|| I have a year old male Australian Shepherd.
We live on a VERY remote homestead which was previously OVERRUN with
deer. Since we got the dog, he has kept the deer completely away -
this is what we like the best about him (besides being a great fella.)
On the negative side, he is showing a small amount of aggression
to our other two dogs and he marks his territory constantly. Also,
we wonder if he would just take off in search of love some day...
Question: Would neutering him REDUCE his ability to keep deer
away? I would assume that this ability is tied in closely to his
herding ability - and perhaps to his marking of territory.
My inclination is to get him neutered, but not if the deer move
Sent in By G. Halpern, WV.
||Well in general, it will be best to neuter
him. First of all, keeping the deer away has nothing to do with testosterone.
So that should not change. That is just him. But neutering him will
help in the following, dog aggression, marking, and roaming. Also
it will decrease the chances of prostate problems and testicular cancers.
On thing, however, some of the marking has already became a learned
behavior. Neutering him it will curb his desire to mark, but he
may still mark. I have seen wonders with neutering and dog aggression,
even with older dogs. I have a 6 year old that I neutered a year
ago. He turned around 100% with the dog aggression he was showing.
It is wonderful. Will all dogs show results this strongly? No, but
most will show a vast improvement. With the roaming, neuter him
now before he starts. If he hasn't taken off to see the girls yet,
this is good. If he starts, it also becomes more of a learned behavior.
So in general, I would be taking him to the the vet for a little
||We are looking for a new family pet; this
winter our fourteen year old sheltie, died. We were at a dog show
and the Australian Shepherd caught our eye. Do Aussies make good family
Sent in By E. Shelly, KS.
||Aussies are wonderful pets, but they are
very active dogs. Aussies usually go at full force untill they are
over 2 years of age. New aussie owners need to realize that these
dogs need to have a job. This may just be playing ball with the kids
each day. anything to let out some of that high energy. A big back
yard is a plus that's for sure.
Another thing with aussies is that they like to be with their
people. So they can't be a dog that lives outside only. Aussies
that are always outdoors get really bored and destructive. They
will tear up things, dig or try to get out of the yard. However,
aussies that are included in the family don't have those tendencies
as strongly. Am I saying that means they will not tear up your favorite
pair of shoes? No, but they will less likely be as destructive!
Aussies are one of the smartest dogs there are, because of that,
they need training. If you are looking for a dog to play with the
kids, be protective of the family when she gets older, but are also
willing to take on the responsibility of going to dog training classes,
an aussie may be the dog for you. With a little bit of time, a lot
of patience and TLC, an Aussie can easily be the best dog you ever
Most of the Aussie I get in Rescue are 12-18 month old dogs that
have had no training. Because of this they are wild. They are usually
outside most of the time because they jump on the people and want
to be with them all of the time. Then outside they are destructive
or get out of the yard and into trouble.
So with all of that in mind, you need to decide if an aussie if
for you. If so, the next step is finding a good breeder. I know
that you are looking for a pet, but by that same token, you want
a pet that will be healthy for all it's life. It's better to spend
a little more now on a well bred dog, then to spend more later on
||At what age should you spay your dog?
Sent in By J. Shapiro, NM.
||I prefer to alter an animal between 5-7
months. Several humane societies will alter as early as 8 weeks, however,
we are finding there can be problems with this. On the other hand,
we want to spay before the first heat cycle. This decreases the chance
of mammary cancers to almost zero. With the males, you want to castrate
before they become sexually mature and start hiking their leg. This
becomes a learned behavior and they will have a tendency to mark every
where, including in your house!
||I'm considering getting a dog, but I have
a 3-year-old child. Do you think an Aussie would be too much for him?
I really like the breed, but I don't know if they are too much dog
for a child.
Sent in By D. Warren, NC.
||Remember when you purchase or rescue an
Aussie that the dog is for YOU and not the child. You will be the
one to raise and train the dog. Training is very important when having
a dog around a child. Children, just as dogs, will just need to be
taught the do's and don'ts around dogs. If you get an older dog, please
make sure that dog has been raised around children. Remember that
if the dog is too rambunctious around the child, you need to train
the dog not to behave that way. It is not the dogšs fault it is the
||Hi, my puppy just turned 6 months old,
and I was wondering if I should cut down his food or continue feeding
him the same amount? Currently he's getting one cup three times a
Sent in By F. Grasso, NY.
||Your dog's food intake depends on several
factors. One is if the animal is or will be altered soon. This will
slow down the metabolism and will cause the dog to increase the fat.
In general, we usually keep on puppy food until over a year age and
keep the same amount. But you have to be the judge to this if this
is the case with your dog. If your dog seems to be increasing in the
waistline, decrease the food intake.
||I'm afraid that a rescue dog will have
too many problems for me to handle. Are all rescue dogs difficult
Sent in By L. Proia,
||Not all rescue dogs were brought to us
because of behavioral problems. I admit that 50% are young males that
are going through the teenage years and the owner could not handle
them. But before we let these dogs go to their new homes, we train
them. We try to find out any problems and work through them. We educate
the new owners about the problems the dog has and work with them as
well. Remember, when we place a rescue, we want that to be the last
home that dog has, so we want to make the best placement possible.
The other half of our dogs were not given up for behavior problems.
These are ususally dogs whose owners are moving or are allergic to
dogs, etc. If you let us know what type of Aussie you want and we
don't have that type of dog in rescue currently, wait a little bit
and we will.
If you have any questions you would like answered, send them
to Heidi, at firstname.lastname@example.org.