Rescued Aussie

by Monica

My husband brought home an Australian Shepherd from our local dog shelter. I took him to the vet the next day. We had him neutered, vaccinated, and he was given a clean bill of health. The problem is we knew nothing about the breed. Also, the vet said he wasn't a young dog but wasn't old either so we know nothing about his past or what he might have endured up to this point. I was told he was picked up wandering alone on a deserted road and no one claimed him.

He "took-up" with us pretty quick. But he is very timid and will have nothing to do with strangers. He has even snapped at visitors. He also barks a lot and chases cars. I understand this breed needs to be active. I am a runner and have tried repeatedly to take him with me on runs but he gets really nervous and doesn't want to leave. Sometimes, but very rarely, he will follow from a distance if I don't put him on a lead. Our other dogs like to run and play outside and lay in the sun but he will hardly come out of our garage where his bed is. He stays in a corner and guards his food. I feel so bad for him.

Sometimes he seems like a happy dog but I don't know. I do feel guilty for not spending more time with him because I read that they want to be with people constantly. We are at work all day. He is an outside dog but has access to the garage where his bed and food and water are. We live in the country and he has plenty of room to roam. I guess I am wondering if I am doing the right thing? I certainly don't want to give him up. I think he has been through enough. Besides, I have grown to love him. Any advice on how I can help him?

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Rescued Aussie
by: Anonymous

First of all I want to thank you for rescuing your Aussie. The two advices I can give to you are, first, don?t leave him his food, he must get used to eat ones or twice a day. If you do this, you will create a bigger bond between the two of you, because he will realize that you are the food provider. The second thing, just give him time. Since we don?t know his past, it?s hard to know what is in his mind. Most dogs that don?t like leashes are because they are not used to them. Just have some patient and make everything as a game for him. Please don?t give him away if he is not being troubling you. Aussies are people dogs and he is better with a family that without it. You?ll see that with little patients he will come around.

Rescued Aussie
by: Nonnie

I hope you will be patient with your boy and not give him up. Aussies want to be near you all the time. Mine follow me everywhere, even to the bathroom! If I close the door, they will try to tear it down.

Start with some basic obedience commands. He needs to acquaint you with his food and who is the alpha dog - YOU! He needs to know he is to rely on you completely and that you are there for him.

Our Aussies are still puppies - 20 months. They are a very smart breed and the most fun and loving dogs I have ever had.

Good Luck!

by: Monica

Thank you, I really appreciate the advice. I never even thought about the way I feed him and how that could play a part in his behavior. I am guilty of making sure his bowl is full all the time. I will begin a schedule of two feedings a day. He seems to be doing better. He follows me around everywhere so I know we have bonded. I didn't mean to imply that I was considering giving him up. I would never abandon him. I just want to make sure I am a worthy owner of such a beautiful, intelligent breed. I have owned mostly mixed breeds, as I tend to take in every stray that wanders into my life. I feel like I have moved up in the world now that I own an Australian Shepherd (heehee). Seriously though, they are amazing dogs. I will continue to refer to this forum for advice as we continue our journey. Thanks again fellow Aussie lovers!

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