Happy Tails

Cooper (ADOPTED!) is a 6 month old, 28 lb., Australian cattle dog and border collie mix. Besides being cute as can be, he is a sweet, loving, happy, playful pup, who is fun, energetic, and full of life. With the right training and slow exposure to new things, Cooper will be a great dog. He is keenly observant, curious, and smart as they come.
Cooper wants to be with his people whenever he can. He loves snuggling next to someone on the sofa and doze off for a nap. If you let him, he would sleep on the bed with you. Cooper is a sweet natured boy, who does want to please and do the right thing. He needs people who have the time to work with him on basic obedience, rules and how to be polite. He is very treat motivated, and with some positive (treat and praise based) training, he will try to do what you want. Knowing a household routine and training will give him confidence, when he realizes he can control or predict what will happen when he follows commands.

Before we got him, he was not socialized or exposed to very much, and he had only be taught to “sit.”  As a result, he is a little nervous when he encounters new things and situations. Cooper left the only home he knew, and it took several days for him to begin to trust his foster mom. He seems to favor men, and immediately began following his foster dad.

He is a fairly calm boy when it is quiet around the house, but when playing, he is a wild man with energy to spare, and needs room to run. When he gets too wild in his playing, he will respond to a strong, yet calm voice and body language, and gradually stop and calm himself. He is also learning that rude behavior does not get him what he wants, and that polite behavior will work for him. He will sit politely at the door before going out, and is learning to “Wait.”

When Cooper is comfortable, he is very playful and bold. He seems to have a little angel on one shoulder, telling them to do the right thing, and a little devil on the other telling him that he’s the little boss who does what he wants. He is extremely smart and definitely has his own ideas about what he wants to do. As with most cattle dogs, Cooper needs patience and calm yet unrelenting consistency. Negative or punishment based (including prong collars or spray bottles) training will NOT work with Cooper, and will never win him over.

Although clearly part border collie, Cooper’s personality is all cattle dog. He definitely has herding instinct, frequently grabbing the rear legs of another dog while playing. He is a little mouthy, and likes to mouth at hands when trying to play with people. We have been working with him on his mouthiness.

Right now, he is the equivalent of a 2-year old child, testing everyone to try and get his way. When on leash, if he wants to do something that you don’t want him to, he will lie down and refuse to move, or begin biting the leash. His person must discourage any stubborn or rude behavior by simply not giving him the attention he wants.

Our boy is nearly housebroken, and will try to let you know when he needs to go out, but as a puppy, when he is excited or scared he may squirt out pee. Currently, during his waking hours, to avoid an accident, he needs to be taken out every hour.  He does sleep through the night without accidents.  Cooper is NOT crate trained and does not like going into crates, especially plastic (airplane transport type) ones. He fought for his life not to get into a plastic crate when he was being transported, and had a meltdown in it, peeing all over himself.

Cooper is a very happy and friendly pup, once he feels secure and trusts someone. Unfortunately, when he was a small pup, Cooper had to resort to snapping at people to stop them from ‘playing with’ him against his will. As a result, he can be a little cautious if he thinks you are up to no good. If you try to put a collar or harness on him, he may either pee in fear or struggle to protect himself, by air snapping or nipping at your hands.  He is also afraid of small children, and does not like to be picked up against his will, and will growl and get snappy. The only time he is ok being picked up is when he lifts his front paws asking to be lifted in or out of the car.

To work on his snapping, we are not initiating attention that he doesn’t ask for, and we let him approach us for petting and attention, to help him realize that he is safe and does not need to protect himself. Once he trusts a person to not manhandle him, he is much more accepting of being ‘handled’ but will still object to being picked up. After three weeks at his foster home, Cooper is happy, relaxed and initiating a lot of interaction with his foster mom and dad and their dogs.

Because he never truly met other dogs before, Cooper’s first instinct is to be afraid. He seems to be fairly good with smaller dogs, but will growl and bark at larger dogs out of fear. It took almost three days before Cooper figured out what a canine invitation to play was. The first several times that my playful male, who is taller than Cooper, did a play bow, Cooper would run and hide in the bushes. Now, he plays like a normal puppy, chasing, and wrestling. He has also learned to play tug with another dog.  

It may take a while for Cooper to feel comfortable with each dog he meets. If a dog is easy going and/or playful, he will eventually realize it and be fine. However, when on walks, when he sees unknown dogs, especially larger ones, he will try to growl and try to bark them away. Cooper needs active socialization with other friendly and playful dogs. Every meeting with another dog must be a positive fun experience for him.

