Prince George is a 50 lb. and 3-4 year old love bug and staff favorite, with a playful, bubbly personality once he feels settled. Best guesses are that George may be a mix of Belgian Shepherd, Groenendael, Border Collie, and Australian Shepherd. He is a major sweetheart, but needs to be an only dog in a quiet home situation, with patient people who can help him overcome his worries and build his confidence.

When George feels relaxed with people he trusts, he is just a happy boy, who is big on cuddling and giving kisses - very gentle, light kisses. His core personality is a goofy “big lug” who is happiest with his person/people. If you sit down, he’ll put his head in your lap, or try to climb in to be a lap dog. He loves soft belly pats, especially if you hold a front paw at the same time. He will request a belly rub by flopping over to offer you his belly.

When he first sees a favorite person, he does a head wiggle, as he hurries towards you, ending with a little hop to offer you his paw. Once he’s greeted you, he will do ‘zoomies’ around the room. Sometimes in his excitement, he may be mouthy and jumpy. If you tell him school-teacher-like that we’re not doing that, he will try to control his excitement.

Our little prince is very attentive and in-tune with his people. If you seem sad or depressed, he will become extra silly and animated to try and cheer you up. Since he doesn’t have hands, he sometimes uses his mouth as a substitute. When he wants to feel close to someone, he may try to hold your hand softly in his mouth, like a security blanket. He will sometimes fall asleep with your hand in his mouth. Otherwise, George does not display any overt herding behaviors. He is also a great camera model, who will pose patiently for you.

Currently, George is very cautious when first meeting new people, and warms up to women faster than with men. Once he feels comfortable with a new person, usually a woman, he may jump into your lap. After multiple visits or when he feels he knows you, he tosses caution to the wind and will enthusiastically welcome you. When first seeing a new person, George will stay back with his hackles up, and likely bark. The best way to diminish his fear is to not approach or make eye contact, but begin tossing treats behind him for him to pick up. If a friend is present, he will warm up faster to a new person, in about 10-15 minutes.

George is a moderate high energy dog. He loves to hike or romp around. His favorite things are playing in water, hunting for gophers and lizards, and food/treats. Based on his favorite training game, where he runs for a treat that is tossed behind him and then returns to you, he would be a great at playing fetch. George loves playing in a kiddie pool, and if walking past a puddle, he will want to splash and play in it. When outside and on walks, he will investigate any holes for gophers or other small game. He is big on Kongs stuffed with treats or peanut butter. George probably would like soft toys, but he also loves to rip and shred soft things up, hasn’t been given toys at shelter. If you can monitor him with soft toy, he will stop if you communicate that to him. He has not shown any guarding behavior around food or anything else.

George is very smart and listens well. Because he is eager to please and loves treats, George loves training sessions and is fast learner. Currently he knows sit, and is learning “down” and to come when called. Although he is living in a shelter situation, based on his habits, we believe he is housebroken. He also rides quietly in a car, although if he is not familiar with a person or car, will be hesitant to get in the car for the first time, and be much more jumpy about every little sound.

Due to his prey drive and being a hunter of small animals, George is not recommended for a home with a cat. When he sees cats on walks he will bark, lunge and try to chase. The only other times he may bark are when something scares and upsets him, or if another dog approaches his home territory. Otherwise, George is very quiet.

When out on walks, George walks nicely on leash and does not pull. He enjoys sniffing and exploring, and bonds nicely with his handler. If he sees another dog in public, he may try to avoid or get away from them, or show disinterest in the dog. However, when on his own territory, his response is very different, and he will bark, growl, and pull and try to scare them away. Both of his reactions are rooted in his fear of other dogs. When he is reactive, he is strong and pulls quite hard. We believe he can be taught to stop this behavior over time. George is therefore not one for dog parks. When he is with a person he trusts, he will remain calmer, and not be as reactive to things that scare him (other dogs, loud noises, etc.).

George is very environmentally sensitive, and is terrified of loud noises. He will shut down in busy or noisy situations, especially the sounds of loud construction. Even activities and movements around a busy suburban street will scare him. He was adopted to someone on a busy street, and in the yard when he heard anyone or anything beyond the fence, his fear of the unknown would prompt him to try and bark them away. George also is very uncomfortable about things or people towering over his head, and around rough-housing play or invasive handling, especially by people he doesn’t know well.

For these reasons, he needs a calm home in a quiet rural setting, and to be an only ‘child.’ The the noise and sudden movements in a busy household, would terrify him, especially if there are children. George is happiest when with his person/people, and would love to be with his humans all the time. While he has improved during his several months in shelter life, in the beginning he showed signs of panicking when his people left him by himself. *

We are seeking adopters who have extensive experience with fearful, worried, unsocialized dogs. His person/people need to be patient and confident leader(s) who, with encouragement and positive energy, can slowly build his confidence around new people, situations, and other dogs. If his people are unsure or become impatient, George will feel their anxiety and not do well.

* BONUS! Our friend Malena DeMartini, world renowned separation expert, has gifted Prince George and his new family a "Mission: Possible" training course to help with his transition to a new home.

If you have questions or are interested in meeting our Prince George, please call the Adoption Desk at the Humane Society of Sonoma County at: (707) 542-0882.

ABOUT US

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.

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

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