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Help me with a hard decision..

Beetlecat
December 20th, 2005, 07:24 PM
I've posted on and off about the problems I've had with my dog; his protectiveness, aggressiveness, etc.

He is about 1.5 years old and is very nervous, timid, and undersocialized for city living. He dislikes strangers or being touched by them or even having them look at him. This is simply his personality, and is not the result of anything I did or didn't do (although it is my fault he is undersocialized).

Today I was hit with a dilema. I can have a puppy from the litter I've been watching grow up, but since (for various reasons, mostly legal) I cannot have two dogs in the city, I will have to let Ky live in the country at my folks house. While I would raise the puppy in the city with me.

I long ago picked out which one I would want. He does not bark, is non-aggressive, and very friendly. I visited Ky at the same age, he tried to run away and hide and barked alot. They are very different dogs.

My folks live on a farm and they have a dog already. Ky and I visit quite often. He knows the place and the people. He would still be my dog and I would still visit just as often, but he would no longer live with me in the city.

On one hand, I don't want to feel like I'm just throwing him away so that I can 'try again' with a new puppy. But, on the other, Ky has some real issues that I have so far been unable to shake and which, while they can be lived with, cause me a fair amount of grief, embarressment, and feelings of failure.

I've often commented that neither Ky nor I wants to live in the city, but we just have to deal with it. Unfortunatly, this is harder for him as he has much less understanding of the situation.

.. I just am so torn. I truely think he would like the country life where nothing unpredictable happens and the only strangers are friends and accepting of aggressive dogs. I just don't want to feel like I'm taking the easy way out by getting rid of Ky because I just don't want to deal with him anymore...

Shamrock
December 20th, 2005, 08:02 PM
Beetlecat, this is a tough question you pose.

Does he get along with your parent's dog? Will the people who visit their home that are accepting of aggressive dogs continue to feel that way if your boy lives there permanently? Are your parents able to deal with this when it does arise?

I am not familiar with your dog's background, all the issues that are present.
If you feel that the welfare and long-term happiness of Ky will be improved by living with your parents, perhaps a short trial period could be implemented first, to see how he is adjusting, re-assess how everyone is feeling.

I wish you good luck with your decison, never an easy one to make.

Beetlecat
December 20th, 2005, 09:19 PM
My parents are the ones that posed the option by stating they are willing to take him in. He gets along just fine with the other dog. She is the boss and he accept it. She is more active when he is around. He actually taught her how to play :)

The visitors tend to be farmers or other country people who are familiar with heelers. If my dog nips someone right now in the city, it's a big deal. But, out there, everyone just tells him 'no' and has a big laugh over it.

He is actually living there right now as I was there last weekend and will be going back this weekend. With all this Christmas stuff, I just needed a break.

He actually does really well in the country (barks at strangers, does not wander, gets to run around all he wants to) and, if I could, I would move to the country this minute and take him with me.

coppperbelle
December 20th, 2005, 10:22 PM
It is really a hard decision that you are having to make. I live with a dog that has been aggressive, does not always greet people happily and will often lunge at other dogs. Walks were a nightmare. Like you I was stressed and embarrassed by her behavior. I guess I felt I had done something wrong. I probably had attributed partly to the behavior but she was a rescue and I made allowances for her and lots of excuses for her bad behaviors. She began to show her teeth to me and bit twice. I had her thyroid tested, enrolled us in obedience classes and she is a changed dog. I really understand how you are feeling but don't understand why you are getting another dog if you cannot have two where you live. Maybe I missed something. Is living with your parents the only option? Regardless of the reason you have found her a loving home where she will be well cared for and that is what is really important.

Beetlecat
December 20th, 2005, 11:11 PM
You are right. I don't *have to* get this puppy. To some extent it is a selfish desire to 'start over' with a new dog with a temperment more suited to city life.

That is why I am so conflicted. I honestly believe that (puppy or no puppy) Ky would be better off living in the country but I don't know whether I believe that because it's *true*, or because it's what I *want* to believe.

Above all, I want what is best for *him*...

... I don't want to just give up on him (and that is basically what I would be doing), but (at this point in my life) I don't know if I can continue to invest the time and energy that he needs (especially not without any (possibly expensive) help) when there is another option available.

Prin
December 21st, 2005, 01:12 AM
Why don't you foster instead? If this puppy didn't work out, chances are the next one won't either. I hope you don't take offense, but maybe you'd be better off fostering or getting an older doggy. It might save you a load of trouble and it would be easier to see the dominance before you jump in.

mona_b
December 21st, 2005, 08:49 AM
He is about 1.5 years old and is very nervous, timid, and undersocialized for city living. He dislikes strangers or being touched by them or even having them look at him. This is simply his personality, and is not the result of anything I did or didn't do (although it is my fault he is undersocialized).

