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pmartine
06-26-2009, 08:46 PM
Hi, my name is Piri and after much deliberation, my boyfriend and I finally decided to adopt a dog. She is my first dog, but not his first. I researched dog breeds for months while we applied to shelters, looking for the perfect fit. Initially we were considering rescuing a Greyhound, but Greg said they weren't cuddly enough. I liked the idea of a dog that behaves like a housecat indoors, just to give you an idea where I'm coming from.

So after much discussion, and much deliberation, and turning down a dog we thought was part hound because he turned out to be part Cane Corso, we decided to just go to a shelter's event to meet some dogs.

Thatís when I saw her. My Bindi.

The shelter we adopted her from specialized in last chances. Dogs that were from high-kill shelters, dogs with biting problems, or dogs that would simply take a lot of work. But I only found that out later, after Iíd adopted her. All I knew when I saw her was that she looked like a healthy happy mutt of some kind. Not like any of the dogs Iíd studied up on, but so cute. She has one blue eye and one brown eye. The foster mom told me that she was an Australian Shepherd mix because of the bi-color eyes and was just 7 months old. I figured she had to be mixed with some kind of terrier for the body. Weíd decided against a shepherd because of the herding behaviors and the high energy, but when faced with this sweet little cuddle muffin who tries to nuzzle her way into everyoneís lap we just melted. I decided Iíd just have to become an active person and read up on dog training techniques.

We watch a lot of dog whisperer. So the first week we walked her with a gentle leader head collar twice a day (2.5 miles total.) We discovered that she doesnít really tire for very long, and chews her squeaky toys constantly. Luckily we have a large fenced back yard, a quiet neighborhood, and a dog park a short drive away. She picks up on commands very quickly, and then suddenly stops responding (unless she wants something, and then she remembers the commands EXACTLY.)

Weíve had her for two weeks now. Three days ago I visited the local animal control office to get a permit for the dog park when I saw a dog that looked strikingly like my girl at home, only larger and more robust. In comparison Iíd describe Bindi as ďdaintyĒ. They told me the dog in the shelter was an ACD, which is why I think Bindi is a mix of some kind. So I went home and started looking at pictures and saw my dog and all her unique features in every dog. Except for the bi-color eyes?

So I come to you with a host of questions. My research is showing me that I have an UBER shepherd, a HEELER (not that I needed a book or a website to figure THAT part out). I have a dog that needs to work all day long and be intellectually challenged to stay out of my shoes. And I dearly, dearly, want to keep her from chewing up all of my shoes.

On to my questions:

1) Do dogs have all their adult teeth at 7months? There is some doubt about her exact age, I did get her from a shelter and she has changed quite a few hands so there might be some confusion about thisÖ. How can I tell how old a dog is?

2) How much should she eat every day? Some days she gobbles up all her food the minute I put it down, some days she doesnít touch it at all. Iíve got her on three cups of wellness dry food twice a day, sometimes mixed with 4 ounces of wellness canned chicken. She is 32lbs.

3) How much exercise do I need to put her through every day to keep her from going nutty? How do you all challenge your dogs? I donít have access to a herd of cattle, but Iíve heard there is a dog shelter in northern NJ that has a herd of sheep for this purpose. Either way, it isnít convenient for me to exercise her according to her birthright.

4) What kinds of ďjobsĒ can I invent for a house pet like Bindi that she will find engaging?

5) Iím currently looking for full time work; will Bindi be able to handle time at home alone when I get such a job? How can I help her adjust to that? Iím not going to have babies just to enrich my dogís environment. (Though I am sorely tempted, I do ADORE this dog.)

6) Are there any books that are good for a first time suburban dog owner, so that I can understand Bindiís needs? Or books/dvds I can get to learn how to train her properly?

7) How much can I ignore my dog? Iím on a near constant playing/petting schedule right now and I donít think I can keep this pace up foreverÖ. I have to do laundry!

8) Sheís mouthy, nippy. I donít mind it so much (because she never does it that hard) but Iíd like to get her to stop with people. Whatís the best way to get her to stop nipping people? See, Iíd really like to take her for a jog, but the heeling really gets in the way. Greg tried to take her out on his rollerblades but she tried to herd him and he accidentally ran over her pawÖ.

9) What are zoomies? How should I respond to them?

10) Bindi gets muddy, almost daily. How can I cope with this without giving her baths once a week?

11) She chases her tail, catches it, and then does summersaults across the floor. As cute as it is, I read it can lead to self-mutilation, how to I respond to this? When do I worry?

12) Is there anything else I forgot to ask that yíall think is important?

Thanks for reading this super long post! Any help you can provide would be greatly appreciated!


- Piri & Greg


:biggrin2:

jrmgreer
06-26-2009, 09:13 PM
Well - I'm no expert - I've only had ACDs for a few years myself! But I have had a lot of contact with them now... so I answered the best I could! Good luck with your furkid!


1) Do dogs have all their adult teeth at 7months? There is some doubt about her exact age, I did get her from a shelter and she has changed quite a few hands so there might be some confusion about thisÖ. How can I tell how old a dog is? Yes - most dogs have all of their adult teeth in between 6 and 7 months. It is difficult to tell age after that time - but most dogs start to acquire some tartar on their teeth between age 2 and 3...

2) How much should she eat every day? Some days she gobbles up all her food the minute I put it down, some days she doesnít touch it at all. Iíve got her on three cups of wellness dry food twice a day, sometimes mixed with 4 ounces of wellness canned chicken. She is 32lbs. Feed the amount recommended on the Wellness bag. Most dogs will eat until they puke - so you have to limit their intake to keep them from gorging themselves.

