Feature Dog ~ Chippy PricklyNose

Age Sex Breed Weight
~2 Years Old Male Shepherd Mix 80 lbs

Need to know…
Working on leash training. Pulls hard on leash. May bark at other people or dogs on walks. He is VERY strong and will need a physically strong and experienced large dog owner. He is Mandatory Training. No Dogs. No Small Pets. Would do best in a rural area with minimal distractions.

Vet Details

No Cats No Dogs Children 13+ years and older with large breed experience please


I know what you’re thinking: Haven’t I seen this gorgeous, stalwart, rugged but approachable and super humble looking dog on here before? Yes, you have, because my hunt for true love is taking time. But all the best love stories take time to come to fruition…Mulder and Scully, Noah and Ally, Charles and Camilla….okay, maybe I lost your support on the last one, but you get the idea.
Chippy PricklyNose here! My foster fam calls me “Chippy” for short and I’m super grateful they didn’t choose to shorten any other portion of my name. I am a loving, healthy male Shepherd-Mix who is 2 years old. I have been vaccinated, microchipped, neutered and weigh around 80 lbs, and it just so happens to be your lucky day because I am looking for my forever home!
Am I a super easy turn key pooch that you can just bring into your home, dust your hands together and say, “Stick a fork in him because he’s done”? Not in all ways, but in some I absolutely am. Let me tell you all about my amazing “selling features” before I get to the part where I explain that I’m a strong Marmaduke of a dog who will pull people around like they’re waterskiing behind a dual console speed boat if given half a chance.
I have been with my foster family for a while now and have settled in quite nicely living the family life at home. I am crate trained and really enjoy this quiet space, and often will go in on my own to have a nap or when I am ready for bed. I have been left for up to 5 hours in my crate in the daytime with no problems and I sleep in there all night without making a peep until my foster mom rouses me from my gentle slumber at around 7:30 a.m. I have soft blankets and some stuffies inside as well as a light sheet draped over the top and sides, but the front is left without a covering so I can look out and keep a watchful eye on my favorite people as they sleep peacefully (I promised my foster family not to out them on the whole “snoring and occasional drooling” thing before they gave me the go ahead to type my own bio).
Cherish your rugs? Enjoy not having the pungent smell of dog urine wafting through your home? I haven’t had any accidents since my arrival quite some time ago and I even have a “tell” for when it’s time to do my business. I’ll either go to the door or the gate by the stairs and pace, or if you’re busy going about your day, or watching Netflix while eating your feelings (no judgment) I will oh-so-subtly plant myself in front of you and stare. If that doesn’t work I’ll whine. No one knows what I’ll do after the whining stage because I have never had to get that far before, but I’m creative so if you don’t want a barbershop quartet showing up at your front door singing a song about letting your dog outside, don’t let me get past the whining stage.
In my spare time I LOVE to play. My idea of a good time involves balls, squeaky toys, games of tug of war and playing tag with my family indoors. I like to play with stuffed animals, but some don’t last long as I will chew a hole and pull out the stuffing, so it’s best to not give me any high value toys until I become more comfortable in my new home.
I adore the outdoors as well as my walks (more on that later, because I’m a puller) and if you have a fondness for water I’m a total water baby who loves to splash about like Brooke Shields in Blue Lagoon. If you’re too young to know that reference it’s okay. I’m an old soul and I’ll impart my wisdom on you. I do enjoy getting attention from my humans and pets on the head or behind my ears in my sweet spot are things I will seek out by standing in front of you (again with the subtleties) or leaning my body against yours. FTH recommends a “No Touch/No Talk” policy for the first 30 days to help me adapt to my new surroundings and to prevent separation anxiety. There’s been some confusion about this so just to be clear, yes you have to touch me to bathe me or put on my collar, etcetera, and yes you will need to give voice commands in my training. The idea is that you’re not rolling around with me on the ground, rubbing my belly and cooing at me like a baby until I have gotten more comfortable and we’re at that level. You wouldn’t show up for a first date and snuggle into your new conquest’s lap before the appetizers arrive (again, no judgment), and you and I are no different.
ROAD TRIP!!! I love car rides and I’ll jump right in on my own. I am happily quiet on the ride, unless I see a dog, then I will bark and get excited/agitated. When I do react, my foster mom loudly says “Leave It” to try to get me to stop barking at them. My foster family has a leash secured inside their van that they tie me up with, so I have no chance of escaping when a door opens or out the windows if they are down, otherwise I’ll be yelling, “Freedom!” like I’m Braveheart.
My foster household has 3 kids ages 9 to 14 years, and this was new for me, as I was not used to the loud noises’ kids make, their fast movements and rowdiness. I have become much better at not reacting negatively when they are playing or fooling around, and you may find me wanting to join in on the fun if you have little people of your very own. Due to my large size, strength and big paws that sometimes land on you when I get excited and jump up, we recommend that if I go to a home with kids they must be at least 13 years of age. Sometimes I want to play rough by using my mouth, which my humans call “mouthing”. This sometimes happens when I get excited while I am playing with my foster family, or if someone is trying to hold me, say to trim my nails or brush my fur. It is important to stop this behaviour right away, so it doesn’t lead to worse behaviour because we pooches like to push our boundaries stometimes. My foster family is working with me to tell me “No” when I am using my mouth and ignoring me until I stop. Sometimes they have to grab my leash as well, which will need to be kept on me while I am getting used to my forever home so I can learn the rules of your household and to help us bond. Having it there to correct me is important and I’m a smart boy and therefore a quick learner. This is also super helpful because we northern dogs are known for being flight risks (Braveheart, remember?) and if a door to the house is opening you will have me safely secured so I don’t go off to sew my oats and then not have a clue how to get home to my loving family. My foster family still keeps a light leash on me at all times when in our house as it continues to help with my training and I don’t mind it being on. My leash is also used to help me settle, as when I am in new situations or place, I sometimes have a hard time just sitting or relaxing and I tend to pant a lot, especially when in a new home. They will sit quietly in one spot (no touching or talking to me) and not move which gives me time to lay down and settle once I realize they are not going anywhere. Ahh, emotional security.
Now that you’re captivated by all my positives no bio is complete without honest admissions about my quirks. I don’t like to call them “Flaws” because with training all things can be improved and I know I’m a perfect fit for somebody. My biggest quirk and challenge is that I am a VERY strong boy. I’m sort of the canine equivalent to one of those handsome brutes at the gym who heave barbells over their head like they’re pool noodles and strut out without breaking a sweat. When walking on a leash I always want to be a leader and will occasionally pull hard when I catch a scent I like (helloooo barbecue season) or see other animals in my path, so I will need a strong adult who is able to help guide me because of my extreme strength.
For at least the first month, as we take the time to get to know each other and work on my training, it is recommended that I am only walked in my yard or in a quiet rural area away from other distractions. My foster family always ties my leash around their waist so they have a better hold on me, and there is no chance of them letting me go as I would be a flight-risk. While walking, when I start to pull, my leash handler will do a quick turn and start walking in the other direction and we keep repeating this process until I get the hang of not pulling, which is still a work in progress. When walking anywhere other than my rural property I always wear a training collar which is helping me learn to not pull. I am not fond of putting my training collar on, but I do get excited when I see it as I know I am going for a walk (you can see my internal struggle when you’re doing this…”yay”, “No”, “But I want it”, “Don’t do it” “No, give me more). Taking it off is also a little challenging as it can sometimes poke me, but my foster mom has found a trick that makes it quick and easy by pushing my ears through the collar first, then it slides off easily past my nose. Sometimes when I am outside (always on a leash/lead), I get excited and want to play and I’ll run really quickly back and forth, making growling noises, jumping up towards you and barking. To new people who do not know me, I may look and sound a little scary, but my foster family has learned that this is how I like to play.
If I am playing too rough, my leash handler grabs my leash tightly, so I have little room to move and tells me firmly “No” or “Off” if I’m trying to jump up until I settle. I do my best walking in quiet rural areas where I have little distractions of other humans or dogs. My foster mom keeps me at a safe distance away from any other walkers/cyclists/scooters we pass, as sometimes I am unsure of them, and I tend to react to anything on wheels (other than vehicles) by occasionally lunging and barking towards them. It is VERY IMPORTANT to keep me away from other dogs or furry animals, as I have shown signs of having a high prey drive and I am very strong and determined to go after them. I am sometimes hard to control when I get excited or agitated, but I have been getting a bit better at settling down and with professional training, I know I can improve even more.
I have not met any cats, and when I see squirrels or birds on my walks I want to chase them. I have been aggressive with one small dog, and when I see other dogs I always react to them by barking loudly. Sometimes it sounds like “I want to play with you” where other barks have been like “I don’t like you, stay away” and I will try my hardest to always want to get to the dog by pulling my leash handler with extreme strength and determination. Therefore, my foster family has not introduced me to other dogs as they are unsure of how I would react and they want to keep me and other pets safe. If you have other small furry animals or dogs in your house I will not be a good fit for you due to my high prey drive. I have met many people while with my foster family, but it should always be a slow, cautious introduction by letting me go up to the humans slowly to sniff them first, and then if I get excited or try to jump up on them my leash handler can pull me back and firmly tell me “Off”.
Professional Dog Training will be mandatory for me. I would do best with a quiet family that likes to stay home and serve their dog striploin steaks (foster mom just gave me side-eye and told me to delete that part but since I have control of the keyboard I’m pretending not to notice and forging ahead) and living in a rural area would be a plus. I am not the type of dog that you can bring around with you everywhere you go in public places or events due to my behaviours shown towards other dogs and don’t do well around a lot of distractions. I would love to find a family that will have a lot of patience and is willing to put in the time and effort to help guide me with the training.


