Our Dakota has a regal presence. He joined us a few weeks ago from NYCACC, after his owner surrendered him without much explanation. It's not easy to own a Herding dog in the city, due to their tenacious high energy and work ethic, but Dakota seems more mild-mannered than most of the Herders we've known.

Despite the chaotic shelter environment, Dakota seemed to hold his own and avoid trouble. His behavior evaluations were pretty good, and he is adjusting nicely to foster care. Dakota seems to be an Australian Cattle Dog, or Blue Heeler, but he is taller and more lithe than Breed standard. His coat is a beautiful brown Merle pattern with a lot of speckled "ticking." He is clearly a Herding dog, so he definitely needs an active lifestyle and a job. Herders are hardwired to work, and if his adopters do not give Dakota a job, he will practice his herding skills within the household. A bored, frustrated Herding dog is a recipe for mayhem.

Exercise and obedience training are the keys to managing the Herding Breeds. Dakota is a medium-energy dog, with a slightly timid demeanor at first, but we suspect he will perk up in his new home, with fewer dogs. Dakota would make a great running, walking or hiking partner. He's built for speed, but will adjust his pace to suit his Handler. He needs at least two brisk daily leash walks, in addition to focused playtime. Adopters can increase the intensity of a walk by outfitting Dakota with a dog backpack, loaded with water and a collapsable bowl. At each rest and water stop, Dakota will feel like he's got a job and will be quite proud of himself.

Obedience training is essential to meeting the needs of a Herding dog. Dakota already knows all of his basic obedience commands, and is on the way to earning his Canine Good Citizenship Certification. Adopters should be able to take him the rest of the way with ease. Structure and obedience work go a long way in providing Dakota the mental and physical challenges that he needs.

Dakota is best suited to an active adult home, with a dog savvy single or couple, who have the time and energy to give him his daily exercise. Tranquility and calm suit Dakota best. In a chaotic, hectic environment he becomes anxious and demonstrates herding behavior in order to maintain social order. In a calm environment, Dakota relaxes and enjoys quiet time with his people. Kids and cats may provide too much stimulation, but Dakota could easily join a multi-dog home.

Dakota has good house manners and is house trained and crate trained, although adopters should expect to troubleshoot a few accidents during his transition to a new routine. He is in excellent health, has been neutered. He has been vaccinated for Rabies, DHLPPC (distemper, hepatitis, leptospirosis, parvo, parainfluenza and coronavirus), He has been boostered as needed. He has had the 4dx test: negative for heartworm, lyme, earlichia and anaplasmosis. If you are interested in Dakota, please write to Denise@eskiesonline.com or call Denise at 860-908-9738 for more info.

Eskies Online is a 501(c)(3) Multibreed rescue group that serves unwanted American Eskimos and other dogs in need. Our group of volunteer foster homes spans the North East, and our adoption territory extends from Maine to eastern Pennsylvania, Delaware, and parts of northern Maryland. Once an adopter is approved, we arrange transportation. We do not adopt dogs beyond our territory. Please visit our website: www.eskiesonline.com for more information about our group and our adoption procedures.