My adopted Aussie mix is 4 months old. All the information I've read about Aussies is that they are INCREDIBLY high energy and MUST be worked out hard. Most sites say that they must be given a job to do on a daily basis (though they don't give examples of jobs to give them besides herding) or Aussies can begin tearing up the place. First question, they must be given a job? What constitutes a job? I know herding would and agility, but would just chasing a ball/frisbie be considered a job? Even if I did agility with her, I wouldn't be able to do it EVERY day. I'd like something that I could do in my back yard which is fairly nice sized, but as there are no agility clubs nearby, I'd rather not have to get involved with that.
Also, while Bella's energy level is high, it doesn't seem any higher than other dogs I've had and I'm not certain just how much of a workout she is going to require each day. I know all dogs are different, but what's the general ballpark for Aussies?. Right now, my plan will be to walk/jog with her each day (hopefully with my other dog once Bella's training is further along - right now when I try walking the two of them it's a disaster waiting to happen). These walks can be anywhere from a short 20 minute walk if the weather is bad, to an hour jog. Lately I haven't been able to walk her much, one because she was put on restrictive activity for 3 weeks due to a reaction to her spay sutures, and second, because it's been raining NON stop here making the park more like a swamp. But when I do walk her, she's breathing hard after only 20 minutes (about .75 mile).
I also play with Bella as I watch TV or when I'm out in the back yard. Is this going to be enough, or do I need to try to step it up. I want to head off any problem behaviors before they start. If I do need to increase her activity level, what's the suggested amount and what activities can you suggest that don't require a lot of set up or special equipment.
Sounds like you're doing some really great things, and you've really thought it through.
I don't neccisarily know Aussies, but I do know working dogs. (We have Huskies) What they mean by giving them a 'job', can be just making the dog work for everything it gets. It works off of the NILIF (nothing in life is free) training method, and is very effective in working breeds. You can google it to find out more info on the specifics. It is stimulation for them phsically, but also mentally. It will prevent a lot of behavior issues as well. Sounds like you have a pretty good excercise regimen planned, that will help also.
Hi~ my next door neighbors used to have an aussie sheppard, also known as a Blue Heeler. Or "Cattle dog" Her name was Shelby. Shelby was, as you mentioned, Very HIGH energy, she was also a great escape artist. No matter how high the built the fence, and even a fence within the fence bc she would always find a way to climb, jump anything ti escape. she would run all around the neighborhood and she did not respond to you when you called for her to stop/sit. all the neighbors would be on foot and cars trying to help catch her. So, i would just advide on a good fence to keep her inside the yard.
A dog is the only animal that can love you more than it loves itself.
I knew a man who taught his dog to get his BBQ tongs, oven mitt, chefs hat and special apron. He'd yell "Let's get GRILLIN'!!!" And then call for his tools one by one until the dog had brought everything. One year he had a photo of himself and his dog dressed in chef's hats and matching oven mitts on his Christmas cards. (the dog was a Golden Retriever)
I saw on television a roofing contractor who had a dog trained to bring him tools. He'd name the tool and the dog would get that particular tool out of his toolbox, which was inside his truck and then climb a ladder to bring the man his wrench, or screwdriver, etc. (Labrador Retriever)
I've seen dogs trained to put their toys away, say their prayers, kiss on command, take treats out of people's mouths, play frisbee, play volleyball, dive for rocks, play baseball (outfield only), bring children home for dinner, roll over, play dead (with or without being "shot" first), etc. etc.
You just need to give your dog mental stimulation, decent food, clean water, exercise and lots of affection. Maybe your dog just has a single job--to love you.
As with most dogs a tired dog is a good dog, in a case of the herding breeders this is a must. If you have no wish to get involved in agility, jogging, training is a must. Aussie are great at frisbee, and pretty darn good at tracking.
I would start out with plenty of exercise, strict obedience training, and as you have a nice size back garden do some search and find work and or frisbee. http://www.discdog.org/
Having been a long time Aussie owner I can say this with authority...it's not a job they particularly want. It's to please you that is their main goal in life. I'll assume it holds true for most working breeds but the source of frustration for an Aussie is not knowing what you want and expect of it and the only way to relay that is to spend as much time as possible with them.
Well for the job part, my Sheltie (Also from the herding group) made up his own job. He holds a toy in his mouth, and goes to the end of the backyard, where the birds are. Well he doesn't go after the birds he goes after their shadows. And he could do this for hours. Once he was out their 6 hrs just chasing them. Maybe yours will make its own job.
I've felt the hate rise up in me... Kneel down and clear the stone of leaves... I wander out where you can't see... Inside my shell, I wait and bleed...
hello~ i grew up with an austrailian shepherd and we have one now... they are high energy...good hunters...prone to boredom. i say like any other dog, attention and task are the two deterents to bad behavior. we wear our puppies out and they are content not to destroy things!! a task can be as simple as playing frisbee or ball. just something that the dog feels is his/her "duty". :)
Indifference turns clarity into denial. ~Quan Tracy Cherry
My grandma has an Aussie. They live in the country where they cant even see their neighbors and they are surrounded by cotton and corn fields so Lucy (the aussie) runs alot! When she was a puppy she would chase the kids around trying to herd them!She is very smart and I train her when im there..Im gettin her into agility..But if you cant join clubs you can still get the stufff and do it for fun ..You can get the starter kits for about $50..
Hey We have an australian. he was a handfull as a pup. He is older now and knows his routine. "Working" him wasn't difficult because his job was to help feed. Even if you don't have other animals to work, walking around neighborhoods is a good idea. I would think that allmost everyday, once, would be enough. This breed is like humans, they like routines and like to feel like they have a job or task that they must perform