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How to calm down an energetic dog such as an Australian Shepherd

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Dogs bred to work, such as Aussies or Border Collies, can easily become bored if not challenged.

If you're one of the lucky few who live with an energetic dog, learning to walk him or her on the right leash is key to draining energy daily. And, with the addition of a backpack and a flexi leash, you'll have him happier in no time flat!

The Outward Hound backpack has proven to be a lifesaver for me in helping Killian drain energy. He's been comfortable with this backpack since the first time I put it on his back.

Update Jan 30, 2014: I am SO proud! How to calm down an energetic dog has been selected as Lens of the Day. That's a huge honor! Since I wrote this article, much has happened. For one thing, my darling Mom, Gertie, died in 2012 but Killian continues on his work of helping me around the house. Barley and Hops (2 of my eldest dogs) have died. But, ah, life goes on. We're currently owned by 4 dogs and 1 rescued cat.

Photo credit: All photos on this Squidoo article are my own unless they're items for sale on Amazon.com.

This Australian Shepherd is much happier when he has a job to do
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This Australian Shepherd is much happier when he has a job to do

With a little work and a lot of love, you can adapt an energetic dog to your lifestyle

Energetic dogs need a way to drain energy

I was lucky (?) enough to adopt a full bred Australian Shepherd 6 years ago. I took 'Jack' (now Killian) into my home with the idea of training him up, and sending him off to a good home like I did with 18 other foster dogs before him. Well, fate had a different idea. He came back to me after 3 short days at his new home. Through no fault of his own, this dog missed his mama! So, through a lot of tears and pleading (on my part) and whining (on his), I've finally figured out how to keep him happier and calmer in every day life and realized that he was truly my dog for good.

Killian joined a pack of three at the time. I had Barley, Hops and Killian. The pack has since grown to 6 with the addition of Rita, Gizmo, and Matee. Throughout all of the changes to our revolving pack, Killian has remained a strong alpha dog which has given me a run for my money. I knew I had to get the upper hand with some intense training.

I finally figured out that the trick to calming down a working dog is to give him some jobs - jobs that he has to think about. Killian trained very quickly to help my 93 year old mother pick up items she dropped. He doesn't even have to be asked to retrieve that stray kleenex, head under the bed for a wayward sock or shuffle the TV remote control between the two of us. But, even with those jobs, this dog was still bored. But, he was fine, until...

I noticed he's less settled as I just adopted my 6th (and last!) dog, Gizmo. With more time devoted to acclimating the new girl to the household, my interaction with poor Killian has slipped. As he slowly started to drive me nuts with unacceptable behavior such as charging the front door when guests appear, barking endlessly at squirrels or pestering Hops, my 3-legged dog, I decided that a change was needed. So, I started concentrating on giving him more jobs. Enter the doggie backpack....

Killian now is sporting a brand new Outward Hound backpack. This thing is a lifesaver! Not only does he tote items around the house for me but, when we're walking, he carries my cell phone, keys, his own treats and water. With 4 pockets, the doggie backpack is ideal for a short day trip. And, on cooler days when he needs to drain even more energy, I load his backpack with 2 paperback books for added weight. He's acclimated beautifully to the backpack and, now, when he sees it, he sits patiently for me to 'load em up.

Here are the backpacks on Amazon.com. Killian's exact pack is the first large link below:

 Kyjen Outward Hound Quick Release Dog BackPack, Medium, RedCheck Price Kyjen 2490, Dog Backpack Dog Pack Removable Saddlebag Style, Large, BlueCheck Price Mountainsmith Dog Pack (Medium, Heritage Red)Check Price Kyjen Outward Hound Excursion Dog Backpack (Medium, 26-32 Inch Girth, for Dogs 18-50 lbs.)Check Price

Give your dog something to do - Agility!

