Harry is a wonderful, people oriented Border Collie mix who is 5 years old and needs a new home. He is house trained and walks well on leash. He lived with his brother all his life , but they were separated when they had to find new homes. Harry has been waiting for a home for a long time now. He and his brother were unfortunate enough to outlive their owner’s interest in dogs. His brother found an adopter immediately. Harry is a little harder to understand and has had a harder time finding a home as a result. 

Harry is extraordinarily affectionate toward people. He is a real people dog. When I met him, I sat next to him and he climbed in my lap and insisted on being petted. I was his new best friend. But border collies are notorious for their idiosyncrasies, so I wanted to test him with my two girls. After a few minutes of getting to know him, I decided to bring out Lady Sadie. She is the calmest, most docile border collie that ever lived. If he didn’t get along with her, there would indeed be a serious problem. But he did! He did a proper doggie greeting and was very friendly toward her. So this seemed promising. Then I went to get Savannah Hannah, my boisterous, playful two year old. She saw him and immediately wanted to play. So she ran straight toward him. He lunged and snapped and growled. I spent a good 15 minutes trying to get them near each other. Three feet apart, on leashes, he was fine. But if I could get Hannah to come near, he reacted. Sadie he was still OK with.

In the end, we went for a walk a little ways up the mountain. Hannah pretty much ignored him. Walking alongside each other did the trick. Harry became a normal dog. He greeted Hannah normally, and stopped showing aggression toward her. He did try to mount both dogs. Sadie put up with it until I got him off. Hannah yelped and snapped at him but, and this is the important part, Harry stopped and did not seem offended at all.

So how do we understand this? Harry was king of the hill in his two-dog pack and he has some mild dominance issues as a result. He doesn’t seem to be intrinsically reactive, but is just defensive, as the pack leader should be. I think he would be easily trainable and with some more breadth of experience with other dogs, would be a fine social dog.

Harry has some herding behaviors so he is definitely not good with cats. Harry is fundamentally a sweet boy with some mild resolvable behavior issues. He deserves a chance. He would do wonderfully well as an only dog, or part of a pack with someone who understands border collies and knows how to gently introduce him to new dogs.

Contact: Marti Overmire Carter at marticrvr@gmail.com