Seems like Queensland Heeler's Spirit is broken

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Seems like Queensland Heeler's Spirit is broken

This is a discussion on Seems like Queensland Heeler's Spirit is broken within the Introductions forums, part of the DogForum Community Welcome category; My wife and I are seniors and live in what is known as the Sonoran Desert. Last November we came home from town and found ...

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Old 07-10-2016, 06:09 PM
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Seems like Queensland Heeler's Spirit is broken

My wife and I are seniors and live in what is known as the Sonoran Desert. Last November we came home from town and found a puppy lounging in front of our gate. We took her in gave her food and water and posted pictures of her in nearby markets under Lost Dog. No one responded. So we took her to a vet, got her all the appropriate shots, had her spade and I asked the vet to tell me whatever she could about the dog. Up until that day I had never even heard of a Blue (or any other kind) of Heeler. She said the dog was 10 months old and in good health. I started learning about Blue Heelers and had I known then what I know now I would not have kept her. We can only kick a ball around for so long, but she didn't know when to quit. Gradually we introduced her inside the house and our three cats. All she wants to do is play with them, but they are still a little 'gun-shy'. They do like to play with her tail and she doesn't seem to mind.

The weather now where we live is 100+ daily. Not the best weather for kicking a ball around or exercising. She was staying in the house with us most of the time and even got used to letting us know when it was time for a bathroom break. She has her own dog house on the patio. However the last few days she has peed three times in the house. I think the lack of exercise has triggered something psychologically. She has nothing to do all day but in this weather it's impossible. She even started fighting to stay in the house instead of going out for bathroom breaks. She's very smart, like I've read all over. It's HOT outside!

I am in the process of putting up a dog retaining (wire) fence around 5 acres in hopes of getting her a companion dog. (Any suggestions?) I got two dogs both of which slipped under the fence. Hence the retaining wire. She has never tried to leave not even when the gate is open for cars. But I can't afford to loose any more dogs. It will be about 2-3 weeks before I can start looking for another dog. We were thinking of another Blue Heeler for companionship? When the other two dogs were here at different times they all got along great. One was a Corgi and the other a miniature Doberman. We took Lady-Gray to meet the other dogs first for compatibility sake. She has an excellent disposition and gets along with everybody except horses and vultures.

There does not seem to be a way out of this situation. We do not want to lose the dog, but at the same time I hate to see her suffer in the heat. No exercise is not doing her muscles any good either. Should anyone reading this have any suggestions, please feel free to answer this post.
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Old 07-10-2016, 08:17 PM
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Can she go out for exercise in the early mornings and late evenings when it is less hot? There are things you can do to play with her indoors, look into puzzle toys, flirt pole, etc.

I would strongly suggest not getting another dog purely to be her companion-they will both want you to entertain them, not just go off and play together on their own.

As far as pottying in the house, if she doesn't want to go out on her own, I would leash her up and take her there. A quick moment outdoors to pee isn't going to hurt her.
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Old 07-11-2016, 04:44 AM
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Currently I take the dogs for exercise at 6AM, because it is so hot during the day. There is a leash law in my town so their exercise is done while they are leashed. I have a fenced back yard, and later in the day when they go out for potty breaks I go with them. I suggest you go out with your dog on potty breaks and praise her when she pees.

Fencing 5 acres is a staggering expense. You might consider fencing the area just around the house.
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Old 07-11-2016, 02:46 PM
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Thanks for the reply. I'm going to try your idea of praising the potty breaks.

The 5 acres has been fenced a long time but two small dogs managed to slip under it at the washes. I'm in the process of weaving a boundary wire in the fence at collar height to keep it off the ground. I'm getting most of the 'parts' from China. One month shipping time.
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Old 07-11-2016, 02:54 PM
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Thank you for your reply. Lady-Gray stays out at night and my wife plays with her when it's not too hot in the early morning and evening.

We have had to force her outside with the leash for potty breaks and she comes back and sits on the back step. But the accidents in the house are something new.
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Old 07-11-2016, 11:10 PM
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Hello Desert Dweller! I am brand new to this forum and this is my first post. By some strange quirk of fate, I am here seeking advice for myself and my dog who happens to look almost exactly like yours!

I am told my dog is also a blue heeler/Australian Cattle Dog but mine seems to be (way) out of the size/weight range. I'd be interested to know how big yours is.

Like you, if I'd known before, what I know now, I'd have never kept my dog, but now, after having him for two and a half years, it would be difficult to see him go but I am having GREAT difficulty keeping up with him at my age. He has an incredible amount of energy and strength. My 98 pounds is just no match for his 112.

I came here in hopes of finding a training program I can use at home with him but I'm finding this website to be nearly as overwhelming as the internet, in general, and don't know where to start.

My Spotti has been through 2 obedience classes and he KNOWS the commands, both spoken and hand signals, it's just that he's so dominant and aggressive, combined with being so big and strong - he doesn't always listen and I need better verbal control of him.

Did the vet give you an indication of how much he would weigh full grown? These dogs are incredibly strong so that's a big consideration. Having 5 acres for him to be able to run in will be a great help in wearing him out/getting him the exercise he needs.

A word of caution about getting another dog: these dogs are a handful, they are loyal and become very attached to you. I would make sure you're able to handle a fully grown adult heeler/cattle dog before considering another dog.

I wish you the best with your potty training/exercising. They are very smart and learn quickly. My Spotti hasn't had an accident in the house since he was 6-7 weeks old.

Oh - we live on the western Gulf coast and it's hot here, too, with a heat index around 110-115 F. He doesn't want to stay out long, but he does go out to potty.

Last edited by RuthieS; 07-11-2016 at 11:19 PM.
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Old 07-13-2016, 07:28 PM
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Hi Ruthie:

My, your dog sounds big. Mine is a female. She's 20 " at the shoulder, weighs 42.8 lbs.(I think she's a little fat) and is 20 months old. She was like yours when we first found her by front of the gate, very active, jumping up on us, constantly wanting to play, but I think the inability for us to interact with her as much as she'd like has mellowed her. I also think she has arthritis in her right front leg. Now, she sleeps most of the day inside. I couldn't bring myself to leave her out in this heat. I just got Pet Insurance for her but I'm going to have to wait a while before I take her to the vet and get checked out again. Those things can be very expensive.

She doesn't make use of the property but stays mostly on the patio when she's outside. She has a good sized dog house on the Patio. I set up a little pool for her which she enjoyed but took it down because the news keeps telling us about infected mosquitoes in the area and they love standing water. If your in the western Gulf Coast that sounds like the vicinity of southern Texas. Have you tried giving him a treat if he follows your command correctly? I just bought Lady-Gray some large Salmon flavored bones to give her when she goes potty but she's training me to give her one when she sits down and raises her paw. These dogs are too smart. I got a Corgi and a miniature Doberman at different times and she got along great with both of them but they managed to escape through holes where washes go under the fence which is why I'm in the process of putting up a doggy retaining wire.
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