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Guide To Australian Shepherd Training & Care

Cat Herding

by Charles Hall
(Sullivan, Maine)

Dundee is our two year old Aussie. We adopted him at four months after losing our 11 year old Huskey to a tumor.

Last weekend while lounging around on the bed for a quick nap (with Dundee at my side), he bolted out of the bed like a rocket. As he was leaving I started to hear the tell-tale sound of the cat scratching the back of the couch in the other room. Usually I dart out there at the first sound and chase him away. Despite all my efforts, the cat continues to use the couch as a scratching pole at will. This time, though, Dundee bolted out there and "nosed" him abruptly, sending him scurrying away. My wife saw the whole thing and told me he has been doing this for a while now.

I read that unless you give an Aussie something to do "for you"; they will figure out something to do for you on their own.

Anyway, as funny as this story is, you have to experience this to truly appreciate the humor.

Comments for Cat Herding

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Aussie Cat Protection
by: Lee

I have a 5-year old Aussie, Titan, who used to herd the cat until the cat died a little over a year ago. My grown daughter recently moved home with her three cats, Hazel, an adult spayed female, Loki, a large adult neutered male, and Anakin, an 8-month old neutered male kitten. Loki and Anakin get along fine, but Loki started stalking Hazel, and starts serious fights with her.

The posting about Aussies watching and herding the cats caught my eye. Does anyone have any idea how I might train my Aussie, Titan, to "herd" Loki away from Hazel and protect her? Titan already herds our two 9-year old Maltipoos!

Thanks, Lee in Austin

Black tri also
by: Kat

Your tri is beautiful, large, and a great coat. I have a 6 month black tri and hope he looks as good as yours when he is grown. They are incredible animals and am blessed to have mine.

Re: Cat Herding
by: Susan

Our 6 month old Aussie, China, has plenty of opportunity to herd our 9 indoor-only cats. At the slightest hint of furniture scratching or any other mischief-making, China is more than happy--and proud--to put an end to it immediately! Yay Aussies!

Herding Cats
by: CB

Our dog Lola, a female black-tri, is just turning 3 years in June. She is very good at finding her own jobs. Most recently she likes to escort the cat, a 15lb, 10yr old Maincoon, where she is headed.
Lola walks just behind and noses her on either side, left or right, to keep the cat in the middle of the hallway.

If it is meal time, Lola will herd us to the kitchen to ensure we get there. When she is at the dog park, she likes to quietly herd the people in front of us to keep them moving forward. Thank goodness the other dog owners understand and smile.

We can always count on her to make us smile even when we just want to sigh at her antics.

Too familiar
by: Anonymous

Great story! I, too, have a black-tri Aussie, female who is 11 months old. She created the job of herding my 8 year old Rottweiler. Poor Caesar can't take a step without Zoey blocking him and if he shoulders past her, she resorts to biting at his legs. When he barks at people passing the house, she's all over him trying to make him stop. The only peace he gets is by laying down or when he goes outside. In spite of all that, he loves her and she loves him.

Cat Herding
by: Debbie T.

My Gypsy does the exact same thing! She just started doing it about 3 months ago. Its funny because she wont bother the 2 cats when they are scratching the rug or a tree or the old armchair that I dont mind them scratching, only the couch. Even in a deep sleep she jumps up and chases them away. Love those aussies!

by: Robert

What a gorgeous dog!

Excellent Herder of Cats!
by: Karol

Aren't Aussies the very best?
My girl, Annie, was an excellent enforcer of household rules -- turning the cat away from scratching the couch by "nosing" at her (just like your boy), "guarding" the bag of dog food when it came time for dishing out supper for all of our pups...Annie was always by my side when I was at home. Annie is no longer with me and I miss her so. We recently got a new baby Aussie named Maggie! Can't be without an Aussie...Aussies are the best!

by: Anonymous

Thanks for taking the time to respond.

Since first posting this story I have noticed him herding the cat (aptly named Bob since he was born with a "Bob-tail") all over the house, with nuch animation. Thankfully Bob isn't spiteful.

He is such an affectionate and playful dog that I could play with him all day long if I didn't have things to do.

As for the picture of him on the barstool; I put him up there to get the picture. Now, anytime I want to toy with him all I have to do is tell him to "get up" on the stool and he takes off.

by: Anonymous

He is beautiful, and that is true, and too funny. Enjoy your boy, he will do lots of things to make you laugh, and wonder.

Re: Dundee
by: Anonymous

LOL! Too funny! I love your story, and yes, they WILL find a job to do! My aussies have always tried to take over the 'boss' roll or at least help to 'enforce' the rules of the house. My aussies also will 'disipline' the cats for scratching inappropriatly, or getting on counters,etc. They are also very good at making sure the other dogs don't get into the trash, or go 'counter surfing'. They will put themselves in between the 'offender' and the 'offence'. I love this about them. They know the rules and have no problems inforcing them! They were also very good with my children. Making sure they stayed away from stairs (by putting themselves between said child and the 'danger zone' whether it was stairs, strange dogs, the kitchen etc.
Thanks for sharing your story and enjoy your special boy! He is beautiful and very noble.

by: Debbie

What a beautiful dog... I have one that looks just like yours but she is a female. I have 2 cats myself. One hangs in my bedroom and the other one hangs downstairs. If the one downstairs tries to come upstairs and bolts and makes her go back downstairs. We have tried to break her of this but so far she still does it. I just thought that she doesn't care for cats. Then I had a parakeet... it is MIA... I cleaned the cage and the door didn't go all the way down on the cage. Well you guessed it. The bird must have come out of the cage... but where did it go... We looked high and low... no bird. We even check stools for feathers... nothing... Then we realized something... she takes everything outside the kitchen and put it on the steps. This is what we think happened... the bird got out...she got it...took it outside to put on the steps and the bird flew away. Thats our story and we are sticking with it.
P.S. my aussie will be 1 year old next month

Cat Herding
by: Anonymous

jajajajajajaja....Thank you so much for sharing. I can picture it perfect. AUSSIES are the best! For your cats? sake, I hope he learns fast! Jajaja

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Guide To Australian Shepherd Training & Care

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