Herd It Through The Grapevine

Herding Dog Rescue


Naiya is an elegant and graceful 40-45 lb., 18-24 month old, Australian cattle dog mix. Her foster sent in her DNA and we learned that she is half cattle dog, with 1/8 doberman, 1/8 Aussie Shepherd, and 1/4 mystery working/sporting/herding breed(s). We estimate that she is around 18-24 months old. She is an incredible natural athlete, and would be a great running or hiking companion, or outstanding at agility. She is affectionate and more than anything, wants a home of her own where she can be with her people and dog friends, as part of an adult family. Feeling safe is key for Naiya, whether with people or other dogs. Once she realizes a person is good and will not harm her, she will adore them, with happy greetings, kisses, and asking for attention.

She is the same with other dogs. While cautious when first meeting and assessing another dog, once she realizes they are friendly, she will invite them to play and become best friends. She does very well meeting and playing with other dogs on walks and at the park. She is very playful with other friendly dogs, both male and female. She initiates play with her canine brother and sister, and other neighbor dogs, and she loves to run and play chase.

Naiya needs to be introduced to a new world very slowly. If an unknown dog approaches too quickly or is too pushy or bouncy, Naiya will wrinkle her nose and try to bark them away. Naiya is most trusting of women and warms ups quickly with a calm introduction, and may give a lick within just a few minutes. It takes time for her to be comfortable with being petted by an unfamiliar person. She will back away quickly and bark a warning, if a new person attempts to pet her. She warms up most quickly, within a few minutes, if a new person ignores her or are respectful and does not try to interact with her. Naiya has NEVER in fear tried to snap or bite anyone.

She has been great on off leash hikes with her foster dad and their dogs, and will come when called - most of the time. If she is after a rabbit, well, her response time may be a little slow, but she will return. She is out off leash at least 40 minutes every day. She will run for miles and is ready for more. She runs like the wind, and leaps over giant sagebrush like a deer - elegant and graceful. She loves to run off leash, but also now walks well on leash. Her foster mom has been on teaching her good leash manners. On walks she has been exposed to bikes, scooters, unfamiliar people and dogs. If they are at a distance, she will be calm, but alert, not wanting to go close. If alarmed or worried, she will bark a warning. If startled, by strange noises or an approaching stranger, she may bolt and pull.

We are learning more about Naiya, and she is improving each day. She wants to please and tries very hard. She is extremely bright and observant, and learns quickly. Treats and praise are big motivators for her, and loves her training sessions. Once she knows she is at home, with continued encouragement, understanding, and positive introductions to new things, her confidence will continue to grow. Together with consistent gentle corrections, and growing up a bit, we believe her fearful and insecure behaviors will disappear.

Naiya is an excellent car companion. She is calm while traveling and very happy to wait for you while you are away. On her daily car rides, she is happy to just curl up in her dog bed when she is left in the car for short periods of time.

Naiya loves to have her tummy rubbed and just wants to hang out wherever you are. Naiya has a strong, sometimes demanding, need for love, affection and reassurance. When excited to see you, she jumps up to give you kisses and is playfully mouthy. If you walk away from her at these times, she will grab your heel, just firmly enough to try to stop you from leaving. When corrected, she will go immediately into a submissive mode. Her foster mom is working with her on these behaviors, which should subside once she gains more confidence. If there is another dog in the home, Naiya will compete for your attention, trying to squeeze herself in for affection and time with you. She is a good watch dog, who will give out a bark when someone is approaching or comes into the house.

We believe that at some point she lived in a house and was allowed on the furniture, because she loves sleeping on the couch and the family beds. She also loves her dog bed. Naiya appears to be house broken, and has had no accidents since arriving at her foster home. She doesn’t play with toys but she loves chew toys, bones and Nylabones. When she is relaxed and content, she enjoys her chews. If she is anxious about anything new, she will also need something good to chew on.

When left alone and free in the house, she has found ways to entertain her curious brain. Her fosters have found shoes moved around the house (undamaged), the contents of a briefcase scattered about (undamaged), or a bit of cardboard, paper, or book corners nibbled. She may try and steal food from the counter if it is left out and unattended. If left alone in the house on her bed in the x-pen (expandable pen), which is her safe place, with a treat filled Kong or bully stick or other chew toy, she is fine and doesn’t wander about. Naiya, however, does not like the confinement of being in a crate or locked alone in a room, and becomes very, very anxious and upset. Until she feels safe and secure with you, if you leave her alone shut in a room she will panic and freak out trying to get out.

As a rescue dog, she has been through quite a bit, and her insecurities and fears are understandable. In just 5 weeks, she is already a million times better than when she was first rescued. At night, she can still be skittish and startle easily. The work and time that her adopters may need to put in in the beginning to see this intelligent, sweet, loving and very devoted girl come into her own, will be well worth the effort.

If you are interested in meeting Naiya, please begin our pre-adoption approval process by completing our online adoption form, on our Adoption page (click on the Adopt bar near the top of this page).

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