Hi all, I'm looking for other people's personal experiences with Australian Cattle Dogs. I'm seeing a lot of generalized information that is all the same, but I'm looking for real stories.
Have you owned one? Do you own one? What was your dog's personality? Did you have any issues you had to work through? Were they easy to train? How did you train? What did you do for exercise? Mental stimulation? Did you crate while unsupervised or gate off?
Hello! I am the current owner of a cattle dog that I rescued 4 months ago. She is about a year and a half old, and let me tell you, missing that first year of her life has made training much more difficult. She has been independent for a year, and so now getting her to see me as her owner, whom she should obey is a trick. The first year of a heeler's life is SO crucial for training. She is SUPER sweet, loyal and protective, but she has an independent mind which can make it hard for her to focus and listen sometimes. She has also developed leash reactivity since I got her, which we are taking training classes for. When I first got her, she was not potty-trained, and crate training was a huge help with that, and I would highly recommend it. Mental stimulation is a MUST, the more exercise, mental and physical, you can give them, the better. They will be more calm at home, and less likely to destroy your beloved things.I use clicker training with her every time we go for walks, and even during let outs, especially since she is reactive. For exercise, any open field or green space we can find, we go to and she runs and runs. At the very least, a 30-min daily walk is a MUST. These dogs have energy to BURN, and they also get their energy back VERY quickly, so sometimes 2 walks a day are needed. A farm or fenced in yard would be ideal for running. I do live in an apartment, and am aware of how a breed like hers could respond to this, which is why we are outside as much as possible every day. She is not destructive inside, and is more affectionate than most cattle dogs. Despite all the challenges that can come with this breed, if you put in the time (because boy does it take time, and LOTS of CONSISTENT training), they will love you and be loyal to you forever. Cattle dogs are very much a one owner breed, and it's a great feeling being that one person they devote their lives to.