Give your best friend a chance
STAR pupil Ace is top of the pack in Emma Dakin’s life and she wouldn’t swap her smart-as-a-whip cattle dog for any other breed.
Unfortunately, many people who find working dog breeds irresistible as puppies are shell-shocked when they end up with energetic juveniles.
RSPCA Queensland is being overrun with young working dogs between the ages of six and 10 months that have either been surrendered or come in as strays. Rather than give up on them, they are asking people to not surrender or abandon them but instead take them to dog training.
Gympie RSPCA shelter manager Rebecca Brazier said while they saw a lot of working dog breeds through the centre, they tried to adopt them to people who understood their needs.
“These dogs make very loyal pets,” Rebecca said.
“But they are working dogs – they need to be walked every day and they need physical and mental stimulation because they are extremely intelligent.”
It’s not a huge amount of time that you have to devote to training, Gympie Veterinary Services receptionist Emma says of her obedient mate Ace.
“Maybe one night a week. You have to have a good relationship with your dog – they have to trust you,” she said.
“You can start training a puppy from about eight weeks of age. We have a puppy preschool here at the clinic or you can take them to dog obedience classes.”
At only 15 months, Ace is already a rookie with Gympie’s pet therapy program, where exemplary mannered dogs visit seniors in aged care homes.
“I love taking him places because he’s so well behaved,” Emma said.
Gympie Dog Obedience Club secretary Kyla Taylor said putting in that training effort made all the difference to breeds such as cattle dogs, border collies and kelpies.
“Dog obedience training gives them a foundation. We are talking about active dogs with active minds that need to be learning new things,” she said.
Gympie RSPCA currently has a German coolie (a working dog) looking for an active family to adopt him.
“Someone with working dog experience willing to put in the time with Macca would be ideal,” Rebecca said.
For more information phone RSPCA Gympie on 5482 9407. For information on dog training phone the Gympie Dog Obedience Club on 0437 933 043.