The Right Fit.

I was asked to evaluate an adult female Australian Shepherd that lived at a Horse ranch where people take care of their own horses. The main issue was she was coming up behind people and nipping them on the back of their legs. She was apx. 3-4 yrs of age and had been left at the ranch about 2 yrs ago. She had free reign of the entire facility. Quite the life one would think…

With dogs that are bred to do specific jobs, such as this girl bred to herd, the instinct is sometimes very strong. When left to their own devices, ie; no supervision, training or confinement – they get themselves into trouble by making up their own jobs or games.

In this case, rehoming was what happened. Under the circumstances in this particular case was what the person responsible felt was best for the dog. The other option was she could have been kept in a fenced yard, but being of the belief dogs should be free – he couldn’t fathom that.

Her story at least has a happy ending to this situation. A neighbor dog of mine did not, because again the owner felt dogs should run free. He ended up dead at 3 years of age. Ironically, neither dog had been spayed or neutered.

There are 2 things I would like for the readers to take away from this.

1. Really think about the type of dog you can live with before going and getting a puppy because it is cute, especially dogs with strong working instincts.

2. The world is not the place it was many years ago like in the James Harriot novels. People do not have miles between houses anymore. If you have a 1000 acre farm that you have the dog working beside you all day is one thing. But if you have to travel to work and be away for 8-10 hours, you really need your dog in a fenced yard or in the house. Would you just leave a 2-3 yr old child outside alone? I would hope not!

In my classes we teach the dogs forms of impulse control. Which, is obviously a problem for both dogs and people.

Thanks for reading!

Gayla Sesher