Killian ROCKED the agility course at dog camp
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Killian ROCKED the agility course at dog camp

Australian Shepherds excel on the agility course, generally placing second only to their cousin, the Border Collie (who are manic!). Agility training will not only give your Aussie some needed obedience training, but running around an agility course will drain excessive energy also. And, as an added bonus, you'll strengthen the bond between you and your dog through this type of training AND you just might lose a few pounds at the same time - your dog is not the only one who will be running around the agility course....

Find a beginning agility class and sign up. It might take a few instructors or a few different tries to find just the right agility trainer for you and your Australian Shepherd. Practice your dog's growing skills every chance you get; a walk in the park can net an extra training session as your Aussie balances and walks on a downed tree. A park bench can double as an agility table where your dog must get down and stay until you release him.

Agility equipment is quiet easy to purchase online. Below are a few beginner pieces that i've used and have loved. And, here's another article I wrote about training Killian in Agility:

Agility training - the perfect way to get a dog in motion
I trained Killian, the beautiful Australian Shepherd there in the picture, in canine agility for three years. Killian is a full bred Austraiian Shepherd whom I adopted 9 years ago. Not only was Killian not trained to even the 'sit' command when h...

Agility equipment for your Australian Shepherd

Dog Agility Equipment Construction Instructions: YOU CAN!  Build Better Training Obstacles for your Dog
Dog Agility Equipment Construction Instructions: YOU CAN! Build Better Training Obstacles for your Dog

If you're handy, with just a few tools and some PVC piping, you can easily make your own beginning agility obstacles

 
Affordable Agility in the Bag
Affordable Agility in the Bag

This is a great starter kit for beginning agility.

 
Channel Weave 6 Pole Set
Channel Weave 6 Pole Set

The weave poles were my favorite obstacle, if not Killians....

 
Killian loves his walks and his toys
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Killian loves his walks and his toys

Drain energy from a dog with the use of a Flexi leash

Let them run 'free.'

Flexi leashes are an amazing tool in helping to keep a dog under control but allowing him or her to run at the same time. These leashes have a roller built in and extend to a maximum of 26 feet so the dog can run too and fro only so far.

One hazard of the flexi leash though is that, even though the dog is on a lead, he or she can run into traffic so care must be taken to pay close attention to where your dog is.

But, Killian now has 52 feet to run (26 feet up and 26 feet back), from way behind me to charging in front. By the time we're done with our 3 mile walk, he's probably gone 5 miles! It's a win-win situation! He's exhausted and I'm not!

Flexi Leashes To The Rescue

I have 4 current dogs (updated Jan 2014) and the same number of flexi leads, in different styles and sizes, of course. On each walk, I rotate which dog will be on the flexi leads - it's impossible to try and walk more than one dog on these leads at a time as they get tangled. It's also not safe as you'll be very distracted trying to figure out whose lead needs to be let out and who needs to be reeled in.

They are wonderful tools though in releasing excess energy in dogs as they can run farther on the flexi lead. I prefer the 26 foot leads but that's just me.

And, as I was just updating this article, I found Flexi lead accessory bags which are a great idea! They just wrap right around the lead handle and you can add in poop bags, keys, money, dog treats, etc.

 Flexi Giant Retractable Belt Dog Leash, Extra Large, Red/Grey, 26-Feet Long, No Weight LimitCheck Price Flexi Giant Retractable Belt Dog Leash, Large, Black/Grey, 26-Feet Long, Supports up to 110-PoundCheck Price Flexi Leash Accessory Bag-BlackCheck Price

Killian relaxing in between jobs
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Killian relaxing in between jobs

Training Killian to help my Mom

My 94 year old Mom lives with me and, since Killian needed a few new jobs, I trained him to help out Gert with the help of a clicker trainer (positive reinforcement training). The first helpful task I trained him was to "pick it up." On this command, Killian immediately runs to wherever my mom is and picks up whatever she has dropped. Training him was quite easy as he's interested in everything so I started by dropping a paper towel which had the scent of a bone in it. He immediately went to the paper towel and smelled it. I clicked and rewarded. Eventually, he figured out that he needed to interact with the paper towel more to get a click and treat. It took us just 2 days to master this nice helpful dog trick.

