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I adopted my Austrailian Cattle Dog, Axel, back in October. He is about a year and 3 months old. He was adopted as a young puppy then found a year later in NYC. The rescue took him back and they had him for a month before I adopted him. He was about 10lbs under weight (pretty substantial for a 35lb dog!) and very sick. Thus far he's been mostly wonderful. He's house broken, crate trained and is really taken to obedience like a fish to water! He will pick up things in group obedience class that it takes dogs several weeks go get!

Now that he is feeling better and he has bonded with us he's feeling his oats a bit! The first incident happened in late November when we had the dog trainer out. The trainer entered my house seemingly uninvited to my dog (I actually did invite him in) and my dog took a sniff then jumped up and grabbed his jacket. Luckily I'm good at reading dogs and I was able to pull him back. To be honest I would have excepted my old rottie to do the same! Things were fine after that for a while. We worked on door manners with some friends and things have been ok. Fast forward to last weekend, I go to my in-laws house to escape the craziness of living in an apartment complex during a blizzard, plus Axel was already there with my significant other. All the neighbors are outside with their kids. Things were going swimmingly! A male neighbor (who was a little drunk) even grabbed him by the collar to position him for a photo. I promptly yelled at him and told him not to do that, but the dog was no worse for wear. A little while later a teenage comes to hang out with us. He has this snow blower toy he is goes to bring over to one of the kids. Well, he comes between me and the dog and starts running while pushing this toy. My dog immediately turn around and snapped at him. Of course, I saw it coming and even though I wasn't able to stop it the dog didn't make contact.

Come May we will be moving back to my SO's parents house. It's a fairly busy house between family and friends coming through and I'm worried sick about this because I won't be there 24/7 to watch what goes on and they aren't the best dog people (they have a mini weiner dog who is ancient). I've been trying hard to get him to associate strangers with good things, like treats. Yesterday we had 3 male family members over the house and he was wonderful. He did try to nip the first guy, but after good correction and some treats Axel was sitting at his feet looking for a back scratch! They were all sitting around the dining room table and he wouldn't stop wagging his tail looking for treats! This makes me think there is hope, but I can't help but be worried sick about the future.

I'm really going to amp up the reward training, whether it be at the park, in the pet store or maybe even taking him to a shopping center or something. I'd like to have more people over, but I really don't have to many friends, and zero guy friends for that matter!! I think I'm going to ask my in-laws to let tell me whenever family comes over so I can be present too.

What else can I do?

If it helps, he does get a lot of excercise. He has a backpack I walk him with, a bike I run him with and he comes to the barn with me several days a week and plays with the dogs there. We used to go to the dog park a lot, but I'm taking a break from that. Oh, and he does "doggy daycare" at petsmart every once in a while.
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