GATOR an adorable cattle dog mix(?), is at the Stockton Animal Shelter. He is a sweet, loving, young boy (18-24 months old), who learns quickly and wants to please. He has great potential, but has not been given a chance to learn. He needs adopters who are willing to put in the time to teach and nurture him. We are seeking a loving home with people who will continue his socialization, build his confidence, AND work to teach him boundaries and structure. He weighs approximately 35 lbs.
Gator initially arrived at the shelter fearful and unsocialized. He avoided anyone who entered his kennel, always pushed himself into the corner. He wanted human interaction and would approach certain staff, but then become overwhelmed and retreated into his corner to avoid contact. When being approached with a leash, he would avoid and become defensive, air-snapping, and barking.
After an animal behavior specialist at the shelter began working with him, his temperament became noticeably softer when leashed. He would walk very well on lead, always staying close, with a relaxed body. He would allow more extensive handling once out of the kennel and in a neutral area. This behavior specialist/trainer fostered him. Each day she would work on building his confidence to lessen reactive/fearful behaviors, when new people and dogs approached him. After a week and a half of consistent routine of crate training, challenging his mind, and extensive socializing, he showed noticeable progress and becoming soft/loose when being socialized. Now, when greeting new people, he was loose and friendly, seeking and accepting of attention and handling.
He showed beautiful progress and his status was made “adoptable” by the shelter. Gator was quickly adopted. He and adjusted to farm life on 10 acres with pigs and was thriving. He was returned around Thanksgiving, after he nipped delivery driver who entered the property and exited his vehicle. The family was unaware that Gator was freely outside at the time, and Gator rushed the delivery driver and inflicted a small puncture wound on his ankle. The family returned Gator to the shelter, because they didn’t have the time to work on his behavior. They said that he is very sweet and affectionate with them (senior mother and daughter) and never showed any bad behaviors with them. They decided they did not have the time to continue the work his trainer started, to build Gator’s confidence and socialize him around new people, or to teach him that guarding against “intruders” was not appropriate behavior
Gator is a young, working breed, who needs active exercise and mental stimulation each day. Because of the possibility of being frightened by children and resorting to nipping, he should not be in a home with small children. Gator will need time to adjust to a new home and people who will offer him consistency and structure. He is a little defensive when meeting other dogs, but takes correction well and learns to leave them alone. He did well on the farm with livestock. He has showed interest in cats, but has never progressed to chasing or being assertive with them. He would settle in quickest in a new home as the only animal. However, he may do well with a calm, easy going dog, especially if adopters have knowledge of proper dog-to-dog introduction and will manage their interactions for the first week or so while the dogs get to know each other. Until he is well settled in a new home, it is best not to leave him unattended and loose in the house.