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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
CandidCanines

Hello everyone! I'm excited to be apart of a dog forum/community. I have three wonderful dogs, and may have a "final fourth" this December. I adopted my first canine companion a month after my mom died in 2010. It was a blessing because Sammy helped me through a very hard time, and continues to be my support every waking day.

I am a twenty-two year old aspiring photographer who currently works full-time at a family-owned pet supply store. My goal is to become a reputable photographer serving the Hampton Roads area, and maybe someday further beyond! My fiance is a certified drafter/designer, but he is currently working alongside my dad to help pick up the business (since things fell to a dead halt after my mom died). We live in a small community on an island that is separated by a very small bridge, and marshland. There is a small nature preserve (beach land) and a private beach (basically two different beaches on either side of the neighborhood). Our dogs love the beach! :]

My three female dogs are "rescues." Let me tell you a little about them...

Sammy the Cattle Dog

Sammy was my first "own" dog. I adopted her in November 2010 a month after my mom passed away. She belonged to a Navy couple who were getting ready to have a baby. Apparently, Sammy had a nipping problem with children. They never really warned me about this (probably fearing it would make me change my mind about adopting her). I knew this behavior was common for cattle dogs, but since they failed to inform me about this, I didn't know until she tried to go for a little boy... Since then, we worked very hard with her to stop this behavior, for her own sake. Now she can be around children and let them pet her without lunging for their face or legs.

We continue to work diligently with Sammy's behavior. Her characteristics are spot-on for Australian Cattle Dogs. She is wary of strangers, very attached to her owner, highly intelligent, easily trained with consistency, and protective! Off of our property, Sammy tolerates other people. She isn't exactly the most affectionate dog (hence the "wary of strangers") but she doesn't mind them... Until they come onto the property. That's an entirely different story. We are still working on correcting this behavior, and she is getting better at it. In a way, I like that she protects our house and yard. She barks to alert me if anyone is on the property, but doesn't care if they are outside of it (in the street out front, etc.). Sammy WILL nip a stranger's ankle, leg, or knee. She is very responsive to my commands, so I have to watch her and make sure she stays in an appropriate position.

Other than that, Sammy LOVES other dogs. She has never had any problems with other canines. She enjoys dog events, dog festivals, dog parks, dog-friendly stores, etc. Her favorite store is Bass Pro Shop. She LOVES to run, explore, roll in dead fish on the beach, etc. She also enjoys chasing and being chased, running under large dogs, and sometimes tripping them! She is a happy-go-lucky dog. We are planning to start agility with her this Spring. She can sit, stay, come, down, roll over, shake, high five, spin (left or right), speak, up, jump, touch, heel, go (out), wait, etc...

Here are some pictures of my best friend Sammy:











Motley the Aussie

Motley is an 11 month old purebred Australian Shepherd. We adopted her from an Army couple who posted a "free to good home" poster on the bulletin board at my work. Curious, I called to see what was up with the ad. Apparently the puppy belonged to the husband, who was across seas. Over the phone, the wife never really expressed why she wanted to rehome the puppy. She just talked about how it was a lot of work and how she was too busy for it - with children and two older dogs who the puppy terrorized. She brought the puppy to my work the next day for me to meet, and from there, we adopted her. She is a self blue merle who was born on Christmas day!

Motley's previous family called her Kassy. We changed it to Motley, after Motley Crue. The deal was that she would be more my fiance's dog than mine. Really she loves us both! She is a very sweet and affectionate dog. Very calm. Honestly, I have not had a single problem with her since she came into our lives. She doesn't jump, she isn't a nut-case puppy like I had expected. I don't know what the real reason is for the family not wanting her anymore, but she is a wonderful girl with a gentle personality.

We are hoping to train Motley as a therapy dog and visit nursing homes, and blind/deaf children. We also considered dock dogs because she LOVES to swim. She took to the beach on her very first visit. She and Sammy are the best of friends, and have been from day one. Motley is very passive/submissive to people and other dogs. She likes car rides, visiting dog-friendly stores, and is very affectionate towards people of all ages.

Here are some pictures of Motley:





Baeo the Wolfdog

Baeo is a female Husky mix. She was born on November 23, 2010 so she is getting ready to turn a year old. The family said they bought her from a wolfdog breeder in Northern Virginia, and that Baeo is a Husky/Grey Wolf mixed with Timberwolf. We aren't entirely sure if this is true. You can definitely see Husky, and one particular trait of hers that is very wolfish is the way she stands with her front paws pointing outward. Apparently that is a wolf-only trait.

