Our Available Dogs

Ollie is a 1 yr. 8 month old, 33-34 lb cattle dog with classic breed traits. He is an incredibly smart, very loving, sweet, ”velcro” pup. He is also very athletic. Ollie has clearly had some trauma in his past life, and has anxiety in some situations. He has a lot of personality and definitely will communicate his feelings to you.

Ollie is a very active and high energy dog. He gets so much joy from being outside and he definitely needs his exercise outside in order to be relatively calm in the house. He’s more of a sprinter and prefers agility challenges (incredible with a frisbee!), but he enjoys his ~4 mile run every morning. His excitement is contagious.

Ollie has been living with us in an apartment (1BR/1BA) with no other animals.  About 4 months ago, we agreed to adopt him to get him out of the shelter environment. We wanted to give him an opportunity to settle after neuter surgery and to make progress on some behavior issues.

At home, Ollie follows us around the apartment. My partner and I both work from home, and when we are working, Ollie will curl up on his dog bed. We take breaks during the day to give him short walks and play mental stimulation games like hide and seek.  If Ollie doesn’t get his morning exercise, he’s extra sensitive to outside noises. When my partner and leave the home, and will be away for more than 20 minutes, we’ll put Ollie in his crate and give him a frozen peanut butter Kong, and he seems to do fine, as long as he has his Kong. 

He loves to learn, is eager to please, and is very food motivated! Ollie is happiest whenever he can be with his people and we take him everywhere we can. He loves adventures! He travels well in the car and walks well on leash (using a Gentle Leader Head Harness). He’s been down to the beaches along the Central Coast, up to the trails in Tahoe, and he’s made multiple trips to the Bay Area. Ollie loves meeting new people (outside of his home environment) and gets a little too excited sometimes so we’re working on calm introductions. However, early indications suggest that he may need work on greeting/meeting people nicely in the home. Due to COVID, we haven’t really had anyone else in our home.  When a male friend (wearing a mask) briefly came into our home, Ollie displayed some aggression toward him.

When we first brought Ollie home, he was scared of random things (changing the trash bag, plastic boxes, the refrigerator, moving phone chargers) in the house and would respond by snapping at us. We worked with a trainer to 1) identify when he’s scared/about to snap and 2) provide structure to deal with the scary situation. We haven’t had any issues with him since. Sometimes he can still feel anxious and curls himself into a little ball the corner of the room. We will try to comfort him by coming to him with treats, to pet him, or give him a food puzzle toy to play with. He has a variety of toys (balls, stuffed animals, rubber frisbees & rings) he enjoys, but tends to only play with them if we’re playing with him. However, if we set him loose with his food ball, he independently plays with it and has a blast.

Ollie would do best in a quiet area with some property. We live on a busy street in the downtown area in Sacramento. Ollie becomes very anxious and reactive when we encounter people on scooters/skateboards/hoverboards/rollerblades/etc (but not bikes). Constant exposure to these, as well as passing other dogs has been the hardest thing for us to manage. It can take a couple of blocks before Ollie’s nerves calm down and he can enjoy his walk or run.

Ollie has all the traits of an excellent working/herding dog. His instincts for herding have been mellowed but, when he’s excited or agitated, they come out. As is often the case, traits that are desirable for a working dog on country property, can be very undesirable behaviors in urban and suburban life.

We have been working with a trainer, who taught us to be his “pack leaders,” especially when walking, so Ollie doesn’t feel that the burden is on him to keep scary things away. Ollie needs structure and leaders to remind him that he is not the boss and there are clearly defined rules. Ollie has responded well to training. However, he needs an experienced cattle dog owner who can be two steps ahead of him, and ideally in a quiet/rural situation. Ollie is an intelligent boy, with a busy brain, and who will think for himself if consistent direction is not provided.

Ollie is reactive when seeing other dogs on walks. He will whine, jump, bark, and pull. The shelter told us he could only be in a single-dog household and we agree. We have been working on his dog reactivity on walks, and when we are in control of the situation, he’ll manage to successfully pass a dog 15 to 20 ft. away without reacting.

Ollie also has some resource guarding issues, mostly with food. He may growl and/or be snappy. We have been working with a trainer, and in these situations by “trading up” and giving him a more desirable/tasty item than the one he has. He tends not to guard toys, unless he’s on his bed with it and you try to take it away. He communicates his worry or displeasure through his body language. His his ears will go back, and you’ll see the whites of his eyes, and he’ll usually growl before he begins his snapping gestures.

