Adopted: Willow

Quick Facts:

  • Breed: Treeing Walking Coonhound/ Black Lab mix
  • Gender: Female, spayed
  • Age: 1 years old
  • Size: 60 pounds
  • Good with…
    • Dogs? Yes!
    • Cats? Yes!
    • Kids? 16+ only!

Hello! My name is Willow and I love hiking with my person and playing with other dogs! Maybe I can join your pack?


I was found on Craigslist! My mom was a breeding mom of purebred hunting dogs, but she accidentally got pregnant by a Black Lab neighbor dog. I was one of eight puppies and lived outside in a kennel during a treacherous summer of storms. I wasn’t handled much and may have been a low pup on the totem pole with not enough access to food and water, as I didn’t really trust people when I was adopted and was very concerned about access to resources. My family has worked hard with a wonderful positive trainer to help me learn that most people are okay and that the world is a safe place. I have really come a long way and am so very much more trusting than I used to be, but I still have some worries. I tend to be pretty alert and prefer being in familiar places with familiar people.


I try hard to be a good dog! I am a generally independent (not needy) dog who likes when people are happy with me. So positive training, where I get something wonderful for doing what you want me to do, works fantastic with me. I am cooperative with people who are kind and respectful toward me and help make sure my needs are met.

I am learning so much! My people and I are working with a behaviorist to help me learn how to lower my arousal level. As a hunting breed who has had some trauma as a pup, I am always on alert and my people are helping me know I do not always need to be. I am working on relaxing on a mat and my owners play lots of fun games to help me learn to disengage from triggers and stimuli and reorient to them for a reward! I like these games and am really smart! I can now notice birds, squirrels, and deer from a distance and often remember to turn back to my people and check in rather than bark and chase! I know how to sit, lay down, walk on a leash with a front latch harness, and shake a paw. I am not super food-motivated, but with the right reward I will do what you ask – I will sit to have doors opened for me and I will come inside when called in for high value treats (dried beef liver is my favorite! I am also a sucker for doggie junk food treats). I am totally housebroken – learning that was easy for me! Keep the counters clear though – I know “off” but I like to scope out what I can smell and snag!

I love other dogs! As a young pup I loved being in the fray at the dog park. As I got older, I became wiser and more selective and will watch and sniff other dogs to see if they are a good playmate for me. With the dogs I know well, I am super good at reading their signals. I have some friends I run around with, some I just sit with, and others who like to wrestle! I eat their face and then they eat my face and it is so much fun! I listen well to correction from other dogs and give good signals to other dogs as well. I will be loud and clear with dogs that are too rough with me, so I am polite and submissive, but not a pushover. I have regular playdates with neighborhood dogs and have been happy at doggie daycare. The dog park gets a bit overwhelming and sometimes the people touch me or dogs are rough with me, so it isn’t the best place for me. But I would love to live with other dogs! I take cues from them to know I can relax and they help me get all my puppy energy out!

I am a wonderful hiking and running companion! I am a high energy, agile dog, built to go for miles. I am a good running companion on a two-point harness and leash to help prevent me from getting underfoot or going after prey. I love long hikes on a long leash so I can go and then stop, sniff, and run ahead while you follow along. I prefer natural areas for walks – I get very nervous in busy urban areas or crowded trails. I also LOVE to swim in the summer!

I am generally chill in the house as long as I get lots of exercise and stimulation! I sleep in my Mama’s office while she works after my morning walk. I need some midday play and then an evening activity. I am not very destructive for a puppy and with a properly prepared environment, I am pretty well behaved. Just be sure to clear out all the things you do not want me to have, especially plastic – I love chewing legos and frisbees and plastic is not so good for me to swallow!

I love to sniff! My people take me to new natural areas for “sniffaris,” which are walks on a long line where I get to just follow my nose. I am a scent hound, so nose work is right up my alley!

I am loud! I have a full hound bark and bellow and will bark when I want something or when I am bored. I also like to let people who pass my home know that I see them! “Hey you! I see you! Bark, Bark!” I am a helpful alert dog for arrivals when I am outside on my property and I am a great help to scare off pests from orchards. I tell the chipmunks and birds to get outta here and keep them off the blueberries at my current home!

