Friday, January 18, 2013

Better a Beggar than a Biter...

I've had Leo since August. Five months of hard work, problem solving, and patience. But very worth it.

 When Leo first came he had plenty of issues. His main issue- nipping. Fast movements, sudden noises, anytime he was startled or unsure and those pearly whites would make an appearance. A sneak attack and quick retreat. I'm happy to say that he is mostly pretty great, and I'd even go as far as saying that he's as good as he's going to get. He LOVES meeting new people- and is a fully trained moocher. Through lots and lots of socialising he has learned that people are pretty much cookie dispensers... He is still unsure of men however, and in my experience I don't believe that is ever going to change much. He will approach a friendly man, but is on guard and I watch him very carefully for signs of stress

Leo was a classic shut down dog. A dog who had a hard time offering eye contact, taking a cookie, or engaging with a person. He would melt into a pile of mushy border collie if you raised your voice at him (or anyone else). That has all changed. He is confident, and is 100% willing to take a cookie. lol. He also has learned to play! This was a big step, and I think is what really taught him that people are fun. He loves squeaky things, wubbas, and tug toys. He is still figuring out fetch, but is a fantastic tugger.



The other thing that has drastically changed in five months is his health and fitness. He was very overweight, and could hardly run. He was always miles behind the other dogs. His coat was wiry, and dull. Now he is in very good shape- well muscled, and lots of stamina. He is quick, and agile, and running is one of his favorite things. He is soft, and shiny and just healthy. It's amazing what exercise, and good food can do for a dog!

Leo has learned alot since coming to live with me. He is a great house dog and has good manners. He doesn't make a peep (except when he is excited). He nevers marks in the house, and quietly asks to go out by standing at the door. He prefers to lie on a dog bed, or in his crate and is just generally out of the way. His leash skills aren't perfect, but he does love to go for walks. He happily trucks along sniffing, and exploring. He is not afraid of things at all. Obedience wise he has the basics down pat. Sit, Down, Stay, A recall, leave it, and so on. He thinks learning is fun, and although hasn't quite mastered shaping games, he does enjoy the cookies. lol

He has natural stockdog sense. And has been a lot of fun to work with Sheep. A keen, powerful dog with a strong eye. He has no problem taking control. He does love herding, although I am not set on trying to find him a herding home. There are just not that many recreational herding folk around here. And in a perfect world he would be a pet more than a working dog.

When he first came I doubted he could make a performance dog. But now, I'd changed my mind. He has plenty of drive, likes to work, loves food, and tugs! He is also built very well. And sport people tend to work around quirks more so than a purely pet home. Leo needs a home where he will be loved, exercised, and kept mentally busy. He needs an experience home that will be able to help him work through his fear of men, or at the very least understand that there is a risk of a nip if he is put in the wrong situation.

I think the right home for Leo is out there- somewhere. I just need to look harder. I've decided to go ahead and put him on Petfinder. The worst that will happen is I'll say no. But that right person might be looking on there so it is worth the hassle. Leo is a good boy. Full of sweetness and happiness. He is incredibly affectionate and loves to be with you. He will make someone really really happy!

To read all the past blog posts about Leo- Click Here
They won't neccesarily in order, but you'll get the gist of it. ;)

5 comments:

Collie222 said...

I would also check with your local agility and obediece training center. The people looking for a dog through that avenue would likely be active with their dogs...

snowhydro1 said...

So...why not post him with Windy City? Seems weird to not go with your local rescue group...

manymuddypaws said...

Oh I will. As a courtesy post. :)

manymuddypaws said...

That's how he will actually get to Petfinder. :)

snowhydro1 said...

Ah I get it - here I thought you had your own personal 'manymuddypaws' link on Petfinder lol.