NILES (aka "Cooper")

This big, beautiful boy came into our rescue several months ago, after he was found, running at large in Peoria.

Click to see Cooper's initial time with WGSDR

Niles was placed into what we had hoped would be his forever home in April of this year. All seemed to be going well; that is, until his new mom returned to work. It was then she discovered that Niles (now renamed Cooper), while the gentle, loving companion of her dreams when she was home, suffered from severe separation anxiety in her absence -- behavior we had not witnessed in the short time Niles was with us. Adopting a second dog was not an option, but facing surgery and 6 weeks of recovery at home, Niles' mom could not bear the thought of going through her recovery alone. She asked if she could keep Niles with her during her medical leave, and surrender him to our rescue when she returned to work the second week of June. Of course, we were heartbroken, but agreed.

Niles will be returned to our rescue on approximately June 9th/10th.

UPDATE 6/6: We have received confirmation that Niles Cooper will be returned to our rescue on June 9th. When asked to provide some updated information on him, his adopter wrote,"I am very sad to be writing this email. Unfortunately, Cooper is still showing unacceptable separation anxiety when I leave the house. ...Therefore I feel that having him remain with me and forcing him to be alone during the day when I return to work is not the best situation for him. I love him dearly and please understand that this is not an easy decision for me to make. ...

He will sit on command and will give his paw when asked and when he is unsure if he did something bad. He is not good with loud or squeeky voices and will cower away even if the loud voice was not directed toward him. Iíve been working on this with him. When he thinks heís done something wrong he will fall to the floor and lay there very still, although he doesnít do this as much anymore. I havenít had to discipline him for hardly anything because he just doesnít do anything bad when I am home.

He walks on a leash very well and is a great running partner, too. He is very good in the car. He has been to the dog park several times but is still timid, especially around aggressive dogs, but heís shown definite improvement. He even tried to 'shepherd' a couple of smaller dogs who were, in his opinion, playing too rough. He does wonderfully at restaurants and stores (like Home Depot). He greets people and other animals very well. He is now familiar with his beds and goes to them naturally, although he tends to move to the front room after Iíve gone to sleep, presumably so he can watch the front window (Iíve taken the blinds and drapes down). He doesnít run off when the front door is open, although he did run after my car once when I left him at home with Dale. He is very treat motivated, and is even enjoying chewing on 'pork chomps' now but doesnít seem to like many other bones. Maybe as he gets more comfortable he will like them.

He is just getting to the point where he will play with me by running around and charging toward me and doing some playful wrestling. I have to be careful because he is very strong and if I raise my voice or act in any way like heís hurt me, he cowers away. He has never hurt me but he is strong and can unintentionally hurt someone who is not expecting it. I suspect that somewhere along the line he was highly discouraged from 'rough housing' so itís new to him to be allowed to express his energy. He wonít play with me when there are other people around. But he does love to play and will get there with a new family eventually. He still doesnít understand what toys or balls are for. Iíve tried many times and heís just not interested. ...He loves hugs and belly rubs and will actively seek affection from me. He tolerates baths and nail cutting well.

...Iíve never heard him bark, other than when we took a video while we were gone from the house. In the video he barked and howled like he was being tortured. It was hard to watch. He is a master counter surfer when we are not home. He will eat anything, and he even takes dirty dishes out of the sink and leaves them all over the house. ...He has free reign of most of the house and uses the doggie door. He has had constant access to kibble but doesnít overeat. Other than getting very sick from eating 2 dozen eggs off the counter one time, he has never gone to the bathroom in the house. He is a great dog."

Bottom line is that Niles Cooper is the "perfect" dog when his person or family is home, but is unable to be by himself as, when he is left to his own devices, his separation anxiety gets the best of him and he acts out. This behavior was never observed in Niles when he was in the care of one of our staff members; however, there was always another dog around even when the people in the household were absent.

Niles Cooper needs a loving family -- ideally one in which someone is not gone all day or one with a female companion dog in residence. He is a wonderful, loving, gentle giant of a dog.

UPDATE 6/10: Niles was returned to our rescue this afternoon. Naturally, he's a bit bewildered at the loss of yet another home and family, but he seems to be settling in relatively well. He is in the company of several other rescue dogs, including Danny, Gregory, Katie and Miranda, and seems to have no problem at all being crated. We would love to find Niles a home with another dog or (even better) a family that spends a lot of time at home. With confidence, love and patience, we know Niles can overcome his separation anxiety and be happy even when his family has to leave him -- maybe a dog buddy would be enough. We'd love to be able to find out.

UPDATE 8/16: Niles has done beautifully since being returned to our rescue. He is happy and sweet and just goes with the flow. He enjoys being out by himself or with another dog (Katie, our little Jindo mix was his good friend until she left for Jindo Rescue). Heís quiet and no trouble at all to have around. We are mystified at his reaction at being an only dog, but next time we will certainly make sure he has a doggie friend to keep him company.

Adoption fee $325.00.

If you are interested in Cooper, please fill out our PROSPECTIVE ADOPTER'S QUESTIONNAIRE. You will be contacted by return email. If you do not receive a response within 24 hours, please Email Nancy at This questionnaire link is only for Cooper or other white German Shepherds on our site. WE WILL NOT CONTACT YOU until a questionnaire has been completed.

Please familiarize yourself with our adoption policies by reading ADOPTION BEGINS HERE. THANK YOU.