3) How much exercise do I need to put her through every day to keep her from going nutty? How do you all challenge your dogs? I donít have access to a herd of cattle, but Iíve heard there is a dog shelter in northern NJ that has a herd of sheep for this purpose. Either way, it isnít convenient for me to exercise her according to her birthright. The amount of exercise needed depends on the dog. My 3 yr old ACD adores the frisbee. So we play frisbee in the yard for an hour twice a day. Sometimes we walk / jog... And when the weather is bad, we play hide and seek. I put him in the closet or bathroom and just push the door shut (not all the way), then I hide (or my kiddo does) and we say "come find us!" He runs out and all over the house looking for us until he finds us...

4) What kinds of ďjobsĒ can I invent for a house pet like Bindi that she will find engaging? Hide and seek is a good one. I LOVE the kong toy... I stuff it with treats and peanut butter and put it in the freezer... Takes HOURS for the dogs to devour it...

5) Iím currently looking for full time work; will Bindi be able to handle time at home alone when I get such a job? How can I help her adjust to that? Iím not going to have babies just to enrich my dogís environment. (Though I am sorely tempted, I do ADORE this dog.) Crate train her now!! Crates are WONDERFUL... My dogs use theirs like their own little den... they get in them when they are tired or when they want to get away from the noise (other dogs, kids, whatever). She will be fine!

6) Are there any books that are good for a first time suburban dog owner, so that I can understand Bindiís needs? Or books/dvds I can get to learn how to train her properly? There is a guy on eBay that sells CD ROMS for the computer... He has one called Living with an Australian Cattle Dog or something like that... It is really good info. I'm sure other people can make some suggestions on books...

7) How much can I ignore my dog? Iím on a near constant playing/petting schedule right now and I donít think I can keep this pace up foreverÖ. I have to do laundry! ACDs are "velcro dogs"... She will likely be your constant shadow when she can. If you are doing something that requires you to leave her for a bit, put her in her crate or give her something to occupy her mind... like the kong mentioned above...

8) Sheís mouthy, nippy. I donít mind it so much (because she never does it that hard) but Iíd like to get her to stop with people. Whatís the best way to get her to stop nipping people? See, Iíd really like to take her for a jog, but the heeling really gets in the way. Greg tried to take her out on his rollerblades but she tried to herd him and he accidentally ran over her pawÖ. I'm sure other people have better suggestions on this, but this is what I do. When the dog puts its mouth on me (even just barely), I scream "OUCH!" really loudly and storm out of the room and slam the door behind me. I wait 2 minutes, then go back in the room with the dog acting like nothing ever happened. Repeat when it happens again. I got this from a trainer in the Austin, TX area - and it WORKS... My 3 yr old ACD was really mouthy... I did this 2 times to him and he hasn't touched me with his mouth since...

9) What are zoomies? How should I respond to them? HAHA! The zoomies are the ACDs version of overdrive! They literally ZOOM everywhere! Doesn't matter how you respond - you aren't stopping them! HA!

10) Bindi gets muddy, almost daily. How can I cope with this without giving her baths once a week? I can't really say much on this one. I bathe my dogs with oatmeal shampoo once a week and it hasn't bothered them at all... Maybe try some dry shampoo that you spray on, let dry, then brush off?? I'm not sure about this one...

11) She chases her tail, catches it, and then does summersaults across the floor. As cute as it is, I read it can lead to self-mutilation, how to I respond to this? When do I worry? If she draws blood more than once - then it may be time to address it. Until then - I wouldn't do anything but laugh at her! Most dogs will stop once they chomp their tail hard enough to draw blood.

autiger23
06-26-2009, 09:26 PM
So, not to pass you off, but we had a discussion with a lot of the same questions and what will likely be some of the same advice a little while ago. Check out this thread here to start:

http://www.aucado.us/forums/showthread.php?t=18376

1. It's my understanding that yes, most dogs have their adult teeth by 7 months. My boy Buck's started coming out at 5 1/2 months and had all his big boy teeth in by about 6 1/2 months. But most doesn't mean all. Vets are pretty good at being able to place their age, but even they can't be 100% sure.

2. I'd say 3 cups is more than enough. I think I had Buck on 2 cups when he was under a year. He's now on a 1.5 c a day and his bigger sister Scout, who is over 40 lbs is on 2 cups a day, but they are both around two so don't need quite as much. If she starts to put on weight, just back her off a little at a time. Also, you may want to look into putting her on a food schedule. I feed mine in the morning and afternoon. If they don't eat it in the morning in about half an hour, no biggie, but I put it up until the afternoon. Buck backs off food every now and then in the summer. I think he's like me and just isn't as hungry when it's hot. But if you get her used to 'eat it, or wait a while' then it won't be as hard to get her on a schedule when you aren't working from home. I don't like giving mine much before crating them all day because I don't want them to have to hold it. So, if she prefers eating in the evening, you could get her used to that now.

3. Exercise needed will vary from dog to dog. Buck as a puppy was all about the bursts of energy- play hard for half an hour, take a nap for half an hour, rinse and repeat. If I needed to get stuff done, I'd take him to the dog park (a good one, not one with crappy owners) or you could take her to the ballpark to toss the ball for her until she gets worn out. Then, give her a break and toss it some more. She should nap a while after.

You might want to look into getting her started on crate training now in case you have to do that when you go to a job away from the house. It'll also give her a place where she can chill out for a while. You can put her in the same room as you if that works for her, but some dogs will just whine. Buck was ok with it after a couple days, but I'd put a towel or blanket over the crate to make it nice and dark for him. Make it fun times for her- buy a Kong and stuff it with yogurt or pumpkin or peanut butter and freeze it overnight. Give her that while she's in there and just start off with her being in for an hour or two at a time. Associate it with yummy things and she'll enjoy going in.