It is important to know, that I am not good with kids and I get snappy if I am stressed or scared and sometimes it is hard to read my signals. I am not highly affectionate or snuggly and my boundaries need to be respected, but I do very much enjoy being near to my people. My people need to help me feel safe and prevent me from scaring or harming others by managing my interactions and protecting me from getting overwhelmed. I cannot be in crowded situations. I cannot be off leash because of my prey drive and my nervousness around some people. I will try to chase joggers, bikes, and cars so keep an eye on the surroundings please! I need regular exercise and mental stimulation to stay healthy and well behaved. I am not a great candidate for small homes or tight neighborhoods because of my volume and need to move my body. I do well in familiar, calm environments with familiar friendly people, and other dogs to help me know what to do. I am not a dog that wants to go to public places with you. I am a dog that likes to hang in the yard with other dogs.


I love proximity to humans, even though I do not always want affection. I sleep with my people at night and that makes me feel safe and happy! Kids make me nervous, so I should not be around children at all.
I really want to live with other dogs. I think they are awesome!

I live with cats and have never tried to hurt them, but they do trigger my prey drive so my people make sure the cats have places to go to get away from me. If they hiss or swat at me, I back off and watch them, or bark because I want to play. I would likely do well with an assertive cat who wasn’t afraid of my exuberance.

I am fine when left home alone in my corral (NOT a crate! I hate crates!) I have also been alone in the house for a couple hours at a time (not in my corral) and I have been fine, as long as I am tired out from activity. I am not terribly destructive, but I am still a puppy, so please keep things out of reach if I shouldn’t have them.

The hardest times for me are when we are out in public with a lot of people moving around, and talking, and trying to touch me. This is a traumatizing situation for me and I ask that you please not take me to crowded places, or on outings where there will be lots of people.

Favorite activities:

  • Hiking
  • Sniffing
  • Swimming
  • Playing frisbee
  • Playdates with dog friends
  • Chewing bully sticks
  • Sleeping in the air conditioning
  • Watching my cat “friends”
  • Playing training games

Why I am looking for a new home

My people are looking for a new home for me because they are very extroverted. They are musicians who play out at farmers markets and dances and gather with friends to play music and sing. They have lots of baseball and soccer games to coach and attend and love getting together at area outdoor restaurants and cider houses. They got me with the plan to bring me along for everything. But I don’t want to go – it is too much stimulation and I get nervous. I also have shown them that I do not like being around children. I love the two children I live with (9 and 12), because they are very careful and respectful of my boundaries, but I still snap at them sometimes. I get nervous around their friends and sometimes snap and bark to warn them not to touch me. My people are scared that I could hurt a child sometime because they make me so nervous. Thankfully, I have good bite inhibition and have not hurt anyone so far, my snaps have NOT resulted in any broken skin. But I have scared a few children! I do not want to hurt people. I just want to be respected and to have quiet, consistent places to be so I know I am safe. I also live on a busy road, and the trucks and motorcycles that pass make me crazy!! Bark! Bark! BARK!!


I am in terrific health! I take oral flea/tick preventatives and de-wormers. I take probiotics to help keep my BMs firm and to help me be calm. I have tried many foods because kibble is not my thing and my people have not found a food I like yet. I eat 1-2 cups of kibble 1-2 times a day and eat better when it is dressed up with the people food I can smell while they are preparing it, that is safe for me to eat – then I am much more likely to let my people eat in peace!

I am not yet spayed. I have an appointment in September and will get spayed then if I haven’t yet found a new home.


I am a great dog and would be a wonderful companion to someone who lives a more peaceful life, who doesn’t have children, who has other dogs to keep me company, and who will take me on lots of walks, hikes and sniffaris, or has land for me to explore. I need a fenced yard or a line when outside because I will follow my nose! I am not an off-leash candidate. I would LOVE to live with other confident and relaxed dogs that will help be see that the world is safe and help me use my energy. If you think you have a home that is a good fit for me, contact my people today!

If you are interested in adopting me, please fill out an online adoption application and live close to Ithaca, Syracuse, Binghamton, Rochester, or Elmira. We do home visits on every applicant, and can’t do home visits where we don’t have local volunteers. The rescue will forward it to my current mom, who will a) be in touch with you and b) make all decisions about my placement!

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