As with most cattle dogs, Ollie needs patience, calm, unrelenting consistency, and a relationship based on mutual respect. Negative or punishment based (including prong collars or spray bottles) training will NOT work with Ollie, and will never win him over. Ollie needs a nurturing, quiet home environment with adopters who have the time to spend with him daily to physically and mentally exhaust him.

When provided the right direction and given boundaries, Ollie can grow into the ideal, well-behaved dog. We’ve loved working with him and have seen immense progress since we first picked him up from the shelter. He is a very sweet pup who likes to play and will reward you with evening and morning cuddles. Ollie will be your best companion if you’re willing to put in the time.  If you are not interested in continuing training, Ollie would NOT be a good choice for your home.

Ollie is located in the Sacramento, CA area. If you’re interested in learning more about Ollie/initiating an adoption application and/or meeting him, please contact Lauren Greenwood. Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  Phone: 916-802-5350.

Rocky (ADOPTION PENDING!) is a 4 year old, 45 lb., male Australian cattle dog. He is a classic cattle dog in just about every sense. He is a velcro dog who will bond closely with his people, and has his own unique personality traits that will make you laugh, touch your heart, and sometimes challenge your brain. We are seeking people who live in a quiet, non-urban setting, who are very familiar with this breed, and who can help our boy become more confident.

Once he is settled in a home, Rocky is just a love. He is sweet, tender boy who loves cuddles. He will sleep through the night on his dog bed in the bedroom. In the morning when he knows you are stirring, he likes to crawl into bed with you and put his face next to yours until you are ready to get up.

Rocky loves soft plush toys and tosses them up in the air for himself. He never chews anything in the house other than his dog toys. He is also very much a ball dog, who loves to play fetch. His favorite thing is a squeaky Kong tennis ball. To get your attention or to play with him, he will squeak it repeatedly. Rocky is also the social distancing police. If family members get too close for a hug or kiss, Rocky will run for his squeaky ball and squeak it incessantly until you stop and move apart.

Rocky is very motivated by food. One of his favorite things is his “snack time” when he gets some treats after returning from a walk. He also becomes super excited and gets the zoomies, dashing around with glee, when he smells barbecue on the grill. He goes wild for the smell (and samples please) of barbecued meat of any kind. Cooking any other food does not get the same reaction from him.

He is much more at ease when meeting women than men. His preferred person and strongest bond will be with a woman. At his foster home, Rocky is a mama’s boy through and through. He is fine with men once he knows them, and loves his foster Dad. However, if Rocky’s foster Mom is at home, and his foster Dad tries to take Rocky for a run with him, Rocky will whine and cry, and pull to return to the house. If his foster Mom is not home, Rocky is fine going out with his foster Dad. Once, when his foster Mom was away all day, Rocky laid by the front door the entire time waiting for her return.

He can be distrustful of strangers, especially men, and may take a few moments to warm up. If he is outside loose, he will bark at people who make him nervous and then run from them. On occasion, he has barked at male strangers who have reached down to pet him. When he is on leash and connected to his person, he is much more confident and comfortable meeting new people. If someone he knows wants to pet him, he has a silly move, and will quickly swing his butt around and sit on that person’s feet to be petted. If he thinks he might be able to get a belly rub, he will enthusiastically throw himself on the ground with a loud flop.

Taking long hikes with his people each day, similar to pack walks, has been a bonding experience for Rocky and his fosters. He routinely takes 10 mile hikes and it is his favorite activity. He would need to walk a minimum of three miles a day to stay calm and happy. He wears a harness on his walks or hikes, and is excellent on leash. When walking in silence for long periods, Rocky sometimes feels a little insecure and will fall behind. If you give him a little hug or cuddle to reassure him that all is fine, he will perk up again and trot on ahead. On hikes in open space, Rocky has had to walk past cows grazing or standing very nearby. He becomes very excited, wiggly, and bouncy at the smell and sight of cows. He’s a cattle dog, after all!

