Getting Kicked in the Head

2013-12-03 17.35.35What is with this dog? I realize that heelers are bred to do just that, heel cattle…chase them up the alley and into the tub but how many times does this dog have to get kicked in the head before he figures out it really isn’t that much fun to nip the heels of those cows.

As we head down to the barn we may tell him to “stay at the house”. He will sit on the back step and watch as we walk towards the barn.  All it takes is that secret sound to bring him down to the barn in a full run.  That secret sound?  Hep hep!  As soon as he hears that sound coming from the barn there is no holding him back. He knows it’s time to get to work.

It amazes me that dogs that are bred for a particular job don’t even need formal training to have it “in them’”. Tooter, our dachshund loves to get her nose down any little hole she can find and “get it! get it!” Rowdy is a cross between a red heeler and a blue heeler. He LOVES to work cattle. He will stand right by your side and follow you all over the lot until the cows don’t move as fast as he wants them to then BAM he’s in there nipping their heels.  We have never trained him, we have never shown him what to do, he just does it on instinct.

When you think about getting a dog for your family, keep this in mind. Dogs are bred for a particular purpose. If you have an active lifestyle and lots of room for a dog to roam then by all means get a working breed. But, if you live in town with a small lot and don’t have a very active lifestyle you definitely don’t want a dog from a working breed. These dogs don’t like to sit around and watch television with you. They have a job to do and they love to do it.

Pedigree has an awesome tool on their website. It helps you “Select a Dog” based on a 3 step process of answering some very simple questions like “How big is your home?” “How large is your yard?” “Will you be able to keep the dog secure?” Three simple steps and it will give you a list of breeds that fit your lifestyle.  I was surprised to see bull mastiff on my choice.  Here is a link to the form on Pedigree.

REMEMBER! A pet (dog, cat, bird, reptile) is NOT a Christmas gift!  It is a lifetime commitment. They are not throw away objects! You can’t decide that it just doesn’t fit your lifestyle and just “drop it off” somewhere.  And it is never a good idea to give a pet as a gift to someone else. What if they don’t want the animal. Best is to ask first.

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