Cooper is a wonderful pup with great potential. He is still a very impressionable puppy, and his personality is still developing. He needs a very nurturing situation, with adopters who have the time to spend with him daily to teach him how to feel comfortable and confident in new situations. Cooper needs to make up for lost time to learn about the world, other animals, and people.

Currently, we are unable to take him to public places, as he received his very first vaccinations very recently, and should not be exposed to public places until he has developed proper immunity in several more weeks. We are socializing him with friends, dogs, and homes that we feel are healthy and safe.

Because of his need to make up for lost time in socialization and training, we are seeking adopters who will NOT leave him alone during the workday, and will begin working on his socialization and training immediately.

Cooper would benefit from having a friendly, playful, polite adult dog to act as a good example to learn from. Observing another dog that he trusts will help him learn how to respond appropriately when encountering other dogs and new situations.

If you are interested in meeting Cooper, please begin by completing our adoption form at this link: http://hittgv.org/index.php/adopt. Please download and print the form to be completed. If you have questions, email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or leave a message at (707) 583-9583.

(ADOPTED!) We are helping a very sweet, gentle, lovely dog named Luna (North Bay Shelter ID#13375) to find a loving, caring home. Luna looks to be a German Shepherd, Kelpie or McNab/Border Collie mix. She is about 3 years old, and was surrendered to the North Bay Humane Society in Vallejo, CA, by her people, who said they were moving and “couldn’t” take her with them.
Luna is bewildered and unsure about being in a shelter kennel environment. She is shy in the kennel and has been initially timid around new people, but warms up quickly. Once she feels comfortable with someone, she is very affectionate and seems to be looking for her own human to love. The staff and volunteers are just getting to know her, but believe that she is a moderate energy girl, who seems to be good with other dogs, and would be fine with older children. She is a quiet and polite dog, and is NOT mouthy at all. Luna walks fairly nicely on leash, but could use a little more experience and training on what to do when leash walking.
Luna was curious about cats, but when she was startled by one during a walk with a volunteer, the cat scared the heck out of her.  She jumped back and stood still, with a loose leash.  With a proper introduction, Luna may be fine around cats.
Although Luna looks to have quite a bit of shepherd in her, she is a very lovely, gentle soul. Because many potential adopters visiting this shelter are seeking a German Shepherd type to be guard dogs, kept outside in the yard, the volunteers at the shelter are afraid that this could be Luna's fate if we cannot help this sweet and loving young lady find a caring home that will welcome her as a member of the family.
If you are interested at all in meeting Luna (ID#13375), Mary, a shelter volunteer is willing to transport Luna to you for a meet and greet (within a reasonable driving distance). You would not have to drive to the shelter to meet her. If you have questions or would like to meet Luna, you can call Mary at (707) 342-0711.  If you wish to visit Luna at the North Bay Shelter, Phone: (707) 645-7905.  It is located at 1121 Sonoma Blvd., Vallejo, CA.  Open Tues. thru Sun. from 11 am to 5 pm.

Maddie (ADOPTED!) is an approximately 12 year old, female, cattle dog, whose elderly owner passed away last year. At 40 lbs., our girl is a few pounds more than she should be. Maddie has a very easy, mellow personality. She is a 'people' dog, who wants to be around people whenever possible. She is also fine with other dogs in the house, and plays a bit with her much younger, cattle dog foster sister.

For a dog her age, Maddie is proving to be quite playful and active at her foster home.  She likes squeaky plush toys, and likes to trot around the house carrying her 'skunk' in her mouth. She also likes to carry around a rubber ball. During leash walks, Maddie walks nicely at your side at a normal pace. She likes to stop and sniff along the way, and is not bothered by anything that may happen on the street. As a mellow dog, Maddie doesn't react to cats, skateboards, bicycles, cars, etc. She just enjoys her walk.

She does love food and treats, which might explain her weight and round shape. In the several weeks that she has been in her new foster home, Maddie has managed to get a waistline again. She is getting more exercise, and getting stronger everyday. She is now able to climb a flight of stairs without assistance, and jump up onto the sofa.

Maddie is completely housebroken. If she needs to go out she will stand at the door and woof softly to ask to go out. She is otherwise a very quiet girl. She never barks on her own, but may join in if other dogs in the house begin barking.  Her favorite thing is to be in a room with people. At her foster home, her preferred person is her foster grandmother. Maddie follows her everywhere and is never more than 5 feet away from her. However, if people leave the house, she is also fine with that. Our girl also is a good car passenger, and rides nicely.  

Although our fosters have not seen Maddie around children, relatives of her former person said that she is good around children and will retreat if the situation gets too chaotic for her. They also said that her former home had a cat for a while and Maddie was fine with him. In her former home, they said that Maddie would often choose to spend time in her crate. Currently, she seems to enjoy being where ever members of her foster family are, or on the couch.

