Acquired: Rescue / shelter organization
Posted September 9, 2015
Charlie is actually 1/4 Australian Cattle Dog, 1/4 Great Dane, 1/4 Bouvier Des Flandres, and 1/4 Akita Mix. We rescued him from a New York shelter at the age of two after he was abandoned by his previous owners in Tennessee. Perhaps due to this abandonment and other unknown trauma before we met him, Charlie is an especially needy dog. He would in all honesty be happiest being consistently pet 24 hours a day. He is also such an incredibly energetic dog that he often takes guests off guard who might mistake his exuberance for aggressiveness. Of course, all it takes is a second to realize that he would absolutely never harm a person. He simply wants nonstop love and attention. He runs and jumps around until someone starts petting him, at which point he is completely calm and satisfied (almost entranced). All that being said, once he realizes he is not getting attention or the person is firmly done petting him he has no problem finding a cozy spot on the floor or in his crate and enjoying time to himself.
Charlie did not take too well to professional training, and I do think that a combination of getting him at two years old and him being a mixed breed added to that difficulty. To be fair, however, we weren't nearly as consistent with his training at home as we could have been. Potty training was actually pretty easy, but other training not so much. Over time, he has taken to commands better and tempered down some with age.
He is an extremely inquisitive dog, though, and if allowed to roam outside will often find a way to escape and explore the neighborhood. That being said, it's generally very easy to get him back. As mentioned previously, he's extremely friendly with people, but he does have a history of not getting along well with other dogs he comes in contact with. Having said all that, we also rescued a kitten about a year ago (at which time Charlie was eight) and he has adapted to her being a part of the family quite nicely. Most of the time the kitten is the one to start annoying him, to which he simply gets up and walks away.
All in all, Charlie is an extremely friendly and lovable dog, though he does come with some difficulties as far as training and tending to emotionally. What percentage of that can be attributed to his being abandoned, our getting him at two, his being a mixed breed, or our inconsistent training at home is still a bit of a mystery. That being said, we love him with all our hearts and wouldn't have him any other way. Though he may a bit rambunctious, he is happy, healthy, and an overall joy to be around!