Herd It Through The Grapevine

Herding Dog Rescue

Our Available Dogs


Axl (ADOPTED!) is a fun loving, happy puppy in a 10-12 month old, 48 lb. Australian cattle dog- McNab mix body!  He is as sweet as can be, and will come for petting and hugs, and invite everyone to play with him. Once he knows everyone is good, Axl is game for anything. He loves leaping and playing in the water streaming/spraying from a hose, playing tug with people or other dogs, and he will play with balls of all sizes, from tennis balls to soccer balls.

Our guy adores everyone and wants your love and attention. If given a choice, Axl will follow a man around, over a woman, but he will come to anyone if called. He will try to jump up to get his face close to yours, to gaze into your eyes. If sitting at your feet, he tries to place his paw on your leg or arm, to let you know he loves you and can’t get enough petting and cuddling.

 Axl is a super bright and observant boy, but he is very much a diamond in the rough. Someone apparently taught him Sit, Shake and Down, but they never taught him any boundaries.  The first few days in his foster home he was a bit of a wild child, taking off with shoes, chomping his leash and basically ignoring commands. Within a few short days, he's now minding his foster mom's authority. He walks well on a leash (without chomping it), and immediately walks away when we say Leave It. He's so eager to please and learns fast - he just needs to be taught. He is so excited when its training time, and loves learning new things.

Axl is housebroken. However, when meeting men, he gets excited and sometimes does a little submissive puppy pee. While he rides very nicely and quietly in a car, he will not hop in willingly. So far, we have scraped our knuckles on the concrete several times, to lift Mr. Passive Resistance off the ground and into a car. Once inside, he is calm and seems fine. A few rides to fun places should have him associating car rides with fun and looking forward to getting in the car.

Axl has all the brilliance, energy and attentiveness of herding breeds and wouldn't be a good "pet" or couch dog. He seems happiest when running around outside. We believe that before he was found as a stray, he spent his puppyhood running freely on large property. The ideal home for Axl would be a working dog on a ranch, or as an agility/sport dog, or in an active situation with other pups to play with.

When he invites you to play he will use his herding moves, starting with a quick play bow, then pulling on your pant leg or nipping at the back of your heels, and then run circles around you. For this reason, and because Axl doesn’t know his own strength, and wants to jump up on people to greet and show his love, he should not be in a home with children under 12 years old.

Axl loves people and dogs and is especially drawn to men. He doesn’t seem to know cats, and was curious about the one he met, and wanted to sniff, but nothing more. If one ran, he would likely think it was a game and chase.

Still just a pup, Axl has the desire to chew. He will need to be supervised during quiet down time and directed towards appropriate chew toys, or you will find him nibbling on furniture. He crates well at night and can be crated for a time-out when he gets too wound up. Leash walks are obviously new to Axl, as is wearing a collar. He can get anxious when hands reach abruptly for his collar, so we're working on desensitizing him to his collar and are starting him on a harness. Our fosters are working with him in all these areas.

As our boy is becoming more comfortable in his foster home, he just showed the first inkling of a cattle dog’s willfulness and mind of his own, when his foster mom ordered him to stop chewing on the sofa, and he objected. He is used to having his way, and not used to hearing No.  For this reason, we are seeking adopters who have experience with the stubbornness of these dogs, and know how to motivate them.

In summary, Axl is a great young dog with a wonderful spirit, but he is only for active people who have experience with this breed, the property or at least a large yard, the time, patience and stamina to continue training this adult sized puppy appropriate behaviors. He is definitely NOT a dog for people who are away for much of the day, or who live in an apartment or only have a small yard. He would NOT do well being crated or confined for hours and hours. He has great potential, and in the right hands he will develop into a fantastic companion and partner.

If you are interested in meeting Axl, please begin our pre-adoption approval process by completing our online adoption form, by clicking on the Adopt bar near the top of this page. Please email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you have further questions.


Kali (ADOPTION PENDING!)  is a very quiet, sweet natured girl. We believe she is a border collie/McNab. With those ears and her slim, wiry, 40 lb. build, she could have a bit of Basenji in her. She is possibly 3 or 4 years old. She is great with and loves all people, but mostly wants her own people to bond closely with. Within a few hours at her new foster home, she was following her foster mom everywhere, watching for cues on what she should do. She has been trying to win over her foster dad, who usually doesn’t interact with her much. Whenever he enters the room, she goes straight to him for attention and affection. She is a very earnest girl, who wants to please her people, and to be your closest partner and companion.

Kali is extremely alert and observant. She is always watching and aware of what is going on. She is, of course, intensely intelligent. Kali can run like the wind and would be a phenomenal working dog. She needs some daily exercise, running or working alongside her people; but if you are doing chores inside or desk work, Kali is also fine curling up nearby and hanging out inside with her person for several hours at a time. She often asks to go outside, just to check out the scents of animals who have passed through the area.

