Atticus is a 2-3-ish year old, 68 lb., cattle dog, husky, and collie mix (our best guess). He has wonderful personality traits that cannot be taught and is a fantastic companion. He is a very patient, mellow and kind boy, with the sweetest disposition and moderate energy level, who just wants to be with people. He seems to have the best qualities of his breed mix. Atticus has a zest for life, is eager to please, and the devotion of a cattle dog, the easy-going, gentle nature of a collie, and, as with huskies, he is extremely quiet, with a gorgeous thick, bushy tail.
While he loves to be outside, and play and romp with other dogs, he is also fine resting inside with his person. Atticus is gentle with children and other dogs. With strangers, he will approach with a wag and a smile, but doesn't seem to expect attention from them. He is a polite, innately well mannered dog, and doesn't jump up on people. He hasn’t shown any negative herding traits - is not mouthy, no nipping tendency, and is not pushy.
Atticus is polite when meeting other dogs and loves to play with them. He invites both males and females to play. He will back off if other dogs seem wary. If they growl at or are fearful of him, he will just walk away. He tries to avoid a confrontation.
Around the house, Atticus likes to follow his people. He also enjoys exploring outside, but will return every few minutes to check-in and get cuddles. He loves being petted or just touching a person, and will sit beside you or lay his head on a lap for pets, and look up at you in pure joy. Conversely, if he is left out of activities with his humans, he becomes very forlorn and sad. Atticus is just a big fluffy sweetheart who wants to be with you and to do the right thing.
Our boy is very patient, gentle and careful with the 2 year old at his foster home. His foster mom believes he shows a “true aptitude” for being a child’s companion. When her 2 year old was throwing a tantrum and crying, Atticus seemed very agitated trying to go to her. He only calmed down after his foster mom let him check on her and see that she was ok.
Atticus is also very good around small animals. When his foster’s hamster got out and was wandering around the house, he alerted them by focusing on it and repeatedly huffing out soft woofs to get their attention. He never tried to approach or ‘get’ the hamster, he just wanted them to know there was a strange creature wandering around.
Atticus is excited to go on walks, and is learning not to pull. He also rides quietly in the car, and seems to enjoy it. He curls up on the seat and looks out the window.
In a multi dog situation, everyone should be fed separately and prevented from approaching someone else’s bowl. When a little dog tried to steal food from his bowl, he didn’t like it, but didn’t do anything except bark at her, almost saying "Hey! that's mine!" He is fine when people are near his food.
Atticus is learning to enjoy having a large, covered crate as his own private ‘safe’ place to be away from the other dogs. He sleeps through the night in his crate, unless he needs to go out. He will whine to let you know that he needs out. After going out to relieve himself, he will return to sleep in his crate.
He is essentially house-trained. When we first rescued Atticus, he had the urge to mark. He is getting better about this, especially since his neuter, now that his male hormones are beginning to fade.
Atticus is an exceptionally smart, highly attentive, and extremely food motivated dog. With consistency and training practice, Atticus will be a fast learner. Currently, he knows ‘sit’ and ‘off, and is learning ’come.’ As with many rescue dogs, he is not a turn-key dog for people who have never had a dog before, or who do not have the time to be with him most of the day, or to work with him to enable him to reach his full potential.
Until he knows a place is home and is bonded to his new people he can be a flight risk if left alone unsupervised. You can see him trying to work out problems. His adopters will need to be attentive and stay a few steps ahead of him to make sure he doesn’t make unwanted decisions for himself, such as, opening a gate if left alone. Especially in the beginning, it is crucial that he is always supervised when outside, even in a yard with a 6-ft. fence,. He may try to go out to seek companionship.
Atticus loves all toys, and to chase things that you throw. He loves chew toys, especially when he doesn't get enough playtime. If he can get at least two sessions of active exercise each day, his desire to chew may be greatly reduced.
Atticus is frightened of being abandoned, and will whine and bark when left alone. He has improved after just a few weeks. We feel that with continued practice by new adopters, beginning with short separations, that he can overcome his abandonment fears. Separation anxiety is a form of PTSD, and not overcome quickly. However, once he trusts and understands the routines of a home, he should eventually be able to work up to being left alone for a few hours. For this reason, he is not appropriate for people who plan to leave him alone for several hours during the workday
We are seeking loving, patient, dog experienced people, with space to exercise him and time to spend with him. While Atticus is good with children, he is not a living toy for children to pull, push, ride, order around, or pursue. He needs a quiet and calm home, and should not be off-leash in public until he is closely bonded to and has a solid recall with his adopters.