Alex is a sweet, smart, athletic, ~1-year-old petite shepherd love bug, who is excited to find his forever family to hug and cuddle with! Like all shepherd mixes, Alex loves to show affection by leaning against you – but he also loves to give kisses and “boop” you with his nose!
When he first came to the Rocket Dog Sanctuary in Oakland from a hoarding situation, Alex was very shy, skittish, and nervous. However, he has come a LONG way since those days and is a whole new man! (Er, dog!)
Though he is still a little shy, he warms up to new people quite quickly now. His foster family has lots of guests over, and though he may hang back at first when someone comes through the door, he soon pokes his head around the corner to come say “Hi.” His big, brown eyes win him hearts in the house, on walks, and at beaches and breweries that he visits with his foster parents.
That’s right, Alex is an explorer! Alex goes on frequent trips with his foster family, including his doggie foster sister, by foot (paw) and by car. He even wears his seatbelt on the car trips. Alex is well-behaved in the car and doesn’t get car-sick. He has been tide pooling in Half Moon Bay, visited local breweries, gone on hikes around SF, and even went to a concert in a park! That last one was a wee bit intense for him (lots of people and lots of noise) but he adjusted to it and now is even more confident in other situations.
Alex loves his foster sister and they spend hours playing every day. Alex would like to be in a home with another dog he could play with, who could also make sure he keeps his confidence up and who could show him the ropes in his new home. He would also do well with a forever family who will make sure he gets plenty of exercise (weekend hikes, jogs, maybe even agility courses!) and who will also keep his brain engaged by training him and giving him all sorts of new experiences. Alex is praise-motivated AND treat-motivated, and a very fast learner. He can’t wait to find a forever family who will let him show off how smart he is by teaching him lots of cool tricks. But most importantly, Alex would like a family who will welcome his cuddles, kisses, and “boops” with his nose! He is a very affectionate and gentle dog, who loves other dogs and people.
Though Alex is not nearly as skittish as he used to be, he is still more easily startled than another dog might be, and he is very fast. For this reason, we think that Alex is still a ways off from being an off-leash dog, and his forever family should be open to the possibility that he may always being a “long-lead” hiking buddy instead of a fully “off-leash” one. But with enough bonding, recall training, and confidence, who knows how much he could grow with his forever family!
Alex would do best in a quiet(ish) home — a neighborhood street rather than a loud intersection with lots of car horns and traffic. Alex should also have access to a secure and quiet yard where he can go to the bathroom — he doesn’t like to “go” when he is feeling nervous, so it’s good for him to have his familiar bathroom space he can go to if he didn’t go potty on a hike. Alex is not reactive towards children, but because he is an athletic dog with the tendency to be startled, he would do best in a home with adults or with older, dog-savvy children.
Experience with athletic/working breeds is a plus. Please fill out an application if you are interested in meeting Alex, and a volunteer will be in touch! (KF)