Our girl would do best on property where she is free to explore and run.  She learns household routines and what is expected after one or two times. Once she knows where home is, Kali will stay close to home, and always return once she has done her rounds on the property.

It is obvious that she is not used to being on a leash. As soon as one is clipped on her, she acts as if something bad is going to happen to her. She gets low and begins pulling for all she is worth, constantly changing sides and wrapping the leash around your legs. We believe that her original people did not take her off their property very often, as she lacks confidence in new situations, frantically pulling on leash to sniff and check out where she is.

Off leash, she is fine, and will follow your cues and happily come when called. If you look for her in the house and call her, she will come, but act as if she is about to be punished. She will slink or skitter by you quickly, with her head held low, and then sit at your feet and look up at you with a worried expression. Kali also tries to avoid you if she believes you may try to grab her collar. If you do hold her collar, she will struggle to get away and then surrender, belly up. Even when terrified during a bath (to wash off turkey poop she rolled in), she has never once growled or tried to snap at her foster people.

Kali is NOT mouthy, and has NOT shown any desire to nip at feet or hands. She is completely housebroken. If she needs to go out, she will get your attention and then go to sit at the door to ask to be let out. She does NOT know how to use a dog door. Our girl will try to join her people on the sofa if she can. In the morning, she will place her nose at the side of your bed, patiently waiting to be the first one to greet you when you open your eyes.

Kali enjoys meeting other animals, and is big on the greeting sniffs. If a passing dog growls at her, she ignores it or will walk away to avoid trouble. Ironically, the reason Kali needed rescue was because she tried to chase another dog (we believe it was a larger confident female) away from her home property and got into a fight. We have not seen this behavior from her. Kali has been excellent with the two dogs in her foster home. She has been better with them, than they have been with her. Her foster brother is a dominant male cattle dog and the other is a female cattle dog, who each night lies in the doorway of the bedroom to prevent Kali from entering. Kali is respectful of both dogs and does not challenge either of them. She doesn’t seem interested in playing with other dogs, but is fine hanging out around them. We have not seen any aggressive behavior at all from her in any situation. We were told that she may enjoy having a crate or private space where she can retreat to sometimes. She would be best as an only dog, or with a strong male dog, or easy going female. Because of her past history, although we haven’t witnessed it, she should not be with a strong or dominant female.

In summary, Kali is an incredibly sweet girl, who just wants her own people to partner with. You could find no better companion. We are seeking a quiet, calm situation, where she can have daily physical exercise, and her thinking brain can have some purpose or enrichment. If not on large property, working alongside her people, Kali should be slowly exposed to new experiences in the outside world to build her confidence and learn how to handle herself in new situations. She would do best in a rural setting.

If you are interested in meeting Kali, please begin our pre-adoption approval process by completing our online adoption form, at http://hittgv.org/index.php/adopt. Please email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you have further questions.


Tiia is a chocolate Border Collie mix, 2 to 3 years old and weighs approximately 44 pounds. She is a very loyal girl, who will bond strongly with her human(s),and is friendly and casual when meeting people.
Tiia is an easy natured girl, who is fine with people placing their hands in her bowl or removing toys from her, and being handled. Tiia is not accustomed to being in a crate, and she has no need for one. She is completely housebroken and has never had a accident. She also is great when left freely in the house alone, and has never chewed or destroyed anything.

Tiia is super smart, intensely alert, and needs a job or activities to keep her brain occupied, or she will become restless. She is very attentive to and looks for direction from people. Tiia responds very well to your cues and is always ready to do whatever you are up for. She very food motivated and loves training exercises, as it gives her brain something to do. Playing ball is her favorite thing, but after about an hour of it she will look for other things to do.

For a border collie, Tiia is a moderate energy girl. She has good stamina on long hikes. She is great on the trail and will not bother other dogs or people on a hike. However, when she sees squirrels, rabbits, cats, etc., her prey drive will kick in, and it becomes very difficult to get her attention and for her to respond to you. This is the reason she should not be in a home with cats, small children, or nervous noisy small dogs. Tiia’s prey drive extends to fast moving things. She rides nicely in a car, and likes to hop in on her own. She does not like people trying to lift her into a vehicle. When in a car, she will ride very quietly, until she sees bicyclists, skateboarders, or other dogs going past. She will bark as they go past outside the car. She is fine with, an NOT reactive to passing cars.

If she has had a good session of hiking, running, playing, or training, Tiia knows how to relax when inside and it is time to chill out. When inside, and all is calm, she is very sweet, with a lovely sensitive, yet easy personality.

