Behavior Problems With Newly Rescued Aussie Chow Mix

Two months ago I rescued a sweet, loving, beautiful Aussie/Chow mix. She has since turned one year old.

I am at home during the day, though need to be working at my business. Most of my time has been spent for many weeks now trying to settle in my new dog.

I am knowledgeable about dogs, having had several over the years. My other dog is well behaved, though we went through plenty of trouble for the first year and a half.

The new dog is basically a chewing machine. I cannot provide enough appropriate chewing materials, rawhides, tough toys, etc. to ease the problems. I have a destroyed sofa, chewed up table and chair legs, partially eaten cedar shake shingles on the deck, mutilated deck railings, and much more.

I am spending large sums of money on rawhides of all shapes and sizes, and so-called "indestructible" chew toys. Spraying bitter sprays is not working. Switching out inappropriate objects for acceptable ones is not working, either.

My dog is bored, despite having a willing playmate in my other Border Collie/Chow, but I do not have a fenced yard, or a yard large enough to fence. I walk her at least three times a day. I take her to the beach when I can. I could walk her more but she pulls me so severely that I have an injured neck and shoulders, as well as strained or sprained wrists and even fingers, that the tangled in the leash with her rapid changes in direction.

I am in my late sixties, but am an active and energetic person. I do fear a fall from the leash wrapped around my legs.

This sweet loving girl was going to be euthanized, if you can call being shoved into a gas chamber a mercy killing, which I do not.

I love this dog, and am clearly extremely motivated to save her. Yet I cannot go on without major improvement in behaviors that are basically natural to her. I need help. Thanks for any suggestions.

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Comments for Behavior Problems With Newly Rescued Aussie Chow Mix

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Rescued Aussie
by: Nonnie

We have two female Aussies, Bailee (mini Aussie, 29 lbs) and Maggie (toy Aussie, 23 lbs). Bailee LOVES frisbee. In the summer heat in Houston, we cannot play outside, so we put a good sized rug on our wooden floor and we throw (toss) ropes, lightweight balls, etc. We do that while watching tv at night. She actually trembles with excitement for the frisbee. As soon as it cools off a bit more, we will go out and play frisbee again.

Maggie, however, has no use for frisbee or ropes or balls. If you have to chase it, she isn't interested. She acts like she wants to play frisbee. We throw her smaller frisbee, she runs out, picks it up and lays down to chew on grass, keeping the frisbee close to her.

Now ... Maggie is totally destructive with any toy that we get. We have bought "tough" chews, toys designed for the destructive dog, etc. She will have a hole in them within one hour. We return a lot of toys. So, we have limited their toys to ropes, frisbees that we control and bones.

We recently discovered that consuming rawhides is probably the culprit adding to Maggie's unhealthy weight, so we have eliminated them completely. It was not until Maggie vomited up a recently ingested rawhide that we realized how much room it was taking in her stomach.

I hope you find some information that you can use from this community.

Newly Rescued Aussie Chow Mix
by: Anonymous

I can appreciate the challenges you are having and want to both congratulate you and encourage you not to give up on this rescue. Our family rescued an Aussie several months ago and had quite a challenge with chewing, after investigation and lots of advise from professionals we have resolved this. Your dogs destructive chewing could be a mix of stress and as you stated boredom (may not know how to play with other dogs). For the chewing rather than raw hide we gave her dear antlers (available at pet food stores) they don't splinter and are better for them than raw hide. They are more expensive than the raw hide but last much, much longer so in the long run cost is from my perspective not an issue.

Talk to a reputable pet store as well, we also picked up a liquid anti-stress product that was made up of all natural products, 1/2 a cap in their water bowl, no smell or taste and was completely safe to my other dog.

We also learned how to use a crate for her (doggy den), we never needed it for our other dog; she now is quite comfortable with it and the only time the gate is closed is when we leave the house. Designate no go zones as well, we started using gates but no longer need them.

Obedience training is excellent, we had problems walking our Aussie and one of the trainers we worked with felt that she was not taught how to walk on a leash before us; also a gentle leader when properly fitted may be useful. Do you have somebody that can help you walk her?

Don't give up on your rescue, you invited her into your family you just need to figure out what works best for her training. In my training class we have a man in his seventies; work with the professionals as you want to set your dog up for success.

Re: Options
by: Anonymous

I know how frustrating this can be. My last aussie was a rescue and boy was she a handful! If she was in, she wanted out, if she was out she wanted in...chewed threw kennels, jumped out of 2nd story windows, chewed everything! And she too was not interested in anything either. No toys, rawhides etc.
Maybe you could 'recruit' a neighborhood kid that wants a dog and cant have one to walk your dog a few times a day. Or maybe to take him on a 'bike ride' or skateboard.
I did find that frozen kongs work great! Stuff with peanut butter, yougurt, canned food, vitamains, kibble etc. This will keep your dog occupied for hours.
Some dogs just dont know how to behave no matter what we try. Dont give up! There is a solution out there for you!