Maddie's foster mom says that she is the easiest possible dog, and a pleasure to have around. She is calm and easy going, and doesn't get excited or bothered by anything. Maddie would be an ideal, easy keeper in many ways. Although 12 years old sounds old for a dog, cattle dogs, on average, live to 15 years and many may live to 16 years or more.

If you have questions about Maddie, please email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or leave a message at (707) 583-9583. If you would like to meet Maddie, please begin by completing our adoption form at this link: http://hittgv.org/index.php/adopt. Please download and print the form to be completed.


Sassy (ADOPTED!) is an 8 year old, female, cattle dog. Her owner passed away in August and unfortunately the family now needs to find her a home, as the owners house is being sold. Sassy is bonded with her sister, Maddie, and while we would prefer both dogs were adopted together, believe she would do fine on her own. Sassy takes a little while to warm up to people, but when she does, she loves belly rubs and attention. She is punctual for her 7:00 PM Treat (and was fed a few too many over the years). She is good around children and will retreat if the situation gets too chaotic for her. She is potty trained and will not have accidents as long as she is let out regularly. She walks well on a leash. She does not like crates or car rides. She is not destructive, nor a barker, but will let you know if someone is at the front door. Had one cat in the home for a year and a half and did OK with it. She is good with most other dogs. She hasn't been around many other large dogs besides her sister and has done fine with small dogs.

(ADOPTED!) Meatball is still very much a pup maybe 1 year, or less? He is a super friendly little guy, happy, playful, and energetic. Meatball has all the classic cattle dog/heeler traits. He is very bright, and quickly adjusts to new things. He loves people (including children), and is especially enthusiastic when meeting and greeting new people. He wants to please, and is good with other dogs. We have not yet seen him with cats.

As with many of the young dogs needing rescue, he had not been taught anything, before being abandoned at a truck stop. He will need training and structure - to learn rules and boundaries. He is a very quick learner and very food motivated. As a young dog, he will need people who can give him a lot of daily exercise, and keep his very quick brain busy learning good manners. He has stolen treats from another dog, and if another male dog tries to compete with him for a treat or dominate him, Meatball will stand up for himself. Otherwise, he enjoys the company of other dogs and playing with them. We believe that he was an outside dog, as his fosters are working on housebreaking. He also seemed unfamiliar with being on leash, but very quickly adapted to wearing a harness and being on a leash. Here is a link to a video of Meatball's first hike:

Looking for an active, loving home, with people who know this breed and are willing to work to train Meatball to teach him how to be polite in the house and around other dogs. Meatball is currently located in the Oakland, CA, area. 

If you are interested in meeting Meatball, please begin by completing our adoption form, by clicking on the "Adopt" option near the top of our home page (hittgv.org), or use this link http://hittgv.org/index.php/adopt.  Please download and print the form to be completed. If you have questions, please email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call our rescue phone: (707) 583-9583. 

Bindi (ADOPTED!) is  a 2.5 year old, 45 lb., true blue cattle dog with classic breed traits. She is intelligent, happy, loyal, affectionate, and fun, with a kind heart and strong spirit. She bonds to her people, and gets an A+ for loyalty. Her intelligence is vast, and she has a strong desire to please which makes her a wonderful companion. Bindi is the kind of dog who would love to go on adventures with her family, and she would make any adventure more enjoyable with her fun and happy personality. Bindi loves to play with and hang out with other dogs, and would do best in a home with at least one other playful dog. She does need to build confidence with strangers, especially with men, who she is initially most nervous with. Ongoing socialization would be very beneficial for our girl.

Bindi has all the traits of an excellent working/herding dog. Her instincts for herding run deep. She is not a dog for everyone, and would do best with an experienced cattle dog owner who can be two steps ahead of her. Bindi is a high energy dog, and an incredibly intelligent girl who will think for herself if consistent direction is not provided.

Bindi is a high energy dog. If she is able to get the mental and physical activity she needs each day, she settles very nicely when it’s time to relax. She enjoys playing fetch, and going for hikes and walks. Bindi likes water - walking in the creek and playing in the baby pool in summer. In the evening she loves to cuddle with her people or take a snooze on the couch. As a velcro dog, she will often follow her foster mom around the house. She is very comfortable relaxing almost anywhere in the house, sometimes in with her crate, on dog beds in various rooms. Bindi likes to be in sunlight through the windows to catch some rays. When the house is relaxed, she is too. Bindi also does well when left alone in the house, as long as there isn’t any food on the counters to surf. Bindi has never been destructive and does not dig.

Bindi is very playful with other dogs, and has excellent social communication skills with them. She has been exposed to at least 20 different dogs at her foster home - large, small, the very old, and the very young, and Bindi has done well with all of them, and in a pack environment.

