Age: 7 Months
Height/Weight: 21" / 35 lbs
Fenced yard required: Yes
Location: South Central Wisconsin
Foster Home: GLBCR
Likes Car Rides: Yes
Good with cats: No
Good with kids: tbd
Commands: Come (working on it), Sit, Down, Leave it, Kennel up (working on it), Off (working on it)
Sydney is a sweet, joyful pup who ended up in a shelter after chasing cats once too often. Luckily the kind folks at the shelter recognized that, with a little guidance, this youngster would blossom into a wonderful companion. Although he spent a couple of weeks at the shelter and had a long journey to get to his foster home, his good nature has been unshakable. Those who met him along the way all commented on his wonderful temperament.
He has striking, classic BC markings. His perfectly symmetrical hind socks make him look like he’s wearing an adorable pair of pantaloons. The Aussie in him shows up as a bit more bone/stockiness and some curl in his luxurious tail fluff.
Sydney loves people, seeks attention, and bonds quickly. He will greet you with enthusiastic bounces (we’re working on that) and crawl into your lap for pets and kisses while he looks directly into your soul with his gorgeous chocolate eyes. He has irresistibly soft fur, which makes petting him a little addictive. He says that’s the plan.
He is learning to sit for attention and is making excellent progress. A little more work is needed to proof that behavior when greeting new people and when he is extra happy. He is also learning “leave it,” “down,” and “off.” He is eager to do the right thing and learns very quickly with food rewards. He also virtually glows when praised.
Sydney enjoys playing fetch and hands the ball back gently. With his foster brother, he enjoys wrestling, chasing, and tug of war. When not playing, he is content to lounge in whatever room I happen to be in and gnaw on a Nylabone or just hang out. Overall, he is medium energy and will be a balanced companion for an active owner.
A few “working on it” things:
1) When meeting other dogs, controlled introductions work best for him. He gets overstimulated with assertive “in your face” dogs, particularly those who bark at close range. This seems to be a fear response. When he is properly introduced, he is gregarious and happy to play.
2) Sydney has an aversion to his crate. He wants to be with his people as much as possible, and his previous owner confined him to his crate much of the time to prevent him from chasing the resident cats. Consequently, he resists going in and, if physically compelled, will submissively urinate (more on that below). Once in, he is relaxed and doesn’t complain. Every day he gets better at going into the crate when treats are dropped through the top.
3) Sometimes he pees when he’s scared. This has happened in three contexts since he’s been in his foster home: when rushing him into the bathtub, when physically putting him in the crate, and when using a loud verbal correction. Slowing down and using a neutral voice helps Sydney respond to cues and keep his wits about him.
4) On walks, Sydney has shown intense interest in passing cars. He would likely chase if given the opportunity. He has not been tested with bicycles or skateboards.
Sydney is still a puppy, so his ideal home is one that has the time and interest to continue his learning. He has loads of potential, is a quick study, and is fun to work with. He thrives on force-free methods of training such as treats and praise. He is eager to do the right thing and is looking for someone to show him what that is, give him opportunities to practice, and offer patient perseverance when he makes mistakes. When his puppy impulses get the better of him, he responds very well to an even-toned “nope,” and redirection.
His submissive urination has lessened as he has gained confidence and trust. Having ample exercise and interaction also helps. With a consistent environment and the guidance of a predictable human, I think it will disappear entirely. For now, using cheese to lure him into the tub or crate is an effective workaround. Bottom line: positive training methods will earn his confidence and get you where you want to go with this guy. Anything else might get you wet feet!