Unfortunately this all happens with a dog that that is not socialized as a pup.They become very timid and nervous.

I long ago picked out which one I would want. He does not bark, is non-aggressive, and very friendly.

Please don't let this fool you.Even the quite ones can become little devils..;)

Ky is a Heeler right?And these pups you have been watching grow are heelers also?

My question to you is,you already stated that Ky was undersocialized for the city.What happens when this pup isn't socialized and turns out like Ky?What happens then?Please don't take what I said the wrong way.Rememnber,even the sweetest puppy can turn out like Ky if not socialized right.Socializing is VERY important.:)

StaceyB
December 21st, 2005, 08:54 AM
Your first dog is not a lost cause but you need to find a professional to help you with him. I deal with dogs like this all the time with great success but it takes hard work and commitment. Sending this dog to the country without fixing his social problems will not be good for him. He is still quite young and capable of learning proper social skills.

BMDLuver
December 21st, 2005, 08:58 AM
My best advice would be to take a step back, review the big picture, your lifestyle, living environment presently, in the near future and what amount of time you have available to devote to a dog, etc.. use the holiday season to spend time with KY and then head back into the city after the holidays leaving KY with your folks. Fly solo for a bit, then look at what getting a pup means. Sometimes you have to remove yourself from everything to think more clearly and not analyse to death. :thumbs up

jessi76
December 21st, 2005, 10:07 AM
I truely think he would like the country life where nothing unpredictable happens and the only strangers are friends and accepting of aggressive dogs.

big assumptions. Personally, I think you're being unrealistic if you think nothing unpredicable would happen there, and people would be more accepting of agressive behavior.

sorry, but I agree wholeheartedly with StacyB. you can do it! we're all here to help you with it too.

Lucky Rescue
December 21st, 2005, 10:20 AM
My best advice would be to take a step back, review the big picture, your lifestyle, living environment presently, in the near future and what amount of time you have available to devote to a dog, etc.. use the holiday season to spend time with KY and then head back into the city after the holidays leaving KY with your folks. Fly solo for a bit, then look at what getting a pup means. Sometimes you have to remove yourself from everything to think more clearly and not analyse to death. :thumbs up

Great advice! If you live in the city and work all day (I assume?) how much time are you going to have for a puppy? Who is going to train and socialize it every day?

Is this another heeler? Dogs with a strong and serious working drive, who, if not worked, become frustrated and can develop behavioral problems and even if worked is likely to nip anyway.

JMO, but if you really want a dog you should get one that is older and whose personality and behavior is already known and is compatible with your lifestyle.:)

shannonRN
December 21st, 2005, 10:32 AM
I also agree with giving you and your dog a little vacation from each other--but I think you should use it to help both of you break your routines and habits. Then take the dog back with a clean slate and an organized plan of attack and enrolled in training/socialization classes. And devote time to the issue daily, like you would if it were your child.

Speaking from experience, a dog that has moderately aggressive tendencies can become a real monster in the country where its social skills are not called for at all, so I wouldn't leave him there for long. But I think it's unfair to give up on the situation just yet.

CyberKitten
December 21st, 2005, 10:44 AM
I agree with Shannon. (and others) If you were just giving Ky some time out whiile you take a break - and he from city lifr - and then going to bring him back and start anew with a proofessional, I would understand that. I gre up parly in the city but spent much time at my grandparents' home and farm in the country - sure they may accept dogs more out in the country but they are also expected to work and it is in the rural areas of the Maritimes where legal action against dogs has occured more than in the city (where ppl tend to be more cautious I think and leash their dogs). There is a tendancy to let dogs run loose in the country and that can and does lead to problems, unless the dog is well trained for his or her role.

I would not adopt a new puppy until you get these other issues resolved. The fostering siggestions is a good one.

Beetlecat
December 21st, 2005, 11:47 AM
Thank you all for the great suggestions! The pup is just 7 weeks old, and I would be leaving it with it's mother and siblings as long as I could, so I have time to think about what I should do. I have been given the pup as a gift, so no worries it will be sold, unless I say so.

I do want two dogs, but it would be a bad idea to raise a puppy around Ky, lest he pick up his non-social tendencies. Ky is naturally distrustful and suspisious (that's the heeler in him) but I know I aggrevated it by not socializing him properly and not stopping it when it first started.

As well, when I got Ky, I did not have a car so we never went further away than he could walk. And then we lived in the woods for 4 months, where his whole job was to keep strangers and animals away from the house. So he never went to obedience or anything else. Coming from the country, I didn't realize what goes into making a good city dog.

I have actually been considering getting Ky out of the city for a while now. It would be good to get only around people that act approprietly, and he can learn how to greet people from the other dog. Here, strangers can be very threatening and combative (staring, yelling, stomping), which just makes Ky think all strangers are evil and out to get him.

And, when my situation changes, I could bring Ky back and devote the time he needs. And I will (mostly likely) be in the woods again this summer, so I could take him with me and work with him out there.

As a side note, I'm getting a little worried about his health. His main forms of exercise right now are running along side my bike, and running up and down the stairs, both which are not real good for the hips. Free running would be better. And he occationally does a sort of hacking wheeze (like he has asthma or has the breath knocked out of him) when he is really excited.

mona_b
December 22nd, 2005, 12:03 AM
I have actually been considering getting Ky out of the city for a while now. It would be good to get only around people that act approprietly, and he can learn how to greet people from the other dog. Here, strangers can be very threatening and combative (staring, yelling, stomping), which just makes Ky think all strangers are evil and out to get him.And, when my situation changes, I could bring Ky back and devote the time he needs. And I will (mostly likely) be in the woods again this summer, so I could take him with me and work with him out there.


First off he needs to learn this from you.He needs to learn how to act with all the different surroundings.And it's YOU who has to teach him.You live in the city and he has to learn how to deal with all of the different sights and sounds.Do you honestly think that if he spends his time with your parents and you bring him back he will be any better?I really doubt it.It would be worse for him.

You are worried about his health and the lack of exercise.But yet you want a pup.I'm confused.Is this pup not also going to have lack of exercise?

Once again,PLEASE don't take what I have said the wrong way.It's just that I don't think you should get a pup right now.

I just don't think that an Austrailian Cattle Dog is right for the lifestyle you have right now.And bringing a pup into it just doesn't seem fair.
This is a hurding breed that needs tons of exercise and strick training.

Please think long and hard about this....:)

Bushfire2000
December 22nd, 2005, 01:01 AM
I live in the country(farm and ranch) and you are over simplyfing the case.
No it is not better to dump Ky at your parents. Even if they say they want him.

Country folk do not like to be nipped, and those who just tell your dog "no" are being polite.
Get your dog some training if he has the right breeding ,get him trained as a herder, he needs to work. If he lacks herding instinct, get him (after Obedience basics) into agility or Flyball. He will have a ball ,get some exercise, and be happier and so will you!

If poor Ky doesn't get enough exercise then how are you going to deal with the needs of a pup.

In fact Ky is a pup! Look after the one you have before moving on.

I'm sorry if this seems harsh but there are enough dogs in the country that have no training and were abandoned to some poor farm relative because "Fido, would do better in the country"

StaceyB
December 22nd, 2005, 01:19 AM
I will say it again, please fix the problems with the dog you have now. It really is possible but you will probably need a professional to help you. If you are not going to fix his social problems then who will. They won't fix themselves and if you don't work on them then they will get worse. Go get your self a muzzle , put it on him and go greet everything you can. Unfortunately when you have a dog who behaves this way you end up getting nervous yourself and avoid close greetings. The dog will read you and begin to think that strangers are bad and not to be trusted.
The dog will not understand that you are nervous of what he will do to others. He will think that these strangers are going to harm him or you. He needs to have some good experiences with strangers so that he begins to trust them, the more the better. This is a training/social issue because he has some people and dogs that he does trust. If it were wiring he would probably not trust anyone. This issue can be fixed with some hard work but you really need to work on it.
I would suggest you enroll him into private class to help you with the aggression as well as enroll into a basic training so that he learns the basics on how to behave. This class will also help with his social skills. He may have to wear a muzzle in this class until he begins to learn proper social skills, for everyones safety including his. Though I think he should be in a group class you will need to start in private first so that you can learn what to do while you are working on his issues. He will also need to get all the exercise he requires. An exercised dog will be easier to handle.
One last thing. I would set him up to wear a gentle leader so that you can control him when he tries to lunge. Please don't use a pinch or choke chain. If he gets pinched when he tries to see a stranger he may believe that they are the ones causing the pain. You want positive experiences.
I don't think it is fair to have this breeder hold onto this puppy for you. They learn many of their social skills between 5-12 wks and if this puppy remains at the breeders too long you can end up with many of the social problems that you see with pups that leave their mother and siblings too early. The longer they stay at the breeders the more important socializing time they lose. The ideal age to get a puppy is 8 wks. Mom teaches them social skills from 5-8 weeks and from 8-12 their new family, so proud takes them everywhere giving them very important social experiences. This is not the only time for learning social skills but it is one of the key time periods. Breeders usually don't take the pups from their home so they don't get very much from them. Socializing is with what they know but with what they don't know. Everything your puppy will see, do, meet and smell are all part of socializing. You want to do as much as possible with them. You will also want to socialize them with things that they will not usually see in their daily life because things change and there may be a time when he will need these social experiences. Example: Children. Maybe you don't have any and don't often interact with them but I can promise you that there will be a time in their life that they will have to interact with a child so prepare them for everything.
You already have a dog that you need to fix before you get a puppy so don't have this breeder hold onto this puppy for you. Let it go to a home where it can begin building his/her social skills. Decide to get a puppy when you have the issues with the dog you have now corrected. You will learn a lot going through this process and will be better prepared to share your life with a puppy but not right now. It is not fair to the puppy or the dog you have now.

Gazoo
December 22nd, 2005, 11:01 AM
I disagree with most of the sentiment here. If your parents want him it sounds like a much better environment for his personality. A protective and wary personality is a good thing on the farm.

It sounds like the dog will have a great life with your parents.

It's your dog ...do what ya want. If he's going to a good home why feel guilty!!!

Bushfire2000
December 22nd, 2005, 11:17 AM
I might have come across a little strong and Ky might be just what your parents need.
I just get upset with all the dogs gifted to me and my neighbors by city people who live in an apartment and work 10 hours a day and didn't think about the size and needs of the breed before they bought "Fido".

Prin
December 22nd, 2005, 12:42 PM
Where a dog goes is not as important as the home it will have. Your parents could be great for him, but people are just wary when you say "It's a farm, it's perfect for him".

But honestly, not all this pup's problems are its own. You have to take some responsibility in this and I think getting another pup when you haven't learned how to fix this will just get you another Ky. You have to learn how to fix Ky up more than anything else, just to know how to do it and to understand dogs better. :)

Beetlecat
December 22nd, 2005, 12:43 PM
My parents are accustomed to heelers and, if he comes on too strong, they simply put him in the house to cool off. And he barks, which is a good thing in the country, and we have always been careful to make sure he never leaves the yard.

Though I have not decided if I will take the puppy or not (and I would leave him 'til 10 weeks even if I did take him. I don't believe much in the 'critical' socilaizing period. Socilaization needs to be ongoing.) I have decided to leave Ky at the farm for now. I'm not sure how long.

It is simply so much easier to train him when strangers don't pop up out of nowhere all the time and threaten him when he barks in suprise. On a farm, things are much more controlled and less hectic.

He can see the people coming, watch them leave, and, if they do not interact appropriately with him, we can tell them how to act. In the city, we meet strangers so briefly, that there is no time to coach them, and the damage is already done. (not that they listen if I do try to coach them)

I talked to my mother briefly today, and she seems to really like Ky saying things like 'He's such a sweet dog'. And their current dog is almost 9 and, if no one is outside, she just lays around all day. Ky gets her up and moving. And he announces the arrival of cars, which the older dog doesn't really do anymore. And he can look scary, which is also a plus on a farm..

If (a big if) I do get a pup, I may play a game of musical dogs, where I would switch them over every month or two (once the puppy is older). Ky has never hated going back and forth between the farm and city, so I don't think it would be hard on them. And they would have a chance to experience both lives, and be trained and cared for by more than one person.

And occationally they could stay together at the farm or together in the city. And then during the 4 months in the summer too. And, when I move, they could both stay with me full-time (except for farm visits). Unless my mom gets too attached to him, that is:)

StaceyB
December 22nd, 2005, 12:50 PM
Socilaization needs to be ongoing

I agree totally but I also believe that there are key times when socializing is even more important. The first puppy and again in adolescence.

Beetlecat
December 22nd, 2005, 01:07 PM
I think getting another pup when you haven't learned how to fix this will just get you another Ky. You have to learn how to fix Ky up more than anything else, just to know how to do it and to understand dogs better. :)

This basic idea has come up a few times in this thread, so I'll try to address it here.

I'm not convinced that Ky is 'broken'. He just does things inapropriate for the situation. Personality plays such a role in a what a dog will do, athlough it is, of course, the owners job to fit that personality into the situation. And some personalities are easy and others take a bit more work. And, yes, I do take responsibility for letting things get out of hand.

Ky is a smart, lovable, trainable dog with a nipping/growling thing that is such an incredible issue in the city. But, take him out of the city, and all his issues dry up. Because they are all city-related issues that don't even apply to a farm.

I could work at it and try to mold him into a more appropriate dog, but I'm just not sure it is worth the strain to him and me, when there is a way to bi-pass all of that, yet make sure he still has a good life.

I would never, ever just dump him on some farmer's lawn, assuming the homeowner would know what to do. Nor would I ever put him into a shelter (even a no kill shelter) because I would not know who or what type of person might adopt him.

If those where my only choices, I would keep him here and work on it and eventually turn him into a reasonable city dog, if not a stellar one. I think his 'nature' rather than 'nurture' precludes him from ever fitting fully into the city dog mold.

The new puppy thing is a whole 'nother issue, one I'm still on the fence about.

Gazoo
December 22nd, 2005, 04:21 PM
I would never, ever just dump him on some farmer's lawn, assuming the homeowner would know what to do. Nor would I ever put him into a shelter (even a no kill shelter) because I would not know who or what type of person might adopt him.

If those where my only choices, I would keep him here and work on it and eventually turn him into a reasonable city dog, if not a stellar one. I think his 'nature' rather than 'nurture' precludes him from ever fitting fully into the city dog mold.

The new puppy thing is a whole 'nother issue, one I'm still on the fence about.


You might be right, our ACD/BC cross is a rescue we got at just under a year and he is a very snappy little thing that needs dominant owners to keep him in line, He's also quite protective and controlling with people and some other dogs.

I don't think this issue could ever ever ever ever ever be trained out of him unless someone could work with him intensely for a long time. We are just very careful with him around strangers and strange dogs.

The ACD's are a very specific dog with very specific behavioural issues and it takes a very strong owner to deal with some of them..especially in the city!!!! Often they just don't fit into the city mold uless the owner can take the time and effort to control them.

Perhaps your proposed solution could be the best of both worlds for him?

Is the new puppy an ACD as well?? If so I'd seriously reconsider getting it b/c the problems you have now; could without a doubt reoccur!!!

Maybe you should consider a more docile and mellow older dog from a kill-shelter for now that might fit into your life better? This way you'd be saving a another doogie and your "neurotic" dog would have a better home;)

Gazoo
December 22nd, 2005, 04:26 PM
Where a dog goes is not as important as the home it will have. Your parents could be great for him, but people are just wary when you say "It's a farm, it's perfect for him".

But honestly, not all this pup's problems are its own. You have to take some responsibility in this and I think getting another pup when you haven't learned how to fix this will just get you another Ky. You have to learn how to fix Ky up more than anything else, just to know how to do it and to understand dogs better. :)


Some good points Prin :thumbs up

Unfortunately some of this dogs behaviour may not be "fixable"

ACD's are very smart, tough and often stubbornly resistant to change.

I think Beetle cat may be better off with a more controllable and docile breed...maybe an older dog from a rescue thats already trained??

Prin
December 22nd, 2005, 05:25 PM
I just hope you run the breed of your new pup by us first, so we can give the 'ok'...:D I'm half kidding, of course, but now that you know how important it is to research the breed before you decide, I hope you really do take the time and don't buy solely on emotions. :fingerscr :)

Beetlecat
December 22nd, 2005, 08:44 PM
I've already decided that *if* I get this puppy, he will be going straight into puppy preschool (once his shots are done, of course).

I had the 'honour' of babysitting two young pups today for about 45 minutes. It made me remember just how much it takes to raise one of those hellions. One was crying constantly, trying to climb my leg with his sharp puppy claws (I finally went and stood on a picnic table to get away :D ) While the other was zooming back and forth, getting into everything (they were in a yard, so they were perfectly safe).

One pup is manageable, I could never imagine raising two at the same time :eek:

If I can find an older dog I like, I may take that option.

Gazoo
December 22nd, 2005, 08:50 PM
What breed of puppy is it?

StaceyB
December 22nd, 2005, 11:27 PM
From what I understand it is the same as the other.

Beetlecat
December 23rd, 2005, 12:06 AM
Yes. It is also a blue heeler. But before you go thinking I'm irresponsible again, this particular puppy has an extremely different temperment than Ky.

While (at the same age) Ky would hang back (or run and hide) and bark. This pup will will (after a moment of contemplation) walk right up to you, wagging his tail, wanting to get pet.

I do love the breed and not all heelers are as aggressive as Ky. All his other heeler traits I appreciate. Actually, it is not so much that Ky is is aggressive, but he is fear aggressive which (IMO) is worse. And that is more of a personality trait than a breed trait.

A bold dog that knows he/she is strong is good because they feel they have no need to prove it to themselves or others. A timid dog that believes he/she is weak, or out of their depth, is bad because they can continually act up in an effort to prove they are strong.

mona_b
December 23rd, 2005, 12:09 AM
One pup is manageable, I could never imagine raising two at the same time :eek:

I raised 2-3 month olds..........:D

Please try working with Ky...You owe that to him.....:)

Also,I would suggest staying away from the herding breeds unless you have the time and the patience.

My sister has a herding breed.She has a working Border Collie and she is on the farm.She made darn sure that Abbey was very well socialized as a pup.She brought her into town everyday and got her used to all the different sights,sounds and smells.She worked very hard with Abbey.And she loves everyone.:)

Prin
December 23rd, 2005, 12:32 AM
A bold dog that knows he/she is strong is good because they feel they have no need to prove it to themselves or others.Sorry, but I disagree with this. It's like saying a dog is more comfortable in the alpha position if he's not challenged. Of course having a person challenging you for top position is not going to be comfortable, whether you're 'weak' or 'bold'.

I have seen the most submissive puppies grow up to be dominant, mean dogs because the owners did not fill the alpha role, so the dog had to step in. In any other household with people who knew dogs even a little bit, those dogs would have been terrific, soft, loving house pets.

It doesn't matter what level of the pack the dog is born into. If he doesn't meet any humans for whom he has respect, he'll make his way to the top. And in my experience, the more submissive ones are not great at being humble alphas, but it's still as dangerous for everybody involved if a dominant dog makes it to the top. The fact is, they shouldn't be allowed up at the top ever anyway. No dog should.

Don't kid yourself into thinking that a pup with a certain temperment will be better. You still have to put in the work to keep him a good dog. Any dog can be a bad dog. ANY DOG. That's why I said work with Ky first. Fix these mistakes before you jump into another set. My fear here is that you aren't learning from Ky. You aren't taking advantage of this situation to learn how to deal with this so that it won't ever happen again with any dog you might ever have.

Prin
December 23rd, 2005, 01:12 AM
Hey, one of our many guests was reading this, and I thought the story in the beginning fit in the topic (and why people are apprehensive about farms for doggies...) http://www.pets.ca/forum/showthread.php?t=12343

mona_b
December 23rd, 2005, 08:34 AM
Don't kid yourself into thinking that a pup with a certain temperment will be better. You still have to put in the work to keep him a good dog. Any dog can be a bad dog. ANY DOG. That's why I said work with Ky first. Fix these mistakes before you jump into another set. My fear here is that you aren't learning from Ky. You aren't taking advantage of this situation to learn how to deal with this so that it won't ever happen again with any dog you might ever have.

Exactly Prin.

And this is what I am trying to say.

How many times have people adopted dogs with issues and ended up working long and hard to "fix" them?And in the end it has paid off.

I honestly don't think playing musical dogs is a good idea.Especially with Ky.And I actually don't think it would be fair to him.You are having issues with him now.Being in the country without city training is not going to make him any better.

Ky is a city dog that should learn all the "rules" of being one.Visiting the farm is a different thing.

My dogs have been city dogs.At any time I was taking them to the farm they would have a ton of fun.But as soon as we came back to the city,they knew how to act.My sisters BC is used to both.Reason being is Abbey was trained and socialized for both.And this is a working dog.

Like I have said before,I really don't think this breed is for your lifestyle.Maybe an older one..Who knows....:)

Question.Did you research this breed before you got him?

Gazoo
December 23rd, 2005, 09:22 AM
Beetlecat,

No offense but a ACD may not be the one for you. Its likely that any ACD will be protective and even aggressive.

Its in their nature to be tough...and thats just what they are.

What are you gonna do if the new puppy is the same way?

StaceyB
December 23rd, 2005, 09:27 AM
Fear aggression is one of the most common types of aggression and is also the easiest one to correct. It is the lack of socializing that you have already mentioned that is probably the cause.
I don't know if you were speaking to me about saying that you were irresponsible, I don't believe I said that but I do believe you are giving up too quickly.

CyberKitten
December 23rd, 2005, 12:10 PM
Re: " And he barks, which is a good thing in the country, ", I just HAD to comment on this. I have lived in the country, visted many families in the country and a dog who barks too m,uch in the country is just as likely to be shot, had rocks thrown at it, had its owner yelled at. A dog barking is not necessarily good anywhere, country or city!!! Wherever yoiu aquired that myth, ger rid of it. It's so not true!! I have seen dogs shot in the country (we tend to think that it is in the city that ppl have guns, uhuh!!! - people whio hunt and have herding or working dogs live in the country. Who applies for moose licences? Not the typical Haligonian or Toronian. Check the stats - more dogs were injured or shot for barking in the country than anywhere in Canada.

Bushfire2000
December 23rd, 2005, 12:22 PM
[QUOTE=CyberKitten] a dog who barks too m,uch in the country is just as likely to be shot, had rocks thrown at it, had its owner yelled at. A dog barking is not necessarily good anywhere, country or city!!! Wherever yoiu aquired that myth, ger rid of it. It's so not true!! I have seen dogs shot in the country [QUOTE]

I'm so sorry but Cyberkitten is right:sorry:

LM1313
December 23rd, 2005, 01:59 PM
If you DO decide to get another puppy, personally I would recommend getting a different breed. Not because I have anything against blue heelers (I barely know anything about them), but just because if you get a different breed and problems crop up, you may be able to tell more easily which ones are due to your behavior and which are due to the constraints of the breed.

Like I said, I don't know anything about heelers . . . but different breeds have different needs. If you raise two blue heelers and they both turn out nervy, it could be partly due to the life the breed was created for versus the life they have. But if you raise a blue heeler and a labrador and they both end up nervy, you're probably doing something wrong. (No offense.)

I'll think about the farm issue and come back if I have any thoughts on it. :)

~LM~

Lucky Rescue
December 23rd, 2005, 01:59 PM
No offense but a ACD may not be the one for you. Its likely that any ACD will be protective and even aggressive.

Its in their nature to be tough...and thats just what they are.

I have to agree with this. You may love this breed, but to be fair, we must choose a dog who suits our lifestyle.

ACDs, bred to control ornery, large and often dangerous cattle, must be tough, dominant, pushy and even aggressive to do the job. Those are wonderful traits for a dog on a cattle ranch, where it's strong drive to herd is satisfied, but not necessarily good traits in the city.

It's my personal opinion that these dogs are, in general, not suited as urban housepets if you aren't going to work them.

StaceyB
December 23rd, 2005, 02:37 PM
On the other side of that, if he does have strong herding instincts he may begin to chase neighbours animals if he is loose in the country. This will definitely get him shot especially if he shows aggression towards other animals.

papillonmama
December 23rd, 2005, 03:24 PM
[QUOTE=Lucky Rescue]I have to agree with this. You may love this breed, but to be fair, we must choose a dog who suits our lifestyle.

QUOTE]

I also concur, I think it's wonderful to love a certain breed, but sometimes because of our living situations, it is unfair to try to keep these pets. I have always loved St Bernards, lrg. dogs in general, but because I live in the city, and only have a quaint two bedroom duplex, with a backyard, it's still just not possible right now. Wanting several dogs, and larger breeds makes me work all the harder towards my goal for country living. I know someday a big dog will be mine, but for now, I'm happy with a papillon.:)

Herding dogs are difficult to keep in a city setting, many feel that they need to work. I've heard that fly ball and agility are some activities that non-working, but herding type dogs often enjoy, maybe your Ky can get into city life with some more socialization and high activity play.

Prin
December 24th, 2005, 02:16 AM
Yeah, I'd loooooove a newf of Chesapeake bay retriever, but with a 4000sqft yard and an 800sqft house in the city, it's less than ideal, so I get littler, calmer doggies instead. I couldn't imagine the guilt of owning a dog that I couldn't let do what it needs to. Jemma needs to run endlessly and she can do that in the city, but a newf needs space and a chesapeake needs to be useful, and both are harder to provide in the city. Same goes for an ACD. They need to work and be useful to be truly happy. Sure you can end up with an ok pet in the city if you work at it, but I don't believe they're as happy as they would be working. I mean, you see the agility dogs, the hunting trial dogs, the sheepdog trial dogs- they're all so happy after working so hard.

Beetlecat
December 28th, 2005, 09:46 PM
Annupdate for anyone still interested. I have not yet read the replies made since my last, but I have decided (over my Christmas holidays)not to take the puppy.

All told, I have a well-behaved, well-trained dog with a few issues that (to be honest) don't affect my life except for occational embarassment that my dog would interact with strangers badly.

I actually have been getting a good handle on him lately, and I expect he will improve over time. I will probably always have to watch him and take precautions (which I suppose all dog owners should do anyways) but I will eventually train out the lunging and nipping behaviours, which are 99% of the problem. And he has a muzzle, so at least the dangers of possible damage are removed.

Puppies are messy, whiney, and needy. And it seems silly to have to start a new dog from scratch, when I already have one that is well-behaved 99% of the time.

Thank you for all your replies, I will go read them now :)

StaceyB
December 28th, 2005, 09:53 PM
That's great to hear

Prin
December 28th, 2005, 09:59 PM
Yey for Ky! :highfive: :highfive: What a happy ending!:)

Beetlecat
December 28th, 2005, 10:18 PM
Re: " And he barks, which is a good thing in the country, ", A dog barking is not necessarily good anywhere, country or city!!!

In regards to all my comments about what is good/bad for the country. They were all made with my situation in mind, so are really not up for debate :) What I meant here was, he barks at cars entering the yard. Which is what my parents like.

And he barks at coyote and such to keep them away. My folks live on a quarter section, not a subdivision or acreage. There the rules are totally different.

He also barks at humans entering my house, which is what I like :) Other than that, he is not allowed to bark inside for any other reason except if he has the pee. And then he has a soft, inside bark for that :D

Beetlecat
December 28th, 2005, 10:27 PM
On the other side of that, if he does have strong herding instincts he may begin to chase neighbours animals if he is loose in the country. This will definitely get him shot especially if he shows aggression towards other animals.

I would never consider the matter so hard if I thought he would do that :)

He is never allowed beyond the front gate. Though he has been known to heel vehicles that are in the yard... my brother said the first time he got run over by the tractor, he would learn.. but I prefer to put him inside or in a down-stay :rolleyes:

On the whole, Heelers are velcro dogs who tend to stick very close and not work animals on their own. Of course, there are always exceptions.

Beetlecat
December 28th, 2005, 10:42 PM
I also (partially) agree with everyone who said an ACD may not have been the best choice, but I did want a dog to exercise with and to protect me and my house, which ACDs are more than ideal for. It was my fault for not continuing to socalize him as he got older and letting him take the protective business a little too far...

But if I could not get a heeler, I probably would not have a dog now :D Besides, heelers want nothing more than to be with their humans, which is one thing a city life offers better than a country one.

And with the dog parks, river valley, flyball, agility, etc only a drive away, I think we'll manage. And then there's biking, and rollerblading, and walking... :)

I love rollerblading with him. And I know he loves it too, though he will need a new harness before summer.

We tried skiijoring recently, but it didn't go over so well because he has been taught to heel at my side when I slow down, and I'm a very slow skier :D And the resistance is much more than he is used to compared even to rollerblades.

Bushfire2000
December 29th, 2005, 06:13 PM
Yay!! for Ky. :) Skiijoring sound like fun. I would still try flyball or agility if I were you it's a ball.

Beetlecat
December 29th, 2005, 09:34 PM
Sorry, but I disagree with this. It's like saying a dog is more comfortable in the alpha position if he's not challenged. Of course having a person challenging you for top position is not going to be comfortable, whether you're 'weak' or 'bold'.


I didn't originally reply to this, but it has been bugging me.

My comments had nothing to do with dominence and submission. I agree that no dog should be dominent over it's owners and that dominent dogs can be aggressive and hard to train.

What I meant was... hmm...

okay, it's more a matter of confidence. If a dog is big and powerful (and knows that it is big and powerful) it will have no reason to terrorize other dogs to prove it is big and powerful. Because it already knows that. It feels no need to show off or prove anything to anyone.

If a dog is big and powerful but thinks that is is small and weak, it will try to prove to the whole world that it is big and powerful. Essentially, it has become a bully. And it will show off and try to prove itself whenever given the opportunity.

In general, anytime anyone gets a larger dog, they would prefer to get the first type, rather than the second. The first may be bigger, but it will be more stable in temperment. The second can be more dangerous, as it may be erratic and have a 'mean streak'.

This is all internal and innate. An owner can make a dog feel good about itself, while still keeping it in a submissive position. And a dominent dog can lack self-confidence. The latter is probably the most scary dog I can think of.

I hope that makes more sense :)

Beetlecat
December 29th, 2005, 09:42 PM
Yay!! for Ky. :) Skiijoring sound like fun. I would still try flyball or agility if I were you it's a ball.


I've done agility before, And I was planning on getting into flyball, but the schedule didn't work for me. So I'll have to catch the classes next time around. Does look like fun though. Jumping and playing fetch, two of Ky's favorite things :D