Killian also puts the clothes in my front loading washer - but, his sorting skills suck. On my command of "do the wash," he will pick up and deposit in the washer whatever clothes are on the floor in front of the washer.

And, finally, Killian's newest skill is to close the refrigerator door for me. We just bought one of the new french door fridges with the freezer on the bottom. It's wonderful but the door doesn't easily close. Within 30 seconds, if a door is open, a chime will sound and Killian will willingly jump up and close the door. This trick is incredibly helpful and allows me more couch time (not that I need it!).

A tired Killian after his first ride
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A tired Killian after his first ride

Take your dog along on a bike ride

If you're not a jogger, it might be hard to drain energy from an energetic dog during a leisurely stroll. Kick the game up a notch by teaching your dog to run beside your bike. Easier than said than possibly done...

I just started this activity with Killian, and it's going very well. I started off by acclimating Killian to the bike. Since he can be a bit skittish, I attached a few dog bones right to the frame and encouraged him to approach and find the bones. He was thrilled and quickly accepted the bike as a good thing.

The next thing I did was walk the bike and the dog beside it on the left. I did a few laps in the driveway and taught him "left" and "right" in two days. Once I was sure that he could be verbally controlled, I was ready to try the first ride.

I suppose one could hold a dog leash and bike ride at the same time but I'm not sure this is the safest thing, especially if the bike has handbrakes. So, I attached his leash to the top bar of the bike and climbed aboard. A very SLOW bike ride ensued as I wasn't sure how he'd do with this new development. He was great and jogged right beside the bike. He responded very well to "left" and "right." My next purchase will be an official dog leash for a bike which will keep him a safe distance from the bike frame.

Anyway, here's a few things I've gathered during the process of teaching Killian to run beside the bike:

1. I should have taught him to stay on the right side as, when biking on a path, other riders will pass me on the left. I can protect him by having him on my right side. I can also have him run on grass (easier on his pads) while I stay on the bike path. So, today, I'm going to switch his sides.

2. Wear a helmet! Since you're not in full control of the bike as you normally would be, wear a helmet to protect your head during spills. So far, so good on Killian's and my front, but I'd rather be safe than very sorry.

3. Dogs are like people; if your dog hasn't had a lot of exercise for a while, slowly build his endurance with slow, short rides at a slow jog for him. As he gets used to the effort, increase the speed and length of the rides.

4. Pay attention to your dog's pads after each ride. Since your dog will be running, that's a lot of pounding on what could be tender pads. Make sure you're not overdoing it for him.

5. Pay attention to your dog's demeanor during the ride. If he appears overly fatigued, stop! Walk him and the bike back home.

6. Control your dog's water intake after the ride. He might gulp water and then will regurgitate it if he takes in too much too fast.

Bike riding with a dog!

This is Killian's second time out on the bike. I'm giving him commands which he is quickly learning of which "turning" is the most crucial! He also has already learned "let's GO" (speed up), "slowing" (obvious) and "oops!" which means he crossed onto the left side. Amazing dog.

More Of My Dog Articles

As you can probably tell, I'm nuts about my own, and, well, every dog. I rarely meet a dog I don't like - now, there's dog behavior I see that I don't like, but I don't blame the dog. Just like with children, it's the parent who is responsible for the training. There are no bad dogs, just bad dog owners. Be a good dog owner and train your dog to act pleasantly in society. We'll all thank you for it.

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Doggone great gifts for dog lovers
You're in exactly the right spot if you're looking for a few great gifts for dog lovers! I'm currently owned by six of the beasts (Barley, Hops, Killian, Margarita, Gizmo and Matee), and I spend a ton of money buying myself everything needed...

Unique Dog Switch Plates
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Some Items To Make Bike Riding With Your Dog Safer

I started out riding my bike with Killian's 6 foot leash in my hand. As he learned to come along, I started tying the leash to the bike. But, I see now that the Sprinter Bicycle Jogger (shown below) is perfect for us. It's on order!