4. Check out the thread I linked above for tricks and interactive toys. Anything can be a job, even just making her down and stay for two minutes before feeding her, etc. Backpacks on walks can help tire them out, but I wouldn't do that except for an empty one until she's over a year. You don't want to do something that could damage her growth plates while she's little like carrying heavy loads, or going on jogs or doing big jumps repeatedly (think flyball or disc dog- those are fine once they are a year to 18 months old, but not as pups).

5. Again, the crate training will help. I send mine to doggie day care three days a week, but if you go that route, look for the thread that talks about what questions to ask and how to find a good one. I also wear mine out before going to work (ball throwing at the park) and then when I get home, so they have good naps during the day.

6. I'll leave that to others, but www.flyingdogpress.com (http://www.flyingdogpress.com) is a great resource for good articles. You have to register but it's free and no spam, either. It's really not that different for a city or burb dog than it is for others. Even if you had your ACD on a ranch, you'd still have to train it and work it and exercise it and just generally spend time and effort on it. They don't just go herd some sheep or cows on their own. :) So, don't think that it'll be much different because of where you live. Consistency is the most important thing (especially if there are two owners) and letting them know who is the boss. These aren't push-over dogs, so be prepared to find an effective way to get her attention and make her understand you are in charge, otherwise you are in for a tough time.

7. This is going to be the toughest part for about another 5 months. These are pups that require a lot of time, but if you put the effort into her now, she will pay you back in spades. If you don't, it'll just be tougher on both of you. I pretty much put my social life on hold until Buck was about a year old, but if you get her worn out and used to the crate, you can easily steal away for a few hours with no issues and she'll be more than fine. If you are working around the house, make her work with you. Take treats with you and practice down and stays while you sort the laundry. Then, practice something else while you load the machines, etc.

8. Again, you'll have to skip jogs until she is older so that you won't hurt anything. The nippiness is pretty common and there are a lot of options. I'll look for the thread that covers a bunch and link it in a bit.

9. Heh! Zoomies are fun. They get these crazy bursts of energy and zip and zoom around the house. Keep breakables out of the way and then sit back and laugh and laugh. :roll1:

10. Lots of folks just don't worry about the mud, but I'm a bit OCD. I either toss Buck in the bath and just rinse off his underneath, or I keep a couple old hand towels by the back door and wipe him down when he comes inside. My girl Scout doesn't seem to get as muddy for some reason. I make mine get feet wiped off before coming inside- helps them be used to getting their feet touched, too.

11. Not sure- mine never chased theirs. I'm guessing if you get her some interactive, treat dispensing toys, that'll help keep her mind busy. Basically you just need to re-direct her when she start in on that. That could mean teaching her tricks, playing ball, giving her a bully stick (bully sticks are AWESOME! Buy stock in them), etc.

12. While the next 5 months to a year and a half will be challenging and have some ups and downs, WOW, is it worth it! She will be an incredible dog and the more time you put in, the more you will get back, times ten! Keep that in mind when you are having a tough day or she's being stubborn, etc. They are incredible dogs and folks who start off with one usually end up with more because they just such great dogs.

Good luck and let's see some pictures! :thumb_yello:

sjmclain
06-26-2009, 10:32 PM
I can't answer most of your questions, but I can say to 11: my boy Charley used to do somersaults, too. I got him at 8 months. He chased his tail for a few years, and gradually outgrew it. He never did any damage to himself.

I didn't know what Charley was when I adopted him, either. Cattledogs are addictive though! We've got 2 of our own plus the occasional foster. And I second was autiger says - the next year so will be a challenge, but stick it out. ACDs are sort of like human kids - they have a heinous adolescence but once they grow up they're amazing! :)

Kita's Mom
06-27-2009, 01:00 AM
I just want to say thank you so much for coming on here and asking GREAT questions. If more people were like you then there would not be as big of need for rescue. I will answer the ones that I can. And I hope it helps you out. You will find amazing people and great help on here.


On to my questions:



2) How much should she eat every day? Some days she gobbles up all her food the minute I put it down, some days she doesnít touch it at all. Iíve got her on three cups of wellness dry food twice a day, sometimes mixed with 4 ounces of wellness canned chicken. She is 32lbs. Feed what is recomended on the bag. And also try feeding small meals through out the day.

3) How much exercise do I need to put her through every day to keep her from going nutty? How do you all challenge your dogs? I donít have access to a herd of cattle, but Iíve heard there is a dog shelter in northern NJ that has a herd of sheep for this purpose. Either way, it isnít convenient for me to exercise her according to her birthright. All cattle dogs dont need cattle. Look into a fun sport like agility or fly ball. Rally O is really fun too.

4) What kinds of ďjobsĒ can I invent for a house pet like Bindi that she will find engaging? See above

7) How much can I ignore my dog? Iím on a near constant playing/petting schedule right now and I donít think I can keep this pace up foreverÖ. I have to do laundry!
If you need to do something without her. The crate will be your best friend.

