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Annabel is a 7 year old, 45 lb. spayed female in Chesapeake Beach, MD.

This is Annabel. She is a red ACD mix rescue that we adopted from an organization in Florida in 2015. The organization gave her and her brother parvo on their way to our home from the shelter in Alabama, so she has some very strange quirks and exhibits behaviors that are not normal cattle dog traits outside of her extremely high prey drive. Annabel has the potential to do very well with the right family, unfortunately that family is no longer (and really has never been) ours.

Annabel is being rehomed because of her severe mood swings that come out of nowhere and make her unsuitable to be around small children. She is very well trained (more on that below), and I, her mom and trainer, get compliments all of the time on how well behaved both of my cattle dogs are. But when she does decide to act out she is sneaky and quick and can be lethal. We have a second child on the way, and we managed with our first (who is now 2) but her behaviors and mood swings have gotten progressively worse this past year after our move and they are showing no signs of improvement. It is no longer responsible of me as a mother or a dog owner to keep her, when she could do so much better in a different family dynamic.

We are a military family who has moved with both of our ACDs from Florida to Germany, traveled Europe with both dogs, and recently moved back to Maryland. Annabel has been everywhere, and traveled with us on airplanes, trains, kayaks, in bike trailers while we covered miles to camp and hike, gone into stores and European restaurants (where that is allowed) and traversed countless Christmas markets and wine festivals. She hated all of it. She would rather stay home and be in a calm space, or out hiking off-leash in the forest where she can find a small animal to hunt and kill. She has extreme anxiety around bicycles, strollers, and large crowds. She gets so nervous before trips that she has thrown up in front of our car before we ever loaded her. She shakes like mad if its too windy outside, and we've had to close the curtains in the house because trees blowing in the wind terrify her.

 

Her very high prey drive recently spiraled out of control. She tried to kill our friends cat every time they walked out of the room to the point where they had to make her sleep in the garage. We went out of town for two days and she has stayed with them and their cat before with no issues. She has killed small raccoons, snakes, 6 of our chickens, random birds that land too close to her, field mice, and will go after sheep. She's afraid of larger animals like cows and horses and wont approach them.

She is fine with other dogs so long as they are respectful, and has never been aggressive towards one. She will snap and posture if they try and hump her or otherwise don't have manors, but she will avoid a fight at all costs. She likes the companionship of my other heeler and would do well if the family had another dog who could show her the ropes.

She showed her teeth to my son when he was 4 months old and grabbed her ear when she was sniffing him, and at around 7-8 months old when he clumsily sat too close to her one day. We fixed those situations but ever since I've always kept an eye on her. She mostly ignores him or moves if he plays too close to her even if he isn't bothering her, and he plays with our other heeler just fine (he's two now). *note, he's very respectful and gentle around pets, but she has extremely high anxiety and will run away if one of his toys gets too close to her bed, even if he doesn't or hasn't touched her. She is not good around small children in her home space, but is perfectly fine and gentle when meeting them out on walks.

She has nipped me once when she was being corrected on a walk, barely teeth grazing on my arm, no injury and just small red marks, and has tried to do a dominant/aggressive stare down on several occasions for benign things like cutting her nails, making her move from her bed so I could clean it, brushing, etc. Not every time, just random times. There is no rhyme or reason to her moods, and she'll be fine for months until one day she isn't.

She needs a caring, understanding, low stress family with calm, older children (8+) and no small pets, dogs being the exception. She walks on leash like a literal dream, (left side, no pulling) and knows how to sit, stay, lay down and will grudgingly shake hands. She does not like to train, and is not treat/food motivated. She will go to her bed on command and stay there all through dinner, and has never been allowed to beg. She knows things like "go clean up" after dinner, "go say hi" on meeting new people and dogs, and will sit and stay while I answer the door for visitors, deliveries, and other human interactions. She doesn't jump up or get overly excited, and is very good at meeting strangers, even small children. She's affectionate and gentle with them outside, she just gets weird when they're in her home space. She doesn't wake us during the night and is crate trained, though she doesn't need it. She is not destructive but will sneak on the couch to sleep when you aren't home. As long as your trashcan has a lid she will not get into it.

My family is located in southern Maryland and we are very open to meeting potential adopters. We will assist with transport as much as we can, but since I am 8 months pregnant that help will be pretty limited as far as my ability to travel goes. However, potential adopters are welcome to come to our home to meet her, and I can manage anything within a one hour driving radius of Calvert County, MD. We don't expect a rehoming fee, we just want her to have the best life possible since we cannot keep her with us. A donation to the rescue organization would be great, since they make it possible for situations like this not end in shelter drop-offs or abandonment.

Please reach out to me if you would like to meet Annabel or have any further questions. Thank you.

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