From our Facebook page, December, 2012.
Finnigan came to us from a small shelter where he had been held for months as “evidence” in a cruelty/ neglect case. When he was finally released to rescue, he was a far cry from the handsome blue merle Border Collie pictured here. Despite his rough beginnings, Finn is ALL BC, with the quirks and smarts that are typical of the breed. He is a sensitive dog and will require a home well-versed in positive reinforcement training. Baby-steps, patience, and lots of praise are the keys to success with this boy. Finn does great with the other dogs and cats in his foster home and is more of a submissive dog. Due to his herdy behavior, he will need a home with no small children. He is a moderate-high energy level, so a quiet home with active adults would be best for him, especially if they could keep a schedule until he builds more confidence.
As a rule, Border Collies do not do well in a shelter environment, and Finnigan was no exception. Forced to spent months being held as “evidence” in a cruelty case, Finn arrived filthy, scared and in desperate need of groceries. We were told he lived with several other dogs in some sort of an enclosure or was chained up, but was never in a house before. It’s obvious that he has had very little human interaction, but after twenty-four hours in his new foster home, Finn had already made remarkable progress.
Initially Finn did show some resource guarding towards other dogs over food and toys. These behaviors have lessened considerably while in his foster home, and he has learned that there are enough toys to go around, and that treats will be given to everyone. For his own comfort, he is fed in his crate so he doesn't feel like he has to gulp his food down or protect it from anything. He shows interest in the cats but will only chase if they run and otherwise is just curious about them but will back down after a swat or two.
Finn is making great strides towards trusting humans, and only hesitates a little before becoming instant best friends with everyone he meets. Turns out people aren’t so bad after all! He is a little higher on the energy scale, what we would call a moderate-high, and he will need at least an hour of vigorous exercise daily in addition to walks and backyard play. He would do well with a jogger/runner or as a doggy athlete for flyball or agility.
When it comes to affection, Finn seems to be making up for lost time and is a huge cuddle bug! His foster parents have been working with him about the appropriate way to asking for affection and he has learned to sit at your feet when he wants petting. If you get down on the floor with Finnigan he will climb right in your lap for some hugs and lovin! As he is a sensitive boy, Finn does not tolerate yelling or 'old-school' training methods. Any harsh treatment or strong correction would set him back in his training. He would do best in a home that is well-versed in positive reinforcement training and can provide a calm, stable environment for him to grow and learn in.
Being a typical BC pup, Finnigan likes the chew, chew, chew! He has learned how to raid the toy box and will happily take out several toys and leave a couple in each room to come back to later! He still gets a bit of 'puppy-brain' sometimes and may try to chew something besides a toy-- a shoe, a pen, a stick, a newspaper! But he will give up non-toy items easily and is always excited to take whatever toy you redirect him to. He has learned to play with a ball by himself (letting it drop and roll and then going to get it) and has a rubber ball in the crate with him at night that he likes to chew on. There have been a couple casualties to his chewing; some mail, a sock, a shoe, but for the most part he is good as long as toys are left around for him. He will give up non-toy items easily, I just call him over and he will give it to me.....and then of course he gets lot of praise and love, and then I go with him to find a more appropriate toy.
Finn has turned out to be an adorable boy. If he is unsure but curious about something, he will slink/crouch around the boundaries of the room as if circling it. His foster family loves watching him 'work out' how to get his very precious toy from the bottom of the toy basket, and his genuine affection for the one cat in the house that kinda looks like him is pretty funny too.....he just can't seem to figure out why the cat doesn't want to be his friend!