Charlie (ADOPTED!) is a 7 month old, 33 lb., border collie/McNab mix. He is a sweet boy with a soft personality, who loves to play ball, and hang with his people. When Charlie is familiar with someone, and knows they are friends, he adores them and will celebrate their arrival with a happy puppy greeting. He would thrive in a quiet, adult-only home, as a companion for a person or couple. He needs life in a quiet setting, with experienced people who are patient, and will go slow in gradually helping him gain confidence around new people. Charlie is great when meeting other dogs and loves to play with them. He would do well in a home with another dog who he can learn from.
However, Charlie is very fearful around people he doesn’t know. He can become very reactive when a stranger approaches him directly or quickly. We suspect that he was traumatized and terrified as a small pup. He is very mouthy when he is nervous, scared or excited. If he becomes panicked and/or feels threatened, his mouthiness can escalate to hard nipping. At home, if strange people approach the house, he will bark in alarm. If he is calmly and positively introduced to new people (with treats), he will be fine. Strangers should be seated and have tasty treats to communicate that they are not a threat to him.
Once he knows you, he is very playful and loving. During his first visit to the vet, being with people he trusted, Charlie was very calm and friendly. After a treat from the nurse, he willingly went off with her. Because he was with people he trusted he seemed to feel safe in a new situation and with the new people.
Charlie is a very alert, observant, highly intelligent dog, who learns new things quickly. In just one week he has learned several commands. He has excellent eye contact and checks in with you frequently. All training with Charlie must be rewards-based, positive reinforcement. Negative corrections or punishment-based training methods will NOT work and will achieve the opposite of what you want. Currently, when he hears a firm NO, he becomes terrified and begins racing around the house and leaping over furniture. DO NOT try a “Cesar Millan” approach with Charlie!
In a calm situation, Charlie is very playful, relaxed and happy. He is interactive and loving with people he knows. In the house, he is quiet and follows people around to see what is going on, and generally interested in everything. If he is on his bed and you leave the room, when you return, he is in the same spot. If he follows you to the door and is left behind, he will be by the door when you return. He enjoys gnawing on chew toys and treats that you give him, and does NOT chew on anything else in the house. Also, he is NOT a digger. At night, he sleeps quietly through the night on his bed.
As a border collie/McNab pup, Charlie is an energetic, curious, playful dog, with a busy brain. He is NOT a dog for apartment life or being left alone during the workday. He needs a few daily sessions of fetching the ball around 50 times, and a few good long walks each day. When finally tired out, he will nap at your feet, or happily relax in the same room with you.
We can see that Charlie has not been exposed to very much in his prior life. He needs new positive life experiences, to learn more about the world. This pup walks nicely on leash and loves walking out on trails. He is also completely housebroken, and will come to you and gently mouth your arm to let you know that he has to go out. Since car rides have meant scary changes or a vet visit, Charlie is sometimes a little worried when in cars. He needs consistent, good associations with car rides. We do not recommend him around cats or chickens, as he wants to chase.
During walks, Charlie is not concerned about seeing strangers, unless they come close. He can be distracted with treats, before strangers come within his threshold distance of “too close” and will need work to learn to associate people approaching with something good. When people come too close and trigger his fear, he will bark, growl and pull.
When he feels safe and secure at home and with his people, Charlie is a very loving and faithful companion. He needs very experienced, patient, loving people with a quiet, calm situation, and who have the willingness and understanding to work to help him learn to overcome his fear of new people. Charlie would do best in a quiet home in the country. His nightmare scenario would be a busy urban area, on streets bustling with people and fast moving vehicles whizzing past just a few feet away.