Diggs is an Australian Cattle Dog (ACD) mix, also known as a Red Heeler, from the Denver Dumb Friends League. He was roughly 20 months old in August 2012 when he came home with us. Our understanding is that he was an owner surrender, because his previous people moved into an apartment. Ironically, that’s what we live in too. Go figure, huh? We’re still not entirely sure what the other part of the “mix” is, but there have been strong suggestions for Basenji based on his coloring, talking, feline-esque habit of washing his face, and epic aversion of water.
His intake paperwork explained that he had been around cats, dog, and children. Luckily, the cat part was true. Diggs took to Isis much better than expected, and now they play together regularly. Hes very good about tempering his roughness because she’s so much smaller than he is. The children part also seems to be true, although that’s only been tested with the neighbors’ children, although many of them call him a coyote because he’s so different than the other dogs in the area. Finally, the dog aspect was a little more… uncertain. When we adopted him, Diggs didn’t seem to know how to greet other dogs. Luckily, doggy daycare and training has helped tremendously with his socialization skills and keeping his mind and body active. We’ve also started him training in agility classes, which he really, truly loves. He has no fear of the equipment, is super agile, and can even overcome my shortcomings as a handler when we’re working together.
Diggs has a super sensitive stomach, struggles with separation anxiety, is frantically protective of me, and has unwarranted fears about more things than we realize most of the time. With a lot of patience, and a readjustment of our training methods, many of these things are improving. I hope that a year from now, he’s even happier, more well-balanced, and more confident than his is now, which is still worlds better than he was a year ago.