Border Collie Siberian Husky Mix
From Joy: Results from a DNA test showed that Astro is Border Collie, Australian Cattle Dog and Siberian Husky. While his physical appearance fits with that, none of those breeds dominates his personality. He is an obviously intelligent Working Dog but he doesn’t “eye” like a BC or hunt/run like a husky. If anything, he is like a very chill ACD without the need to chase or drove. In fact, he likes nothing better than to snuggle with or hug a human if he is not working. He was rescued from a high kill shelter. Rescuers found him roaming the streets of a gang-ridden urban area and covered in dirt, scabs and parasites. He was fearful, broken and within himself at the shelter when I first saw him.
Second Chance at Life
He must have had a good start in life as it soon became apparent he was fully housebroken, heel trained and loved to be around small children and babies. But his time on the streets had made him reactive and fear-aggressive towards large or unneutered male dogs. As I mentioned, he is extremely smart and is overcoming his trauma through diligent behavior modification training.
One important aspect of this is to make sure he gets enough exercise to keep him calm. I currently take him out 5-6 miles every morning for an off-leash run. This keeps him fit, calm and ready to work when asked. His first-time recall is about 95% and we are starting hand-signal and field training. He is becoming more comfortable with his canine brethren and now has a friendly “pack” of large dogs he can hang out with on the weekends. Astro may never be completely reliable around strange male dogs, which would prevent him from becoming a competitive agility or performance dog, but he has all the tools otherwise. Now that he is healthy and fit, he weighs 42-43 lbs with a 26″ girth. A wonderful boy all around, I am lucky to have found him.