He is good when meeting other dogs on walks. Rocky enjoys meeting females, and is usually fine with males, but sometimes he can become tense with another male. Noisy small dogs annoy him, but he is otherwise fine with them. Rocky completely adores puppies! He will flop down on his side or on his back to lick and play with them. He is very soft and gentle with puppies and lets them sniff and climb on him. His fosters also saw his sweet, caring nature when he first arrived to be fostered. A day or two before Rocky arrived, masked intruders had invaded the property where the fosters lived, terrifying everyone. When Rocky arrived shortly thereafter, as a thin, malnourished, rescue with a broken jaw, he sensed that people were upset or sad, and tried to comfort them.

Currently, Rocky knows several commands: sit, stay, come, leave it. He is completely housebroken, and will let you know when he has to go out. He may stand in front of you and touch your leg with his nose, or come up to you and nudge you. Rocky is not crate trained and will cry if confined in a crate. He loves going for rides in the car. If you say “Want to go for a ride?” Rocky will run outside and wait by the car.

It almost goes without saying that Rocky is an incredibly smart dog. He is also a very sensitive soul, who will need reassurance and reinforcement from his people that he is a good dog and won’t be punished. Rocky is very polite in the house, and has moments when he is very happy and confident, but he is also conflicted. He gave in to the temptation of bread left near the edge of the counter. After jumping up to get it, he brought it to his foster Mom, with his head and tail down knowing he should not have taken it, and when she said “Rocky, no” he cowered under the table. She then tried to tell him he was ok, giving him a treat for bringing it to her, and to let him know he wouldn’t be punished.

Rocky is afraid of children, and especially groups of children. If he sees or hears them he will whimper and cry, and try to hide under something. When he is on leash and with his person, he will feel confident enough to meet an individual child. He is more confident if his person also touches his shoulder and/or talks to him in a reassuring way. Based on his reactions, his foster mom believes that Rocky may have been abused by children and men. We believe that in his previous life, people threw things at him. If you pick anything up from the ground, he will cower in fear. You must offer to let him smell everything you pick up to let him know it won’t be used to harm him.

Because he is a cattle dog, he is a thinking dog, who often has his own ideas and can be stubborn about what he wants. On hikes, he sometimes doesn’t want to take a path that his people want. Rocky will plant himself down and refuse to move in that direction, and will not be lured by treats. If you go the way he has decided against, he will try to herd you back. However, he can be tricked by throwing a ball or stick in that direction, which he will chase.  Also, the only time he may not be eager for a walk is if he get a new toy to play with. He will not want to go very far, because he is eager to return home to play with his new toy.

Rocky does have the desire to chase things that move quickly. This includes squirrels, birds, deer, cats and cars. For this reason, we don’t recommend Rocky in a home with cats. He seemed to be fine on a sidewalk in a suburban neighborhood, when cars passed at a moderate speed, not immediately alongside him. But, if a vehicle is moving fast, and/or very close (just a few feet away), Rocky will be tempted to try and chase it. For this reason, he should be on leash when on walks, and we do NOT recommend him for homes in urban or busy suburban areas, and he would NOT do well in a apartment.

If you If you are interested in meeting Rocky, please begin by completing our adoption form at the Adopt link in the blue bar above: http://hittgv.org/index.php/adopt. Download and print the form to be completed. If you have questions, email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or leave a message at (707) 583-9583.

Charlie (ADOPTED!) is a 7 month old, 33 lb., border collie/McNab mix. He is a sweet boy with a soft personality, who loves to play ball, and hang with his people. When Charlie is familiar with someone, and knows they are friends, he adores them and will celebrate their arrival with a happy puppy greeting. He would thrive in a quiet, adult-only home, as a companion for a person or couple. He needs life in a quiet setting, with experienced people who are patient, and will go slow in gradually helping him gain confidence around new people. Charlie is great when meeting other dogs and loves to play with them. He would do well in a home with another dog who he can learn from.

However, Charlie is very fearful around people he doesn’t know. He can become very reactive when a stranger approaches him directly or quickly. We suspect that he was traumatized and terrified as a small pup. He is very mouthy when he is nervous, scared or excited. If he becomes panicked and/or feels threatened, his mouthiness can escalate to hard nipping. At home, if strange people approach the house, he will bark in alarm. If he is calmly and positively introduced to new people (with treats), he will be fine. Strangers should be seated and have tasty treats to communicate that they are not a threat to him.

Once he knows you, he is very playful and loving. During his first visit to the vet, being with people he trusted, Charlie was very calm and friendly. After a treat from the nurse, he willingly went off with her. Because he was with people he trusted he seemed to feel safe in a new situation and with the new people.

