Great Lakes Border Collie Rescue
Great Lakes Border Collie Rescue

Annabelle Gender: Female
Age: 1 Year
Housebroken: Yes
Fenced yard required: tbd
Location: Mid-Michigan
Foster Home: Pam
Crate-trained: Yes
Treat-motivated: tbd
Toy-motivated: Yes
Likes Car Rides: tbd
Good with cats: tbd
Good with kids: No

From our Facebook page, November, 2013: "This is Annie, we adopted here almost a year ago! She has brought so much joy to our family."

From our Facebook page, March, 2013.

Annabelle was adopted in January, 2013.

When Annabelle came to me, she was very suspicious and distrustful. This was amazing to me, because I know she wasneither neglected nor abused. Although she has had two homes in her short life, they both were nurturing and appropriate homes. Annabelle is a rescue, but her story is not sad or filled with drama.

Since she came to me, Annabelle has visibly relaxed and become SO much more flexible and easy-going. I really think what Annabelle lacked was structure and leadership, at least not to the degree that she needed. The home she had last certainly was an experienced dog-owning home, but, as a young dog, Annabelle is not quite yet an “auto-pilot” dog, which is what that home needed. Annabelle’s initial “issues” of suspicion around strangers and inflexibility have greatly diminished. This is such a good thing, because now she can relax and instead focus on learning and running and playing.

Annabelle refused to be crated in her previous home. She now enthusiastically runs into her crate, and loves the space she can call her very own. Annabelle used to bolt both out of her crate and through doorways; she now knows to sit and wait (she still needs reminders!) before being allowed to go through with the release of “OK”. If she can engage any dog to chase her, she is in heaven! Running, squeaking, and being chased are her most favorite modes of outside play. She gets along with every dog she has been introduced to while she is in my yard. Annabelle has been taken on a few “field trips” of “meet & greet” to a couple stores nearby. She enthusiastically jumps up into her transport crate, and she travels quite well. Pretty much everyone she has met on her trips has been a friend, and she has not balked at all in regards to meeting anyone. When she has encountered another dog, she was a little reactive, but she was easily redirected to sit or to follow me. That reactivity is a typical sign of a young and somewhat insecure dog, which, through regular exposure, can easily be managed. I like it when “odd” things (like another dog, a person wearing a hat or floppy coat, a person who walks funny and pushes a shopping cart, someone who reaches for her unexpectedly) present themselves, as all of them give me an opportunity to redirect and teach. She does pull when on leash, and this is something that also can be modified through attending a training class together, which I cannot stress enough. Any training class is very important for both ends of the leash, because the foundation behaviors that are taught and reinforced are what will help to establish good leadership and bonding with a young dog like Annabelle. I wondered if Annabelle would be suspicious toward a new person in an environment she was comfortable in, but everyone she has met in her “comfy spot” of my home has been her friend, as well.

The future possibilities I envision for Annabelle? Pretty much the sky is the limit! She does show some herding instinct (towards my other dogs), but I have not had an opportunity to expose her to sheep. She runs like the wind, and, if properly exposed, I’m sure she would love to do agility with her human! When I play fetch with her in the yard, I have seen her leap into the air to try to catch a toy. Though I haven’t tried, I think Frisbee would also be a fun endeavor. She is quite smart. When I’ve asked her, “Where is your toy?” she will search until she finds her favorite black squeaky football. She could learn names for all of her toys, as well as for all of the humans in her new family, even!

I wouldn’t consider Annabelle to be an extremely high energy, “off-the-wall”, frenetic Border Collie. She is, due to her young age, energetic and busy at times, but she will settle down and just “hang” with you. She dearly loves to chew her Nylabones, and she also loves a project of a stuffed Kong toy. I think, once you have forged a bond with Annabelle through training class and bonding activities like walks and fetch and teaching new and fun things, she will be your “bud” forever. THAT is what Annabelle wants for Christmas. Or after. She’s willing to wait.

Annie is a wonderful dog. But... There is almost always a "but" when a dog comes into rescue, and Annie is no exception. She is young -- she is JUST a year old. In that year, she has already had 2 owners. It says in the BC breed standard: "reserved around strangers". Annie took that to heart, and any time anyone who didn't live there entered the home - and that happened a LOT - Annie "felt" it was her "job" to growl and make it clear the guest was not welcome.

Annie by nature, isn't very flexible, and needs limits and leadership. She adapts slowly to change and did not embrace efforts to mess with what she felt was "her routine" or "her schedule." Once settled in her foster home, I saw (and my housemate actually mentioned this!) noticeable relaxation and less vigilance and suspicion and distrust on her part. In the short time Annie has been with me, I have shown her that *I* will handle scary things - she does not, and *I* have her back. *I* am in charge, and she does not need to make any decisions.

That, my friend, is really what Annie needs. She doesn't really need an experienced home, but it would help. She does not need a home where someone just wants a dog to "be", because you will NOT like the result. Clear limits, clear guidelines, firm (which does NOT mean heavy-handed OR harsh OR nasty!!!) leadership. Annie knows a LOT, and she yearns to know more! She is an insecure dog; when she doesn't understand a new situation or concept, she WILL jump up on me or hide. She needs to learn that "new" can be FUN, and "new" is filled with possibilities. She is quick and agile. As she is right now, agility would be scary to start, and flyball would just have her melting into the floor with overload. However, careful, purposeful exposure to obstacles would be an eventual consideration, and would be wonderful to help her with her confidence. The sky is the limit -- AFTER you both take a good foundation obedience class (I don't care HOW experienced you may be or that you know how to teach the basics, or even that Annie knows most of the basics!) to work on your connection with her and teach her that even working in a "scary" group with other people/other dogs is a must.

Annie knows:
* her name - VERY well
* sit
* kennel (it is now magical!) and will even jump up into her crate in my Blazer
* down, but it is rusty/needs cues and food
* "where's your ball?" we have even worked on "find it!"
* I think she understands "go potty"
* she's learning WAIT in her crate and at the door, because she WILL barge right through

She LOVES to fetch, and she will bring the ball/toy to your hand and releases nicely

She LOVES squeaky toys, and most especially LOVES to run around the yard squeaking, squeaking, squeaking!

Annie is spayed, completely vaccinated, HWneg, microchipped.