Pilot (ADOPTED!) is a very mellow, easy going guy in all situations, with all people and animals. We estimate that he is around 3 years old, and weighs 43-45 lbs. He appears to be a cattle dog, border collie mix, with some bull terrier thrown in. Pilot seems very careful and hesitant in new situations and with new people. While he is quiet and gentle, he is also happy and social once he has had time to know everyone is ok. He is a moderate energy dog, who is very content to just sit beside or go for a walk with his person.
He is an extremely observant and highly intelligent dog, who quietly watches and evaluates everything around him. Although Pilot seems initially more comfortable when meeting women, than men, with a quiet, slow introduction, and some time to observe new people, he will warm up. However, if you focus on him and attempt to rush the process of getting to know Pilot, you will only scare him and it will take longer to gain his trust. When meeting his foster dad, who allowed Pilot his space and to approach in his own time, Pilot was following him around within an hour. Having the velcro nature of a cattle dog, Pilot now follows him around whenever possible. Our boy is fine when left alone. When his foster dad returns home, although Pilot has the company of other dogs, he is excited and happy, coming up to lick his foster dad’s hand, and running around in glee.
Pilot demonstrates excellent body language around other dogs. While curious about other dogs, if he is unsure of new dogs who look at or approach him quickly, he will turn his head away to avoid their gaze, letting them know he is not a threat. He may hide behind the legs of his person if strange dogs quickly approach him to meet. It may take him several minutes to feel comfortable enough to return a sniff and slowly begin to interact with new dogs or people. Once he feels secure in a situation and with other dogs or people, he is happy, curious and interactive.
He met and shown no interest in his foster’s cat, and is doing fine living with several other dogs. His foster home has several dogs, Pilot especially likes an older, male, border collie. When the two get back together, after being away from each other, Pilot will run up to his border collie buddy, lick his face, follow him around, and make a gentle nuisance of himself.
As Pilot becomes more comfortable, more of his personality emerges. He does enjoy playing ball, and seems to have a sense of humor! When being introduced to other dogs at his foster home, Pilot and I sat side by side in a room with exercise equipment. We both saw a tall mirror against the wall. I saw him looking into the mirror. I did a double-take, when I realized that he wasn’t staring at himself, but was instead looking at me. As we sat facing the mirror, looking straight into each other’s eyes, he had an amused smile on his face, as if he thought watching each other in the mirror was the coolest thing ever.
Pilot is a very easy going and compliant guy. When his foster dad calls him, Pilot wags his stumpy tail. He also likes being brushed or petted. Pilot was still and sat quietly in the tub for his bath. When walking on leash he will follow your lead and never pulls. Even if he is reluctant to go where you are leading him, if he knows you, he will follow. Pilot also rides extremely well in a car, and sits very quietly in the back seat. He enjoys facing the window and watching the world go by. He is housebroken and knows how to use a dog door. At bedtime, if you let him, he would love to sleep with you.
Our boy also does something that may be a request for attention or support. When sitting with you, he will slowly lift up and offer you a front paw, while looking away from you. When he first came off of transport to us, Pilot seemed very apprehensive. To allow him to de-stress, I spent nearly 45 minutes sitting in the shade with him in a quiet area. He was so still and quiet, yet when he heard voices of passing families, he would perk up and strain to see them, and watch them intently until they disappeared.
We are seeking people who can give Pilot the companionship, security, confidence, and loving happy, active life that he deserves. He is a brilliantly intelligent dog, who needs TLC, and people who will be his partners in life. PIlot is fearful of new people and situations, and it will take time - at least several months - for him to feel comfortable meeting new people, especially most men. He needs people who understand this and who truly know how to work with a nervous dog who is basically afraid of most people.