8) Sheís mouthy, nippy. I donít mind it so much (because she never does it that hard) but Iíd like to get her to stop with people. Whatís the best way to get her to stop nipping people? See, Iíd really like to take her for a jog, but the heeling really gets in the way. Greg tried to take her out on his rollerblades but she tried to herd him and he accidentally ran over her pawÖ. I have a 15week old pup right now. I also do the "ouch" thing with her. And it is really helping

9) What are zoomies? How should I respond to them? Sit back and relax. There is nothing that you can really do when they get them. Just make sure that your feet and legs are up!

winddrover
06-27-2009, 04:25 AM
let me put in my 2 cent about the tail chasing..

a coulple of years back i got shannon at the age of 8 months. she was extremely bored at her first 'parent's' place and being a teenager without something to do she took to chasing her tail. literally hours and hours... chased in circles until she caught it, summersaulted, did that rapper thing (tail in mouth, on her back and rotating like a wheel - ok.. rappers don't have tails in their mouthes but i hope u get the picture), got up, and started all over again. it was TERRIBLE!!
her tail was bend to one side due to a hurt and shrunk tendon but this never had her stop.
when we did her hips we found out that she had OFA good on her left side and OFA moderate dysplasia on the right side.. the side that ALWAYS showed outside when she ran in circles, the side that had to take all the pressure of the rotating body from 4 - 8 months old.
chasing tails is funny to look at but - in my opinion - when done to much, it might show a dog having a serious mental problem. like horses that suck wind or weave for hours.

personally i tell my dogs off the very first instant i see them chasing their tails and give them a favorite toy of theirs to take their mind of the tailchasing. (no yelling at them but just a firm NO and then a: where is your toy?? let's go and have a look..)

Brunella
06-27-2009, 08:06 AM
Hi Piri -- Welcome to the wonderful world of the ACD. I'm also in NJ but down the shore so we don't have a huge backyard but it is fenced in and we spend a lot of time out there with our 2 rescued ACDs. Ding is a Frisbee FREAK and Tugg likes to play with jolly balls and chase birds (and then EAT them live which is gross). I'll put my 2 cents in to your questions below.

1) Do dogs have all their adult teeth at 7months? There is some doubt about her exact age, I did get her from a shelter and she has changed quite a few hands so there might be some confusion about this…. How can I tell how old a dog is? Unfortunately you may never really know her age but your vet can probably look at her teeth and give a good guess (and also tell you if she does actually have all her adult teeth).

2) How much should she eat every day? Some days she gobbles up all her food the minute I put it down, some days she doesn’t touch it at all. I’ve got her on three cups of wellness dry food twice a day, sometimes mixed with 4 ounces of wellness canned chicken. She is 32lbs. IMHO that's too much. I am a stickler about keeping their weight in check (Americans are overeaters and we've made our pets overeaters, I work in the field of diabetes so I'm hypersensitive to this). My two get fed at fixed times, once in the morning and once in the evening, they get a measured 1/2 cup of kibble at each feeding and 2 tablespoons of pumpkin puree or 1/2 cup of green beans and they are in good shape, and this allows for treats throughout the day (which does include baby carrots and the crunchy parts of iceberg lettuce because they love it). I agree with someone else here that suggested fixed feeding times, routine is a good thing and especially for an ACD (because they can outsmart you every time).

3) How much exercise do I need to put her through every day to keep her from going nutty? How do you all challenge your dogs? I don’t have access to a herd of cattle, but I’ve heard there is a dog shelter in northern NJ that has a herd of sheep for this purpose. Either way, it isn’t convenient for me to exercise her according to her birthright. Wow, I don't know of any shelter in NJ that has herding, but I digress. Everyone here has given good suggestions. I believe you mentioned that you have a yard (my aunt used to live in Parsippany so I kinda remember it as being very nice and suburban with normal sized yards), for outdoor times in your own yard try frisbee or you can even start out by buying some inexpensive agility equipment on eBay or even making some (search the internet there are many sites that give tips on building home-use agility equipment) and setting that up in your yard. I can tell you that my friends who do agility are ADDICTED to it and they all have full time, high level jobs. ACDs love to work hard but they do just as well playing hard.

4) What kinds of “jobs” can I invent for a house pet like Bindi that she will find engaging? Someone suggested frozen kong toys which is great. I suggest using pumpkin as the filler because it's yummy good and very low in calories and fat but high in good fiber. Please remember to only buy the canned pumpkin and NOT the pumpkin pie mix (they are usually right next to each other in the baking aisle).

5) I’m currently looking for full time work; will Bindi be able to handle time at home alone when I get such a job? How can I help her adjust to that? I’m not going to have babies just to enrich my dog’s environment. (Though I am sorely tempted, I do ADORE this dog.) Many people have suggested crate training which I agree is a good thing. My two have never used crates (both rescues); Ding was 9 mos. old when I got her and Tugger was 1 yr/3 mos when I got him and they were both very well housebroken. Your girl is a little younger so you may need the crate so she feels safe and also so she doesn't get bored and destroy anything. Neither of my two have ever EVER destroyed anything that wasn't theres (not even a dog bed). They have a big basket of toys that they play with inside and that's it. You can work full time and she'll be fine. Both of us work full time. Sometimes my husband can get home during the day and take them out and play a little and we're lucky that we're good friends with our next door neighbors and they'll take them out for us and play with them or let them play with their dog. I love that you ADORE her...I know that feeling.

6) Are there any books that are good for a first time suburban dog owner, so that I can understand Bindi’s needs? Or books/dvds I can get to learn how to train her properly? Someone suggested a link here but let me assure you that there are even city-dwelling ACDs on here that do just fine. Like I said further up in this, I know the area where you live and you shouldn't have a problem. A farm would be nice but most of us don't have farms and most of us don't have them as working dogs (many here do but not most of us), they are family pets (or we're THEIR pets, something like that).