However, Bindi was born as a boss, and needs to be reminded that she is not the boss. At her foster home, there are anywhere from 8-12 dogs at any given time. She enjoys herding the other dogs, and will often cut them off and redirect them. When everyone comes inside, she will go back outside, to make sure that everyone has come in. When her foster mom lets them all out, Bindi has a bad habit of rushing to the front of the pack to turn around and nip at whichever dog is in front. Her foster mom believes that at the outset of the potty break, Bindi is establishing that she will be managing everyone so they better behave. Holding her back as the last dog to go outside, or walking in front and calling her name to keep her going forward, before she turns around, solves this problem.

Bindi has been great with a variety of cat personalities at her foster home, including a kitten. She is curious but with good intentions and she is gentle.

Our girl is currently living in a home with a 5 and 9 year old, and young adult children.
Because Bindi’s foster mom has given clearly defined boundaries that Bindi can easily understand, she has been fine with the children and their friends in and out of the house. Once as her 5 year old daughter was on a swing, Bindi wanted very much to nip at her feet as they swung by. Her foster mom was two steps ahead of Bindi, and prevented any action. In a different home, if there is little to no structure, and rules are not well defined, the potential for Bindi to make up her own job and create problems would be a real issue.

Bindi would probably not do well with children on wheels (bicycles, skateboards, roller skates, etc.), which is common trigger for herding dogs. For this reason, she should NEVER be allowed off leash if exposed to children on wheels.

She is insecure with strangers and needs the time and an opportunity to check out a person, and feel sure that she will be safe before she accepts a new person. Once she knows you, and trusts you, usually after two meetings, she is your friend for life. The more socialization that Bindi is exposed to, the better off she will be.

When she meets new people, especially men, she holds her head low, with her hackles up, and circles them, checking them out. Her people need to allow her to do this, if they want her to accept a new person. Bindi’s people must watch and prevent strangers from suddenly approaching and immediately try to pet her.

Bindi loves stuffed toys, and will make snow unstuffing them, but will also stop if you tell her to. She also adores tennis balls, playing fetch, and catching frisbees, and she should always have a “jolly ball” or two in her life! Bindi is not possessive over anything. She is very good at sharing food, treats and toys. She eats together with the other dogs. She has never had any issues with humans or other dogs.

Our girl walks fairly well on leash. She also rides nicely in a car. As with most cattle dogs, Bindi is mostly quiet, but will talk or alert you of things. She will bark if a stranger approaches the door, or the car, and when she hears doorbells on the TV. When she is very excited is the only other times she may say talk or give out a high pitched cattle dog bark. When she knows she is going on a walk, she gets excited and starts talking, and she also talks sometimes when playing with other dogs.

Bindi is super sharp and a fast learner. She needs to have a structured home, with clearly defined rules. As most dogs, she thrives on learning new behaviors, and practicing her currents behaviors. This allows her to please her people, which matters most to her. When provided with the right direction, so that she understands the rules and boundaries, Bindi can also be the ideal well behaved dog. At her current foster home, Bindi has shown none of the unwanted behaviors, ever, that she exhibited in her prior home. Her foster mom, who is also a trainer, believes it is because those behaviors are not acceptable in her current home. Bindi is smart enough to know this, and she wants to please.

At her prior home, for the past year and a half, Bindi lived in a situation where there were constantly new construction workers coming and going for supplies located just past her house. The anxiousness about these strangers caused her to feel threatened in her home and she was accidentally positively reinforced to believe that she was doing a good job in protecting her home.

Bindi’s foster mom says that she is a trainers dream. However, if you are not interested in training, Bindi she would NOT be a good choice.

With her focus on and desire to please her person, plus her keen intelligence and strong herding instinct, Bindi would be a great working dog with livestock. If kept as a pet in a regular home, she would benefit greatly by living with another dog who has equal energy and desire to play. Currently, she is thriving in the situation at her multi dog foster home. She also previously lived with a 1-year old male hound/saint bernard mix.

Bindi needs adopters who understand that the best way to keep everyone safe, is to be vigilant in avoiding potential issues. Bindi’s new owner(s) would need to understand the responsibility associated with owning a dog who has a high instinct to herd, and nip

If you are interested in meeting Bindi, please begin by completing our adoption form at this link: http://hittgv.org/index.php/adopt.  Please download and print the form to be completed. If you have questions, email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or leave a message at (707) 583-9583.


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.

Contact us at:   This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


We are grateful for any contributions to help us rescue, care for, and transport animals.

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

Herd It Through The Grapevine is a 501(c)(3) approved organization.