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.
What we have noticed is that she seems to bond very quickly to the person who provides the fun & food. Off leash, in a big area with other dogs, she is fine with meeting most dogs. On leash, and/or in a confined area, she will snap at dogs that even look in her direction. And people who approach her with extended hands will get them snapped at. We suspect this is what she was doing with the kids in the original home - mom was the provider & if the kids approached, she would snap at them even though she grew up with them.
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.