Atticus is a 5 yr old male with such character. He is a lot of fun and a rewarding dog but you MUST read all the way through before considering him. He lives life to the fullest and is not afraid to participate in anything. His antics will keep you entertained for hours but you need to have a sense of humor for his mischief. You can’t be upset if you find the roll of TP half torn up in the bathroom, or your shoes strewn around the house, or him running around with a random object in his mouth that leaves you wondering where he even found it. He likes to snuggle on the couch after an exhausting day. He’ll be your buddy for an active lifestyle. If you want to get in to a dog sport this is your guy. He’s active and smart, loves a mental challenge, but be warned, you have to provide this challenge. He loves his human and forms a deep bond with them. He’s very protective of his house and guards his territory against stranger danger. He will alert you in no uncertain terms when someone is around. He doesn’t take kindly to visitors being inside the house but welcomes them outside the house. He came to the rescue with some behavioral issues. Some of it is just a misunderstanding of his needs and some of it is his bold high energy personality. He does need a specific environment and level of experience to manage. He did have back surgery in March of 2016 for herniated discs so low impact activities are best for him. He is otherwise very healthy with no ongoing health issues. Although some outside allergies were reported, his foster home has not seen any issues over the winter and he was taken off that medication. This may be needed in the summer months if he shows some reaction. He breathes really well and has an athletic physique. His ideal person would be someone who has experience with strong personalities and can recognize the queues that could lead to a bad behavior situation, redirecting his attention before a situation can happen. Basically pay attention and tell him what you expect of him before he resorts to an undesirable behavior.
Atticus has had good training in the past and knows his commands: Sit, Stay/Wait, Down, Come, Stop, Shake, High Five. He is house trained with one exception, he will go to the door and give you signals but if you miss the signals and he has to go, he will find somewhere in the house to pee. This has happened a handful of times. If you take him out regularly, it’s not a problem.
- Single person or couple only – Not like a tinder profile but multi-person households will result in a guarding situation, especially if not all the members in the house are strong leaders. People in the house who do not take an assertive role in his boundaries will likely be bossed around by him.
- Boundaries – He needs a strong leader. He has a strong personality and needs a strong person to lead him. If he respects you, he listens to you very well. If you set the rules and boundaries and stick to them, he is much happier. He is actually a really good dog when he is a follower rather than a leader.
- Fenced Yard – Being full of energy it helps you as much as it helps him to run it off. He loves to run around the yard and the freedom to be off leash in the fresh air. This is important to him.
- Exercise – Every day he needs to burn off energy. I would regard him a highly active dog. Take him for a walk and get him out of the house each day. He can keep up if you are an active person and he walks very well on leash.
- Mental stimulation – He’s a smart dog with a mind like an Australian Shepherd. He needs a challenge or a job. He loves to train and learn new things. He has great focus when it comes to learning. If he’s bored, he finds ways to get that stimulation and it’s usually something destructive. He would do well in a sport like low impact agility or some other advanced training sport.
- Play time – He loves to play with you. 5-10mins on the floor playing “get your feet” gets him all excited. He’ll jump and run around, make weird noises at you, hide behind your back. Just be advised this also means he can get your feet; keep an eye on your toes.
- Crated when alone – If no one is home, he should be crated or confined in a small room without objects other than his bedding. One of his boredom activities is unplugging electrical cords which has potential for serious injury.
WHAT WON’T WORK:
- Dog Parks – He does not back down when another dog growls or challenges him. He loves play dates with other dogs and dogs that visit. He’s well-mannered when he meets dogs on walks but if you meet one that is not so nice to him, there will be trouble.
- Children – Although he likes people and children outside the house, he doesn’t like other people being inside his house. A child won’t recognize his signs and he could nip them.
- Living with other dogs – He loves dogs to visit and gets along with them well as long as they don’t move in. He lives with another dog in his foster home, but does initiate an altercation about once a month over something trivial. It’s really him just asserting his position in the pack but has the potential to cause injury. It’s really not reasonable to manage this situation and accept the risk.
- Visitors unsupervised – He tends to herd people out of his house that are not part of his family. He’ll be real sweet to them outside on the deck but when they are inside he tends to circle their feet and might nip if he can’t move them. This behavior is manageable as he is well behaved when instructed. You can instruct him to stay on his bed and he will, but you need to be there to do it. If you get a lot of visitors, this will be a lot of work.
- “Rough-housing” – he gets too excited and takes it too far. He’s been allowed to play rough in the past and gets a kick out of nipping you and creating a reaction. This should be discouraged and the activity ended.
- Sleeping in your bed – For some reason he goes crazy when he’s put up on the bed. He gets super excited and barks, digs in the sheets and generally just goes nuts. This is the opposite of what a bed is for, I’m also concerned he would hurt his back if he decided to jump down on his own, which he will do if he hears something.
- Cats or other small furry pets – He seems to have a prey drive for them. Not sure what he would do with one but he definitely likes to chase them.