I think it's funny that so many people mention the poorly-bred or American pet lines, because it totally confirms my belief. The full story of my find is...I was out with my dogs near a popular hiking canyon. It was 7 AM or thereabouts, mid-week and not a holiday. Generally the area was deserted so I would take my 3 blue heelers out for a hike off-leash. It's a pretty popular and well-known canyon though, busy on weekends (relatively). So I'm out there and from a vantage point I could see a car speeding out super fast on the canyon road. Traffic at all would be unusual at that time/day, but it was going really fast and I was really suspicious so I was watching. Then I saw a little golden-brown speck running all-out a couple of minutes behind. My heelers went nuts barking, the speck changed direction and ran to us. It was Hector. He immediately attacked my favorite dog (no one was injured, I broke it up in a way that Hector had a chance to bite me and he refrained).
So anyway, we spent 4-6 weeks looking for an owner just in case, but no success. He had no collar, no chip, was intact (I neutered him about 4 months after I found him), no training (not even house trained), not socialized and afraid of literally everything...
My thought was that he was probably an impulse buy from a pet store as a pup, or otherwise short-sighted purchase. So, not well-bred. Then he got too big and too rambunctious and they disposed of him in the desert. I think he's fantastic, super easy to train and just a nice dog, but within a couple of months of me owning him I did have 3 smashed teeth and a broken finger due to playful injuries from him so...
I'll ge some more pics of his head tonight, I agree that it's the big thing that makes him not look purebred (though I think it's gorgeous
). I just can't imagine what else is in him.
Part of what confuses me too is that a few really knowledgeable working dog trainers we've met through our SAR training think he's from working German lines. I'm not sure if they say that because of the context (we are on a SAR team, so he has working potential though we're early in our training) or because he really looks like that.
edit: Also, thank you for all the kudos for saving him but I really don't deserve them.
I was very happy with my 3 heelers (actually I was happy with 1, then I got 2 others by accident...) but Hector kind of decided for himself that he was staying. I find most of the best rescue dogs do something like that.