Baeo's family seemed like great people, but after taking Baeo into our lives' we discovered that there was more than the eye could see. It's hard to tell under that thick coat of hers, but Baeo is very underweight. For her size, I feel like she should be at least 60-70lbs. She is only 49lbs! She has worms (appears to be tapeworm in the stool), a possible urinary tract infection (she is in heat, so it isn't uncommon to get a UTI with all of the cross-contamination), a possible kidney infection (it wouldn't surprise me if she has kidney issues because of the extremely high protein diet she has supposedly been on since she was a young puppy). We have a vet appointment this Tuesday to test for UTI, kidney infection, intestinal parasites (including heartworm), and her hips will also be examined thoroughly (she may be showing early signs of hip dysplasia according to our behavioralist).

Yep, you heard right. We have a behavioralist for Baeo. Since day one, she has been a little iffy around our other females. This isn't unexpected, though. Northern breeds tend to have these issues from what I've read... We're hoping that once all the tests are taken, and she is on her way to better health (and after being spayed), our behavioralist will help us introduce the girls in the best way possible.

Despite Baeo's poor health, she is a fantastic dog! VERY people-oriented. She loves attention, and just being around people. This dog would be so happy just to lay in the middle of a crowd of people. For the most part, she is actually quite calm for a husky mix. "Cool" seems like a suitable word to describe her. She does not like to be left alone, and may have separation anxiety. She is very attracted to other dogs while on the leash (and like I said, she is iffy with our other two females). Yes, females can be a lethal combination! With good household structure and leadership, we hope to have Baeo living in harmony with Sam and Motley in a matter of weeks.

Here are some pictures of Baeo:





Helo the German Shorthaired Pointer

Helo was born this past Wednesday. He is a German Shorthair Pointer that we are going to adopt for Christmas. He will be ready on December 27! He has a white body, with black patches, and soon his black ticking will start to show on his coat! Most GSPs are liver and white, but black and white exists as well (more commonly in other countries). Helo will be our first male dog! Hopefully he can handle all the ladies in the house! We can't wait to meet him, and see his personality. I am very excited to experience puppyhood, since I adopted all my girls at an older puppy state (Sam had been a year and a half, Motley had been ten months, and Baeo was getting ready to turn a year). Wish us luck! I am hoping to turn Helo into a dock dogs champion! If he likes it, of course :]

Here is a picture of Helo a few days old:

He is the puppy on top of the others (sort of in the middle) with the patches on his rump!



YouTube Stars!

I love to take videos of my dogs. I've been videoing ever since I got Sammy, and continue to video more frequently with all of our new canine companions. You can see them at http://youtube.com/SammyACD! Our channel is called CandidCanids! Starring Sammy, Motley, Baeo, and soon Helo! They are so much fun to watch. :]

We hope to see pictures and videos of other canine companions, and of course talk with other dog-loving people who are just as crazy about their furry friends as we are.
 

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Wow, what an intro! You sound like you have your hands full with some very wonderful dogs!! I can't believe an army wife would find a new home for her husband's dog while he's overseas... seems kind of I dunno... selfish, but he's in good hands now. Sammy is near and dear to me now... I have two dogs with behavioral issues - my Dane is middle aged men with facial hair and hats aggressive (fun!). I am sorry about Baeo... sounds like she is having a rough life. Does her medical issues seem to cause her behavioral issues? I can't wait to see pics of Helo!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Thanks, I tried to keep it as short as possible but I can get to ranting sometimes... haha

I completely agree regarding Motley... I just can't imagine doing that. He probably loved the puppy!!! I told her he was welcome to keep in touch, and even see her again if he'd like to once he returns to the U.S. They added us on Facebook and get to see lots of pictures and videos. :] At least he can see she is doing well, and living a happy dog life!

Speaking of your Dane, I think Baeo may have an issue with glasses!!! So far she LOVES people. She will willing go up to anyone (not a wolf trait if you ask me... wolves are more timid and not likely to approach strangers in my opinion - we are wondering about doing a DNA or blood test to figure out what she really is). I don't know if her conditions are affecting her behavior or not. We have only had her for a short time (a little over a week). We weren't really expecting to get another dog, let alone a husky, but huskies are my fiance's favorite breed so we thought we would give it a try. And by that, I mean make it work no matter what LOL I can't give up on any of my animals. If they have an issue, we work on it patiently! Like Sammy's nipping problems with kids, which seems almost nonexistent these days, or her protective tendencies (I guess a nice way to say aggression for a dog owner in denial - Sammy is my best friend! LOL) towards "intruders" on the property. Sammy and Motley, our first two dogs, came from pretty nice families - at least they were well taken care of, and socialized and such. I cannot say the same for Baeo, though I wish I could.

She growls at the other females, but they can tolerate being near each other, especially when walking to the beach or nature preserve. I don't know for sure that she is dog aggressive, or maybe just female aggressive. But to make sure we introduce them properly (assuming she may have some issues) we contacted a behavioralist in Virginia Beach. Once Baeo is on her way to better health, the behavioralist will help us from there. Right now Baeo is separate from Sam and Motley. I hate to "segregate" her, but we try to give equal amounts of time and attention each day. My fiance will be in the computer room with Baeo, while I sit in the living room with Sam and Motley, and then we kinda switch dogs so that no one really feels neglected.

