Update on our puppy Riley

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by Lothiriel, May 26, 2012.

  1. Lothiriel

    Lothiriel Crowing

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    Some of you may remember my desperate cries for help back in November, when our new Aussie puppy Riley was having some very discouraging behavior problems (this thread if you're interested). I figure it's time to give an update, now that he's 11 months old.

    We tried many, many different approaches to his problems. Cesar Milan was highly recommended so we gave it a try, but it doesn't work for all dogs. It made Riley worse. We borrowed a million dog books from the library, spent hours and hours researching on the internet, socialized as much as possible, etc. Things improved slowly. But he just does not like other dogs or people. He would bark his head off like crazy, he would lunge on leash, he would growl, etc. Kids running around and playing drove him bonkers. We got him a muzzle to boost our confidence and be sure he's safe. Sometimes though, people are illogical. A dog wearing a muzzle is the safest dog in the park, but people would avoid us at all costs and give us really nasty, dirty looks. It was degrading, not to mention miserably embarrassing. All that in contrast to the wonderful, loyal, loving dog he is at home with us, his family.

    In April we enrolled him in a basic obedience class, with a well known local trainer. The first day was very nerve racking, and we all were dreading that he might get expelled for aggression. But it was for nothing, because the people there were dog people and their dogs were there for the same reason Riley was. He would go in barking and lunging and when they had off leash time he'd spend his 15 free minutes chasing the other dogs around, trying to herd them and make them stop playing. But he was not expelled.

    Today was the last class, and he came home with his diploma. And he is not an aggressive dog. The trainer said so. And the other people said so too. Riley is just fearful and insecure and we have been told to continue exposing him to different situations, different people, different dogs. Ignore the dirty looks. Those people don't follow logic. Riley, with his muzzle, is the safest dog around. If Riley was a truly aggressive dog, he would be aggressive all the time to other dogs and people, not just some of the time. And even then he's not exactly "aggressive." He's more trying to control them like he would control sheep/cattle/goats.

    Some of them also recommended finding a place where he can herd sheep. He's from working lines so the herding instinct is really strong and he has loads of energy (hockey, ball, frisbee, and walks don't seem to cut it). Hopefully there are some places local that let dogs do that.

    He still growls, barks and lunges, he still wears his muzzle. But the huge relief of knowing he is NOT an aggressive dog is incredible.

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  2. FlaRocky

    FlaRocky Songster

    Yea, I applaud you on your hard work and not giving up on your boy. Is he registered? Contact local or national breed club for breeders in your area that do herding work, try flyball, that way you can maybe find something he loves to do. Have you thought about agility work, it is fast paces and fun and will burn a ton of energy. It will give him a JOB TO DO.


    Maye
     
    Last edited: May 26, 2012
  3. Lothiriel

    Lothiriel Crowing

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    No, he's not registered. I kinda sorta wish he was, but oh well.

    We have thought about the agility. The trainer mentioned a place about 2 hours away, so we were thinking about getting an agility set for here at home. We can't drive 2 hours away every week on top of what we already do.
     
  4. FlaRocky

    FlaRocky Songster



    You can apply for an ILP number for him with AKC. It is a Reg.# that approves him for the breed standard. He must be nutered, but with this type of Reg. he can the be shown in obedience,herding, flyball,rally,agility and other events. This should help him a lot. And you would be around people that understand dog.

    BTW, where is home? I will help look around for some clubs and events in your area, if you would like.

    Maye

    PS. I have a male Australian Cattle Dog puppy rescue that I will be getting an ILP number for so I cam show him in some obedience, rally and herding.
     
  5. dirtylittlefly

    dirtylittlefly In the Brooder

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    So glad to hear you're having luck! We adopted a dog at 1.5 years and worked hard to train some fearful tendencies out of her. We won't ever be able to trust her around other dogs, but she is perfect in every other way. We could socialize her if more friends nearby had big dogs willing to work with us, but unfortunately we don't. It's all about what you want in your dog and how much work you are willing to put into them, some of us have more time than others. The only thing that sucks about this is we can't take her camping unless no other dogs are around. Besa may be a "special needs" dog, but she's part of our family. After having 3 homes in her short life before us, she deserves to have a forever home with us. Thanks for being one of those families that takes the time to invest in your pup because of the promise you made the first day you brought them home. ;)
     
  6. Lothiriel

    Lothiriel Crowing

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  7. M3g4d37h

    M3g4d37h In the Brooder

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    Is he a border collie? I had one as a kid (more of a calico pattern though), wonderfully loyal dogs.
     
  8. Lothiriel

    Lothiriel Crowing

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    He's an Australian Shepherd, actually. Similar to BC but they are stockier and have a different herding style. But BC are really nice dogs too. We almost got one. :)
     

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