Well, so I have a client (dog walking) with an Australian Shepherd - Callie. Callie is a totally cool dog. She's a bit ball obsessed, but holy crow is she responsive. I have it so that she will place the ball directly between my feet. If she doesn't, I tell her to "bring it" and point. She does.

I can see why people like dogs that are so handler focused - this dog would be really FUN to do Obedience or Agility with. The results would be awesome! I still don't think I could live with a dog quite that intense, but boy she sure is neat. I think I "get it" now. You'd definitely need to give the dog a job, though. Do you have to teach these guys "quiet time" or do they naturally tone down when worked enough? I don't mean Aussies in particular, just that sort of dog in general.
But don't get any ideas! I'm still a Basenji devotee! :-D I just may end up with an auxiliary dog, as Melanie says. Maybe. Someday.

-Andrea Stone
Saorsa Basenjis
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I can see why people like dogs that are so handler focused - this dog would be really FUN to ... they naturally tone down when worked enough? I don't mean Aussies in particular, just that sort of dog in general.

It depends on the dog. If you're very lucky, you'll get a high drive dog with a good off switch. Viva is that way. She's quite happy to lay around and sleep most of the day but tell her there's something to do and she's instantly in drive. Some dogs have to be "helped" to find their off switch. Cala is one of those. At this moment she's hanging her chin over my desk edge, trying to get me to throw her ball for her. She will do this for 2-3 hours per day, down from 4-6 hours.

Both of them benefit greatly from lots of good exercise and will reward me with more down time and less "I must have attention from you now" time when I don't want it.
I can see why people like dogs that are so handler focused - this dogwould be really FUN to do ... do they naturally tone down when worked enough? I don't mean Aussies inparticular, just that sort of dog in general.

Its an individual dog thing, at least from what I've found - some Shelties/Aussies/BCs/other herding breeds have an "off" switch, and some don't. The ones that don't tend to be on the go no matter what, indoors and out. That's too much for me - I love that my boys are able to curl up in the house quietly yet are full of energy and gusto when the time comes. They have a routine and like to stick to it, so when it is "frisbee time" or "ball time" they let me know, but they will settle even then if they have to (like, when it is raining, as it has been off and on for weeks, blech.)

Christy
The above describes all of my dogs very well. Blade and Clovis don't have much of an off switch when outside. Reznor has an off switch anywhere he goes.
Gwen
Do you have to teach these guys "quiet time" or do they naturally tone down when worked enough? I don't mean Aussies in particular, just that sort of dog in general.

Rocky often needs to be told when to tone down, otherwise he spends a lot of time pacing when inside, but I think that's the drugs talking. Friday has a great (and much appreciated) off switch - he's very high drive, but will settle immediately once he's in the car or at home.

Matt. Rocky's a Dog.
Well, so I have a client (dog walking) with an Australian Shepherd -Callie. Callie is a totally cool dog. She's ... place the ball directly between my feet. If she doesn't, I tell her to "bring it" and point. She does.

That's Coda's trick too. If I "fake" like I can't reach something, he'll nudge it closer. Of course, it's because he's toy obsessed, so it's all a selfish move on his part.
I can see why people like dogs that are so handler focused - this dogwould be really FUN to do ... they naturally tone down when worked enough? I don't mean Aussies in particular, just that sort of dog in general.

I don't know how living with an Aussie compares to living with a Belgian, but I have a feeling they are somewhat similar in terms of always being "ON" unless told otherwise (and even then, Bodhi is always "On", Belgians are a notoriously alert breed). I looked into Aussies a bit before getting a Belgian and really liked them, but I like tails & pointy ears. :-)
I love the intensity and the focus, and I don't know what I'd do with a dog that didn't give that to me without me working hard.
But don't get any ideas! I'm still a Basenji devotee! :-D I just may endup with an auxiliary dog, as Melanie says. Maybe. Someday.

I know someone that used to be a Basenji & Whippet person that is now a Belgian person. Honestly, I think she really is still a Basenji person deep down, but her SO has Belgians, so she has "adapted" (for all I know, she may still have a Basenji, I'm not sure). Shelly & The Boys
Do you have to teach these guys "quiet time" or ... Aussies in particular, just that sort of dog in general.

Rocky often needs to be told when to tone down, otherwise he spends a lot of time pacing when inside, ... appreciated) off switch - he's very high drive, but will settle immediately once he's in the car or at home.

ok, i have some questions. are these types of dogs into close contact with their people? do they sit still for petting or brushing or hugs? or are they less interested in cuddling? does it matter if it's a stranger or their owner?
the herding type dogs i've met at parks only seem interested in strangers as a ball throwing mechanism. they just won't sit for pets and such. they're needy, but not needy in the way i'm comfortable with. i need to be surrounded by dogs who sit on my feet and look at me adoringly, as i scratch behind their ears. i feel rejected by a dog who turns away when i reach out to pet them. yes, that's a personal problem, i know. :-)

-kelly
Rocky often needs to be told when to tone down, ... settle immediately once he's in the car or at home.

ok, i have some questions. are these types of dogs into close contact with their people? do they sit still for petting or brushing or hugs? or are they less interested in cuddling? does it matter if it's a stranger or their owner?

Rocky literally lives to be petted, even by friendly strangers. Friday is somewhat less pushy, though he goes crazy when he sees close friends.
I think that Friday is a pretty good example of a high drive dog with an off switch - he's also the consumate cuddler. The second I lay down on the couch, he's there nestling next to me. Same on the bed; luckily, I can shove him around so that he's not making me uncomfortable.

Matt. Rocky's a Dog.
Rocky literally lives to be petted, even by friendly strangers. Friday is somewhat less pushy, though he goes crazy when ... next to me. Same on the bed; luckily, I can shove him around so that he's not making me uncomfortable.

ok, that sounds like a dog i could live with.
there's a mostly white Aussie down the road from my house. i see him out in the yard with the llamas sometimes. his whole head is white, and he has a couple of black patches on his back. is this an uncommon color in the breed? i've never seen one with so much white before.

-kelly
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