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Okay so I have a Texas Heeler -- his mama is a champion Australian Shepard about 40lbs, very aloof and weary of strangers because it was just her and her owner on 40 acres of land for years. His daddy is a Blue Heeler reject, about 30lbs and has the sweetest personality! They won't let him work cows because of his small size but his family actively works them. My pup (Dallas) is the last of a litter of 9 but not the runt. So far he is weary of children and on the mellow side for an Aussie. My last pup was a Siberian Husky who was also the last of his litter -- he was 70lbs (maybe more) and NOT affectionate. The only person he listened to was me, my husband and he took some commands from our then 3 year old like sit & NO. He didn't like people and he only gave kisses to my husband -- in fact the only reason I know he loved me was because he would come keep y feet warm & he howled for the first time when I collapsed sick to let everyone know I needed help! He was protective of me since then. So you can understand that Dallas is a whole different ball game which is what we wanted because we are still heartbroken over loosing him and waited an entire year before my husband was ready to open his heart to another dog. Dallas is going to be between 30-40lbs and I know he will have a lot of energy to burn! Is it okay to work him like I did our husky? That dog could pull 200lbs easy and wore a back pack as well as a head collar. I still have his things but I kinda want to get Dallas all new stuff. I have been looking at the Halti harness but wondering if I should try just a collar & lead first? Can a dog that small handle a back pack? My husband wants to hike with him off leash -- idk about that? What would you bring on a hike for the dog? Has anyone ever used a cart with an Aussie?? His body is just so small and short compared to my husky -- I don't want to hurt him! Haha
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Weight pulling and backpacks will be great for him once he reaches adulthood, but you don't want to put too much stress on his puppy bones before then.

Hiking is a great activity for him, and you can have him off leash once he has a reliable recall. I use a 30ft training leash for my dogs when we go hiking and it works great, a few have even been able to transition to completely off leash.

Good luck with your little guy!
 
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