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Discussion Starter #1
Help! My good friend and her husband are a dogless couple, but have been thinking a bit about it... a friend of theirs just contacted them with this message... they are considering it. Any advice for them?

An Australian Shepherd purebred to be exact. One of these random situations where a friend of my aunt's is well... dying and he's looking for a home for the guy. The dog is about 5-6 years old, house trained, and has just an over all nice disposition. Now, the only negative thing really is that he is quite large ( he looks very similar to this...

).


They are somewhat newlyweds and would like to start a family soon, so a dog out of the puppy stage appeals to them. They own their house, with a backyard, they live near trails and go for walks, but they aren't particularly athletic.

Thoughts???
 

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The aussies I've met are pretty energetic. It's good that they like to walk.
 

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My Gram had 2 Australian Shepards and she was in her 60's. The older one was awesome, his only downfall was he pulled her on walks. She got a puppy after Charles died (Charles was the 1st one) and that was a mistake. AS puppies require, IMO, alot of time and excercise.

I think your friends would do great with this one. It says he's older, and has a good temperament. I think daily walks would suit him just fine. I would recommend they fence in their yard though.

:)
 

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Any herding dog is prone to being very high energy. VERY. My sister has always had border collies, and OMG, I love them, but could not have one. Granted as with any breed there are exceptions, but I would caution them to hold off until their family is started and the baby is out of diapers, etc, to introduce a pet. How is pregnant mama going to feel walking the dog? How about tired mama with new baby? Any dog, not just a puppy, is going to come with responsibilities.

Were it me, I would consider waiting. Then see what breed best suits them... as parents. Just my 2 cents.

I am aware many people have their dogs before having babies. But I am also aware that many dogs go to new homes once baby arrives. This is why we waited til the girls were 4 & 6. We knew the status quo could handle it. If babies are in their immediate future... just me but I'd hold off. there will always be a dog. there's no rush.

(JMO)


That is one gorgeous dog! =)
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I am going out on a limb that if this dog is currently owned by an elderly, dying man... that its not accustomed to the most active lifestyle. But, I really don't know the current situation.

T - I would tend to agree with you about waiting, but unfortunately they have been trying for a while and no luck getting pregnant... it may take them a long time and maybe the distraction of another dependent would be good for them? Not that its a reason to get a dog, but they have been thinking about it since they bought their house.
 

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My poor friend... she just told me that she and her husband basically decided not to take the dog, but that its just tugging on her heartstrings.
T - I told her what you said about being so tired being preggers or with a newborn. I also said that when her kids were preschoolers the dog would be entering his senior years and may be agitated by kids.
At this point I think I'm just trying to help her feel less guilty about not taking him!
 

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Each situation is unique. If the dog & people are a match and they know what they are getting into ...do they travel? if so, you have to take the dog or make arrangements, not a deal breaker for us, but something non-dog people don't often think about... can't just pick up & go. Are they ok with the $$ involved, especially if there is an accident? We have had 2 VERY expensive accidents and Angus isn't even 3 yet. Also, are they prepared to pay for any future health concerns, surgeries, chronic issues, meds? Not all dogs have medical issues, but it is a very real possibility, and an expensive one. Our neighbours' beautiful golden just dies of cancer last year, and was on chemo & various other treatments.

Just throwing that out there. I know those things weren't top of my list when we were considering a pet, but thankfully I found JL while we were still interviewing breeders, and was quickly made aware of exactly what we were considering undertaking.

Bottom line is, if they are BOTH really ready, and the dog is a good match, go for it. It sounds like the dog isn't used to marathon ball throwing sessions & 3x daily walks (like my sister's BCs ), then the energy level probably isn't an issue at all.


That really is a gorgeous dog.
 

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My poor friend... she just told me that she and her husband basically decided not to take the dog, but that its just tugging on her heartstrings.
T - I told her what you said about being so tired being preggers or with a newborn. I also said that when her kids were preschoolers the dog would be entering his senior years and may be agitated by kids.
At this point I think I'm just trying to help her feel less guilty about not taking him!
Awwww, I know that feeling We passed on a NS Duck Toller before, and a senior Golden. The timing just wasn't right, but I remember that ache. Now I see that it was supposed to be this way. We were meant to have Angus.

Their dog will come along. =)
 

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What made them decide not to take him?
 

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Discussion Starter #10
What made them decide not to take him?
They are trying to get pregnant, so timing... Also, his father is allergic to dogs, and obviously this one has a lot of hair! They only travelling they tend to do is to his parents' place, and they would never be able to take him. Plus, they are concerned what to do with him during the day, although they would figure that out. We could lend them our crate or they have a spare room they could keep him in until he was settled. Plus, they have a cat.


T - money isn't an issue, they both do very well. I think another problem she is having accepting it is that its HIM that is saying NO right away, for the reasons above, so she sort of feels like he's making the decision for them both and it bothers her. lol.

They do want a dog someday though, so her point is that they will have to figure out how to get around all of those issues anyhow.
 

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If they are divided, it won't work. If he's saying no, then he may resent the dog later.

Even if you have lots of money, money is always an issue. If one partner feels the $2000 surgery is a waste of money, but the other just sees it as a necessary expense in treating their pet's illness... money is an issue.

No matter how much money you have, you can still begrudge spending $1000 on a broken pet limb, and it can become a source of discord if both people aren't on the same page.

Just throwing that out there. No one wants the "this was YOUR idea!" fights
 

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FWIW - Aussies are not just like Border Collies and do run the gamut from higher energy to pretty lazy. I would think a middle aged dog like this used to living with an older person would be OK with a family.

I think to project that a senior dog will be cranky with toddlers does the dog a disservice. My senior herding dog was a saint with my toddlers. Of course both of them need to be on board with the decision.

Please let the owner of the dog know that there is a very, very active rescue network for Aussies who are very careful about placing in a home appropriate for that specific dog's temperament.
 

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Jo already said they decided against it, so I see no need for argument about who is right and who is wrong about the breed.
 

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Jo already said they decided against it, so I see no need for argument about who is right and who is wrong about the breed.
Who's arguing? A point was made that they are not as high energy as other herding breeds , like BC's. I also gave Jo a little more breed info SUPPORTING that they are great family dogs... where are you seeing an argument??
 

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Who's arguing? A point was made that they are not as high energy as other herding breeds , like BC's. I also gave Jo a little more breed info SUPPORTING that they are great family dogs... where are you seeing an argument??
Agreed - besides, even if they said no to *this* aussie, that doesn't mean they can't consider another aussie in the future if the timing is better. Aussies are great dogs for the right people, and they can make excellent family dogs. They generally aren't as intense as border collies, but of course that varies with individuals. My family has had several aussies, and our first one, Austin, reminds me a lot of this story. We took him in from an older man who could no longer care for him when Austin was 2. He took instantly to family life with a 6 and 2yr old; unfortunately we lost him to cancer at only 5yrs old. My grandparents have a 12yr old aussie, Adkins, and he has been wonderful with all of the grandchildren over the years. Then there was Nellie, my heart dog, an aussie/golden mix. Wonderful dog, excellent temperament, was my constant companion from middle school to my second year of college when cancer claimed her at 11. And my Schatzi is some type of herding mix, either an aussie or a bc mix of some sort, and she's a great little pup. Something to remember about aussie, or most herding dogs even: they're smart dogs, and their high energy can be managed in ways other than exercise. Give them a job to do - mentally tire them out by teaching them new tricks. These dogs excel at obedience. Even a car ride out accompanying you can be as effective as a game if fetch, in my experience. If you have any breed questions about aussies, I'll be glad to help with what I can. I love the breed. :)
 

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I just rescued an aussie almost two years ago. She just had her fourth bday. I know many many border collies and they tend to be too energetic for me. My aussie has energy but can turn it off and on. She is no where as intense as a border collie. She loves a good vigorous game of chuck it in the am and that will keep her all day long. Most days we have an agility class or agility practice. But it is not necessary. She is the most calm of my four dogs. She is a fantastic therapy dog and is a loyal companion and friend. She is much more affectionate and clingy than my labs. However, there is the herding instinct. She does have a tendancy to herd my three labs. If she feels that someone is a threat to me she will try to herd them away from me. She does not nip or bark, she uses her body to push the offender away. She understands the rules of the house and will let the other dogs know by herding them if they are not following them. For example, when I eat she will sit under the table and if one of the labs tries to beg she will herd them back from me. The male aussies, in my opinion, are much more laid back. That being said my next dog will definately be an aussie! This dog sounds like a great match.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Thanks everyone.

I passed along the website for a Canadian Aussie rescue group that Sharon found for me when I asked her about it. I'm sure the dog will go to a good home!

I asked DH if he was ready for a 2nd dog, lol, but the response was a definite N.O. ;)
 

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Our first dog was an Australian Shephard. It was the biggest mistake we ever made.

We had four kids, three of which were young. We were told by the counselor at the Humane Society that it was a great choice for a family with kids.

My kids did not own a single piece of clothing without holes in them. Everytime they tried to move the dog would herd them into a group. I wouldn't get another herding dog with kids.
 

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Our first dog was an Australian Shephard. It was the biggest mistake we ever made.

We had four kids, three of which were young. We were told by the counselor at the Humane Society that it was a great choice for a family with kids.

My kids did not own a single piece of clothing without holes in them. Everytime they tried to move the dog would herd them into a group. I wouldn't get another herding dog with kids.

Just as there are Labs that behave compulsively - there are certainly herding dogs who do so as well. My herding dog never did anything like that with my kids - except when I told her to.
 
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