Honestly, with certain animals, such as rats for example - you quarantine any new rats from the current rats (I rescued a couple of rats once and learned this... haha). So in my opinion this segregation period with Baeo is a lot like the quarantine of small animals to make sure they are healthy before you put them in with the others... I just want to make sure that whatever we do does not cause any problems that don't already exist so that it will be easier to introduce them. Actually, maybe seeing each other so often and getting used to the smells, will help in the long run? Our behavioralist believes we don't need to rush the process, so I'm sure things will turn out okay... I have some co-workers who act like I am shunning a social creature and locking her away from the others, but I feel I have good reason --- not just for each dog's safety, but also for the sake of properly introducing them without making mistakes that could make more problems!

I personally think that once Baeo is feeling better, she will react differently to the other females. Plus, spaying her may help. Motley is getting spayed on Tuesday. Two unspayed females could be a fight waiting to happen if we aren't cautious (though Motley is extremely submissive and would probably throw herself on the ground lol).
 

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Welcome to the forum! You have very beautiful and handsome dogs! I'm very partial to Siberian's/Huskies. :p

Just some insight into Baeo - I very highly doubt that she is a Husky/wolf mix (Gray and timber wolves are the same). We have some hybrid owners on the forum that could give more insight. She very well just could be a purebred (Or mix) Siberian that was marketed as a wolfdog to get more money. ANYWAY! She's almost a year old - she won't grow anymore and to be honest - She looks perfectly fine weight wise. Siberian Huskies are not large dogs. Females weight range 35-50 pounds. Smaller dog will weigh less where as a 22" dog (at the shoulder) will weigh closer to 50 pounds! If you bring her up to the 60-70 pound range you'll have an overweight little girl!

They are also known for some same sex aggression but you read up on that. And I also think a good point was made about all of her medical problems taking a toll on her.

Also, I absolutely -love- Motley's color/markings. You have some very gorgeous dogs. And congrats on the new addition for christmas!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Oh thanks for letting me know that about Motley's coat! I tried to do some research on aussie coat colors (its amazing how they can have such different coats... like fur length and such. I had never seen an aussie like Motley before. Usually the longer coated aussies). Blue merle was the only color that seemed to match Motley, but I was wondering about the little areas of white she has... Interesting! I am glad to be more accurate now :D Some people have a hard time believing she is an Australian Shepherd because he tail was not docked :O

Also thank you for the information regarding Baeo. She really is a fabulous dog. Hopefully I can get in touch with these wolfdog owners! I'd love to know more. I tried to do some research on them. Apparently there are different percentages of wolfdogs. Like high content (which looks like wolves) and low content (which look like dogs). I figured if Baeo is related to a wolf at all, she's probably very low content. The author of Living with Wolfdogs and Wolfdogs A-Z thinks that if there is any wolfdog in her, it is a small amount. So maybe she is all Siberian? Hmmmmm!!! Would be interesting just to know.

About her weight - she "looks" healthy but doesn't really feel healthy... What can you tell me about how they should "feel?" I can feel her spine (like I can run my finger up and down the little crevices of her spinal cord... and I can do the same with her rib cage! She is VERY boney under all that fur). Is this normal? I really think she should be a little bigger weight-wise. She DOES have worms, too, and we don't know how long she's had them. So that could be why she is boney. We'll know more after the appointment on Tuesday as well.
 

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"Look at your dog from the side.

Her tummy needs to tuck up from her chest and not be level with or hang below her chest. If you can easily see a dog’s ribs, she’s probably underweight. But in some breeds, including Greyhounds, Whippets, and Italian Greyhounds, the dog’s ribs show at a normal weight."

"Feel your dog’s sides for the ribs.

This test is especially important for heavily coated dogs, whose fur often conceals weight issues. If you can feel no evidence that your dog possesses a rib cage, she’s probably overweight.

If you can feel the ribs but they have a slight padding, like a light blanket over them, then your dog may be just right. If the ribs are obvious and feel like they’re covered with only the thinnest layer of skin, your dog may be underweight."

I pulled the important parts from a website for judging weight.


This won't much help you with insight on her to judge Baeo's weight since she'd a double coat breed - but it'll help all the same.

How tall is she at her shoulder? She doesn't look to be any taller than my Siberian - she's 21" (it is hard to tell from photo's though). If that's so - my girl weighs roughly 45 pounds and could even stand to lose a few pounds. If she is bigger than she could stand to gain a few pounds for sure. Siberian's don't eat as much food as a dog of similar size of a different breed.

If you can feel her her ribs she should gain some weight. But she also has so many problems that might be affecting her as well.

