Feature Dog ~ Chippy PricklyNose

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

Need to know…
Working on crate/leash training. Pulls hard on leash. May bark at other people or dogs on walks. He also may mark in the house but his foster is working on this. 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


My name is Chippy PricklyNose. Odd name you say, that’s because I was named after a Christmas Elf, but my foster family calls me “Chippy” for short. I am a handsome male Shepherd-Mix who is 2 years old. I have been vaccinated, microchipped, neutered and weigh around 80 lbs and am looking for my forever home!
I am a very strong boy and being on a leash is new for me. I am always wanting to be the leader and will pull hard to where I want to go, therefore due to my EXTREME strength, I will need an adult who is physically strong that will be able to help guide me. For the first month, as we 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. Sometimes I will also wear a training collar which is helping me learn to not pull. I was not fond of putting my training collar on and taking it off at first, I would wriggle and paw at them to try to stop them, but they persevered, and I now know it results in positive things like going outside and practicing my walking. When I go to my forever home, I may resist donning and doffing of my training collar the first few times, until I realize I know it’s just as positive, I’ll gladly oblige. Sometimes when I am outside (always on a leash), I get excited and want to play and I’ll jump up and bark and sometimes mouth my leash holder. If this happens, 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. 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 we pass, as some humans, with the clothing they are wearing or masks, I am not sure about and I will bark and lunge at them. She also keeps 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 with training, I know I can get better at not reacting to these things.
When I first arrived at my foster home, when I was in the house and out of my crate a family member always had my leash secured around their waist or in hand, especially if an outside door is opening, to prevent me from fleeing. This helps me to learn to follow direction from my human family and keeps me from getting in to trouble or escaping. My foster family still keeps a leash on me at all times when in our house as it continues to help with my training. My leash is also used to help me settle, as I when I am in new situations or places, I have a hard time just sitting or relaxing when out of my crate, 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.
I am generally a quiet boy; I will sometimes bark when I get excited and want to play, or when I see another dog in the distance or a passing human. Occasionally you might hear me whine when I am in my crate and I see my family leaving without me, but when they loudly say “Enough”, I quiet down. I spend a lot of time in my crate, observing what it is like living indoors with a family and am quite comfortable relaxing in my crate. I have a light sheet draped over the top and sides, but I do like to look out, so they leave enough open so I can see what is going on. I have a soft blanket on the bottom with a few stuffed animals. I am guided into my crate by my leash and they also say “Crate” when it is time to go in. I am fed my meals in my crate to help me learn it is a safe space. I am quiet all night until my foster mom gets me out for our morning walk around 7:30am.
My foster household has 3 kids ages 9 to 14 years, and this was new for me, as I am not used to the loud noises’ kids make, their fast movements and rowdiness. Sometimes I don’t know if they are playing or not and I have a tendency to get agitated when they are fooling around, and I will try to get to where they are and jump up on them and I have big paws and claws that can hurt small kids, that’s why we are recommending if I go to a home with kids, they must be at least 13 years of age, plus experienced with large dogs and can act calmy around me. Sometimes I want to play rough by using my mouth, which my humans call “mouthing”. This sometimes happens when I get excited when 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. 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. My foster mom says I’m kind of acting like a toddler these days, where I sometimes will take things I’m not supposed to have, such as a blanket, pillow, my human siblings stuffed animals, etc. and I like to hang on real tight, or may be vocal by showing my teeth and growling if you try to take it away. My foster mom is working with me to “release” anything I take that I’m not supposed to have and will show me dog toys that I can play with instead, and she is helping me to be more comfortable by practicing touching my paws and playing with my toys with me. I do like stuffed animals, but some don’t last long as I will chew a hole and pull out the stuffing, so best to not give me any high value toys until I become more comfortable in my new home. I do have a fun side and like to play around with balls, squeaky toys, play tug of war and play “tag” with my family indoors. I love to be outdoors to go for walks, play, waddle in water, but I am also quite happy relaxing quietly indoors in the house or outdoors in the yard or on the deck. I do like attention and try to get my foster family to pet my head and behind my ears by standing in front of them and leaning my body on them, and sometimes if I don’t get my way I will jump up on them with my two front paws, they tell me “Off” when I do this and pull my leash down. (FTH recommends “No Touch/No Talk” for the first 30 days to help me adapt to my new surroundings and prevent separation anxiety).
I love car rides and I’ll jump right in on my own, and 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 says loudly “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.
When I first arrived, I had a couple accidents in the house, simply because my foster family did not know I needed to go outside. I am happy to say that I have not had any accidents in the house for a long time and I let my foster family know when I need to go outside by going to the door or stairs gate and pace, along with maybe a little whine when I need to go outside to do my business.
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 a small dog, and when I see other dogs, I always react to them by barking. 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. 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 other people while with my foster family, but it should ALWAYS be a slow, cautious introduction, due to my size and strength, as sometimes I can be a little uneasy around new people I am meeting and will bark at them.
Professional Dog Training will be mandatory for me. I would do my best with a quiet family that likes to stay home, 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 my unsureness when being around new people and lots 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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