Diego is a 2 year old, 30 lb. neutered male in Gibsonia, PA.
Health: Neutered, healthy, up-to-date on routine vet care until April 2021 (2023 for rabies), 35-40 pounds
Diego is very sweet and shy. Some things can make him nervous, like loud noises or fast movements, but especially strangers. It takes extra time for him to warm up to new people, and he needs to be closely supervised with visitors until he feels comfortable. When he has bitten previously, he nipped a stranger's hand, arm, or leg very fast and ran away to hide. He does not herd people or other animals. He is not aggressive over toys, food, or territory. I believe Diego would feel more comfortable and be able to build tolerance to his fears in a calmer environment and with training.
He loves the outdoors, going for car rides, and is very well behaved on a leash. Outside of the home, he is friendly with people he has come to know, like vet and kennel staff. He does try to approach some strangers on walks, but we do not let him or let unknown people approach him. - He is much more laid-back with a lower energy level than a typical heeler. He is incredibly smart, loyal, affectionate, and has a funny and lovable personality. He likes to relax inside with his people and gives kisses constantly.
He knows basic commands and is house trained. He is used to being free when left alone and does not chew things or have frequent potty accidents. He is only locked in a crate when new people visit, but his crate is left open and he likes to go into it to relax and sleep.
What he needs in a home:
He is playful and absolutely enjoys the company of other dogs. If there are other dogs, they must be easy-going. He has socialized with other males and females and has never had an issue. Dominant and high-energy dogs make him nervous (which he will run away from and not confront) so if placed with other heelers, they must have temperaments similar to his.
Compatibility with cats and small animals is unknown. The few times he has been close to cats and chickens, he acts very interested. I think he would at least try to chase them.
No children under 14. He has lived with children previously and is incredibly sweet and tolerant with our son. Only because of his shyness and bite history with others, I would not risk putting him in a new home with young children.
He would love a fenced-in yard, but is used to being on a leash when outside.
He is not a working dog. He is timid, not high-energy, and has no herding or other behaviors suggesting that he feels unfulfilled. He is not an outside dog. He has lived indoors all of his life. He might be happy on a farm, but only living in the home, and it would pose its own set of adjustments with many sights, smells, and activities that he has never been exposed to before.
In our home, Diego is a nervous nipper. He is nervous toward strangers and can be startled by loud noises or fast movements. He has bitten several people and broken skin. In most cases, he nips very quickly and immediately runs away to hide. In one case that was reported, he escaped through our front door and bit a neighbor child - one small bite on the leg, breaking skin. When we got him in January 2020 from his first family, there was no known history of biting. (They cannot take him back.) Our female ACD has gotten more and more territorial with him and attacks him multiple times a day. I don't know if he would continue to have the same issues in a different home, but she is a big contributor to his stress. He is much more confident and less jumpy when he is outside of our home.
With his life experience and personality, I believe a quiet life with a family would suit him best.
Diego is in Gibsonia, PA.
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