New ACD owner--Training and Entertaining the right way?

This is a forum for bonding with your fellow Dogsters about the traits, quirks and idiosyncrasies of your favorite breed. Please remember that there are absolutely no animal sales or requests for studding or breeding allowed on our sites. All posts and interactions should be in the spirit of Dogster's Community Guidelines and should be fun, friendly and informational. Enjoy!


Barked: Sat May 10, '14 7:12am PST 
I'm sorry this is so long, but I have a lot of questions and wanted to explain everything!

Hello everyone!
I just had the pleasure of becoming a mommy to an adorable, goofy Blue Heeler puppy 2 months ago. His name is Cash. Named after Johnny Cash.
Now, I will admit...Cash is a HANDFUL! I have had dogs my entire life, from labs to boxers to Great Danes and chihuahuas. But never in my life have I EVER met a dog like this.
I thought I would be able to handle this little bundle of joy with ease but I am finding it difficult. I hate to admit it, but he has gotten the better of me on more then a couple of occasions and gotten a stern pop on the butt. I know I shouldn't so that is why I have scoured the Internet to find the right way to handle my energetic fur baby. So I wanted to get feedback from other ACD owners on what works and what doesn't, and if my "new" approach to raising him is going in the right direction.

I have another dog, Parker, a chihuahua and cavalier King Charles mix. All 3 of us go on an at least 30min-Hour long walk in the morning everyday! I also try to take them on a 30 minute walk in the evenings too, but if we don't do that I will play fetch with them in the backyard for 30-45 minutes. Does anybody have any other suggestions on play and stimulation? I try to give them bones during the day to kill some of the chewing issues he has, but they fight over the bones. Cash will go hide his bone and then come take Parker's.

Speaking of him and Parker. When they first met, it was friendship from day 1. But now a days that's not the case. Parker is a whopping 9 lbs, and now at 4 months, cash is around 15 lbs. He dominates Parker, often flipping him and pinning him to the ground. They do fine for a while but then Parker gets fed up and hides in a hole in a cat tower we have. Does anybody have any suggestion for this?

I am thinking of getting 2 crates for each of them and starting crate training as Cash is still not potty trained. Even though I take him out every time he wakes from a nap, after drinking and eating, he still pottys in the house. I always give him plenty of encouragement and treats when he goes so I am not sure why he still does it. We will even go out for 10-20 minutes with me saying "cash, potty". And he will not go, but 2 minutes after getting back in the house he goes.

Any help or encouragement would be greatly appreciated! I sincerely love this dog to death and want him to be the best dog he can be!


Barked: Tue Dec 23, '14 11:05am PST 
The exercise you describe sounds a bit low for an ACD pup. My ACD mix is about 7-years-old, and a bit of a couch potato (at least for an ACD) but we walk almost 3 miles per day, weather permitting. Sometimes we go for a second shorter walk if time permits. Or I'll take her somewhere like the park or a pet store, for some extra mental stimulation.

I've also started feeding her using a treat dispensing ball. This slows her down and stimulates her mind. I also teach her tricks beyond normal obedience. You can see how much she loves learning. I'll try to teach her to identify toys by name, or how to pick up a basket, and things like this. (YouTube has tons of trick training videos.) Mental exercise is just as important as physical exercise.

ACDs can be very dominant and dog-selective. Mine will totally bully a dog that lets her get away with it, though I've seen an assertive Min-Pin push her around. But you need to step in and make it clear that this behavior isn't allowed. Though it's not unusual for an older dog to get tired of puppy energy.