 Springer Bicycle JoggerCheck Price Sunlite Bicycle Dog LeashCheck Price High Visibility Safety Vest with Pocket and ZipperCheck Price

The first time this Australian Shepherd had ever seen sheep

This video was taken at dog camp in Vermont a few years ago. Killian had never seen a sheep in his short life. I love to see his herding abilities "turn on" when instinct takes over. The shepherd said that he was a natural herder - he stayed 18" off the sheep's hindquarters and had no intention of getting closer.

See all 14 photos

The art of canine freestyle

There is some dispute about who came up with the idea of dancing with dogs (canine freestyle), but, regardless of whom gets credit, teaching your dog to dance will also drain energy.

Canine freestyle is moving with your dog to music. The dog never truly moves alone; it takes a strong partner (you) to teach him and guide him through a routine. Now, this doesn't mean that your dog won't put his own spin on things (sometimes literally), but learning canine freestyle is another method of obedience training.

There are two main organizations for canine freestyle in the US; The WCFO (World Canine Freestyle Organization) and the CFF (Canine Freestyle Federation). You can look at these two organizations this way - The CFF is interested in showing off the beauty of the dog through movement through dance. The routines are more focused on precision and fine tuned moves. The WCFO is the CFF with a sense of humor. The routines are much more animated, the humans get some focus too and, in general, the organization is laid back.

Killian and I trained with CFF for 3 years. During that time, his obedience lessons were a snap. He was happy, he was centered and focused. Once life got in the way (my 94 year old Mom came to live with me), canine freestyle fell by the wayside. Oh, I still put on a tune or two and run him through some paces but, in general, he was happy learning and working routines with me on a daily basis. I'm trying right now to find a local class which we can join to get back to this fun activity. This time around though, I'll join WCFO as I found the CFF to be too rigid.

So, get your dog started in canine freestyle as a fun activity. If you don't want to join an organized class, just grab some tunes, an open space of floor and teach him some of the below moves:

Twist: have your dog turn one way (like to the left) in a circle. To have your dog go the other way (to the right), give him a different command, such as circle.

Orbit: This is one of my favorites with Killian and is a crowd pleaser. Have your dog stand by your side and circle around you backwards. This always gets applause.

Weave: This move is when the dog will weave around your legs as you step forward.

Come: A good strong "Come" command is a beautiful way to start a routine, especially if the dog will come running enthusiastically and go straight into heel position.

A Few Of My Favorite Books On Dogs

I read a lot of books on dogs - the behavior of dogs just has always fascinated me. And, I'm now a huge supporter of only positive reinforcement training. There's never a need to put a choke collar on one of my dogs every again.

So, here's two of my very favorite books on dogs. They're both good reads and very interesting:

 The Power of Positive Dog TrainingCheck Price Dancing with Dogs: The Complete How-To and Troubleshooting Guide to Canine FreestyleCheck Price

Here's some more of my articles about dogs

There might be a few articles here that can assist you with an energetic dog. Sit down and read a spell -

Dog Collars with Bling
I'm sitting here looking for blingy dog collars for one of my little dogs, Rita. She's often mistaken for being a male dog as she's, well, let me put it politely - um, stocky. Rita's name should have been 'Tank- ini' as she re...

Prevent dog bloat by buying one of the best dog bowls for the gulping eater
I didn't even know that Go slow anti- gulping dog bowls even existed until I adopted a 'gulper' - that would be wee Gizmo, my littlest dog. Gizmo was so excited to have food every day (she had been a stray) that she would down her dog food i...

Goughnuts Dog Chew Toys - Perfect For Dogs Who Chew
We're currently owned by my 3 of rescue dogs and my boyfriend's pug. That makes 4 dogs to keep in chew toys - not an easy task around our house. So, when I found Goughnuts, the indestructible dog chew toy, I knew I was 'in! ' My most ag...

