life, Pets

Dare You

Since this was a lighter topic blog week for me, I thought I’d expand on my last post about the great topic of dogs.

Aside from the two dogs we fostered several years ago, our family dog has always been an Australian Shepherd. As you can tell from the meme, strangers who come across us on walks usually mistake our dog for a Border Collie.

The differences are subtle, but the biggest “tell” is the tail. Or, should I say, lack there of. Most of the time Australian Shepherds do not have a tail and Border Collies do. However, some Aussies who are born with one do not get them docked. I suppose it’s up to the breeder if they happen to have puppies born with tails. I have seen some with tails (it’s rare), and it is more difficult to tell them apart.

The more subtle differences are the body and snout shapes. An Aussie has a square body, where the Border has a longer, leaner shape. Conversely, the Aussie has a longer snout than the Border. But with all the fur on both breeds, sometimes it’s difficult to see the body and snout shape.

Being a herding dog, most Aussies have high energy. If you’d like to adopt one, make sure you can do a lot of energetic activities with one.

Indulge me for a moment while I compare our newest Aussie to the ones we’ve loved and lost.Like most Aussies, Piezon (Paesano in Italian roughly meaning “friend”) was a pile of energy. We got him involved in a fast-paced racing game called flyball, and that helped him to settle down. He liked having a job and used to pick things up for me around the house. And even though he seemed to not be paying attention due to hyper-activity, somehow he understood commands and was super easy to train. Max, our second Aussie, was three years old when we adopted him. The couple who had him before us had trained him already. This dog was heaven. He was medium energy and didn’t need as much activity. He was perfectly happy running in our back yard. His job was watching for those intimidating delivery trucks and warning them to behave.Tre has the energy that Piezon had but he cannot focus. We hired a trainer. We tried getting him involved in a few doggy activities, but he still can’t focus. However, recently Tre discovered the dog park. Surprisingly, this activity of play has given him the exercise he seemed to need. He’s more relaxed and focused after play time at the park. He probably would’ve been better off in a two-dog household, but we’re too old for one energetic dog let alone two.

He’s doing better, but we’re still working on him. He just turned three on August 30th, so age will help as well.

Thanks for reading about Australian Shepherds, Border Collies, and my three sons. 😉

Have a joyous weekend.

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12 thoughts on “Dare You”

  1. Your pups are beauties, Lori. It’s fun to read about how active they are and how you’ve accommodated their energy levels. My husband and I are without dogs for the first time in our lives, and it’s really hard. As we contemplate whether to get another (pair), we know we’ll need lazy mellow couch dogs. I love the energy of Aussies, but could never keep up. I’m tired just thinking about it. Lol

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    1. It’s strange being without a pup, isn’t it? We went for 18 months in between each of our guys and it was an odd feeling. We’re older now and hesitated getting a third (he’s named Tre/Trey cause he’s #3). We asked the rescue to find us a medium energy Aussie like our second guy. As soon as we got Tre home, I instantly regretted it. You’re right, I’m too exhausted at this age to keep up. However, the rescue group didn’t know how to place a dog for what people are looking for, so I didn’t want Tre to keep getting passed around. It’s a year now, and we’re working through it. Thank you for reading about the three loves of my life.

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      1. I’m so glad Trey has found his forever home. We’re in our 60’s and don’t want a pup to outlive us. One more time and then we really need to be done. But a little traveling first, which we’ve never been able to do with dogs.

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        1. Yep. I get it. I turn 60 next month. I do wish we could travel more. It looks like Tre will be coming along for driving vacations. Got a cabin lined up to visit soon. Have a beautiful weekend, Miss Peach.

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  2. Thanks, Lori! An interesting read. I didn’t know much about the differences between border collies and Aussies. Nice that Tre has discovered the joys of the dog park. Our last dog (mostly terrier but his DNA was pretty mixed, too) liked to go to the dog park, but he didn’t socialise with the other dogs, he just liked to be there. We’re thinking of getting another dog when I retire next year. Cheers.

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    1. It’s fascinating how each dog comes with their own personality as well. My first two dogs did not like the dog park or other dogs. One time each and that was enough for them. Now Tre loves it. Interesting how your dog treated the park as well. Let us know if you get a new pup. 🙂

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