Listo (pronounced LEE-stow) is a super sweet, loving 7 year old, 32 lb. Australian cattle dog. He is an active, intelligent, extremely loyal, “velcro” dog. He always wants to be where ever his people are. When he feels comfortable and safe, Listo is THE best dog. His joy is in pleasing his people. However, he does have a lot of anxiety in certain situations, and is protective of his home when strangers first enter his house or property. This boy needs an adults only home (no children), in a quiet setting. Listo is not good with cats, but he may be ok living with an easy going, calm, respectful dog, who will not get in his face.
Listo is a happy boy, who has a lot of personality, and almost human. He is generally chill around a quiet house, and loves to cuddle. In the morning, he shows his love by waiting for his people to stir, and will crawl up to snuggle into you. A long morning walk is next in his daily routine. Listo rides well in a car, and is completely housebroken.
As an energetic guy with an active brain he needs to be exercised every day, and usually walks five miles each day. He enjoys being on the move and loves working/training and learning new tricks. Listo is very food motivated, and looks forward to his training sessions each evening. He needs to routinely work for treats in order to help keep his mind stimulated. He is highly trained and knows several commands.
Listo is always up for hiking, walking on the beach, and generally being outdoors. He walks well on leash. In public, he is excited to meet new people and will run up to greet them. On walks, he minds his own business around other dogs. If off-leash in a park or beach, he enjoys a quick greeting other dogs before running to keep up with his people. If allowed to play with other dogs, Listo will use herding moves, circling and going for their feet, which may annoy some dogs. The only dogs he will react badly to are German Shepherds. Listo once had a bad encounter with a German Shepherd, and now becomes alarmed and very upset when he sees one, often growling, barking and pulling.
Listo’s Story (by his current people):
Listo has been through a lot. Listo was around 1.5 years old, when rescued as a stray and we adopted him. From the start Listo had anxiety and difficultly calming down when triggers (loud noises, garbage trucks, skateboards, etc.) were present. He would bark, pace constantly, with occasional urinary incontinence. Listo was able to overcome all of this, after a great deal of time, training, patience, and love. He is a graduate of various manners and agility classes.
Working with a behavior specialist, Listo has been on daily doses of Clomicalm for over 4 years; and with continued training, he is now able to refocus even when most triggers are present. He consistently shows us that he is highly trainable as we are always working with him on new tricks and behavior changes.
In 2019, an eye specialist noted that Listo's vision was diminishing due to a hereditary condition and that eventually he would be blind. It is estimated that he can see about 50% currently. He is very smart and adaptable to his surroundings, and has no problem navigating areas that are well lit and areas that he is familiar with. His diminishing vision may cause him to react to unknown people coming into his home, and be hesitant in new places/situations.
Likely due to his poor vision and being unfamiliar with children, he has only recently nipped at a child’s foot and the heels of several adult guests in our home who Listo did not know well. With people his negative reaction seems to be triggered if they are wearing boots or baggy pants. He also barks and paces when guests arrive at the house and has difficulty calming down. We were working with a trainer in our home in early 2020 to address these issues, but due to the pandemic, were unable to continue training at home. As we have not had guests in the last year due to COVID, we have not been able to address this more recent behavior. Additionally, the recent birth of our son has caused an increase in anxiety for Listo at home as well as overprotective behavior.
We are hoping that Listo can find a quiet home with adventurous owners who will enjoy exercising and working with him daily, where the owners understand the needs of not only a cattle dog but a pup with special needs, and are adaptable to his vision loss. As with all cattle dogs, ongoing training with positive reinforcement, exercise, and stimulation are necessary for him to have a happy, healthy life. He is abundantly loving and he will always be by your side and would love to provide companionship to someone who can dedicate time to his needs. For all the reasons above, Listo needs a calm home in a quiet, non-urban, area.