BREED: Shepherd/Lab mix
GENDER: Female
AGE: 4-5 years old
SIZE/WEIGHT: Medium, 55lbs
HISTORY: Along with 16 other dogs, Halo was rescued April 2021 from a hoarding situation in Saskatchewan and has been with her foster family since then. Most likely born in an enclosed outdoor pen with approximately 40+ other dogs, Halo had little human interaction, and had only ever been socialized with the other dogs in the pen. She had had many pregnancies as verified by the vet when she was spayed. She was one of the most timid, malnourished and fearful dogs of the last 16 dogs to be rescued, but being in a loving and patient home environment has allowed her to make amazing progress.
TEMPERAMENT: Halo has an extremely timid temperament, and she is very submissive towards both dogs and humans. Halo adapted to surviving in the enclosed pen by putting distance between herself and everything – she needed the pack for protection, but she also had to defend herself from the other dogs (mating, protecting puppies, food). As such, she does not show the typical “feral dog” characteristics and is fearful outside an enclosed space, especially in open environments like a park. Halo has NO AGGRESSION. Halo will always be submissive and fearful of new situations as this is how she survived – keeping her distance from other dogs and humans, giving herself a very large comfort zone and to always be moving so as to not be cornered. She really wants to please, and shows interest/curiosity in being near people. She began “playing” with an old dishcloth by tossing it into the air and shaking it about a year ago, and she has recently begun to run around the yard as long as no humans are in sight. Halo is definitely “back of pack” dog, and generally alerts the rest of the dogs whenever she sees something out the window, or hears something unfamiliar in the house (guest, unusual sound, etc). Even though quiet, Halo is very communicative, and she has a wide assortment of quieter throat noises and whines when she is communicating with her foster people indoors – she can be especially communicative when she thinks there might be a treat involved.
PERSONALITY: Halo is a super sweet girl who knows her name, does not like being alone, will allow grooming and pets however will not yet “cuddle”, loves bacon, cheese, large soup bones and peanut butter. She feels the safest when she is near other dogs or her trusted humans, but always wants her 4-5 feet of safety distance. Even though she still finds new environments somewhat stressful, she has learned that a collar and leash is not to be feared. If walking in a new environment Halo will show her nervousness by pacing around you in a circle, but she follows you easily. She is easy to get into a vehicle, and is a good traveller. She has visited the groomer and did amazing with getting a bath and blow-dry, and got A+ on having her nails done. Halo totally trusts her foster humans, as well as the other 4 dogs. The fosters do not have a physical fence in their yard, but Halo never runs away or chases wildlife as she does not want to be alone without her “pack”. If she gets out, she simply sticks around until everyone goes into the house, and then she barks outside the door to be let in. Fosters are familiar with her body signals when she is outside her comfort zone, but with patience and calm encouragement, Halo will try so hard to overcome her fears. She is good around all dogs. Often pays no attention. But a balanced playful dog her age would be best case for her.
HOW IS DOG WITH CATS: Ignores them when humans are around, but if left alone, she occasionally chases foster cat up the stairs, but believe it was only as form of entertainment.
HOW IS DOG WITH CHILDREN: Same as with all humans – keeps her distance and will not “cuddle”. There is zero aggression, but Halo will run away from all loud noises and fast movements. Not a good choice of dog for children. Visiting children would be good though, since the most socialization the better.
PETS NEEDS/BEHAVIOURAL INFO: Halo is a very timid and fearful dog who has overcome her fears of being around humans, living inside a house, riding in vehicles, taking food from a hand, being groomed, visiting vet, and slowly learning to trust. She has progressed so much after 3 years in a patient and understanding foster home, she has now developed enough confidence and social skills that she could safely be exposed to more situations without fear of doing damage to her progress. Halo requires a quieter environment with at least one balanced playful young dog her size or larger. She needs socialization around humans, and be exposed to new environments on a regular basis, as well as continued proximity to dogs that can show her “normal” dog behaviours (such as just sitting on side of a dog park). Halo needs an adopter who is aware Halo is not your average pet dog, and may never be a dog that cuddles or comes up to you for a pet, but one that needs human help with positive reinforcement to move towards becoming more balanced. Halo would take a while to become comfortable in a new environment with new people, so adopter would need to understand not to take personally, but instead, be willing and wanting to help a dog that needs them to learn to become balanced and less fearful as time goes on.
BEST MATCH: A balanced playful dog her age would be best if possible. An adopter who realizes her background of never having lived outside of a pen but also understand that Halo is NOT an aggressive dog. Her reactions of fear are always to flatten herself to the ground, to freeze and try to become invisible, and in the most extreme cases, she will poop herself. In the past three years, the foster family has observed ZERO instances of aggression. Halo requires a continuation of socialization so she continues to advance through her plateaus of development. An adopter who could take Halo with them on errands on a regular basis would be ideal as it would expose her to new environments and social situations and help desensitize Halo’s fear of new experiences. Unlike 3 years ago, Halo has developed enough trust for her foster family that she is now able to handle being pushed outside of her comfort zones without having her behaviour regress. From now on, new positive experiences will only continue to advance her trust, confidence and curiosity. Having watch Halo’s progress so far, we know that in due time Halo will come around. She just needs a chance. She has adapted to a collar and leash, but is if startled by a loud noise, she will still pull against the leash as her instinct is to run. If on a leash, she will fight the leash as the pressure on her neck causes her to react as if she is being strangled. The reality is that Halo likes to be near humans, but still does not see a reason to come to a human unless offered a treat. Adopter needs to have patience and understand Halo’s limitations due to her upbringing as a puppy in an isolated, penned in area with other feral dogs left on their own. Good fenced yard is necessary until Halo bonds with the adopter. Her foster currently has no fencing in a more rural area and there is no fear of her ”running away”. Responsible pet owner who will take Halo to regular vet appointments as Halo will require future dental work as a result of her teeth being worn down from digging food out of frozen ground as a young dog. Adopter with compassion, patience and understanding of dog psychology is needed to gain Halo’s trust.
FAVORITE THINGS: At the moment Halo’s favourite things are routines of any kind (she favours routines as she feels safer when she can anticipate), yummy human treats, a good raw bone to chew on (she is not interested in chew toys), a good soft sofa, being outside with her foster siblings, huge fan of paddling pools in summer and she likes being brushed but only inside her crate. She is comfortable with her current foster family but still will not allow being petted unless on a leash. However, if the environment is very calm and quiet (such as movie night), she often allows slow pets from her foster Dad.

Published by:  
Posted in: