Author Topic: New to aussies (new to dogs really)  (Read 6331 times)

Offline quick_summer

  • Gnawer
  • *
  • Posts: 4
    • View Profile
New to aussies (new to dogs really)
« on: July 21, 2007, 03:33:03 pm »
We have been considering getting a dog for about a year now, and have been researching different breeds as much as possible.  we really like the australians... they seem to have all the qualities we seek: loyalty, intelligence, good for families/kids.  I don't want to start with a puppy b/c i've never owned a dog, much less trained one!  Tomorrow we meet with a lady giving away an 8 y/o aussie.  My main question is, does this active breed slow down as it ages?  Or are we still going to be in for marathon runs and non stop frisbee?  :D Also, she says he has been kept mostly outside, in a courtyard (when not going to the park or on long walks) and is not housetrained, but is friendly to the family and cat.  Is this something we could change? (the housetraining, not friendliness.. . all the 'older dog sites' said training is possible...are they being honest?)  Also any other pros or cons or advice you guys have would be greatly appreciated.  also - having only owned outdoor cats i really really want to know about the best, most hands off pooper scooper technology :o.

Offline Shadowsmom

  • Gnawer
  • *
  • Posts: 14
  • Shadow ~ lab/newfie mix at 10 weeks
    • View Profile
Re: New to aussies (new to dogs really)
« Reply #1 on: April 11, 2008, 01:45:39 pm »
We got our Aussie when she was 7. She's 9 now. She can be super lazy. She is glued to my leg pretty much at all times. When we go outside, she will keep right up and loves to run around if I go with her. She doesn't chase anything or play with anything. She will chew bones and rawhides.

I would be wary of trying to bring in an older dog who's been outside all its life. I think it's possible to housetrain the dog, but it would take a LOT of work and you'd have to be very dedicated and forgiving. It depends on the dog, though.

If you are new to dogs, I think you are smart to get an adult dog, but this one may not be the right one for you.

Best of luck in your search!
Amy
fur babies:
Lily ~ Aussie ~ 9 yrs
Shadow ~ Lab/Newfie ~ puppy
4 kitties, and 6 baby kitties
2 Guinea hens
1 goat
2 rabbits
1 old chicken and 30 chicks
20 guinea keets
*whew!* that's a mouthful!

Offline pyr4me

  • Grand Master
  • ***
  • Posts: 651
    • View Profile
Re: New to aussies (new to dogs really)
« Reply #2 on: April 11, 2008, 10:13:00 pm »
I adopted Tipper at age 2 and he was not potty trained. I used a crate with him and that made a world of difference. My vet guessed that he had lived outside for most of those 2 years given his wariness about normal household things. I also took several training classes with him and that was a wonderful experience for both of us.  He was my first dog and it helped me to know what I was doing and it helped us bond together, too. He is 8 now and thoroughly a house dog and a spoiled one at that!

I'm not sure if Tipper has Aussie in him, it has been suggested to me that he does, but he does have Shetland Sheepdog in him and he has a strong herding instinct, like Aussies. At 8 years old he is still one of the most agile dogs I've ever seen and most people who meet him can't believe that he is 8 years old.  I think a lot of that is due to his nutrition and exercise. He is used to getting an hour long romp through the woods, a 90 minute walk, or a jog with me daily for the past 6 years.  He is always ready for exercise, but has mellowed in the house as he's aged (he's usually on the couch), which for me is a perfect combination.   Hope this helps! Good luck in your search for the right dog for you and your family.
Jennifer

Tipper (8 1/2 yrs) Golden Retriever/Sheltie mix
Jenny (4 yrs) Great Pyrenees
Gabriel (14 yrs) Sealpoint Himalayan cat
Melanie (11 yrs) Domestic medium hair cat

"You think dogs will not be in heaven? I tell you, they will be there long before any of us."
~Robert Lewis Steven

Offline Scootergirl

  • Supreme Drooler
  • ****
  • Posts: 1927
    • View Profile
    • Be my friend on myspace!
Re: New to aussies (new to dogs really)
« Reply #3 on: April 12, 2008, 01:49:46 am »
Hi. I'm Jeanne. I had an australian shepherd until I got divorced. He is the BEST dog - Aussies are now one of my all-time favorite breeds.

I think it's great you are looking at an older dog. As a long-time rescuer I always suggest people with children, especially young children adopt an older dog and NOT a puppy because an adult dog has already settled into their personality and you don't know what a puppy's natural demeanor is going to turn out to be.

Anyway, Aussies can make great house pets, but you have to be dedicated to giving them at least an hour of vigorous exercise every day. My Aussie, Rocko, LOVES to play frisbee and he is very good at it. You have to force him to stop! So, we'd take him outside 2 or 3 times a day to play frisbee and when he came in he may want to play fetch inside, but was otherwise very obedient.

Aussies are very smart. Once he matured, he picked up new tricks very easily so I suspect you won't have a difficult time housebreaking him. I've always found, with rescue dogs, it's easier to housebreak adults than puppies.

I hope everything works out, but my one BIG word of advice is: don't adopt this dog if you don't think it's exactly what you want or need. An Aussie WILL try to herd your kids, cats, etc. They tend to be protective of their "herd" so may be wary of strangers, but they are awesome dogs if you can keep up with their energy-level!
"If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you. This is the principle difference between dog and man." -- Mark Twain

Offline Gloria C

  • Ankle Biter
  • *
  • Posts: 25
    • View Profile
Re: New to aussies (new to dogs really)
« Reply #4 on: April 03, 2009, 06:33:23 am »
I'm going to adopt an Aussie, too.  So, I'm all ears on this one....mine is 5 yrs old