Charlie is a very alert, observant, highly intelligent dog, who learns new things quickly. In just one week he has learned several commands. He has excellent eye contact and checks in with you frequently. All training with Charlie must be rewards-based, positive reinforcement. Negative corrections or punishment-based training methods will NOT work and will achieve the opposite of what you want. Currently, when he hears a firm NO, he becomes terrified and begins racing around the house and leaping over furniture. DO NOT try a “Cesar Millan” approach with Charlie!

In a calm situation, Charlie is very playful, relaxed and happy. He is interactive and loving with people he knows. In the house, he is quiet and follows people around to see what is going on, and generally interested in everything. If he is on his bed and you leave the room, when you return, he is in the same spot. If he follows you to the door and is left behind, he will be by the door when you return. He enjoys gnawing on chew toys and treats that you give him, and does NOT chew on anything else in the house. Also, he is NOT a digger. At night, he sleeps quietly through the night on his bed.

As a border collie/McNab pup, Charlie is an energetic, curious, playful dog, with a busy brain. He is NOT a dog for apartment life or being left alone during the workday. He needs a few daily sessions of fetching the ball around 50 times, and a few good long walks each day. When finally tired out, he will nap at your feet, or happily relax in the same room with you.

We can see that Charlie has not been exposed to very much in his prior life. He needs new positive life experiences, to learn more about the world. This pup walks nicely on leash and loves walking out on trails. He is also completely housebroken, and will come to you and gently mouth your arm to let you know that he has to go out. Since car rides have meant scary changes or a vet visit, Charlie is sometimes a little worried when in cars. He needs consistent, good associations with car rides. We do not recommend him around cats or chickens, as he wants to chase.

During walks, Charlie is not concerned about seeing strangers, unless they come close. He can be distracted with treats, before strangers come within his threshold distance of “too close” and will need work to learn to associate people approaching with something good. When people come too close and trigger his fear, he will bark, growl and pull.

When he feels safe and secure at home and with his people, Charlie is a very loving and faithful companion. He needs very experienced, patient, loving people with a quiet, calm situation, and who have the willingness and understanding to work to help him learn to overcome his fear of new people. Charlie would do best in a quiet home in the country. His nightmare scenario would be a busy urban area, on streets bustling with people and fast moving vehicles whizzing past just a few feet away.

If you are interested in meeting Charlie, please begin by our process by going to this link:  http://hittgv.org/index.php/adopt, to download and print the form to be completed. If you have questions, please email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or leave a message at (707) 583-9583.

Buttercup is the mother of these puppies.










Shorty (ADOPTED!) is the quietest and gentlest of the litter. He is a personal favorite of his fosters, who nicknamed him Shorty, as he is the only puppy that inherited his Mom’s short legs. We suspect that he also inherited his mother’s sweet, calm personality. He enjoys a good cuddle and seems to be able to sleep through almost anything – including loud noises and ear chewing by his brothers and sisters. He has white gloves on all four paws and waddling walk that can melt your heart.







Grandpa (ADOPTED!) This pup was lovingly nicknamed Grandpa, for his loose skin and long limbs. He is very playful and knows that hopping and rolling around will get him picked up and a well-deserved face full of kisses. Grandpa was the first pup to run and wag his tail. While the other puppies are all still in the puppy pen, his fosters frequently find him laying at their feet, leaving them bewildered as to how he got out of the puppy pen. We aren’t sure if he just wants to be with people, or if he has an adventurous soul.  With his long legs, he is the tallest of the bunch.







Cinnamon (ADOPTED!) at nearly 6-weeks old is showing what a big heart she has!  She is a very happy and loving pup, who is the first to greet you in the morning, with lots of kisses and wiggling her whole butt and tail. She is so excited and happy to welcome each new day and to love her people and siblings.  She has a comical, silly nature and is very expressive. If anyone is still in bed when she is in the house, she will wake you up by licking your face or nibbling on your toes. She likes to play with the other pups, and she can hold her own! She is a curious and sometimes independent girl, who may break off from the puppy pack to investigate interesting things around the house.








Champ (ADOPTED!) is built like a tank and is the leader of the pack. Champ was nicknamed for his stout build and in-charge nature. He wants to be the lead puppy and has mind of his own, but he is still a softie inside who loves a tummy scratch and falling asleep in your arms.