7) How much can I ignore my dog? I’m on a near constant playing/petting schedule right now and I don’t think I can keep this pace up forever…. I have to do laundry! Oh c'mon, you don't have to do laundry. These are velcro dogs. They really want to be with you. This is a breed trait that sold me on this breed. I didn't want a dog that didn't care if I was around them or not. You can either put her in a crate with a frozen kong or you can just let her follow you around or if you have a fenced in yard put her outside while you do housework (if it's safe for you to do that). Mine follow me everywhere while I'm doing housework (except Ding who hides from the vacuum). Tugger will sometimes end up UNDER the laundry pile while I'm separating it, he's fine there. She just wants to be with you.

8) She’s mouthy, nippy. I don’t mind it so much (because she never does it that hard) but I’d like to get her to stop with people. What’s the best way to get her to stop nipping people? See, I’d really like to take her for a jog, but the heeling really gets in the way. Greg tried to take her out on his rollerblades but she tried to herd him and he accidentally ran over her paw…. Aaaaah the heeling. First of all, as others have said, she's still a bit too young for jogs or roller blading. The nippy thing. Tugger was like that when we got him (that's why his original family turned him in), it took us about 3 weeks to stop him permanently. We did the ouch and also NO and then would turn away from him. ACDs want your love very, VERY badly so being ignored by YOU is the worst thing that can happen in their world. It's just training. You'll also have to get her to NOT nip strangers. We handled this with a muzzle (soft one from PetSmart) for Tugger. Ding never had that tendency so it wasn't a problem (but she hated my mother and would snarl at her whenever she came over which wasn't often, I thought it was hysterical because my mom never liked dogs and Ding must've known it).

9) What are zoomies? How should I respond to them? DUCK! Really this is the MOST fun of all. Ding (9) and Tugg (6 1/2) still get zoomies (which clearly means they aren't going away anytime soon for you) several times a week usually in the 9PM hour. It's so much fun to watch and laugh at. We have a victorian home so they usually run the circuit around the foyer dining room and living room and despite having some very fragile breakables they have never managed to break anything (but my husband has managed to break some of them). There's nothing much you can do and I don't know what would happen if you succeeded in stopping them, I've never succeeded so I stopped trying.

10) Bindi gets muddy, almost daily. How can I cope with this without giving her baths once a week? I've given up. With the amount of rain we've had in NJ this June I have REALLY given up. I wipe their paws (or used to...before I gave up) and if they are a REAL mess I wipe them down with a dry towel. I brush them after they dry and that keeps them pretty clean. There had been a discussion here about ACDs not smelling which seems to be true so brushing them when dry seems to keep them fairly fresh. They don't need a lot of grooming which is nice so don't worry too much, just wipe her off and brush her and you should be good.

11) She chases her tail, catches it, and then does summersaults across the floor. As cute as it is, I read it can lead to self-mutilation, how to I respond to this? When do I worry? Never had this problem. Ding does it occasionally but it just seems she has an itch.

12) Is there anything else I forgot to ask that y’all think is important? Poke around here and you'll probably find tons of info that you didn't think you needed. We are all bonkers about our ACDs here and also tons of devoted rescue folks. ACDs are devoted velcro dogs that are hearty, funny and SMART. They are very human in their ability to express themselves as well as in showing emotions like hurt and sadness so you'll know if your little one's feelings have been hurt because she'll let you know. They are fun, FUN to be around and they suck you in like no other.

PLEASE post more pix of your baby, we love pix here and want to see more than just your avatar.

Welcome aboard and enjoy the wild ride of being owned by an ACD!

Bluerules
06-27-2009, 04:09 PM
great anwsers guys! you pretty much said it (esp about the zoomies and no matter what you do you aint stopping them! hahaha) you guys are great.. and welcome to aucado Piri! looking forward to hearing storys about Bindi!

Songbird
06-29-2009, 11:30 AM
I rescued my dog 5 months ago. He was listed as an Australian Shepherd/Cattledog mix and they said he was between 1 and 2 years old. After doing my research, I decided he is mostly ACD (based on size, coloring, and personality) and probably closer to 10 months old when we got him. We almost gave up on him those first 2 months - that's how difficult it was. Then I found this forum. The people here got me through those first very tough couple of months. Once you learn how to work with these dogs, you will become addicted to them. I have found that "exercise" doesn't so much mean running and playing - it also means learning new things. Your dog should learn basic commands and hand signs very easily - and they really love showing you what they have learned. I also found that our local grammar school has a little fenced in area with an obstacle course for the kids. There are things to climb, bridges to cross, and slides. I take my dog over there when school is out and we go through the obstacle course together. He really enjoys that. I make my dog a part of chore time. He "helps" me take the laundry out and fold clothes, etc. He seems really fascinated just to watch what I'm doing. I used the crate all the time during the first 3 months while he was learning our routines and rules. Unfortunately, he never grew to like the crate, so now we only use it when we take him in the car, or when we have a party at our house (he likes to herd children and nip at peoples' heels - so he has to be crated if we have a houseful of people). Now he is learning that if he nips heels and tries to herd people, he gets put into the crate. I hate using a crate as a punishment tool, but it has definitely helped break him of some of his bad habits. We leave him alone in the back yard for several hours at a time now and he does fine - but we have had lots of issues with him jumping the fence. He's only 40 lbs. and the fence is over 6 feet. These dogs can REALLY jump! You may need to make some modifications to your fence if you plan on leaving her alone in the yard for any length of time. Of all the dogs I've had in my life (at least 8 different dogs), this is the first dog I've had that I can take hiking and camping and I don't have to keep him leashed - he never wanders out of my sight no matter where we are. These are the most loyal and devoted dogs in the world.

pmartine
06-29-2009, 02:20 PM
I'll be posting more pictures the minute I figure out how to do it! Is there an established etiquette for where and how I post pictures of my girl or should I just post it here?

