|Barked: Fri Mar 26, '10 10:34am PST |
|Unfortunately Charlie every "sterotype" has a grain of truth somewhere I do believe.
I have two right now, that are very young my female is just 10 weeks my male a little younger than her, but I have had a lot of experience with the breed. I owned working line actively herding Aussies prior to ACDs. I also did research for over a year before deciding to take one on. What I encourage you to do is make friends with others who have heelers, and watch the way they work…all of them are wired at least somewhat similarly.
To address your bad experience. I too worked at a vet hospital. Mine was an emergency hospital while I was pursuing my degree. What I found was not specific to ACDs, but to all herding breeds. There is a different “feel” when you are working with a herding breed than when you are working with a companion breed meant to accept all strangers without hesitation. This “feel” can lead to a bad experience. Herding breeds HAVE to be sensitive, they are always watching, especially ACDs I wouldn’t have it any other way. A rancher wouldn’t want a dog that wasn’t vigilant around his cattle to put it bluntly he would be going through many dogs a year.
As far as muzzling, eh…it depends on the lines you go…but a well trained and socialized dog should not need to wear a muzzle. That being said, if you get an ACD with a LOT of drive some people say they can be “too” busy to learn…and honestly I would rather them muzzle my dog and not get bitten. What you have to understand and accept is that they do not trust everyone. They are meant to work alone with their handler and at times they were looked upon to protect that handler, and thus hesitation has been bred into them. So this problem can occur, I’m not saying it can’t be trained out of them…mine go the vet often and have done fine. With both my pups they go even to just be handled and get used to the experience so that I DON”T have to deal with those issues down the road.
Novice owners…it can work. But you have to be willing to make a change to your lifestyle. What I’ve always told people when they ask me about my dogs is that I don’t have a dog that fits with my lifestyle, I have a lifestyle that fits with my dog. I literally do, I work as an engineer, both my dogs will come to work with me, on lunch breaks its Frisbee time, on weekends I am either at a trial, or training formally in someway. So yes, a novice owner can do it, but it will require a lot of research, and as with any dog it will require commitment. So good luck, I’m not an expert by any means, hopefully there will be someone who has dealt more with ACDs specifically, but that’s my jist on it…hopefully it helps you in someway