Rugby (ADOPTION PENDING!) is approximately 10 weeks old (as of 10/1/23), and weighs 15.5 lbs. Our best guess is that he is a Shiba Inu, German Shepherd and Australian Shepherd mix, and that he may be at least a medium sized dog. What we know for sure is that he is a fantastic little guy, who was born with a wonderful natural personality! He’s everything a pup should be - very sweet natured, loving, wants to please, and playful, with the energy you’d expect from a puppy. He seems to be fine with meeting people, but may be a little hesitant, until he can check them out.

He likes cats, and wanted to be friends with a grouchy senior cat at his foster home. Once he feels safe with a person, he likes to play and engage with you. He is also happy to busy himself with a chew or plush toy. More than anything, little Rugby just wants to be with someone and to feel secure. He sleeps quietly through the night on a bed beside his foster mom’s bed.  Here are YouTube video links:

He is very bright and a fast learner, and shows great promise to be a wonderful companion. He was not initially house broken, but in just a few days started to understand what he should do. Rugby would do great in puppy training classes, especially where training is mixed with play time, to practice meetings and socialization.

When he was 7 or 8 weeks old, this little guy was dumped on rural property, and his foster found him by following his cries. He was covered in foxtails and burrs. After a few days, under the recommendation of others, his finder brought him to the shelter where he sat for almost 3-weeks. When no one came forward for him, his finder contacted us to say she would foster him. When the staff brought him out, after almost 3-weeks in the shelter, he remembered the woman who found him and was super excited to see her!

We are seeking adopters who have the situation, experience and time to give Rugby the physical exercise he needs and to teach a puppy what is appropriate behavior and what isn’t, to enable him to reach his full potential. This is NOT a dog for an urban situation, apartment/condo life, or someone not familiar with the needs of working breeds.

Rugby is being fostered near Merced, CA.  If you may be interested in Rugby, please email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or leave a message at (707) 583-9583. Adoption applicants must be at least 21 years old.


Our mission: To rescue, care for, and rehabilitate unwanted, abused, and neglected dogs of herding breeds, concentrating on Australian Cattle Dogs and Border Collies.

Our focus is on their permanent placement into appropriate, loving homes, and informing the public about the special nature and needs of herding breeds.

Contact us at:   This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


We are grateful for any contributions to help us rescue, care for, and transport animals.

If you prefer to write a check, please mail it to: Herd It Through The Grapevine, P.O. Box 9585, Santa Rosa, CA 95405

Herd It Through The Grapevine is a 501(c)(3) approved organization.