5 Things You Must Know About Traveling With Dogs
I write this Squidoo article '5 things you must know about traveling with dogs' from pure experience. You see, my darling Mother whom I cared for 5 years died just last month at the ripe old age of 95. In the plans for a long time was an extended...

Elizabethan collars for pets
My dog, Rita, has become, by far, my most expensive rescue dog following eye surgery during which she had to wear an Elizabethan collar, aka the cone of shame, or an E collar. For those of you unfamiliar or have never seen a dog who looks like they're...

Pet Steps - For The Dog Who Needs a Leg Up
Dog stairs to the rescue. I have 3 dogs who are under 12' tall. I've seen all 3 bounce off the side of the bed (even with a running start) when trying to jump up into bed or a favorite chair. Now, as bad as I felt to laugh at their ascent attemps...

Dog Bookends - The Perfect Gift for the Dog Lover in Your Life
I ran across a set of dog bookends at a local craft store recently and thought they'd be a great Christmas gift for a dog lover (like me! ). Adding a bit of class and a bit of laughter to the bookshelf, dog bookends may feature a Dauschund, a Terrier...

The Evolution of Dog Names (AKA: why isn't my dog coming when called?)
It dawned on me the other day that, although I have 6 dogs iiving with me (and, don't get me wrong - that's a LOT), an outsider would think there are at least a few dozen if he or she heard me calling my pets throughout the day. Each and every ca...

Killian knows he's a beautiful Australian Shepherd

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Killian thinking about dashing across my backyard in the snow last yearWaiting for the next commandKillian has a sense of humor. Good thing as you need one to live here!You can see the intelligence in his eyesKillian and his favorite 3-legged dog, Hops.Killian loves the agility course.This Australian Shepherd never met a sunroof he didn't like. Here his is heading down the road to my cabin in WV.
Killian thinking about dashing across my backyard in the snow last year
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Killian thinking about dashing across my backyard in the snow last year
Waiting for the next command
See all 14 photos
Waiting for the next command
Killian has a sense of humor. Good thing as you need one to live here!
See all 14 photos
Killian has a sense of humor. Good thing as you need one to live here!
You can see the intelligence in his eyes
See all 14 photos
You can see the intelligence in his eyes
Killian and his favorite 3-legged dog, Hops.
See all 14 photos
Killian and his favorite 3-legged dog, Hops.
Killian loves the agility course.
See all 14 photos
Killian loves the agility course.
This Australian Shepherd never met a sunroof he didn't like. Here his is heading down the road to my cabin in WV.
See all 14 photos
This Australian Shepherd never met a sunroof he didn't like. Here his is heading down the road to my cabin in WV.

 Last updated on January 30, 2014

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I swore to Killian he'd get a bone for each comment left... 53 comments

Scarlettohairy profile image

Scarlettohairy 3 years ago from Desert Southwest, U.S.A. Level 3 Commenter

Aww, good dog, Killian! "GIve me a bone, Mom. Mom. Mom. Mom. Mom. Bone!"


Jerrad28 3 years ago

Give Killian a bone for me ;) All great and loving dogs deserve lots of treats... Maybe that's why I had to put Sadie on a diet....


smithlights profile image

smithlights 3 years ago

Great ideas! I never thought of training my dogs to do such "useful" things! Rosco loves to go get the paper (just saying the word "paper" will get him running to the door), but he mostly likes to run around in the yard, and not actually getting the paper!


BobZau profile image

BobZau 3 years ago

Excellent and extremely informative lens. Throw Killian a Bone!