Chow Aussie mix
by: Anonymous

I adopted a Chow Aussie mix at 17 mo old. I was her 4th owner. The last people had sent her back because she attacked a teenage boy who came into the house. I was warned. It was obvious that she had been abused at some point like she was terrified if she saw a remote in your hand. Chows MUST be obedience trained. That way you can walk her safely. They can be extremely vindictive as well but they need to know you are the Alpha in your house. She does not like strangers and it can take her months to get used to a new person visiting. She is very protective and territorial. However, she is also the best dog I've ever owned by far. Extremely loving. They just need to know who is boss. When a new person comes in my house I put her outside for a few minutes then let her back in. She needs to come up to people and they should never put their hand out to her. She will bite. She does back down if I tell her no firmly.

dog park
by: Anonymous

Dog park, dog park and more dog park. Your dog needs to run free! She will learn that if she is good she gets to go play. Also, doggy daycare places if you can afford it. Aussies are very intelligent but easily bored. Keep h err busy and take her everywhere. ... good luck. I have a 1 and half year old Aussie.

physical and mental
by: Anonymous

We have an Aussie Shepard/ chow mix who's astound a year old that we've adopted from the shelter. He's a chewer but thankfully not to the extreme. He does get extremely wound up sometimes though. So i did some homework.
Aussies i found are extremely intelligent and can get bored easily. Playing certain games (hide and seek, puzzles, simple guessing games etc) Can help keep your dog busy and out of trouble. A frozen kong stuffed with pb or other yummy food works great too. Socializing with other dogs helps big time. I live in an apartment so the dog park is my saving grace. I go and just let him run until he's tuckered out then the chow chow laziness takes over for the rest of the day! As for the destructive parents would rub Tabasco sauce on the surface of chair legs and things. Never had a problem again. ;) i agree with the suggestion of getting a professional to help you out. You'll get there! Hope this help! Good luck!

getting caught with a leash
by: Anonymous

You need to get a gentle leader leash or a choker chain kept up right behind the ears, and keep the dog under control and next to you. We rescued this kind of dog as well, and they definitely need a strong owner. We had more problems with marking (for two months) than the chewing, so not sure what to tell you about that. Perhaps crating him when your not around would help.

by: Anonymous

Not sure how old this post is but my chow/aussie mix is an extreme puller. My children were so upset that they could not walk her, she would easily pull them into traffic. I bought an Easy Walker harness from Petsmart and the problem was solved immediately. I tried the one around the mouth first but she refused to get used to it. The Easy Walker actually restricts the front legs making it impossible to pull. Now my children can walk her easily with no worries.

gentle leader
by: Anonymous

I strongly second the gentle leader. They are safe, easy to use, and completely eliminate the pulling issue. The most important part is getting it fitted correctly. Try it. It'll change your life.

Aussie/Chow Mix
by: Mary

I have three rescued dogs. The oldest is an Australian Shepherd/Chow mix and I adopted her as a very young puppy. Absolutely gorgeous and lovely, took her and had her groomed with little bows, so sweet and adorable. Took to house training immediately, loved learning tricks. At about four months, starting having attitude. Kept training and went well, with lots more firm corrections, reminded me of a mischievous toddler, just trying to see how far she could push me. The first time we left her alone in the house for more than an hour, she got mad and chewed through the hallway wall to let me know. Wow. This went on for about a year and a half. I spend many hours training and firmly letting her know that I was the boss, not her. Fortunately, I am more stubborn than she....but it was close. She is now 13 and the best dog that I have ever owned. She likes me....and tolerates my son. She is extremely well behaved and lays quietly next to me when relatives visit. She walks like a dream and obeys all commands. If you are not very determined and up for the challenge, it will not work. If you are, will be the best dog ever, and great protection.

A fur baby of my own
by: Anonymous

I'm curious where you got your fur baby? I'm looking at the same breed but I can't find any breeders...
thank you

My best friend
by: Duke's Dad

I adopted a 4 yr. old Aussie mix male from a no kill shelter. In the car ride home he was so happy and took a tennis ball from the shelter home with him. Dukie is the smartest dog I have ever had. He listens to my stories, helps me in the yard and goes crazy when I bring a ball outside, and what a great catcher. He gets his second wind at bed time and plays with his loudest toys at night. He knows how to tease me and has a look for every emotion. Never chewed anything or damaged anything. He could stay in by himself for sometimes 9 hours before going out to do his business. He is thankful for everything and shows it. I am ashamed to refer to him as a dog.

Chow aussie
by: Anonymous

I've cohabited with a Chow Aussie mix. Initially, she was the most difficult dog I have ever lived with. The source of difficulty (I speculate) is the very emotional, yet poker-faced nature of Chows combined with the incredible intelligence of Aussies. Keep in mind that Chows are pretty smart too. The results are a very emotionally complex pup due to their smarts.

Immediate discipline was the key, a little harder than with other dogs as my C/A mix was very stubborn. However, just as important was an affirmation of love 3-5 minutes afterwards as I found Kiche (pups name) was stubbornly able to hold a grudge if left with punishment, or call it what you want, alone. Punishment was to bite her on the ear only enough to cause her discomfort, not injury (and I have never done this with with any other dog that has cohabited with me. This is how the mother disciplines their young. I understand the complexity of the mix. Hate at me as you like).

It took some time but because of her IQ and stubbornness she became the smartest and best dog I ever was blessed to know. Think about Michael Angelo. He stated in regard to 'David'...
"as you carve the stone, the stone carves you".

This pup changed my relationship to all the other people and animals. I hope your pup becomes your mentor.

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