In general, Tiia is very casual and good when meeting most dogs, especially medium to large sized dogs, but she is not interested in interacting with them. However, when on leash, she can be reactive when passing other dogs on a sidewalk, and will need work on that. Otherwise, Tiia walks fairly well on leash, but may initially pull with excitement and pent up energy, to get going and explore.

Tiia currently is in a situation where there are a lot of triggers and minimal management of animal activities. We believe that in a calmer situation to reduce her stress levels, without constant stimulation from small creatures around her, and with people who can provide her with regular exercise, predictable routines and do behavioral work with her, that some of her issues may diminish.

If you are interested in meeting Tia, please begin our pre-adoption approval process by completing our online adoption form, by clicking on the "Adopt" bar near the top of this page. Please email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you have further questions.


Whiskey (TEMPORARILY NOT AVAILABLE) is a very active, 11 month old, 42 lb. cattle dog pup. He is a super playful and fun-loving guy, with a seemingly limitless capacity to play and race around. He loves all variety of toys and is learning to play fetch. He is confident and curious about the world. Because he was not taken out or socialized much before we took him in, he a little cautious and protective when first encountering new things, people and other dogs. However, Whiskey’s basic nature is a gentle, submissive dog, who is very friendly and wants to please his people. When he's chill, he is a sweet pup, who enjoys cuddling and giving kisses.

Our guy fits the classic description of his breed. Whiskey is a very high energy cattle dog, with a lot of stamina. He is a very smart, thinking dog, with the courageous, pushy, persistent quality that is needed to keep the cattle in line. He is strong and athletic, and enjoys being physical. Whiskey has much of what we love about this breed. He has an exuberant, silly nature, and a cattle dog’s ability to make you laugh. He also very much wants to please his person, and is extremely loving with the human and canine members of his pack. Whiskey would be a great companion and helper with livestock, or some other daily physical activity.  He could be a tireless sport dog for agility, fly ball, etc.

Whiskey would love to be in a home with another dog for him to play with. Our boy is so full of puppy energy and loves playing with his canine foster sisters so much, that he can exhaust his playmates. Whiskey is a little mouthy, but he's learning. When playing, he likes to give herding nips to other dogs, in a playful way.  In a multi-dog household, Whiskey would need work to learn how to respect and be polite to the other dog(s). Currently, he is an adoring, but pesky little brother to his foster sister. He constantly pounces on her to engage her in play, or leaps on her as he races across the room to fetch a toy. Also, His Pushiness he will try to squeeze himself between his foster dad and his dog sister, while making comical howling sounds.  

Whiskey has been great with his foster’s 11 year old nephew and 13 year old niece. He may be a little too active for young children and toddlers. He also became best buddies with a small, 6 year old, male dog who stayed with them. Because of his rough sense of play, we do not recommend Whiskey for a home with cats.

Like a small child Whiskey doesn’t want the fun to end. If he is too rambunctious and his foster ushers him into his crate, he will complain with a bark or whine, before finally settling down. However, he will frequently choose go into his crate on his own, when he wants to nap or it’s bedtime.

Whiskey is mostly quiet, but he can also be vocal, expressing his moods with different sounds. Our boy will often growl his discomfort about new things, which his foster believe will stop, as he learns the ways of the world around him. He will use his cattle dog high pitched bark, when he wants to play. HIs foster is teaching Whiskey to have an inside voice.

Before we rescued him, Whiskey was rapidly growing into a “teenager” without knowing any rules or boundaries. He did know the basic commands: sit and down, when treats are involved, and come.  Although Whiskey is just now beginning to learn proper behaviors in different situations, he can still be a wild child at times. His adopter(s) will need to continue the work we have begun, and be a patient, unwavering leader, who is up to the challenge of providing consistent guidance and training. While Whiskey has a mind of his own, he is now starting to learn boundaries. He seems to be improving a little each day. Once he understands the rules and learns manners, he will grow into a wonderful partner and loyal companion.

As with many cattle dog pups, Whiskey is playful mouthy, but learning the proper limits of play. Whiskey is still in his youthful chewing stage, and will need a variety of chew toys to keep him busy during quiet time inside. As a curious, explorer, he will follow his nose and get into trash and things within his reach. Fortunately, he takes reprimands and corrections quite well from both his canine and human fosters. Whiskey does NOT guard food or resources (toys, treats, special person). When he knows he has done wrong, he becomes very submissive.
It seems Whiskey was never exposed to the sights and sounds of a neighborhood. On his first few walks, he seemed quite insecure and defensive, growling, pulling and barking at nearly everything he encountered. He is now learning how to behave when encountering other dogs, and fast moving things, but is still very alert and tense when outside the safety and familiarity of the house. He will need continued, regular, exposure to everyday life in order to gradually become more confident and calm on walks. Whiskey enjoys car rides, but continues to be alert and vocal about unfamiliar things outside.

