Aoife (pronounced Ay-fuh) is a Gaelic word meaning "pleasant" - and that's a good description for her! She's an 8-year-old, 40-pound Cattle Dog-Terrier mix. She looks the definition of a scruffy mutt when her fur is long: when cut short she looks just like a typical cattle dog. Everybody falls in love with her big floppy ears.
She is a very smart, sweet, sensitive & well-behaved companion. An “old soul”: her favorite activities are going on long leisurely walks, nosing around the garden, and lounging in the sun. She is naturally very quiet and does not have much interest in toys or bones. She is funny, flirty, and loves attention, though she is not a cuddler and prefers having her own space (crates have worked well for us). She has very good house manners and learns rules & routines quickly by observation. She is great at being home alone and has never damaged anything in her life.
She is fantastic on leash and perhaps the easiest dog I’ve ever walked - no pulling and generally ignores other stimuli to focus on the “job” of walking with her human. One of my favorite things that she has taught herself is to stop and lift her front paw when the leash gets caught between them. When off-leash she checks in frequently with a nose bump and rarely goes out of sight - she has no interest in getting lost, but loves to explore.
She would be happiest in a calm, quiet, one-person household. She is very devoted to her person and lives to please. She does not need extensive physical activity to stay happy, but certainly a daily walk and space to roam around. She would love a sunny garden to “patrol” and spend time in with her human.
We are seeking a patient, caring, and understanding person with the time and experience to train and provide the structure she deserves. I love her immensely - however, I am not her best owner and many of her problems stem from our dynamic. We have struggled with fear, trust and socialization issues since day 1. After trying to work on them for many years, I believe we would both be happier in different situations. I know the problem is mainly with me and she would thrive in the right environment.
I adopted her from a shelter after she was found in their yard, thrown over a fence with no history. She has been wary of humans since they found her. She has a hard time meeting new people in one-on-one interactions and what used to be extreme submissiveness has evolved into aggression. She has never bit anyone but lunging with bared teeth or panicked barking has become our norm. She is generally okay with people she knows, but needs constant direction as to what to be doing, or she will become defensive of me or my things. The worst examples of this behavior occur in our home. Outside in the world, she seems to get less overwhelmed and we’ve never had a problem going to the vet, pet stores, or dog parks.
Aoife needs a true “pack leader.” She needs someone who can give structure & routine, clear direction, and the loving encouragement to help her learn confidence around new humans. The goal is for her to see meeting new people as a positive experience. I will only consider adopters with experience with cattle dogs.
She enjoys other dogs, though she has become less playful at dog parks as she’s gotten older and does not tolerate overly excited greetings. She has always been a model citizen, “velcro-ed” to the owner at doggy daycare. That said, she should be the only dog in her home. She has started dog fights, usually with new dogs coming into “her environment” or extremely passive female dogs. She has been around confident, dog-aware cats without a problem, but will chase those that run. For this reason, she would be best in a home without cats. She has rarely been around children and I would not recommend it without behavioral training.
She knows all basic commands, even “go potty”, and she is eager to learn more in exchange for treats - among her favorites is kale stems. She eats high quality food, usually fish, duck, or turkey. She is spayed and up-to-date on all vaccinations.