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Pippin 1
Pippin 1

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Pippin 4
Pippin 4

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Pippin 3
Pippin 3

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Pippin 1
Pippin 1

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Pippin is a 3 year old, 30 lb. spayed female in Chicago, IL.

Pippin is a loyal, fun, and adorable 3-year-old red heeler. She’s about 30lbs, up to date on all vaccines including lyme, heartworm negative, spayed, and microchipped. She had a lot of digestive issues when she was a puppy but has been the picture of health for the past couple of years!


We got Pippin as a puppy through adopt a pet. The family was not a breeder, their dogs just had a litter. She had 3 brothers and sisters and she was the runt. 


From the time she was a puppy she has always been anxious and high-energy. She loves to play and run and swim. We have an 8-year-old blue heeler and she loves him but can definitely beat him up on occasion. We had a baby about a year after getting Pippin and she has always been so sweet with her. She plays really gently with her and is protective of her.


Pippin has always lived in a city apartment so her potty breaks are long walks. She was getting to be too much to handle on walks so this summer (2022) we sent Pippin to a board and train program to hopefully help us get some of her energy and anxiety under control. She did not do well there and while she did learn good commands like heel, sit, stay, and come, she since has gotten more protective of us and aggressive towards visitors in our home.


Her great qualities:

  • She is the happiest dog when the family unit is in one place. Whether it’s in our home or on a long hike (without others around!).

  • She’s a velcro dog. Her ideal situation is to be off leash in the middle of nowhere and she sticks right next to whoever she is with. She loves to sit in the river while we fish, scale mountains while we hike, run through fields while we camp, and she always comes back when we call.

  • In our apartment she is very relaxed and calm. This is her safe space and unless she thinks someone is coming through the door, she is a sleepy cuddle bug.

  • She is great with babies (only been around 3-year-olds and under). She is gentle and sweet to them.

  • Once she warms up to another dog she loves to play. But it takes about 2 days to warm up.

  • She’s so athletic, it’s really impressive. She can run for miles, jump crazy high, catch pretty much anything, and swim for a long time. If you’re looking to train an athlete, here she is!

  • She’s smart and loves to work. With someone who has more time to work her, she could be so much more in control and focussed.

  • While she is anxious, she is very adaptable. We’ve moved a few times, spent time in different states, camped for longer periods of time and she’s always the quicker of the two dogs to adapt. Through this we’ve found that she’s her best pup self when in the country without many people around. She’s an outdoorsy girl!

  • She only plays with her dog toys and leaves everything else alone. Our other dog tears up baby toys and books, etc. but Pippin knows which toys are hers.

  • She’s stinkin’ cute!


Her anxieties and behavioral issues:

  • Her biggest trigger is doors. Mainly doors into our home but when we’ve stayed at other’s homes and they have doors to backyards she just goes nuts.

    • Specifically if someone comes into the door this sets her off and it is very difficult to control her. She recently bit a visitor (no skin was broken but there was a nasty bruise). This is ultimately why we are having to rehome her because we have a lot of people over to our house including children and it stresses her out too much.

    • With doors to backyards she is so excited to play that she “guards” the door. If you let her out and then go out after her she barks, jumps, and nips to try and get you to play. She’s knocked over kids, bruised faces, and nipped other dogs doing this. This is not an aggressive behavior but shows how strong she is and relentless when she wants to play. She desperately needs a job.

    • The positive is when we have taken her to places that are in the woods or on a farm where she can roam she does not guard the door and is much happier to just hang outside.

  • Leashed walks and other leashed dogs make her very stressed. Since being trained this is the one thing she is better at - you can get her to heel and walk quickly passed other dogs. However, if a dog or person surprises her she reacts in the same way as someone coming into our home. She has not bitten anyone this way but she does act aggressively.

  • She’s an escape artist. We both work from home but when we leave the house she goes into her crate. We’ve purchased every kind of crate imaginable and this girl has gotten out of all of them. She has injured herself trying to escape. The set up we have now seems to work really well and once she realizes she can’t get out she goes right to sleep. 

  • If we don’t crate her she climbs on counters, eats any food that she can find, and poops on the floor. Her biggest stress response is to poop but she’s sweet and does it by the door.

  • She can be loud in some situations. Obviously when she’s acting aggressively she barks. But also if she is really excited she squeaks and barks (as a good ACD should!). It can be difficult to get her to stop barking when she’s in play mode which is one reason we are hoping for someone with more space and less neighbors to be annoyed with her barking. A lot of times it’s our other dog that sets her off so if you have a home with no other dogs she will be quieter!

  • She’s okay in the car. We go on a lot of roadtrips and when she is crated and we’re driving on the highway she just passes out. If she’s not crated she gets pretty anxious and barks at the other cars.


We love Pippin, and if we were in another stage in our life we would move to the woods and let her live her best life. So we’re hoping we can find someone who already lives there that can give her what she needs. We are looking for someone preferably with land and/or a working farm or ranch. With some good work dog training Pippin could thrive as she has exhibited herding instinct and a knack for learning new things. 


If not someone with a working farm/ranch, we think Pippin would thrive with someone who regularly goes outdoors. Hiking, trail running, snowshoeing, kayaking, backpacking, she loves it all! We take her on 3 walks a day and a few runs a week. We are outdoors a lot during the warmer months and that is when she is happiest.


She could definitely be in a home with another dog but the new owner should prepare for an adjustment period as she can get defensive and nervous when meeting new dogs. She’s never been around cats so not sure about that. Children are also fine but we are worried about when other kids are coming over to the house that she will react. If she had a safe space outdoors to go to when guests are coming over we think she’d be perfectly fine.


This was a really difficult decision but this year we’ve realized that not only is Pippin making us nervous to have our friends and family over, she is anxious and stressed all the time in our normal life which is not how a doggo should live. She needs fresh air and space and we just can’t provide that for her. 


Since we’re hoping for a new owner with land we are 100% willing to travel pretty much anywhere in the US or Canada. We live in Chicago but travel regularly. See below for our adoption process:


  • Q&A application form (just a few questions)

  • Phone interview and/or reference checks

  • For final adoption candidates: photos of living space / outdoor space

  • Signed agreement


Pippin will come with food and food container, her crate, toys, and her leashes and harnesses (and probably some tears from us!).

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