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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hey, everyone. I'm ThatBlueAussie! Before you yell at me for trying to steal someone's dog, let me explain.

Once or twice a year, my family visits relatives in Nebraska. Said relatives have a neighbor with the cutest dog I've ever seen; a 2 or 3 year-old Toy Australian Shepherd. He's a Blue Merle with the prettiest eyes and the most 'spunk in his step' that I've ever seen in a dog... A little too much, in fact.

Said neighbors don't let this dog inside. They say he 'pees on the floor', but this dog is not (as of Thanksgiving) neutered. Owner said that she plans to have him neutered this winter, but wether this happens or not is questionable. I believe that it is not 'peeing on the floor', but 'marking his territory'.

So, this tiny little dog sits in a garage all winter. In the summer, he's chained up outside with access to the garage. Water bowl is frequently tipped over/empty, and the dog can eat as much as he wants. ETA: I managed to convince them to get puppy food for him when he was younger, as he was eating adult food and ti was making him sick. Now he's on this IAMS stuff in a green bag, not sure what it is. Yard is not picked up; feces is left wherever it's dropped. I'm convinced the poor dog is going to break his neck because one of the children will throw toys that land out of range of him, and he runs for it, hits the end of the line, and does a backflip. Poor dog is so thirsty for attention that I've taught him 9 different tricks (although he doesn't do them every time, he knows what I ask) without the use of treats, just verbal praise and pets... Come, sit, wait, 'through' (weaving through my legs), over, under, 'jump', stay down, and 'no barks' (after showing him that I see what he's barking at.. Read somewhere that you shouldn't /not/ let a dog bark, but acknowledge the thing he's barking at (since it's like a 'warning') and then tell them to be quiet.)

As smart as he is, he still has some bad and potentially dangerous habits. Namely, not listening to owner when off-leash, and running across a highway to a place that he knows has a fenced in yard that he can run loose in. Therefore, he gets no off-leash time unless I'm there, because he listens to me. He also has what I think is separation anxiety; If I leave (to, say, go to bed after working with him all day) he just barks and barks and barks! Not sure what to do about that.

Now, this dog is not being 'abused' per say; the lady that owns him is pretty nice but 'protective' of him. He's healthy, active, has a nice coat (that I have to cut mats out of occasionally, but they're not huge (not like his whole coat is matted)), and *normally* has adequate food and water.

I just think that, well, I could treat him better. He's such a smart little dog. Willing to please, easy to train, and cat-friendly. I'm not sure how to go about asking/convincing his owner to let me bring him home.

What do you guys think?

I don't want to call the police, because he's not in a terrible condition (there are surely dogs worse off on the nearby reservation). My parent's wouldn't let me 'pay' to take the dog, but they agree that if I could get him for free, we could take him and give him a better home.

It sounds terrible now that I've typed it out. Sounds worse than it is, but it's all true. Just can't find enough good reasons to leave him there without trying.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Ah, but I don't think the owners will give him up that easily. As crappy of care they give him, you'd think they'd hand him away for free... Not the case. I've dropped a few subtle hints (doesn't help that I'm not in any way outgoing and have trouble asking people for things) and no response. Plus, my parents don't want me to 'pay' for the dog; they'd rather I talked the owners into giving him to us.

Unfortunately I don't have a job, either, so if that's the option you guys think is best, I'll have to start saving.. No clue how much owners would want for him. Probably an outrageous amount.
 

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You wont know until you talk to them. kinda not flattering that you come off calculating towards getting their dog but yet they seem to welcome you , trust you and open their home or yard for you to interact with their dog. it's not flatter on you, having an second agenda type person... Would straight say why you like the dog and the possibilities the dog could have with you and and offer them a fair price and not insult the situation since it is their dog . Get it out there and maybe if they not willing to sell the dog, maybe they willing to understand why change would be good for this pup
 

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"I love this little guy. If you ever have to give him up for any reason, please let me know. I'd take him in a heartbeat."

Or something along those lines that's maybe not so blatant. Just get the idea out there.
 

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My concern is that you are saying you have no form of income to initially purchase the dog. That would mean that you would not have any income to provide the dog with necessary things. Whether that is food, a crate, or vaccinations/vet visits. I completely understand the desire to want to save this dog from an awful environment. But, I don't know if you are the best candidate for it.

If you truly believe it is mistreatment of any kind, you can contact the local shelter, or any animal rights groups in the area.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
As I said; my parents would pay for vet bills and things as long as I care for the dog eg.) feeding, grooming, training, etc, all of which I would do anyway.

And I have indirectly saying things, like “I would love to take him home with me!” And “He would be fun to compete with!” But I guess I have to say it more directly lol.

And I’m not trying to be “unflattering” or “plan things behind their backs”. I just want to know how to deal with the situation.
 

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Well, the dog isn't really being abused or mistreated. Yeah, it's certainly not how most people on this forum would choose to care for their dogs, but its not neglect. The owner of the dog probably thinks her care for him is just fine, and if she is as 'protective' of him as you say, she probably isn't going to be too open to you taking him. The only way to know is directly, but politely ask if you can buy him. If he is a toy aussie (which isn't a real breed, and is most likely bred purely for money as a "designer dog") she probably payed a good chunk of cash for the dog. She won't give him to you for free. If you ask her to just give the dog to you, you will most likely offend her and she probably won't let you play with the dog again.

If she won't let you buy him, just stop asking. Bottom line, its her dog. She can keep him as she pleases as long as he is getting food, water, and shelter, no matter how much we may disagree with it. You can ask, but be prepared to let it go.
 

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If you’ve flat-out said that you’d like to take him home with you and she didn’t offer to sell him to you, she’s not going to. I wouldn’t be any more blunt than that. I agree that she likely paid quite a bit for the dog and she’s not going to give him to you for free, in any case.
 

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How old are you? I'm assuming you are young since you live with your parents. What would you do with the dog when you went off to school? What about when you want to move out and can't find an apartment that will accept a dog? What happens if your parents decide they don't like having a dog or don't want to pay for his food/bills anymore?

If you're serious I would have an actual conversation with the neighbour. Say something like "I've been seriously considering getting a dog, but the dog I really want is *insert dog name*. Have you ever considered re-homing him or would you ever consider letting him go?" You should have answers prepared for the above questions because no responsible dog owner would give away their dog without asking those kinds of questions. Have a plan

If the answer is a flat-out no, then you should probably let it go. You're also only seeing this dog once or twice a year, you're not getting a full picture of the dog's life.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Just skimmed the replies; I’ll answer in depth tomorrow.

The thing that caught my eye is the fact that you are saying she paid money for him... I should have mentioned this, but no. One of the dogs she gave away was a black Tricolor Aussie (Unknown if it was Mini or Toy), unfixed female. Said female had a litter of puppies out of an unknown dog, which was later found out to be another Aussie. The only Merle puppy out of that litter was the dog that owner currently has now. Said dog is a “backyard-bred” dog, so she paid no money for him.
 
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