Acquired: Other (stray, given dog by friend etc.)
Delaware, Ohio, United States
Posted August 18, 2015
I once had a Cocker Spaniel/Blue Heeler mix for a short time, that I named Zaius, after the Dr. from the Planet of the Apes. I thought they looked similar. I got him from a friend in the Rockies when he was six months old. He was a combination of brown and tan coloring, but didn’t really favor either of his parents at all.
I began to train him the basics right away and he caught on pretty quick. The commands would have to be repeated often to keep them fresh in his mind, though. If you didn’t use a command often enough he just didn’t seem to have any retention for it.
Other than being slightly hard headed, Zaius was a bit hyper, and always wanting to play, and run no matter what time of day it was. He had a slightly nervous energy that I attributed to the spaniel side of him. His skin was loose, and his soft hair made him totally hugable, and he loved affection. He loved to play rough, but seemed to know right where to stop, before becoming too rough. He was not a very big dog he grew to about 30 pounds.
Never overly aggressive as a puppy, he did change slightly as he got older. We moved from the mountains where he had had plenty of free roaming time, into the city where a small back yard was a hard adjustment for him to make. He began attacking the fence whenever people (the mailman, especially) would come by.
We had to move our mailbox because the mailman felt threatened getting so close to the fence. Zaius would snarl, and bark as if he were the meanest dog in the world even though he would probably never harmed a fly in actuality.
The mix of the two breeds, one I consider a hyper dog (Springer Spaniel), and the other I consider a more relaxed breed (Heeler) was pretty good in Zaius. He had all of the energy you could ask for in an outside dog, but the calming effect of the Heeler side of him was not enough to keep him satisfied when placed in the confines of a small yard, with no wildlife around.
I found a suitable home for Zaius back in the mountains he loved, and he was doing fine with his new owners the last I knew. I still have his puppy photo.