Luke (ON HOLD - PENDING) is a classically handsome, purebred, blue Australian Cattle Dog. He is approximately 7 years old and weighs 50 lbs. As a very sweet, happy guy with an easy going nature, and moderate energy level, Luke would make a great companion. He loves playing with other dogs, and acts like a goofy adult puppy.
He may be a special needs guy, as he has hip dysplasia on both sides and bit of arthritis. However, it doesn’t seem to slow him down. He loves to wrestle and run with other dogs. We are giving him joint and other supplements to help with any possible arthritic issues, and to improve his overall nutrition. We are still working with the vet for a full physical work up.
Luke has many of the attractive qualities about his breed. He has a personality that will make you laugh. He wants his very own people to bond with, and is very affectionate. Luke wants to be near his person, but is not pushy about it. He will follow you and is happy to be in the same room with you. Luke will roll over to ask for belly rubs and to ask you to pet him. If you need to leave Luke home alone, he will crate easily with a treat or toy. Although he doesn’t prefer it, he is fine being left alone in a crate, and seems to know to relax in a crate. He may bark initially for a minute after you leave, and then stop. Alternatively, he would be a good dog to take places with you, as he seems to enjoy car rides. Luke rides nicely and quietly in a car. If you have a crate in the car, he will also get into the crate and lie down. Luke is also completely housebroken and crate trained. He will go into his crate if you tell him Nighty-Night and point to it. He sleeps in his crate, and is quiet all night.
He is a super curious and interactive guy who seems to be seeing and figuring out everyday things for the first time. Whenever any drawer, cabinet or the refrigerator is opened he just has to stick his nose in it to investigate. When told to stop, he gets this goofy, happy look that says “but why??” He just wants to be involved, observing and being included in everything that people do. His foster took him to the beach for very likely the first time in his life, and it was clear to her that Luke couldn’t believe what he was seeing. He rolled in the sand, played, explored, and decided he didn’t like the taste of ocean water!
When we first met Luke, he had been bounced around a bit. He was basically unsure of new people. He ignored me and wouldn’t make eye contact. When I offered him treats, he gobbled them up and then poked my leg with his paw to ask for more. After a few weeks at his quiet, calm, all adult foster home, Luke seems to now feel secure and is more confident when meeting people. His foster mom says that with each day he seems to feel better - happier, calmer and more confident. However, unknown people rushing up to meet him, may still unnerve him, and he may let out a startled bark at them to back off.
Luke is good on leash walks if he is the only dog. He will walk at your side nicely and does not pull. He likes to sniff and investigate things along the way. If walking with another dog, Luke will zig zag during the walk, we believe due to excitement. He also has a habit of taking the leash in his mouth and chewing on it, which his fosters are working on.
He loves balls and playing catch. Luke also loves squeaky toys, and chewing on Nylabones. He is a very strong chewer. Fortunately, other than his leash, he seems to know to only chew on his toys and not other household items. Luke does NOT demonstrate strong herding tendencies, but he can get mouthy when playing and excited.
Luke also loves food and treats, and will beg when people are eating. He has been caught counter surfing if food is around. It is best to keep the temptation out of his reach.
He wants to please his people, and being extremely food and affection motivated, he learned several commands in a short time: sit, down, off, shake, wait, come, nighty-night (for going into the crate or bedtime). It may take him a little while to figure out routines, and things such as, another dog doesn’t like him barking in their face (see 3 paragraphs down), but once he learns, he does remember it.
Luke loves other dogs. He wants to play with all the dogs he meets. When meeting people with dogs, Luke will focus on the dog and try to get them to play with him. We don’t think he was socialized very much in his past life, and he doesn’t seem to understand social cues or that some of his actions are considered rude by dogs and people. He truly does not have a mean bone in his body, but he has no concept of politeness. Luke does NOT have any resource or food guarding behaviors with people or dogs. He likes to play ball, and if another dog competes for the ball, he will step back and let the other dog have it.
Luke can annoy or scare other dogs with his “no filters” way of wanting to meet and be friends. He will eagerly rush up to a dog and being super interested to meet, he will intrusively sniff and poke them with his front paw to invite them to play. If they growl or snap at him, he will leap back, and then try again. He is the same with small dogs, and does not know that his play style can be too rough for them. His behavior is similar to a puppy who doesn’t yet understand signals from other dogs.
It took about two weeks for Luke to stop being a pest to his cattle dog foster sister. At first, he thought standing in front of her and barking would entice her to play with him. He was unable to read her annoyed body language. If she snapped at him, he would jump back, and then return and bark again. He is no longer desperate for her to play with him all the time. He is happy to relax near his foster mom while she works, with a few play sessions wrestling and playing chase with his cattle dog foster sister.
We were told that Luke originally came from a home with three children under the age of 7-years old. Since Luke is now seven years old, this means that his original people got him as a small puppy, and almost immediately began having babies as the center of their focus. As a result, for the first seven years of his life Luke didn’t receive the time, attention, socialization or training he needed.
When on walks, Luke becomes agitated when encountering small children on skateboards, scooters, tricycles, or in strollers. He will lunge and bark at them. However, he is not reactive when seeing adults on wheels. We do NOT recommend him in a household with young children. He seems fine with older children (9 years or older). He does completely ignore the sounds of young children in the yard next door at his foster home. We were told that Luke is fine with cats. Our foster has also observed that he does not seem to have much interest in cats.
Our boy does have an impressively deep bark. During a transition to a new place, he may initially bark a bit out of insecurity and to seek reassurance, especially if he cannot be in the same room with people. Once settled in, he will be fairly quiet, and only bark on certain occasions, such as if strangers approach or are around the house. If in a home with another dog, he may still sometimes bark for a few seconds to get the other dog’s attention, or to ask a new person to play with him.
We are seeking a calm stable home for him, where he will be given the care, attention, and opportunities to explore fun places, all of which this sweet, gentle and happy soul richly deserves.