DoB: September 18, 2017
HERDING INSTINCT: Unknown
ISSUES: Started nipping at strangers when walking by in close spaces; may be extremely reactive if over stimulated by movement (left to watch traffic driving by, for example);
UPDATE - JANUARY 2019
Sonic needs a calm, experienced owner familiar with the concept of "trigger stacking". By himself or playing with a group of dogs, he is a normal, easy going boy who likes his soccer ball.
However, after a recent meet n greet in our quiet yard, the non-stop game of fetch with the visiting dog created a very busy environment & his snapping behaviours showed up as he became way over stimulated by the games & the attention.
In a stimulating environment - groups of people & dogs, non-stop ball throwing, agility, flyball, on a busy street or in a busy parking lot - he starts out ok but once he starts getting revved up, he continues to get higher & higher & stops thinking & starts reacting. He will start nipping or snapping at any movement or, if restricted, he redirects to that which is restricting him. If allowed to continue, without calming the whole environment down, he could escalate to biting or fighting.
Although he has the ability for dogs sports, the environment is often very exciting & remaining calm & in thinking mode will be a challenge. A relatively calm home & family that likes to go for hikes or long walks would likely be his best match.
INTAKE - APRIL 2018
At our first introduction, in a busy Tim Horton's parking lot, there was not a lot of hope that Sonic would make it to the "Adoptable Dogs" pages of the website.
Even though he was on doggy prozac (as prescribed by his vet), and buckled into his front seat belt harness, he was lunging & barking & snapping at us while we unloaded his accessories from his vehicle to the MuttBus. When brought out of his vehicle, his frustration escalated as he tried to lunge & grab at me, completely throwing his owner off guard. When he could not reach me, he redirected his bites towards his owner as she struggled to move him to my vehicle, where we had put his blanket.
Once she had him in my truck, we gave him a few minutes to check it out while we discussed his behaviour. Expecting the worst when getting into the truck, I was completely dumbfounded by his calmness & serenity. He settled down on his blanket & did not move or make a sound for the hour long trip home.
Once home, he rolled over on the back seat & offered his tummy for belly rubs when the door was opened for him to get out. He solicited attention politely & if I had not seen his initial reaction, I would not believe he was anything but a sweet, busy BC puppy.
Since his arrival, he has been a typical, busy BC puppy. He is crate trained, likes his toys, food motivated, solicits attention, offers basic behaviours for rewards, comes when called & gets along with most of the dogs he meets (doesn't love everyone, but who does?).
He is no longer on the prescription prozac as when we consulted our vet about it, & explaining the behaviours observed when first meeting, we agreed it wasn't really doing a very good job of relaxing him in an overstimulating environment.
So we are happy to say that Sonic made it to our ADHD dogs page. Although we have not seen the original behaviour in the months he's been at the Retreat, there is the possibility that certain environments, once adopted, may trigger it and potential adopters need to be aware that it may show up in the future.
Sonic was owner surrendered due to escalating nipping behaviours around strangers and/or after being over stimulated by his surroundings & his frustration in not being able to give chase.