6th Jul, 2023

Written by Gillian Hansen

Professional photography by Isak Venter Photography 

Our Rusty is a rescue from Bella’s Guardian Angels. He has a tragic past - his mom was abused while pregnant and died shortly after giving birth. Sadly, most of the puppies also died, except three. Rusty and his two siblings were handed in at the shelter when they were about three days old and were bottle-fed at the shelter.

Since adopting him at fourteen weeks, we found out that bottle-fed puppies have quite a few issues. The importance of being with a mom and siblings for the initial start of their lives has a major impact on their development. Rusty is a very anxious and nervous dog. We have taken him for a lot of one-on-one training, worked with, and currently still are, working with animal behaviourists. We also used an animal communicator to give us some insight into his past. It was because of his behaviour that we decided to do a MuttMix test to better understand him.

Rusty is the most lovable dog. He loves being around us and needs to be close to us. He has a very strong bond with me and has taken me on as his mom. He loves nothing more than to cuddle close to us. He makes us laugh every day. He is such a goofball with a huge personality. He loves to steal socks and is always on the lookout for a sock lying around so that someone can chase him. He loves it if we chase him around the garden.He is very playful and always ready for a game with someone. He is also such a happy boy, always wagging his tail, and from the moment you open your eyes, he is on the bed, giving us loads of kisses. He gets on well with our other Fox Terrier-mix rescue, Daisy. The two of them play all day long – she rules him, though, and he never, ever challenges her.

Rusty’s MuttMix Results:

        Level 2         Border Collie

        Level 4         Bull Terrier

        Level 4         American Staffordshire Terrier

        Level 4         Toy Fox Terrier

The results surprised us, and some of it did not make sense. We suspected Bull Terrier due to his high-set tail and his snout, plus he is a real goofball! The Staffordshire also made sense, as he has the colouring and Staffie-shaped head. The Border Collie Level 2 makes sense now, being the nervous boy he is. He also crouches down and then pounces on Daisy – or us. I think the one that really surprised us was Toy Fox Terrier.

I am glad we decided to do the MuttMix test, as it has given us some more understanding of him and some of his behaviour. We know that much of his behaviour stems from his early life experiences, but understanding his breed mix also provides insight into his personality. It also answers the question, “What is he?”

We know we face a long journey ahead with loads of training, and we know that Rusty will probably always be a bit anxious, but he is the most gorgeous, loveable boy ho is truly deserving of an abundance of love and understanding.

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