Bindi (so far) seems to be adjusting to us really well and fast! Its just been 2 weeks...

Thank you all so much for your info. I'm definitely going to look into agility training, she has started jumping up for the tennis balls when we play fetch and catching them midair.

In greater detail though, here is something she's started doing that worries me. At night, sometimes, she starts growing and barking at me, and biting for real. It still isn't hard enough to break skin but it leaves dark bruises. It's almost like she doesn't recognize me and finds me threatening, but the minute we get into the light she stops. What is this?
Am I just not the pack leader? Even if she can't see me, can't she smell me?

Also, when people aren't coming in the front door carefully she sometimes jets out into the street and gives me a heart attack. Whatís the best way to teach her to come to a dead halt when I need her to? I don't want to install an invisible fence.....

On Saturday Greg and I went out with some friends. She's been ok being left alone during the day for short stretches, but when we got home from our night out (at 1am) she was really anxious and happy to see us... As if she thought we were never coming back! Will this wear off as she gets used to living with us? What can I do to help her stay calm?

On an up note - Bindi made a AuCaDo friend at the local dog park, they ran each other around in circles until they both flopped out of exhaustion! Cutest thing ever!

autiger23
06-29-2009, 02:49 PM
At night, sometimes, she starts growing and barking at me, and biting for real. It still isn't hard enough to break skin but it leaves dark bruises.

Hmm, I don't know about that one. You might want to have the vet check her sight. Do dogs have night blindness?? When she starts, do you talk to her? Like before she gets to the biting phase? Do you talk to her in a stern, no-nonsense voice when she starts?


when people aren't coming in the front door carefully she sometimes jets out into the street and gives me a heart attack. What’s the best way to teach her to come to a dead halt when I need her to?

I'd start by having her on a short leash around the house (but only when you are training and watching her) and have someone open the door. Step on the leash or hold it so that she can only go to the spot you want her and give her a 'Stay!' Work on stays every time you go out for a walk or potty break. She has to sit and stay until you are out the door and then give her the release word (I use 'ok' but there are better ones). Mine are about 99% at not getting out of the truck or walking out the door without me saying they can, but there will always be exceptions, so you'll have to figure that out since you are close to a road. For example, Buck is very good, but once there was person riding a bike with a dog going by and he ran into the road and another time there was a squirrel in the yard. So, even after two years, his instincts still override his training. There's also a 'drop' command that you can teach them that is basically a stop wherever you are and immediately lay down. Can be handy for if they cross a road and you don't want them doing it again to get back to you. Definitely just start with the sit-stays, though.


As if she thought we were never coming back! Will this wear off as she gets used to living with us? What can I do to help her stay calm?


Scout was like that when I first got her, too. Dogs that have been abandoned once just need time. It will get better. I'd say it took Scout about three months before she understood that when I leave, I'll come back again. If she's getting really crazy or anxious, you can give her a little Rescue Remedy in her water before you are planning on leaving. It's just drops with natural herbs and is for humans, but works great on nervous dogs. Just make sure you aren't making a big deal out of leaving or a big deal out of coming back home. I actually didn't talk at all to Scout when I got home, just petted her once she stopped running around and being crazy. Same for Buck and he greets me nicely at the door when I come home- happy to see me but not jumping on me or being crazy. Scout's getting better about it now, too.

Also, from your first post:


She picks up on commands very quickly, and then suddenly stops responding (unless she wants something, and then she remembers the commands EXACTLY.)


When you say she suddenly stops responding, how long are you working with her, are you doing the same command over and over, and are you giving her treats when she stops responding? These are dogs that get bored very easily, so if you aren't challenging them enough, they get bored. When we work on commands or tricks, I don't work on just 'stay' for 5-10 minutes. We work on stay for a minute, then sit, then other things, then go back to stay. She's also still a pup, so try to keep the training sessions short- 10 minutes max at first until you can gauge when she's starting to get bored. You always want to end the training before they get bored so that it's fun times and they'll want to do it again. Also, treat her plenty for now. You can back off on the treats after a while, giving her one every other time, then every third time, etc, but these are smart dogs and often they won't work for 'free'. Buck knows about 30 tricks, but I can only get two out of him with no treats before he's on strike. Scout will work for attention, but not all dogs are like that. Also, sometimes you have to try different treats to see what they like best. I have two salmon treats that I save just for training because it's their favorite and because they don't get them except when training, it makes them a better pay-off. When we go to regular dog training classes, I have to adjust what we do to fit in without mine getting bored. So, if the class is spending 10 minutes working on down-stays, we add in tricks or other commands in the middle. Most good trainers understand why and those that don't usually understand once you explain that your breed just has a short attention span/gets bored easily. Mostly it's just that they get it quickly and want to move on. :)

pmartine
06-29-2009, 03:53 PM
I'm going to try to get some larger ones later..... I've got a camera-full but no cables!

http://img6.imageshack.us/img6/1601/bindiprofile.jpg

http://img14.imageshack.us/img14/3830/bindifaceo.jpg

http://img14.imageshack.us/img14/9535/bindibed.jpg

http://img29.imageshack.us/img29/228/bindiruff.jpg

Dominique
06-29-2009, 05:11 PM
What a cutie

lauralu
06-29-2009, 05:15 PM
She is beautiful! It is hard to tell from the picture but she may be ACDxCatahoula as well, they have the same coat coloring and often have one or two blue eyes.

TexasCDLorenz
06-29-2009, 10:18 PM
She is beautiful! It is hard to tell from the picture but she may be ACDxCatahoula as well, they have the same coat coloring and often have one or two blue eyes.

