Basil (ADOPTION PENDING!) is a wonderfully high spirited, fun loving, one year-old, 40 lb., female Aussie/Border collie mix. She is a very playful, loving, adventurous, high energy girl. Basil’s greatest joy is water. She loves swimming. If you put water in any large bowl, basin or tub, she will try to get into it. She would be a terrific dock diving and sport dog. She also loves her toys, balls, frisbees, and does not destroy them, or anything else. She is good with livestock, is showing amazing herding tendencies. With some herding training to channel her natural herding instincts, she would also be an excellent working dog.
She is super loving with the people she knows and loves her foster family. When she sees her people, Basil runs up to them and silently, but joyfully, wiggles her whole body in happiness. She is a great companion who likes to be near her people; but, she is not a lap dog or one who will be your shadow. She will follow her person, and relax and lay down nearby.
Our girl has no separation anxieties, and loves being outside, just hanging out, either in the sun or in the barn. She does not dig, chew, or destroy anything, and just relaxes when she feels safe at a place. She is also crate trained, and her fosters have taught her to love it, because good things are always in there for her.
Basil responds well to low-key introductions that allow her to approach new people when she feels safe. If surprised by strangers, or if an introduction is not managed properly she can be reactive (barking and lunging). She loves treats and is very responsive to a calm confident handler who can provide consistent leadership.
She is a super smart girl, who is constantly on alert, and preparing for whatever may happen next. Basil’s natural personality is that of a dominant leader. She is very confident about herself. While she loves to meet and play with other dogs, if a dog is rude to her (ex. tries to hump her), she will correct him/her and not allow it.
Basil loves other dogs, but had no prior experience living with other dogs before her foster home. If she is in her crate and eating, and other dogs come near, she will protect her food bowl and crate space. However, when freely in a room (no crate around her), she is fine sharing toys, eating, getting treats with another dog. Being very food driven, she will try to eat out of another dog’s bowl if they let her. Her fosters are working to teach her proper manners, using praise and rewards for appropriate responses.
Basil is truly a diamond in the rough, with vast potential to be an amazing working or sport dog. Training, paired with a sport or herding work will help build her confidence and give her a purpose that she seems to crave. She expertly follows commands, and has a laser-like focus on whatever she is doing. Her only limitations will be that of her person. She is of course completely housebroken, and seems to know every command used in obedience training. Her prior owners spent thousands of dollars on obedience training and board-and-train schools for her.
While Basil walks very nicely on leash and stays at your side, she is at her best when off-leash. On a trail, she will run ahead, but is great at always checking in with her person, and staying within ear shot. She has excellent recall, and will never wander far from her person.
Basil is a sweet soul, full of life, and eager to please, but she needs to learn that she is not in charge. She needs experienced adopters that she will respect, love, and who provide a sense of security that can allow her to relinquish her leadership role to them.
Because of her strong herding tendencies, and her desire to maintain order and control, Basil would NOT be good in a home with children, or cats. Older teenagers who have confident, strong and calm personalities may be ok, but if she senses any fear or weakness, she will become a bossy herder, trying to control their moves. She is also very playfully mouthy. She likes to experience everything through her mouth. Basil sees her people as her playmates. When greeting people she likes, she wants to fondle their hands with her mouth. Her fosters are working to discourage this tendency, and teach her greater impulse control.
Basil was surrendered to Dogwood when her owners needed to move to an urban environment that they knew would exacerbate her reactivity and strong herding behaviors.
Having not been socialized or exposed to new people in her early life, Basil is wary of strangers and new situations. She shows fear aggression with almost all new people. If on leash and strangers get close to her, or come into the house Basil will run at them, stopping 6-8 ft. away, barking all the while. If you hold your ground or step forward, she will retreat. However, if people back down or seem fearful, showing weakness in her mind, she will get closer and continue to bark, trying to chase you off. She has not bitten anyone, but she will try to herd people away, which includes going for heels and shoes, and air-nipping, or just nipping the edge of a shoe. If someone she knows say NO, she will stop. If she is praised when she stops, she will feel happy and move on, leaving the new people alone.
Being on-leash seems to heighten her fear and panic. Her prior people used prong and shock collars to control her. Now, if she feels tension on a leash when she see’s something worrisome, she will react more strongly in anticipation of the pain that comes with the tightening collar/leash.
On walks, her person must pay attention to her body language to stay ahead of her when she becomes concerned about an approaching person or car. She becomes very quiet and still, and will fixate with a hard stare on the subject for up to 30 seconds. Her person must redirect her in a positive way (with praise and/or treats), before her brain escalates to pulling and barking, and she will respond well.
Basil is, otherwise, a very quiet dog, only barking when excited to play with another dog, or when something she feels danger approaching. A car ride may be the only other time she will bark. She loves to run back and forth between windows to look at everything, and bark with excitement. She is best being seat belted in. When outside, cars and other fast moving items with wheels trigger her desire to herd. She gets low and moves quietly before erupting and wanting to chase. Her fosters are also working with her to suppress her impulse to herd passing vehicles.
In summary, Basil is a wonderful dog, who deserves the perfect home for who she is. She was born with a happy, loving personality, the strong herding instinct, and drive of a great working dog. Unfortunately, she spent her first year of life in a home that did not embrace her herding dog traits or channel them properly. In the right type of home, with people who have experience with and can appreciate a high spirited dog, with the heart of a lion, she will blossom into an awesome athlete.
She will do best in a quiet, adult only, rural situation, where there are not too many visitors, who may catch her off-guard. In that respect, she would be a great watch dog who would run off intruders! She needs dog savvy, confident adopters, who she will respect and look up to. If she does not respect her people, she will feel the need to take the leadership position in the home. Besides giving her the physical and mental activity she clearly needs, her new people must be able to provide consistent routines, loving support, and be committed to working with her using only positive methods to build her confidence and sense of security.
If you have questions or are interested in meeting Basil, please complete the questionnaire at this link: