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Old 07-06-2008, 02:25 PM
1 posts, read 59,140 times
Reputation: 18


I have been looking into getting a dog, for some time now.
I have done tons of research, and the dog that fits me best, is an Australian Shepherd. I am able to provide at least 2-3 hours of exercise a day, own a large yard, and an Aussies temperament, intelligence, and personality is exactly what I am looking for.

The trouble is...I work from 8am-3pm 5 days a week (as I am a teacher).
I know that Aussies need tons of mental and physical attention and become easily bored. This would not be a problem when I am home, and the two weekend days.
However, I am worried about those 7 hours alone for 5 days a week.

I know most other dogs can do this. But the trouble is, I am not interested in most other dogs, I am interested mainly in Aussies.

Does anybody have any experience in this department?
Is there a chance I could still own an Australian Shepherd? Or does the fact that I am gone for so long completelly rule them out?
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Old 07-06-2008, 03:03 PM
Location: Where I want to be!
6,196 posts, read 5,424,294 times
Reputation: 2578
Well you have found someone with 2 Aussie and I leave them in the house while I work, we of course went through some tough times but no more than any other breed. By the time they were a yr old I no longer worried about locking my doors, lol. I am prejudice now I love the Aussie. I will add that they are not for everyone, and they can be highly protective which is some thing I like. When leaving them expecially at a young age you have to provide them with lots of toys. Now when I first got my boys almost 4 yrs ago I knew nothing about the breed, but worked with the breeder and rec'd an education from her. You also have to have alot of stamina and patience with them. Remember they are very smart. A big play area is a definate plus and it needs at least a 6 foot privacy fence if you plan on turning them out alone. Mine can scale the 6 ft but they know better! Do you have children, live alone, ect. this is something to consider also. Aussie will take hold of 1 member in a household, maybe 2 and not listen well to others. My 2 boys will split their time between my daughter and me, but one will listen to her and the other won't. they are wonderful dogs, please do look into the rescues, alot of them end up there. People dont do their research first and find out they can't handle the Aussie.
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Old 07-06-2008, 03:51 PM
Location: Mostly in my head
19,856 posts, read 65,489,826 times
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An old Aussie rescue might fit better. They would have burned off at least the puppy part of their energy.
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Old 07-06-2008, 04:20 PM
4,948 posts, read 18,607,976 times
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know what, it can be done. First find a good breeder. second visit, and tell the breeder your situation. The first year is the hard one. You could crate the dog in the kitchen
or maybe even doggy day care, or a dog walker around 11:00. You also could look towards an older dog say 2 or 3. Best of luck-mainly a good breeder! If you fine a puppy about 5 months, that would be great. Just go to the breed club and check.
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Old 07-06-2008, 04:27 PM
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Getting a dog walker is probably the best thing you can do for your dog. Do you go 7 h without a bathroom break? If you do, congratulations, but most dogs find it uncomfortable. A break mid-day with a walker is the perfect solution for your dog.
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Old 07-06-2008, 05:29 PM
Location: Sarasota, Florida
3,412 posts, read 10,126,923 times
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My 2 GSDs stay home by themselves for 8 hours, 3 days a week. They are grown however. You might be better off not getting a puppy, but more mature dog, one that has been trained etc.
If you get your dog out in the morning and run him, he should be ok until you get home and take thim out again.

Good luck!
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Old 07-06-2008, 07:30 PM
Location: Chicago suburb
702 posts, read 2,511,853 times
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My brother and sister in law have two aussies and they were newbie dog owners and both dogs were adopted. My sister in law loves a perfectly kept house so why they got these dogs I don't know, but they are sweet and beautiful and very smart and active. One came first and she was something else. She destroyed many things in the house and had severe separation anxiety. My sister in law doesn't work, but obviousley needed to go out and run errands. She wound up having to crate the dog. Then they found this dog walker/ trainer who specializes in Aussies and comes by 3 times a week to take the dogs on an outing to give them lots of exersize. The dogs are doing much better. They still haven't been through basic obedience nor do they get enough exersize, but they are much better due to the dog walker and now they have more experience with the dogs.

I think if you work with a trainer, give the dog lots of exersize, keep their mind busy and research the breed as much as possible, you will be ok. Good luck!
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Old 07-06-2008, 08:23 PM
82 posts, read 432,290 times
Reputation: 55
I've had Aussies for 20 years and while they're a lovely breed, they do present some challenges to their owners. We both work during the day and the dogs stay home alone, but our youngest is now 4 years old. The bigger challenge has always been providing adequate socialization and training time to dogs under 18 months to 2 years of age, when they have the most energy and also must be introduced to a variety of different types of people and situations (Aussies tend to be naturally reserved and natural reserve can lead to ove- protectiveness or aggression (or fear aggression) in an improperly socialized dog.)

If you've never raised an Aussie before and don't have a long vacation planned, you may want to consider an adult dog. Aussie rescue (try ARPH and STAAR) as well as reputable breeders perhaps looking to retire or place a dog (note: such a dog may be still quite young... even a year or two of age) might be your best place to begin. They are many fantastic dogs available as far too many people don't research the breed before selecting it and, as has been said, it's definitely not the breed for everyone.
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Old 07-07-2008, 03:11 PM
Location: North Carolina
265 posts, read 1,286,844 times
Reputation: 212
You've gotten some great advice here regarding the possibility of an older dog and/or a dog walker. Also, kudos to you for researching the breed in advance and planning on lots of mental stimulation and exercise. I too am a proud, love-struck Aussie owner, and in fact, today is the one-year anniversary my boy came into my life permanently! I also have two STandards, so he gets lots of stimulation and social interaction. Because my work day is close to 10 hours when I factor in drive time, I have a dog walker come in daily to play with/exercise/ensure they have enough water, etc. I can tell you he's very smart, very fresh, and completely rules the roost in an underhanded kind of way Best of luck to you!!!

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Old 07-07-2008, 07:26 PM
Location: Melbourne, FL
1,007 posts, read 5,641,344 times
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I agree with the other posters here about an aussie. I have one and she is smart, sweet and the most loveable dog. However, a puppy is a lot of work. Mine had separation anxiety for ahwile.. make sure they have lots to chew on. Mine liked to chew on rugs and I was at home a lot. They do need socialization as another poster said as well. I tried, but my dog really doesn't like any dog larger than herself. They are protective and if you don't have any kids, be careful when you are around them as they tend to react when they reach for the dog. I would get another one as they are so much fun and energetic. You'll do fine as long as you train them, keep them active and have them as part of the family. As they mature, they are more comfortable at home alone.
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