That is what I was thinking too! Looks just like the ACD/Catahoula mix in the urgent rescue post. Two great breeds.:thumb_yello:

lauralu
06-29-2009, 10:24 PM
That is what I was thinking too! Looks just like the ACD/Catahoula mix in the urgent rescue post. Two great breeds.:thumb_yello:

Yup I have one and Lance is very exceptional!!!

pmartine
06-29-2009, 11:20 PM
more pictures! So, what do you guys think, is she a mix? With collie? (the floppy ears)

http://img195.imageshack.us/img195/6045/picture068f.jpg

http://img34.imageshack.us/img34/4958/picture064p.jpg

http://img269.imageshack.us/img269/4180/picture057q.jpg

http://img151.imageshack.us/img151/3195/picture056c.jpg

http://img200.imageshack.us/img200/3238/picture052t.jpg

http://img195.imageshack.us/img195/817/picture045n.jpg

http://img151.imageshack.us/img151/2824/picture014u.jpg

http://img151.imageshack.us/img151/4002/picture009isw.jpg

http://img269.imageshack.us/img269/1170/picture007g.jpg

http://img13.imageshack.us/img13/8784/picture002lza.jpg

http://img43.imageshack.us/img43/6158/picture075y.jpg

Linda Watkins
06-29-2009, 11:24 PM
Yup I have one and Lance is very exceptional!!!

They're also both breeds that are not for the faint of heart -- You've definitely got your hands full. Someone recommended to me, and I've found it to be pretty helpful, the breed descriptions on: http://www.dogbreedinfo.com/

http://www.dogbreedinfo.com/catahoula.htm

If you've not already been there, it's a good short course in the basics of the breeds. I agree with Laura & Cindy -- catahoula/ACD

RE: the night growling -- where does this happen? & have you noticed any similarity in what precedes it?

pmartine
06-29-2009, 11:30 PM
Night growling = walking around the lawn for her last potty excursion in the dark. We live in a tree-heavy area with few street lights so it gets very dark here.

Otherwise, I have no idea. She gets a little rough with her play and starts biting when she is taken out and is over-excited during the day, but I have yet to notice a common thread.

lauralu
06-30-2009, 12:20 AM
They're also both breeds that are not for the faint of heart -- You've definitely got your hands full. Someone recommended to me, and I've found it to be pretty helpful, the breed descriptions on: http://www.dogbreedinfo.com/

http://www.dogbreedinfo.com/catahoula.htm

If you've not already been there, it's a good short course in the basics of the breeds. I agree with Laura & Cindy -- catahoula/ACD



I think I lucked out with Lance...he seems to have inherited the good side of both breeds. BUT I am not actually sure he is half ACD...I was just told that by the rescue. He is definitely a mix because of his ears. You can see Lance's Pictures here so you can compare to your dog:

http://www.dogster.com/dogs/868977

The shape of her head in your avatar looks like Lance's.

Linda Watkins
06-30-2009, 12:21 AM
Night growling = walking around the lawn for her last potty excursion in the dark. We live in a tree-heavy area with few street lights so it gets very dark here.

Otherwise, I have no idea. She gets a little rough with her play and starts biting when she is taken out and is over-excited during the day, but I have yet to notice a common thread.

Read the catahoula description on the dogbreedinfo site -- it mentions some visual issues that are common in the breed -- as she's still pretty young, it could be something like that & she's just reacting?

Does she hear your voice before she growls?

TexasCDLorenz
06-30-2009, 11:44 AM
I would mention the vision thing to my vet and let him check the eyes. Are you sure she is growling at you? Could she be playing? My cousin breeds Catahoulas- they can get pretty wound up- they key on things they smell & hear in the woods. My Heelers are also on high alert when outside at night. They will start to growl and run the fence line, looking for varmits or anything that might be invading their territory. Both breeds are very territorial! My dogs also growl when they are in play mode.
BTW- that one site describes the Cat as a bully- but there ARE 2 in the local therapy dog org. Since both breeds are very common here and most are allowed to run loose, we have a lot of mixes, but they CAN be trained.
I would get her eyes checked tho.

pmartine
06-30-2009, 05:28 PM
OMG the similarity between Lance and Bindi is uncanny.....

Well, the growling preceeds her barking at me and doing this thing where she bites my foot, zooms around in a loop, and comes back to bite my foot again.

Its starting to become worrisome. When I say NO and give her a touch like Ceasar Millan suggests, it just accelerates her. I've started to try ignoring her, but this also means that I stand there and try not to react while she bites me. I can't easily leave the situation and close a door because its happening when I'm in the middle of the lawn.....

:sad:

pmartine
06-30-2009, 05:32 PM
OTHERWISE she is a lap-hogging cuddle monster. Don't get me wrong, I'm not that disturbed by her behavior. I just want to fix it.

lauralu
06-30-2009, 06:27 PM
OMG the similarity between Lance and Bindi is uncanny.....

Well, the growling preceeds her barking at me and doing this thing where she bites my foot, zooms around in a loop, and comes back to bite my foot again.


:sad:

Lance and Bindi do look alike!

Pebbles does this too!
Some things to try:
Scream "OUCH" in a high pitch puppy voice
Give her something appropriate to bite...a tug toy, squeaky ball etc.