OhMe profile image

OhMe 3 years ago from Pendleton, SC Level 6 Commenter

I sure enjoyed meeting Killian, your beautiful Australian Shepherd. I was not familiar with some of these products so appreciate the heads up on how to calm down an energetic dog. We have a very energetic Bulldog who could use some calming down.


gottaloveit2 profile image

gottaloveit2 3 years ago Hub Author

@OhMe: Glad you liked it. Off all the things I've profiled, I think that the agility is the best way to calm down any dog - even a bulldog. I wouldn't though train a bulldog in summer in heat - wait until the sun goes down and keep a hose handy in case of overheating. Start off with a few small jumps.


anonymous 3 years ago

Another bone for Killian! He's a great dog! I enjoyed this lens--we have a large Black Lab who's very energetic too. Attempts to "drain" her have so far proved unsuccessful. We may have to try the backpack!


jessluvdogz 2 years ago

I am looking into an Aussie, and really want to do agilty with it. Thanks or the advice :-)


jimmyworldstar 2 years ago

Dogs love chasing and playing fetch so riding a bike at faster speeds can wear them out pretty good.


DeannaDiaz profile image

DeannaDiaz 2 years ago

I love my aussie! The are awesome dogs!


Ruthi 2 years ago

Killian has earned another dog bone! Killian is a beauty. My girls are chow/Aussie mutts and my Tidbit is a herder too.


Ruthi 2 years ago

Killian has earned another dog bone! Killian is a beauty. My girls are chow/Aussie mutts and my Tidbit is a herder too.


ChrissLJ profile image

ChrissLJ 2 years ago

Esme and M say he needs another bone! Esme, my mini, used to LOVE canine freestyle. Unfortunately due to health concerns, mine, we had to stop. It was amazing how it kept both of us in shape. We still go watch our friends strut their stuff fairly often, and her ears will perk up each time she hears the Hot, Hot, Hot song. A few times, she's even tried to drag me on the dance floor.


anonymous 2 years ago

Killian, this bone is from Shelby, who needs to keep her nose in everything. Great article ~thanks!


anonymous 2 years ago

This is awesome, and shows the true personality of an aussie. I can see my Duke in Killian. My heart grows heavier everyday as I see my Duke beginning to show age. I found your link by trying to find some information on how I can help Duke live out the rest of his days with full life. He is beginning to get lumps throughout his body and his hips are really beginning to slow him down and he limps at times when he first gets up. I honestly have never loved or been loved by an animal so much in my life, and I can't imagine this life without him. Tears flow as I write this. I see that same love and affection in Killian's eyes that I get from Duke. They know everything you say, and they communicate to you what they're thinking. I'd clone him if I could, and I don't even believe in that sort of thing, but you can't appreciate an aussie until you've had one. I've often thought about introducing another aussie into the family but Duke wants nothing of it, and I don't want to share any of my devotion with another animal for his sake. Thanks for posting these informational and beautiful pics and movies of Killian.


Dmarieinspires profile image

Dmarieinspires 2 years ago from St. Peters, MO

Love your lens. My Aussie Bella will share her bone with Killian :) well maybe they can trade it back and forth LOL


Keepingscore profile image

Keepingscore 2 years ago

Your lens was really good and thanks for sharing!!!


Mariajomith profile image

Mariajomith 2 years ago from pa

killian is very lucky to have you for his mom. I love that you have harnessed his energy so well.


Helene-Malmsio 2 years ago

I was very lucky that my beloved Peter was actually very calm for his breed - but not the brightest crayon in the box, despite the fact that they are supposed to be THE smartest dog breed. His main vice was digging, which I solved by putting chicken wire on the ground that the grass lawn grew over... I could mow it, but he couldn't dig it any more - lol! He was the sweetest and gentlest dog I have ever known.


octopen profile image

octopen 2 years ago

Cute dog, please add a poll on this lens. Good lens, thanks. LOVE your dog


Gypzeerose profile image

Gypzeerose 2 years ago Level 4 Commenter

Wonderful dog pictures - wonderful lens.


Hammocksaustralia profile image

Hammocksaustralia 2 years ago

Enjoy your bone mate!


Englishmastiffe profile image

Englishmastiffe 22 months ago

I hope he loves his bone! I know that my Mastiffs love all the bones they are getting!


mariacarbonara profile image

mariacarbonara 17 months ago

Beautiful dog! Great lens


Embeegee 14 months ago

I just love border collies, my daughter has a chocolate tri-colour border collie that she claimed from the pound. He is 10yo now, but has been a delight all his life.


