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Astro is a gorgeous, neutered 15-18 month old, 51 lb. cattle dog, with a bit of Aussie shepherd. He has excellent conformation, and his coat markings are a work of modern art. Astro is an outgoing and curious boy, with a moderate energy level. He is great when meeting all adults, children, farm animals, horses and other dogs. He will chase cats that run, but we think that he could live with cats, if introductions are slow and managed. More than anything, Astro wants to find his own person to bond closely with and to be with whenever he can. While he is a very alert, observant and inquisitive cattle dog, he is also easy going, and loves sitting at his person’s feet or placing his head in his human’s lap for petting and close personal time. His favorite time of the day is snuggle time in the bed, if you are okay with that. He shows affection with nuzzling and very sweet, gentle puppy chews.
Our boy meets other dogs in a very curious, friendly, relaxed way, with tail wags. He adores playing with other dogs. However, in a multi-dog household, it must be made clear to him that he must learn to share his person. For this reason, Astro will need a person who is experienced with this breed and who will be a clear leader to him. If not, Astro will try to make decisions and run the household for you.
Astro isn’t very interested in toys or treats. His rewards are interacting with people and other dogs. If another dog is not friendly or snaps at him, he will jump back or run. He may also stand a few feet away and bark at them several times to let them know that they weren’t nice to him. If a dog is truly threatening, he will avoid them. Astro is a mostly a very quiet boy, but he may bark at passing bicycles. He will bark when crated initially, but settles in nicely.
It is clear to us that Astro is one of the best examples of a cattle dog. He is a thinking dog with brilliant intelligence and the ability to puzzle through situations. He has such a velcro nature, that the people who found and fostered him never had him on leash. He would follow them everywhere and wait for them. Astro very much wants to please, but also has a mind of his own, with a sense of right and wrong and will let you know what he thinks. He is as close as you can get to a human child in a dog’s body.
One thing - Astro is nearly totally deaf. He has learned some hand signals and is very eager to learn more. It is such a shame that this amazing boy, with so much heart, personality, love, brains and a great temperament, was never taught anything before he was found stray. Astro is a quick learner, and now starting to learn basic commands, manners and boundaries. He redirects very easily, with a quick hand signal for "No" and he will stop any inappropriate action. After being redirected 2-3 times, he will stop any further attempts.
For several reasons, we believe that Astro was mostly an outside dog. He loves hanging out outside or inside, as long as he is with his person. Astro will walk by your side without a leash. He is just beginning to learn how to walk on leash, and will sometimes pull for several minutes, in excited anticipation of an adventure. While he seems house trained, our fosters are taking him out frequently as a reminder to go outside. Astro needs to be restrained when riding in a car. He wants to lay beside you or place his head on your lap as you drive.
In summary, as a cattle dog, Astro’s personality is one of the finest and truest examples of the brains and heart of the Australian cattle dog breed. Our boy has a lot of love, and bonds as fast as super glue. He needs some work to catch up on training he should have received as a puppy. We are seeking adopter(s) who can see the incredible potential in Astro, and who will return all the love in his heart, and are willing to polish this diamond in the rough, into the gem that he is. We encourage any adopter to learn about training a deaf dog and the special attention they require.
If you are interested in meeting Astro, we ask that you first complete our adoption questionnaire (online form or download a hard copy), which is the first step of our pre-adoption process. At our website (hittgv.org), please click on the Adopt tab near the top of the page, and scroll down to find the online Adoption Form. You can also email us at email@example.com if you have specific questions about Astro or our process.