Scarlet (ADOPTED!) is our only patchwork pup, and our pretty princess. She is curious and smart – watching what the other puppies do, before joining in herself. She is handsy like her mother and uses her paws to reach for your face to bring you in for face licking.








Edison (ADOPTED!) is probably one of the happiest, sweetest, friendliest, most social, loyal, and easy going dogs, with the gentlest, most loving spirit. He is a very smart, playful boy, who loves and is great with all people, all dogs, and cats. He is good with children, too. His foster mom says that he has the biggest heart and is determined to be a good dog. Our best estimate is that he is between 12-18 months old, and is a Labrador and McNab/border collie mix, who weighs 56 lbs. Everyone who meets him loves him. Edison does have a fractured/dislocated elbow, which makes him a special needs dog. We are seeking adopters who are willing to let themselves fall in love with this wonderful boy, who is so full of life, and are willing to go on the journey of whatever the future holds for his injured elbow.

Edison loves the company of others, both human and dog. While he is a strong young dog who loves to bounce and play, he is also very respectful of other dogs, and is as gentle and sweet as can be with babies. When things are calm in the house, Edison will settle and lay at your feet.  He has a zest for life and s essentially a playful pup in an adult sized body. He would do well in a home with another dog, as he loves playing with other dogs. His fosters limit his outside running and chasing time, and Edison is just as happy, calmly playing rolling on the floor games with the other dogs. He is very good with small dogs, and will back away if they snap at him. In his long term foster home, he has a cat brother who is calm and used to dogs, and Edison has been excellent around him from the beginning.

He adores human attention and companionship, and more than anything, he wants his very own person/people, who he can be with as much as possible. If alone, he will happily entertain himself with toys. He rides very nicely and quietly in the car, and is doing well, with the help of a no pull harness, learning how to walk on leash. Our boy is very quiet, and has only barked once, when he thought a stranger was entering his foster home. He would be a good watch dog.

Edison is very bright and attentive, and is very eager to learn. It is clear that before we rescued him, no one had taken any time to teach him anything, and was probably neglected. He is now a sponge for learning. Edison looks for cues from people and wants to do the right thing. He also loves having a routine. He loves going to his bed at night, with his chewy bone and an extra pillow for resting his head. He sleeps through the night and stays in bed until his people get up. If he needs to go out, he will let you know.

When we rescued him on Oct. 19, he had been in the shelter for over 2.5 months, with an untreated, dislocated/fractured, front elbow. Because the injury is old, with scar tissue growing around it, the elbow cannot be repaired by surgery. Since Edison is using the leg, our orthopedic surgeon, and two other vets who examined him, all recommended leaving his leg as-is, rather than amputating it. The surgeon hopes that as scar tissue continues to grow around it, it will create a protective cushion around the elbow. Edison will need anti-inflammation and pain medication on and off on an ongoing basis, and should have joint supplements as a regular dietary supplement. Our vets agree that a surgical removal of his leg should be a last resort, and only if his elbow begins to cause him sharp pain and he can no longer bear weight on it. The veterinary specialist who examined him, was very impressed by his sweet and adoring personality. He believed that 90% of Edison’s personality is Lab.

Edison is truly a diamond in the rough. Once he understands the daily routines and what you want him to do, he will be the best companion you could want. Our boy needs people who have patience and experience working with energetic dogs. Although Edison has a limp, he does run and play on both front legs, like any other dog. His people must be willing to continue his training, and balance his playtime with low impact activities and rest.

If you may be interested in possibly adopting him, please complete our online Adoption Form (click on either the "Adopt" bar above). You can also call (707) 583-9583, or email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Our mission: To rescue, care for, and rehabilitate unwanted, abused, and neglected dogs of herding breeds, concentrating on Australian Cattle Dogs and Border Collies.

Our focus is on their permanent placement into appropriate, loving homes, and informing the public about the special nature and needs of herding breeds.

Contact us at:   This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


We are grateful for any contributions to help us rescue, care for, and transport animals.

If you prefer to write a check, please mail it to: Herd It Through The Grapevine, P.O. Box 9585, Santa Rosa, CA 95405

Herd It Through The Grapevine is a 501(c)(3) approved organization.


Please click to donate a bed to our Shelter.