Aussie Mix with heart condition behaving badly outdoors

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Aussie Mix with heart condition behaving badly outdoors

This is a discussion on Aussie Mix with heart condition behaving badly outdoors within the Dog Training and Behavior forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Dogs category; Hi There, We have a 1year old Australian Shepherd/Border Collie/Mystery mix who was generally very well behaved until we moved into a house with a ...

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Old 01-04-2018, 12:24 PM
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Aussie Mix with heart condition behaving badly outdoors

Hi There,

We have a 1year old Australian Shepherd/Border Collie/Mystery mix who was generally very well behaved until we moved into a house with a big yard.

The reason for our move is that our Molly has cardiomyopathy, a condition where the heart muscle walls thicken, eventually leading to heart failure. We are meant to keep her quiet, which anyone with these breeds can imagine is near impossible. Our vet has acknowledged that her life will be shorter, but fuller if we still provide her with play and activities.

We moved to a house with a garden, so that we could play with Molly outdoors, as she can no longer go to the dog park (too much on her heart).

She still has plenty of supervised interactions and doggy dates, we go for about an hour (usually more) of walking a day, we play with her in the house and the garden throughout the day, give her plenty of attention (both of us work from home) and loads of healthy snacks.

Our issue is that since we have moved, she is behaving like a petulant 2 year old. She wants to be outside all the time, and will complain for HOURS to be let out. She will jump in our laps, paw at us, and generally complain. We can no longer say the 'G' word without her bounding to the door. She will ask to be let out the minute we come back from a walk.

If we indulge her, she refuses to come back in, actively doing the opposite of what we ask of her in that moment. It's way to cold to leave her outside on her own (-20)

She's driving me, and my partner nuts. "no" seems to mean she tries harder. She is in no way destructive, and still behaves on walks and around the house.

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Old 01-04-2018, 12:45 PM
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Oh I can only imagine how difficult that is with at least 2 HIGHLY intelligent breeds.

Are you stimulating the mind a lot? With more inside time required I would think you really have to work that brain. Brain games, scent work, trick training, etc. Where she has to limit physical exercise you may have to make up in mental exercise.

Also teaching her a place command might help you regain control when she is loosing her mind and bouncing off the walls. This will help her learn to switch it off so to say. As far as outside, I would get a long lead and hook her up when you go out. If she goes out and starts acting foolish then you have the ability to walk out, grab the end of the leash and reel her in and reward so she sees that listening is beneficial.
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Old 01-04-2018, 04:18 PM
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My dog loves going to the dog park and absolutely requires at least an hour or two at bare minimum of play and time there with other dogs. Walks and play with me are not good substitutes in his mind. He needs social dog time. He loves playing and wrestling and zooming at top speed with his favorite best buddies, occasionally making a cautious new buddy, time to sniff every inch of the park, patrol the fence line, say hi and elicit pets, butt rubs and treats from every person there and sniff and greet every dog even if they don't play.
It's been much too cold for more than ten minutes the past two weeks and rarely have we seen more than one or two dogs. He hates this and has gotten very strong on the leash and chewing up his toys and hyper in the apartment, usually at four to six am, not good for living in a large apartment building where I'm sure my neighbors hate me.
When he drags a loud squeaky toy out and finds it from where I've hidden it at four am or starts throwing the huge nylabone on the hardwood floors and tearing around at three am I say no leave it, come to bed time to sleep and take the toys and put them away in the cat condo near the bed. I don't let him take them out or bring them to bed because he destroys them.
Sometimes I have to take his collar and get him to jump on the bed and tell him to lie down. Belly rubs or ear or shoulder rubs usually get him to fall asleep within a couple of minutes. Of course then the nocturnal cats start tearing around or jump on him and wake him up and I want to kill all of them and move to California or a nice warm Caribbean island. Lol.
Sometimes I give up and just make myself a drink lol.
But if every time the dog tears around or does something when you want them quiet you put a lead or harness on it take them by the collar and redirect them and show them what you want them to do instead, and provide good things for doing what you want, it could help.
My dog relaxes and loves massages on his belly, shoulders and ears those are some of his favorite spots. And he loves lying cuddled up close to me being allowed on the bed on the soft down comforter. Those are all huge rewards for him and he forgets the need to chew and destroy the toys which he's doing out of boredom and frustration from not enough play and social time.
Other rewards might work for your girl if you don't want her in your bed.
Also I trained my dog to stop fighting with other males in the dog park with similar method. Every time he did I put on his harness and had him sit or lie down quietly with me and praised and patted him and gave him his favorite treats when he relaxed and didn't fight to get loose again. When he was relaxed in a down stay or started rolling over or giving me his paw on his own or started doing tricks I figured he was out of adrenaline fight mode and let him loose again. He started running to me licking his mouth whenever any conflict broke out with any other dogs. I always gave him tons of praise and rewards and treats. Now he never fights and if he does it's just a barking showdown and he extricates himself if another dog jumps on him and runs to me. He'll correct another dog with a growl or bark and mean snappy face if they try to hump him or really harass him but that's it. He knows fighting gets him on the leash.
Maybe your dog can learn racing around or barking when you just come in or whatever you don't want her doing gets redirected to loss of freedom and more quiet time? My dog's got boxer, lab, gsd/working/herding/hound, pitbull, in him according to DNA testing so not the same breeds but all high energy breeds. He can easily go to doggy daycare twelve hours a day take a break for an hour or two and be raring to go and hyper and need an hour or two at the dog park when I get him.
Good luck!
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