Nemo (ADOPTED!), our honorary herder, is barely 1 year old. He is a playful, sweet, guy, full of joy. He has energy to run and play, yet knows to be calm when inside. He weighs 50 lbs. and seems to be a Siberian Husky and Shiba Inu mix. Nemo is a gentle soul who is very loving and cuddly with his people. He meets people easily, and is great with other dogs.
Our happy boy loves stuffed toys and squeaky tennis balls. The husky in him is very devoted and family oriented. He especially loves his foster Dad, He is very good at checking in to make sure he knows where his foster Dad is. Nemo is content if outside with his person/people, and he has a soft spot in the shade and a toy. For him to be calm and content like this, he will first need to work off some of his youthful energy.
He will need space to run and/or people who are active, and can give him the daily exercise he craves. Nemo spent 3-months of his very young life in a shelter kennel, and was scheduled to be euthanized at the shelter when we rescued him. He needs to catch up on learning about life and to learn some basic obedience training. He sleeps on his bed all night, and seems to be house trained.
Nemo is very even tempered when meeting new people, including children, and other dogs. He wants to sniff them and then moves on. He seems fine with calm children. He has only seen cats on walks and has wanted to chase. When greeting people he knows well, Nemo wants to joyfully jump up on them. When told no, he stays down, and is well mannered. His fosters are working on this. Nemo still needs to learn that he is no longer a small puppy, and that his loud excited barks and jumping up when playing may scare or knock down children.
Nemo still has a lot of puppy energy and tendencies. He will need active exercise at least twice a day. When he wakes up in the morning, before his walk, he is full of energy and excited for the new day. He does some puppy mouthiness, especially if he hasn’t had any exercise. If you tell him no or leave-it, he will stop. He doesn’t yet know that he is a medium-large dog, who could knock things over when doing zoomies.
After a long walk or active exercise, he will be calm for most of the day, with spikes of playful energy (zoomies, playing with toys) when going outside for potty breaks. He will become busy and energetic again by late afternoon/evening, and will need another long walk or play session.
He loves walks, and once on leash, the husky in him loves to pull, and is quite strong. However, if you stop walking, he will stop also. If Nemo sees squirrels or other small animals, he wants to chase. If another dog barks at him he will pull and bark back. Feeding him high value treats distracts and redirects his interest. His foster Dad says that Nemo is walking better on the leash and coping better with distractions. He just needs continued leash training.
Nemo has not shown any guarding behavior with his humans at all, with food or toys. He has also learned to sit before getting his food. On the first day at his foster home, one of the fosters’ dogs tried to go for a treat that was being handed to Nemo, he showed his teeth to tell her to back off.
He does have many breed traits of both Siberian Huskies and Shiba Inu’s. Nemo is very observant and extremely smart. While he is very child-like and willing to please, he has a stubborn, strong will from both breeds. He knows what he wants and will let you know what he needs.
Nemo is very curious, resourceful, and learns quickly. While he does want to please and is extremely teachable, like a 2-year old child, he will “argue” and test you during a teaching moment. He will bark and give you an angry look, over small things, such as being told he can't jump up to get his own treats. If you don’t react to him, and calmly ask him if he's done, he will eventually stop barking and come over and cuddle up to you, as if to apologize for his tantrum. Adorable. He's just a softy with a big bluff. For this reason, Nemo will need an experienced person, who has the patience, understanding and leadership to work with his strong will.
Other than barking in protest or when very excited, he is a very quiet boy. He is NOT reactive about noises and people outside.
Since both of his foster people work, Nemo spends a few hours each day alone. He will whine initially before settling down, but, if first exercised, he will be ok alone for a few hours. After a few hours, he will look for things to do, and may collect items - shoes, pieces of scrap wood, etc., bringing them back to his bed. He has not done anything destructive. However, if routinely left for too long, and he becomes frustrated, it’s possible that he could begin unwanted chewing. Still very much a puppy, if Nemo discovers a new item in his surroundings, he may mouth or teethe on it to ‘taste’ or play with it. If told no, he will stop.