Gus (Adopted!) is an Australian cattle dog mix, who is approximately 2-3 years old, and weighs 45 lbs. He is a very calm, sweet natured, mellow guy, who shows his zest for life with playful bursts of energy, when enjoying his toys or the company of other dogs. Being mostly cattle dog, he is a velcro dog who will follow his chosen person around. He also just likes the company of people and adores being petted. Gus is good with both men and women, but he is somewhat shy when first meeting people. Once Gus knows someone, he is very affectionate, and loves human attention. When playing or exploring, he will return to check in with you often. His easy going nature makes him excellent with other dogs, and he loves making new dog friends.
With new people, his first instinct is to watch you from a distance to decide if you are ok and a safe person, who will not grab or scare him. If you let him do this, he will come up to greet you after a few minutes. However, if an unknown person approaches or pursues him with outstretched hands, he will shy away and avoid their advances. He is terrified when initially encountering small children, and will place his tail between his legs and avoid them. If they are do not move too quickly, and are respectful and calm around him, over time he will realize that they don’t mean harm to him, and slowly warm up to them. When meeting other dogs, Gus is very friendly, polite, and on the submissive side. If they are good with him, he will invite them to play immediately. If grumpy dogs bark or snap at him, he will just jump back and try to be friends. While he is a low key dog most of the time, Gus does have energy to run and play, when the opportunity presents itself. His bursts of playful energy are often seen when he and his foster sister take turns chasing each other around the backyard. We have not yet seen him with cats, but our guess would be that he is fine with them.
Gus has a silly, happy side, which he shows when playing with soft stuffed toys, which he loves. He will sometimes entertain himself by tossing them into the air and catching them. He is NOT a chewer. He doesn’t chew on toys or anything else, and is not interested in chew-toys. Gus also is not a ball dog. He would rather run behind his foster sister as she chases a ball. His foster mom has not seen any strong herding tendencies in his behavior, and Gus also does NOT guard his food or any resources.
Gus seems to be a naturally polite boy. Besides meeting people and other dogs in a very well mannered way, he also does NOT jump up on people or get onto furniture (beds, sofas, etc.). In the house, Gus is very calm. He likes to be in the same room with people, but will just hang out quietly. In the evening, he will relax on his dog bed. He is very eager to please. If you lead him to a crate at night, he will go in, and will sleep quietly through the night. If you call him, he will come immediately. He is fine when left home alone, and has not shown any separation anxiety. His foster mom says that in a short time he seemed settled in and now nothing seems to bother him.
As a relatively young guy Gus is an observant, curious, smart guy, who is eager to learn and tries to figure things out. During his first few minutes at a new place, he will want to wander and sniff everywhere, to become familiar with the entire place. Only after exploring and sniffing the entire yard and interior of a house, will he settle down, and begin following people around. We also believe that Gus lived in a situation, where he was never exposed to very much, and wants to investigate all the strange new things at his foster home. After watching his foster mom gardening, he later went to inspect what she was doing. She returned to find the gardening items that she had neatly left, all over the place in mess. In the house, his foster mom found place mats from the dining table scattered around the house, and pillows from the sofa flung around the living room. Gus never chews any of these items. He just uses them to redecorate! It’s clear that he was never taught anything and needs people who will be consistent and patient with him, to teach him what is appropriate to play with and what is not. Gus is a very smart, thinking dog.
Once Gus knows you and feels safe with people, he walks nicely on leash. When we first rescued him, he panicked and struggled each time a leash was around his neck or clipped to his collar. He can still get startled easily, and will shy away, by quick hand movement towards his head or neck area, especially if he doesn’t know someone well. He obviously has bad past associations with his collar being grabbed or a leash placed around his neck. If he trusts you, he is fine walking on leash and will not avoid your reach. He also knows how to use a dog door. Although Gus is housebroken, and goes outside when he needs to truly do his business, his foster mom has caught him trying to mark in the house. He was very recently neutered, and because he is a fast learner and very eager to please, we believe that with his foster mom’s consistent, continued reinforcement not to do this, he will soon stop this behavior.
In summary, Gus is a super sweet, loving, easy going, polite guy, who needs just a few tweaks to become the perfect companion. As with almost all the dogs we rescue, he needs some help to overcome some issues from his past life. We are seeking adopters who are willing to teach him boundaries, routines, while giving him the patient, loving support he needs. Gus would benefit greatly from obedience training classes, to both, learn basic commands and to help him gain confidence and exposure to new things. He would do best in a calm household with another dog to play with.
If you are interested in meeting Gus, please first complete our online Adoption Form (or download a hard copy) at this link: http://hittgv.org/index.php/adopt and scroll down to find the online form. This is the first step of our adoption pre-approval process.