Australian Cattle Dog experience?

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Australian Cattle Dog experience?

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    12-21-2010, 11:46 AM
Australian Cattle Dog experience?

Hey all, my fiance and I are going to look at a 5 year old blue merle Aussie Cattle Dog this afternoon. She's trained, and ADORES people although I am not sure how much she is trainedpO. Some family friends of ours are trying to find their sons family dog a new home due to living in a rental house.

We live and work at a 28 stall Saddleseat show barn, and have others bring their dogs for the day, off-leash, most of the clients love having the dogs around, and most owners have their dogs follow them around all day "helping" them.

I read on the AKC and the Wiki page that they are in the top 10 most intelligent dog breeds, high energy, need a job, can be well trained, and can be protective of their owners.

Now, I understand that the individual dog could be individually different than the information I read. My questions are:
Would this type of dog do well in a people AND horse atmosphere all day?
For those with this breed, how quick do they learn new commands and stick to them?
Would this breed be fine and enjoy being with me at work all day?

If there is anything else you could tell me about this breed, I'd appreciate it! Thank you!
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    12-21-2010, 12:16 PM
Green Broke
I have one that wandered up as a stray at about 3 months old. Someone had tossed her out. The vet said that she was very nearly if not entirely Australian Cattle dog. When she was young she was very high energy, loved to play in the water hose, would chew anything left laying if she was bored, and would chase anything that moves. Her reaction to squirrels was very much like the dog in Up. And butterflies, OMG. She jumped over our backyard fence several times in her attempts to catch butterflies. But she is also the sweetest, most affectionate dog I've ever had, aside from my Sheltie. It didn't take her any time at all to learn that indoors was the place to rest and be a lap dog, and outside was the place for play. But she is extremely intelligent. They are very observant, and will immediately pick up on who is the pushover, lol. They are hardheaded if there is something they want to do, but once they are taught, they don't forget. Mine has always been a bit shy around strangers, but never aggressive, as she went everywhere with us as a pup, and was exposed to a lot at a young age. She's also always been with cats and dogs both, and has never been a problem with any of them. As far as the horses, she didn't meet them until she was an adult, as the barn I boarded at didn't allow dogs, so she didn't meet mine until we brought them home. It only took her a couple times before she learned that the horses were off limits, as they were mine, and things that were mine were off limits. She is also extremely tolerant of kids, and if she gets tired of them, she just walks away and puts herself in her crate.

Basically, they are high energy, but once they are trained, are highly controllable. I think they are wonderful farm dogs.

ETA, mine is now 15. Here are a couple pics.
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    12-21-2010, 12:31 PM
Thank you!
You said you introduced yours to horses as an adult? What age you suppose? Daisy is 5...maybe it'd be easier for her.
How vocal is yours? I've heard that Daisy is pretty quiet, if not silent..but not sure if that'll change under exciting, new, circumstances.

I am planning on testing her obedience and quickness to listen today. If she doesn't already know the basics, they will get taught ASAP.
I have no problem with having to correct her on barn issues if she's never experienced them, as long as she learns quick. I don't believe she's ever seen an animal besides cats and dogs...
    12-21-2010, 01:19 PM
Green Broke
Let's see, Dusty would have been about that same age when we moved out here and brought the horses too. It didn't take her very long to figure out that they were just to be left alone. Now she doesn't think twice about them.

Mine has never been an excessive barker. If I leave her outside and it gets dark, she will bark to come back inside, just once, then wait a few minutes, then once more. And she will still bark at squirrels once in a while, but as soon as I call her down, she's done. She never barks when she's inside.
    12-21-2010, 02:51 PM
Originally Posted by apachiedragon    
Let's see, Dusty would have been about that same age when we moved out here and brought the horses too. It didn't take her very long to figure out that they were just to be left alone. Now she doesn't think twice about them.

Mine has never been an excessive barker. If I leave her outside and it gets dark, she will bark to come back inside, just once, then wait a few minutes, then once more. And she will still bark at squirrels once in a while, but as soon as I call her down, she's done. She never barks when she's inside.
Ok, that is good to know. I hope this one will catch on that quick...then again after owning a Chihuahua for 13 year, I'm sure anything will be improvement! Haha.

Maybe it's just the breed itself that is pretty quiet. Either way, a little bark is better than a lot.

Thank you for helping me out with my questions, I really do appreciate it.
    12-21-2010, 03:52 PM
ACDs are high energy dogs, so I'm guessing she would love to be at the barn with you "helping". They like to have a job, and they really like to run, run, run, and then run some more. They have tons of stamina.

They are however, herding dogs, bred to move cattle and some of them will chase horses. There's no telling if yours will until you get her out to meet them. If she does, it'll be hard to brake that habit, it's encoded in her DNA. Not impossible though.

I say give it a shot, she could be perfect for you. I've always loved herding dogs and the ACDs crack me up, they are such clowns.
    12-21-2010, 04:12 PM
Oh I love them ! They are such great, smart little dogs =] I wish I had one, but we live in a little apartment
    12-21-2010, 04:59 PM
The way they have always been explained to me (and I agree with it) is, Cattle dogs like a leader, but if you are not willing to be one they are more than willing to take over the job.
    12-21-2010, 10:57 PM
We met her this afternoon!
Daisy has a wonderful personality! A bit hyper, which was expected. She has been around horses and doesn't really bother with them, and is scared of cattle!
She has a little habit of jumping up on people, which at one point her old family had stopped her from doing, but without constant re-enforcement, it went down the drain, working on that. She's super quiet, only whines when she sees a cat or a rabbit. She loves to chase them apparently, again, we will work with her on that.
Really pushy on the leash and tries to drag you around, but after an hour of walking around with her, was already getting better with it.

I am very thankful that my fiance has dog training experience, as she aims to please and loves you as long as she can be with you. I think "working" at PVF with us will be great for her.

We are picking her up on Thursday!

Here is a picture of the lovely girl.
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    12-21-2010, 11:11 PM
They are great farm dogs. I know someone who has two and is a BO. They are very high energy, as many people have stated, and often get fat and discontented as house dogs. Cattle dogs, in my experience, very much look to humans for direction unlike a standoffish breed like the Basenji. So training them as a breed normally goes smoothly. I hope yours does.

If she's not at a shelter, disregard this.
As for the jumping, is she currently at a shelter? If so, that could explain why she regressed. Shelter dogs are notorious for jumping on their cages in reaction to pretty much anything, especially a high energy breed like a cattle dog. They see someone walk by and are like "OMG."

If you are not interested in training advice, ignore this.
If she likes to chase things like cats or rabbits, maybe work on impulse control. Have her on a leash in front of a cat - not close, but close enough so that she can see. When she looks at the cat, then looks back at you (away from the cat), reward her immediately with a treat. It will (hopefully) get to point where she will enjoy looking away from the cat and also see looking away from it (not going after it) as a source of good things. This will also get her mind working rather than just reacting.
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