Border Collie x Australian Cattle Dog
DoB: July 2015
HERDING INSTINCT: Unknown
ENDEARING QUALITIES: Likes toys, loves food (will clean counters for you), affectionate, good in the house, crate trained
ISSUES: NOT good around cats or bicycles; fear & leash reactive around new dogs & people, especially if surprised while on a walk
We recommend a relatively quiet but experienced adult home for Nelson. He is an active dog but the possibility of an extreme fear reaction when surprised by other dogs or people may resurface & he may redirect the fear to the closest thing to him.
Despite his issues, Nelson is very affectionate & solicits attention from familiar people. He is very treat/food motivated but NOT food aggressive. He has not shown much interest in the toys but he loves to try to catch snow or dirt as you clear off the sidewalks or decks.
What we've observed, since Nelson first arrived, was that he was extremely nervous of new dogs &/or the rare visitor that we get. If we had a visitor come to the gate, Nelson's eyes would glaze over & he would bark loudly, almost screaming & redirect his fear by snapping at any & all dogs in the vicinity (even though he'd been out playing with them until then). We literally had to make loud noises (herding cane against the ground or the gate) to snap him out of it before we could invite the visitors in.
Having had some over the top reactions to high protein foods in the past, one of the first things we did was change his food from a grain-free, high protein kibble to a lower protein level with added carbohydrates. It has been our experience that the carbohydrates (corn or grains or rice) help the dogs relax.
With a change in food & a very stable routine, Nelson has stopped worrying about most strangers & he is much, much better at meeting new dogs that come to the kennel for a vacation or unexpected visitors. We don't expect him to love everyone or every dog but instead of an over the top reaction, he now hangs back & observes first, rather than engages.
Nelson was owner surrendered, after consulting & working with several dog trainers on his reactive behaviours. Although he is very affectionate with the people he knows in the environments he knows, he is reactive when meeting new people while on a walk, hike or bike ride. He would lunge at , circle & bark at the new person(s) in the group or on the path & they could not redirect him to appropriate & acceptablebehaviours.
Not feeling comfortable managing his behaviour in the active outdoor lifestyle that the owners led, they thought it best he be surrendered to rescue, where an appropriate home would be searched out.