Hank (ADOPTION PENDING!) is a very loving, sensitive, sweet soul with so much potential. Typical of cattle dogs, Hank longs for his own person to love and devote himself to. He weighs around 45 lbs. and we estimate he is 2-3 years old. Hank was a waif, who was found wandering as a stray. He is completely wonderful with other dogs of all personalities - very respectful and takes his cues from them. He adores playing with other dogs. As a young, moderate energy dog, Hank loves to run, play and explore. He will need regular daily exercise. When first meeting people, he is polite, but needs time to decide if he can trust you before he opens up to you. He can definitely “feel the love,” and tends to trust gentle, soft spoken people very quickly. Hank's core personality is a soft marshmallow. Once you have his trust, his floodgates open to show you how much love he has in his heart and how grateful he is. For his people, he is attentive, listens well, and wants to to please.
Most of the time Hank has a very quiet, low key nature. He is good company without constantly being on top of you, except when he checks in, to show you much he loves you by putting his front paws on your lap so he can enthusiastically give you kisses. He is extremely sensitive to his living situation and the people around him. Hank truly needs a calm, balanced home situation, and consistency. He is not for a busy household. If he is comfortable at home, he will meet new people in a relaxed, happy manner. If he is uneasy in a situation, he will also feel stressed about what new people might do. Hank is extremely intelligent, and a quick learner, who wants to do the right thing. He is big on food and treats, and should be easy to train. He knows Sit and Down, but could use some additional basic obedience training, and a good recall. Hank is housebroken and knows how to use a dog door. We are working on crate training him. At home, he wants to follow his person from room to room, waiting for you to let him know that it is time to do something. He adores car rides and the idea of going to a new place with his person. In a car, he rides very quietly in the backseat, watching the world go by, or in the passenger seat facing you. We have only seen him around a cat once, and he very calmly looked at it without any desire to do anything more. If a cat ran, he may want to chase. However, when Hank saw chickens being shoo'd into their pen6-8 feet from him, he did nothing more than calmly stand and observe them. When another dog began chasing a large flock of wild turkeys, Hank did NOT join in. We believe he would be very good with livestock and other animals.
For the most part, Hank has very good house manners. However, he is a pro at napping on the sofa, and at bedtime, wants to curl up on the bed beside your feet. When happily greeting people he knows and trusts, his first impulse is to jump up with his front paws on your chest to give kisses. While mostly quiet, Hank will alarm bark when he hears something outside. This happens especially after dark, when unexpected sounds may scare him most. He would be a good watch dog to let you know when someone is approaching the house. Hank should not be left outside unattended, and would do best on quiet country property.
Hank walks fairly well on leash. He is fine going places and seeing people on walks and in stores. In the month that he has been in his foster home, Hank is much more relaxed, happy, and more eager to get out to explore new places and meet new people. A month ago, when on walks, he was calm but cautious walking in town and seeing new people. We have seen over time, that when every new person he has met has been a good experience, that he is no longer worried about new people. Now, he is relaxed and wags happily when meeting new people. When he makes the transition to new adopters, he may be initially insecure about the change. His people need to go slow, and allow him to decide and approach new things when he is ready.
On walks (but, NOT in the car), Hank barks his annoyance at fast moving things with wheels going past. As he has recently become calmer and more relaxed, he has sometimes not barked when wheeled things rolled past at a distance. However, if they are close-by as they go past, he will still bark.
Hank is only now learning about treats and toys, and he is loving them. However, he loves them so much that he does sometimes guard toys (especially plush, squeaky ones) and the treats he has been given. His current fosters are starting to work with him on this behavior, and making progress. He is very smart, and wants to please his person. He is good at body language to communicate to his foster mom, when he is not comfortable about a situation or something we might do. Because of this current tendency to worry and guard his prizes, plus the fact that when he wants to love you, he will put his front paws on your lap and push his way to your face to give kisses, sometimes nibbling your chin, Hank would not be appropriate in a home with young children.
Hank has a soft, adoring and playful soul, and will make someone a wonderful companion. It is clear that whoever had him before he was stray, didn’t do right by him. To overcome his past negative experiences, he will need loving reassurance from calm, easy going, confident leaders. Hank should be introduced to new things at his pace, and not pushed into new situations too soon. His person must pay attention to his attempts to communicate when he is not comfortable with something. In just a month at his foster home, we can see that his outlook is much more positive and trusting. His person(s) should be experienced with herding dogs and be willing to continue his training, and work on his resource guarding behavior.