Don’t be afraid of these words! Here are a couple of reasons we require mandatory training for some of our awesome dogs:

 The dog doesn’t get along with ALL dogs.
That’s fine if you want to stay a hermit but we know the dog has potential to be ok with all dogs. Also, just like people, not all dogs like all dogs. You don’t like every person you meet but it’s expected we are cordial and that is the expectation of dogs as well.

 The dog is super nervous.
Many people have a tendency to allow their dog to stay in this state of mind their whole life but that is not healthy for the dog. We want a dog that trusts and is balanced as well as happy. Meeting with a professional trainer is exactly what these dogs need and you as the adopter needs to work hard at building that trust!

 The dog has zero manners.
Many of our returned dogs have come back to us this way and we want to decrease the chance that they will be returned again for the exact behaviour they showed before. All dogs require rules and boundaries. Love is not enough.

“I once owned a dog that was aggressive towards some dogs. I thought I was just going to have to avoid other dogs throughout his whole life and I became ok with that. Then I met an amazing trainer who has since helped me and we’ve walked and hiked with so many different dogs now! Throughout all the hard work I’ve met so many people and learned so much about myself.”

Don’t be afraid to adopt the dog that requires the mandatory training! It is an amazing opportunity to build a relationship with an awesome dog, meet new people and learn so much! For those of you with dogs that have issues, don’t avoid the issue. Get out and get training and work your butt off so your dog can be happy and so can you!


It is the recommendation of FTH that every newly adopted dog remain on leash, both inside and out, for a minimum of 30 days. As most of our dogs are outdoor dogs and strays, this will help prevent dogs running away as they are adjusting to their new home. At the same time it will help start building the bond between you and the dog. Thank you!

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