Archie & Ivy the aussie border at the Williamstown back beach
Ivy the aussie border used to go on our pro off lead dog walks when she was a puppy to burn off energy and learn to be social.
The biggest risk for working dogs usually happens when they transition into adult hood and take their working status too importantly. That means they want to herd, nip or generally harass other dogs because there are no sheep around.
Not all border collies or aussie border dogs are like this, but a large percentage turn this way (one obsession or the other or anti social) because of their high intelligence and no outlet for this work instinct they were bred to have. Locking a working dog in an urban back yard with the occasional on lead or off lead walk is asking for trouble).
Ivy fortunately was of the kind of personality ( and walked daily off lead), and was NOT taught to fetch a ball repetitively (often causing obsessive behaviour in working dogs), so she had every chance of staying a social dog.
Along with this social behaviour she also enjoys exhibiting submissiveness to my dominant dog. she loves to lick his mouth and face, in an almost obsessive way. My dog doesn’t really like this, but loves it when the much faster Ivy asks him to chase her. That is what breaks the almost overly submissive nature up.
It is a really symbiotic play relationship that suits both dogs perfectly. And of course the biggest joy for both of these dogs is that years after they last walked together that they can take up right where they left off.
The off lead dog walks in Ivy’s early years and the constant walks now are testament to how these things have made her the kind of highly social dog she remains today.
These are the kinds of dogs that the dog parks really flourish with, and can help other dogs learn to be social.
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