CISCO (a.k.a.Bluey) (ADOPTED!) is a super sweet, very loving, and friendly Australian Cattle Dog. He weighs 45 lbs. and is 1.5 to 2 years old. He is a great dog, who is super attentive, responsive to people, and very eager to please. Cisco is also essentially deaf. But, this has not prevented him from being the star in his obedience training classes, and from learning a few extra tricks! He is extremely smart and loves to learn new things. Training a deaf dog is essentially the same as training a hearing dog.

Cisco will do best living with another friendly, playful dog(s). He is exceedingly happy playing with other dogs. He also likes having another dog to follow around and learn from, and who will “explain” the world to him. Because he lacks experience in many situations, he closely watches and copies what other dogs do. While having a play date, he saw a dog use a doggie door and was at first puzzled by it. A few minutes later he copied her and was suddenly inside the house.

Here are YouTube links to videos of Cisco playing with other dogs:

He has lived with and likes children and will play appropriately. Cisco’s foster had an 8-year-old daughter. During a sleep-over, Cisco and the girls played every waking minute.

He also has lived with cats in his foster home and is curious, but calm and respectful around them.

Cisco is a medium energy cattle dog. He is content with a few 10-15 minute daily sessions of highly active play, punctuated by a rest/nap time period. Having several blood-pumping exercises each day makes him much calmer and less fidgety inside the house. He is especially happy when he is able to romp with another dog.
 Sometimes while playing with other dogs he becomes energized and overly stimulated, and needs an adult to stop the action for a few minutes to settle him down.

What He Needs
:  We are seeking adopters for Cisco who are willing to work with him, and enable him to reach his full potential. He has the velcro nature of a cattle dog, who wants to belong to a family/pack, and to have a human to bond and hang out with. Building a solid, trusting relationship with this dog will get you a happy loyal companion. He needs his people to be around. He shouldn’t be left for long periods on a daily basis. He has the energy to run and play during the day, and therefore needs people willing to engage with him.

Since he cannot hear, Cisco is very observant and will check in often, making eye contact with people. He also tries very hard to understand what you want, and to do it. His acute eyesight and sense of smell makes him very aware of the world around him and that world can be a confusing and overwhelming place for him. He needs to be introduced to new people and situations slowly and with sensitivity.

He is housebroken and neutered. However, when visiting other’s homes, his movements must be watched and managed in case he tries to mark.
 Cisco is crate trained; and at various times during the day he will go to his living room crate for some down time. It has a positive, safe association for him. At night he sleeps in the bedroom in his night time crate. He is cooperative about going in, but truly would rather sleep on the bed. During his adoption transition he will be afraid of being alone in the room. He might cry during the night if he’s not sure you are nearby. A quick pat and rub reassures him. In addition, he does not like being outside at night by himself.

Cisco loads and rides well in the car but still has some fear. He is happier if another dog is in the car with him. Mostly he is fine but you might notice him shaking occasionally when you go to let him out. Going to fun places in the car will continue to build his confidence.

He is very affectionate and loves and needs daily cuddle sessions. When petting him, he’ll roll over for you to pet his belly. Cisco is just a silly guy who has the best intentions. He exhibits excellent body language with other dogs. There is not a mean bone in his body. He loves dog toys, shaking and tossing the soft plush toys, and he is very keen on chew toys. He enjoys chew treats, such as bully sticks.

Cisco’s Training:
  The difference in training a deaf dog from a hearing dog is that instead of using your voice to communicate, you use signs with your hands. And since the dog cannot get the tone in your voice the dog will be reading the expressions on your face and in your body. Training a dog without talking is challenging for us vocal humans but very rewarding and even fun. And with everyone in the house “speaking his language” consistently, he will do very well in his lessons!  Cisco now has 20 signs he knows and is learning. (We will share those with you). He will continue to learn with consistent guidance and training practice.

Our boy walks well on leash. He does not pull on the leash unless he is distracted by something of great interest. He will "heel" and has an automatic sit at your side when you stop. He will stay as you move up to 5 ft away. He sits at the gate and will wait to be released, even as his person steps away and opens the gate. He has become a great restaurant/café dog. He will lie in “his place” easily.

To compensate for his lack of hearing, Cisco/Bluey does check in frequently. However, a challenge in training a deaf dog is in getting his attention. You can teach him to check in with you by   engaging in activities and games that will help keep his focus on you as you build your relationship. He also responds to gentle taps on the shoulder or rump and gentle double tugs on the leash.

In addition to his obedience courses, Cisco has been through a scent-work class, in which he excelled and thoroughly enjoyed. He would be happy to continue that work. He would also likely do well in agility.

Cisco is a very happy boy, and an all-around great dog, who possesses a wonderful nature and excellent personality traits that cannot be taught. However, he is not a turn-key dog. He is still very puppy-like. When the puppy in him wants attention or to play with either a human or another dog, he can be pushy about it.  He needs redirection and patience. Practicing ‘leave it’ and ‘drop it’ are helpful. His instinct is to use his mouth to try and take your hand or pull at your pant leg to get your attention. This usually happens when he is stressed or anxious about a situation, and he is trying to communicate that he wants help.

Potential adopters must be willing to have an adoption transition process to allow him to make the mental transition to new people and a new situation. We prefer that potential adopters live within a 1-2 hour drive of the Santa Rosa, CA, area.

If you have questions or are interested in meeting Cisco/Bluey, 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. Completing an adoption form, is the first step to meeting him.


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.


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.