TexasCDLorenz
06-30-2009, 06:29 PM
It sounds like out of control play- not true aggression. She is trying you and this breed does have a habit of nipping. It doesn't sound like she is taking you seriously, when you try and settle her down, she just thinks you are joining in the game. I'm an old fashion trainer- don't train in the same manner as the other folks here do, so I'll leave the advice to them. My youngest female occasionally gets wound up with the zoomies, but she knows not to bite me.
You really DO need to stop this behavior NOW! The longer you let her continue, the harder it will be to stop her. I wouldn't tolerate this behavior- I let my guys have fun, but NO biting humans (especially me)

ekornak
07-01-2009, 01:06 AM
That is one beautiful pup! Congrats on the new addition!

Back to your original list of question & the book one - one of my all time favorite authors (and great for herding dog questions!) is Patricia McConnell. I'm using her "Feisty Fido" booklet right now to help with Franklin's newly acquired leash aggression, which I am NOT fond of. Also I'd recommend "Speaking for Spot" by vet Dr. Nancy Kay for a great handbook for dog owners regarding vet care. And there are a million others, but those off the top of my head...

And I second the stuffed frozen kong suggestion along with the one of yelping when bitten then ignoring (or quickly replacing hand with a toy). Those have worked wonderfully for us...

Good luck!

pmartine
07-01-2009, 12:53 PM
TEXAS, So how do I stop the behavior when it starts? I've tried holding her down to "dominate" her, I've tried yelping, I've tried saying NO with a very cross face. Today I got totally frustrated and grabbed her collar and dragged her back up to the deck where she seemed to completely forget what she was doing 2 seconds before....

I'm at a bit of a loss. I don't want to hurt my dog, I just want her to behave herself.

autiger23
07-01-2009, 01:50 PM
Try getting a hold on her collar on either side of her face, hold it firm so she can't get loose, but not hurting her, and then get about a foot or a bit more from her face and say something like, 'I said no' in a tough but calm and not yelling/screaming voice. The deeper you can make your voice the better. Sometimes my two just get so focused on something that making them look at me and be still is sometimes the only way I can reach them/break the focus.

But it does just sound like carried away play and that she's not taking you seriously when you tell her to cut it out.

Tricia
07-01-2009, 03:37 PM
Our 4 month old Jennie does this same aggressive "play" at night too. She gets all wound up, does zoomies, and chomps us with her razor teeth over and over. There is no stopping her, and trying to calm her down just makes it worse. The only thing we have tried is to get away from her. We have a Xpen fence and we just get out of there when it starts. We made the mistake of sometimes wrestling with her when she was littler, but that was a bad idea. Now we have just started trying to break her of biting us and growling, etc this week, can't take it anymore! I know what you mean about being at a loss, but thankfully they are quick learners. I have been doing just what autiger23 suggested of looking right at her and using a different voice and it has started to work and it's only been a few days. Thank god for this site, it is a lifesaver!

pmartine
07-01-2009, 06:25 PM
ohO. Well, I shall certainly give it a try and let you know how it goes.

Thanks everybody!

candlelight001
07-04-2009, 07:00 PM
In greater detail though, here is something she's started doing that worries me. At night, sometimes, she starts growing and barking at me, and biting for real. It still isn't hard enough to break skin but it leaves dark bruises.

We decided to have a zero-tolerance policy for our ACD Luke nipping us. 3 weeks later, he's 75% better. The thing that made the difference in the nipping, and alot of other obnoxious stuff he was doing around the house, was leaving the leash on him in the house, and at all times he's not in the crate. That way you can give him a leash correction when needed and he doesn't have as much of a chance to get out of control. What our trainer showed us was to give him a strong correction, then set it up (wave your hand around, or your foot, or whatever) and do it again. Praise him strongly when he doesn't take the bait, correct him when he does. Made a big difference.

TexasCDLorenz
07-06-2009, 09:58 PM
Sorry I didn't answer- when I give training advice, it usually starts arguments, so I try and keep my mouth shut, but I basically do what has already been suggested- I would grab the dog by the collar- lift its front feet off the ground (I don't choke the dog) Right in front of its face, I would VERY LOUDLY say - NO! In my meanest, most evil voice! As soon as the dog calms down let them go and back away. Always praise when they calm or submit, but be consistent! The most important thing is to be consistent! Don't wrestle with the dog one night, then expect them to be calm the next.
It sounds like your dog thinks you are playing. As someone else said, I have a zero tolerance for bad behavior. Play biting can transfer from us to strangers and you would never want your dog to bite someones kid- even though it was just playing. Can cause all kinds of trouble.

CrazyCatlady
07-09-2009, 11:37 PM
My ACD/Beagle mix Rosie gets excited sometimes in the evening. It almost seems like a "shock and awe" behavior....looking me in the eye, loud, ear piercing barking, jumping in and biting at me. I believe it is her saying "stupid human...how about some FUN!" I truly do not think that it is a power struggle or her trying to be in charge. I think she has a great idea of a fun game, and is trying to engage me. Any kind of yelling discipline makes her more excited.

We usually keep the leash on our pup when she is inside. She is just so so naughty sometimes, chasing the cats, or nipping. With the leash on, we can step on the leash close to her (so she is able to stand, but not move around). Then we fold our arms and look at the ceiling for a time out. For minor infractions, I just count to 10 silently. For "shock and awe" I give her a longer time out. Sometimes we take her to her crate for a time out of 5-10 minutes.

My dog seems to be wired to be very hands on. She loves to be pet and cuddled, but I have learned that I cannot just sit on the floor and pet her. She MUST have a rope toy or something else to occupy her mouth while I pet her. She will chew, and roll all over my lap. (I think she was probably happiest as a tiny puppy, tumbling about with her siblings.)

I also highly recommend dog training classes. I am fortunate that the owner of my dog training center has an ACD. It has helped so much to work on specific skills with professionals to help.

Congrats on your new pup. She is absolutely beautiful.