owner surrendered because her mouthing & nipping was becoming more than just typical puppy behaviours. It was becoming a lunge & snap at strangers, on leash or off, & the kids were becoming scared of her.