Merrci profile image

Merrci 10 months ago from Oregon's Southern Coast Level 7 Commenter

Oh please give him another! Loved this lens! We had 3 part-aussie dogs. The first two were amazing dogs, loyal, obedient (mostly). The third nearly did me in, the poor sweetie! Could have used this lens then. She loved having scarves, clothes, anything put on her--she was probably wishing for a backpack! Great lens. Still smiling!


Lynn Klobuchar profile image

Lynn Klobuchar 9 months ago from Minneapolis, Minnesota Level 4 Commenter

What a gorgeous and intelligent dog! He and his 5 siblings must make for an animated house. Beautiful pictures. Thanks for sharing.


GeoffSmith LM profile image

GeoffSmith LM 9 months ago

That takes a lot of work. Wow.. We have a Black Retriever and he lives in the backyard. No leashes or anything. He is free and the only thing that stops him are the walls. But even if he has a lot of space to run and do whatever he likes, he still tries (and sometimes succeeds) to escape. He always returns after a few hours, but I am scared someone might do something bad to him. A really wild dog...


tonyleather 9 months ago

Lots of very sound advice in this excellent post!


ChickenKrazy profile image

ChickenKrazy 9 months ago

I have an Aussie mix and she is trained well. She enjoys herding my flock of chickens and ducks but is happy to be inside with the family. She is as busy as you want her to be...if we are outside she wants to herd and play but if inside she is content napping beside me. She is an excellent dog. Nice lens!! Good advice!


delia-delia profile image

delia-delia 9 months ago Level 4 Commenter

Congratulations on LOTD! Killian sounds like a very entertaining dog...he's very intelligent, as an Aussie Shep should be. Tell Killian he should share his bones with your other dogs ;-)

Sorry to hear about your mom's passing.


Merrci profile image

Merrci 9 months ago from Oregon's Southern Coast Level 7 Commenter

Just back to say congrats on LotD! I'm glad to see Killian on the front page where he should be! Great lens and great photos. Course you did have a wonderful subject!


Dressage Husband profile image

Dressage Husband 9 months ago from Pine Grove, Nova Scotia, Canada Level 5 Commenter

I have a Border Collie and he once escaped and came back with an entire herd of 15 deer he had rounded up in our front field so I know all about natural herders and energetic dogs. The lead deer seemed perplexed at being both out ran and out maneuvered by such an intelligent animal!

Well done on a great LOTD got to love these intelligent dogs!


tobydavis profile image

tobydavis 9 months ago

Love the ideas to use activities and teaching him tasks - so many owners try to 'train out' the natural instincts of a breed - when they should be encouraging them in the proper context - what a fantastic dog you have!


esmonaco profile image

esmonaco 9 months ago from Lakewood New York Level 7 Commenter

Great ideas and wonderful pictures, congratulations on LOTD!!


David Stone1 profile image

David Stone1 9 months ago from New York City Level 7 Commenter

I love dog stories, especially happy dog stories. This one's great. And congratulations on a well-earned LotD!


RinchenChodron 9 months ago

Congrats on your LOTD! Well done!


trevorjb1406 profile image

trevorjb1406 9 months ago Level 2 Commenter

Well we can't have him missing his bone! I have two German Shepherds both are rescue dogs. They are called Kane & Mable and Mable is the boss! Sadly we have been unable to train her to like other dogs so walking can be a challenge. Fortunately she loves people. Kane who is long haired and larger is a real gentleman! Love the lens!


AlleyCatLane 9 months ago

Congratulations on your LOTD, Lori! I'm not surprised you have had so many. All your articles are excellent. All of your animals are so lucky they found you.


Peggy Ingalls profile image

Peggy Ingalls 9 months ago from Purgitsville, WV

He's a beauty, all right. We have a white German Shepherd Dog who is extremely active, so I'm going to see if I can use some of your tricks with her.


