|Barked: Mon Apr 30, '12 12:41pm PST |
|Hi everyone I adopted a two-year-old Australian shepherd, and overall he's a sweetheart. Before adopting him, I did some research and had concerns about whether my house would be the right place for him. I have a smallish backyard and am not an athletic person, so I wasn't sure if I could give him the amount of exercise he needed. His foster "parents" told me he wasn't a very high-energy dog, so they didn't foresee a problem. They also said he ignored their cats, which was another potential issue, as I have three cats I didn't want him to chase.
Fast forward six months, and he chases my cats quite a bit. I've taken him to obedience classes, so I know techniques for distracting him, but they don't always work (and I know he's simply acting on his instincts). He hasn't hurt the cats, but he does scare the heck out of them (and irritates me to no end).
I feel as though a big part of the problem is that he's bored and needs more exercise. I take him for daily walks, and play with him in the backyard, but I don't think this is enough activity to satisfy him physically or mentally. (I wish I could exercise him more, but health issues and my work schedule prevent me from doing that.) I don't think his foster parents intentionally misled me, as I'm sure he was low-energy and ignored cats in their home, but my experience has been the opposite. I love him to pieces, but had I known then what I know now, I wouldn't have adopted him, more for his sake than for my own, as I hate the feeling that I'm not able to meet his needs.
Do any other aussie owners have advice? Is this a situation I can resolve, or would another home be a better option for him? The foster organization is willing to take him back, but I'd miss him to pieces, so I thought I'd get some feedback before I take such a drastic route.
Thanks in advance!
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