If you are interested in meeting Whiskey, please first complete our adoption form, the first step of our pre-adoption process. At our website (hittgv.org), click on the Adopt button near the top of the page, for our online Adoption Form. If you have specific questions, email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Grace (ADOPTED!) is an extremely smart, loving, and athletic 2-3 year old, cattle dog and border collie mix with a real desire to work. She weighs 38 lbs., and is a moderate energy girl. Grace is shy at first; but once you gain her trust, she is extremely affectionate and will dive into your arms, kiss your face, and then tuck her head under your chin and paw at you for more love. Being close to and loved by her person, is what Grace wants more than anything else. She doesn’t play with most toys, but does enjoy playing tug of war with a rope toy. Tug can be used a training reward and a way to build a special bond with her person.
Grace’s fosters have been working with her every day on training, and to socialize her. She is as smart as they come, eager to please, and a fast learner, who loves her training sessions. She loves to trick-train and knows approximately 30 cues. Some of her favorites include: rebounding off of walls, jumping over hurdles, spinning, and performing a figure-8 around her handler’s legs. She usually learns tricks within 10 repetitions, at which point, a hand signal can be introduced. Within a few training sessions, the trick can be put on a verbal cue.

Grace was given a herding aptitude test through Herding 4 Ewe. The trainer said that with a patient handler, she could definitely be a good working herder. Grace loves to climb and balance on objects. Her fosters have been utilizing the Fitpaws Donut and Paw Pods as a way to provide a work out and increase her confidence.
When Grace’s foster family first found her, she was very fearful. For the first few weeks, she army crawled throughout their house because she was afraid of the ceiling (it was likely her first time being inside). She would freeze and then react if she saw a stranger (person or dog) in the distance (over 400 ft. away). She could not be in the same room with other dogs, and would even bark/react to dogs through a baby gate.
In the few months that she has spent with her fosters, she has progressed a great deal. On leashed walks, she is able to walk within 30 feet of other dogs and15 feet of strange humans, and still remain focused on her handler. If another dog barks at her, especially from behind a fence/barrier she will definitely bark back. She is alarmed by quick movements and wants to chase. She also reacts this way with squirrels and cats encountered on walks. With more rewards based training, she can learn to remain calm during these types of distractions.
Grace is basically a submissive dog, who has only started learning how to live with other creatures in the past few months. She is continuing to improve, but still has some issues being around other dogs, especially when the dogs are moving/playing. She can be in the same room with other dogs, but she tries to herd them if they move around too much. For this reason, she would do best in a home with no other dogs, or a much older dog, or a home where she could be kept separate from other dogs for a while in order to provide a slow introduction.

During most of the day, she is in the house, where she is most relaxed and happy. Grace is calm in the house. When Grace isn’t training or loving her people, she hangs out quietly in her crate. She is always crated while her fosters are away. Her crate is her safe space, and should be a part of her forever home. Because Grace is a world-class athlete, she cannot be left unattended in a backyard. She could easily climb over (or dig under) a 6 ft. fence.

Grace is completely housebroken, and may hold it for hours, if she is someplace where she is not comfortable. Grace is also getting more relaxed on car rides, since nearly all her rides have been to do fun things. We recommend that she ride in a crate when in the car.

Grace is usually a very quiet girl, who just wants to hang out with her people and work with them. The only times can be a bit barky is when she is working on new tricks, and when her people leave her. She will bark for a few minutes when her people leave, but quickly quiets down.

We believe that Grace would be be happy in a home with a small yard and a person who enjoys training activities. Grace is NOT recommended for someone with an active (running, hiking) lifestyle, or who wants to take her everywhere with them. Since Grace is just now learning to meet people without panicking, we do not recommend her for a home with children, who can make sudden unpredictable moves.

Grace’s ideal forever home should:
- provide plenty of time for her to bond with her person/people.
- be patient and not force her to do anything that she isn’t comfortable doing.
- provide plenty of mental and physical stimulation, either through trick training, agility sports, or by giving her a job.
- limit her exposure to high-distraction environments. Quiet country life would be best.  Busy neighborhoods/urban living/dog parks are NOT for her.
In summary, Grace is a sweet, loving girl, with incredible potential, who has had some extreme unknown trauma in her past. She needs plenty of TLC, patience, reassurance, time, encouragement, and slow positive exposure to new things, to learn how to be happy and confident. Grace is making excellent progress with her fosters, but her adopter(s) will need to continue the work. She is NOT for a novice dog owner.

If you are interested in meeting Grace, please first complete our adoption questionnaire (online form or download a hard copy). At our website (hittgv.org), click on the Adopt tab near the top of the page, and scroll down for the online Adoption Form. You can also email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you have specific questions.

Copyright © 2015 by Herd It Through The Grapevine, Santa Rosa, California - Website by: William Finkelstein

You are here: Home Our Dogs