SteveKaye profile image

SteveKaye 9 months ago from Placentia, CA, USA Level 4 Commenter

Wonderful article! Congratulations on receiving the LOTD. Even my cat, Olivia, liked this, especially the part of giving jobs to a dog. She sends a happy Meow.


SusanDeppner profile image

SusanDeppner 9 months ago from Arkansas USA Level 7 Commenter

I suspect Killian is going to get tired of bones with all of your LotD comments. :) Congratulations!


caossquidoo profile image

caossquidoo 9 months ago

Great ideas! I'd say "just let him run" :)


ElsieNew profile image

ElsieNew 9 months ago

Here's another bone for Killiam. He is such a smart dog. I wish my Otto (mix of rot and Boxer) was that smart. He is such a pretty and loveable dog though so I can forgive him for not being so smart.


Gypzeerose profile image

Gypzeerose 9 months ago Level 4 Commenter

Thanks so much for this great article - except I don't know how I will get back the hour of my life that spent watching canine freestyle videos. I have a bored Border collie - our fault not his. He used to be a working dog but he is now a city boy and it is a challenge. Plus I have a bunged up foot that makes even routine walks difficult. But I think your suggestions will give me some place to go with him. I especially liked the doggie backpack and also the freestyle dancing. I am finding out about how I can get Buckwheat involved in that. He is a very high spiritied dog, I am not even sure that I would choose the breed - but maybe he chose us so that we could grow. Maybe my son could help with the dancing, he loved seeing the dogs perform and their is a club in our area. Anyway, congrats on the LOTD and thanks for caring so much about dogs. Bookmarked and linked to my own lens: http://www.squidoo.com/puppymillsnomore because I want breed crazy people to realize what they are getting into before they buy a dog ( and I really want them to rescue) and I want them to get inspired by what one person has done to help make a troublesome dog a pleasure.


Diana Wenzel profile image

Diana Wenzel 9 months ago from Colorado Level 6 Commenter

My dog is barking as we listen to the sheep camp video. Toby got pretty excited. I can attest to the energy of Aussie's and Border Collies. To that I would add Huskies. Great suggestions here for working with the energy instead of against it. Congrats on LotD! Make sure Killian knows the bone is from me. :-)


shay-marie profile image

shay-marie 9 months ago from Southern California Level 3 Commenter

Killian is adorable, give him a whole side of beef! I've got a beagle/cattle dog mix, so she's got the energy of a cattle dog and the stubborness of a beagle. I results in some frustating walks as she tends to stop and lock up like a donkey... such a strange dichotomy!


nightbear lm profile image

nightbear lm 9 months ago

Killian is absolutely gorgeous and so smart. We have had three Aussies and each of them were so unique but with all the basic qualities you describe here. You must learn to lead your pack with love in order to have happy Aussies and you seem brilliant at it. Well done. Very entertaining and I loved the videos.


anonymous 9 months ago

Terrific story. Aaaah, give him two bones for every comment, he looks like a fun dog. Congratulations on getting LotD!


velvet53 9 months ago

What a beauty he is. My youngest son has a pure bred Border Collie and he likes to work. I know it is hard in the winter months but he is still keeping pretty busy. Great article.


Lynda Makara profile image

Lynda Makara 9 months ago Level 2 Commenter

Dogs are so amazing. I'm sure Killian is much happier now that he's got a job to do. And I'm glad my dog is more of a couch potato!


gottaloveit2 profile image

gottaloveit2 9 months ago Hub Author

@anonymous: Michele: For some reason, I can't get to your profile. Killian is also slowing down with the same symptoms (except the lumps - that's Gizmo's body). I just put him on methocarbamol and rimadyl to relieve pain in hips. Takes 2-3 weeks to work but then? Boy, does it! He's back to running, etc. Hope you read this.


DebMartin profile image

DebMartin 9 months ago Level 2 Commenter

Killian is a gem. You're a lucky, lucky girl. And so is Killian.

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