I would definitely say she's all Siberian looking and very beautiful.
 

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What a gorgeous pack of dogs! I loved their stories, they all sound absolutely wonderful! Congratulations on the new the puppy on the way too, it must be so exciting :)
 

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Discussion Starter #10
It is! Thank you Bastian! :D

Also, Niraya, I really think she would be categorized as "thin" in the picture you posted. I don't think she is hugely underweight, but she definitely seems underweight to me.

Our Aussie is a good weight, and our cattle dog is a little on the overweight side (she could lose a few pounds... which we are working on - she really got fat when I started working full time but we set it in our schedule to get her out as often as possible and she has lost the weight... Ideally she should be about 27lbs and she was almost 35lbs... We is down to 29-30lbs... KEEP GOING SAMMY!!!). It's ridiculous how much larger or smaller a dog can look just by a couple of pounds difference...

I'll keep you guys posted on what the vet thinks when she is examined this Tuesday. I think it wouldn't hurt for her to be about 55-60lbs. I don't know how tall she is but I will do some measurements for you soon! I don't know if videos would help, but my fiance is 6ft tall and I have some videos of her standing next to him on our YouTube (it is linked in my signature below).
 

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Discussion Starter #11
PS; I think that's awesome if she is mostly or all Siberian! :D

The reason why I was believing the people for saying she is part wolf is because a food rep at work (pet supplies store) came up to my fiance (she has never met him before) and immediately started a conversation on how she believes that the dog is part wolf... And that's when she started to say wolves front feet point outward, and then something about the haunches (I forgot). After I told her that was my fiance and my dog, she told me the same thing she said to him, and said she could definitely see it in the feet, but not the haunches. Apparently she used to have wolves.

I have no idea. I think she is mostly husky, and I prefer that she is mostly husky anyway lol wolfdogs in this area require a permit, a containment area, and if the wolfdog leaves the property, it must be muzzled... There is no way I will muzzle that dog! She is TOO sweet!!! Took her to Bass Pro a couple of days after getting her and these two little kids, at least 5 years old, came up and hugged her, and she just licked their faces while they patted her... I can't muzzle her. :[

So if shes a husky, then we don't need to even worry about all of that...
 

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Many, many, many people will think a Siberian looks like or is a wolf. Don't ask me why, I've no idea.

It's hard to tell. In one video she looks a bit larger (Smaller Malamute size for reference) but her over all structure looks Siberian. Or I could be reading too much into it - and she could be all Siberian that is just bred out of standard! Which is most likely the case since she was being advertised as a wolf hybrid.

So I'd say you have a beautiful purebred Siberian Husky that isn't bred to standard :D. And I'd forgo all that silly stuff about muzzling.

So once she gets checked out - throw a few pounds on her since she's a bit bigger looking and go from there :). You can always subtract if she puts on too much.

And it's great that Sammy is losing weight! :D she'll get there eventually!
 

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Yeah I agree. Either way we love her! We're really hope she'll be able to live with our other two females. Knowing huskies, do you think this is very possible or is this something very difficult to modify in the breed? The way I feel about all dogs is that consistent training and structure/leadership can go a long way... I feel confident that once Baeo is back to health, she will feel a lot better about being introduced to Sam and Motley. I guess time will tell. We have to at least try! Giving her up is not an option I want to consider if possible. We really want her to be healthy and happy for the rest of her life.
 

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Hello and welcome! Your dogs are beautiful......and the pup is pretty too. I loved your stories as well as the fact that you rescued your beloved animals. :)

Also, condolences on the loss of your Mother,.....I am 56 years old much older than you, but also lost my Mother in July 2010. I have my Mother's dog and his litter mate brother and Abbylynn.

Abbylynn, my new rescue has also helped me through a really tough year. :)

I can't wait to see the new little one grow up! .....and all those pics you will be posting! Lol! :)
 

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To be honest I've never had a dog that had same sex aggression. I'm sorry I can't be much help on this topic in particular. Someone on the forum might be able to offer you more advice in general about it but really you're behaviorist will be able to point you in the best direction.

The breed is notoriously strong willed and independent. It could very well turn out to be something very hard to modify simply because if they don't want to do it - they won't (or it could just be that dog aggression isn't easy to modify period). It makes any amount of persistent training/hard work frustrating to say the least. They are incredibly smart and when they do want to do things they pick up on stuff incredibly quickly (almost too quickly)!
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Austinsmom: Oh yeah! I think youarw right. I forgot to mention that she is kind of brownish when you look at her a certain way. The site you linked is the one I used as a reference. I thought she looked more like the self blue merle shown on the page (his name is Mike), but I guess she would be more like the blue Merle and white dog shown named Riot (she just doesn't have the white chest, etc. Which threw me off). With the brownish tint, what is the correct name of her coat's color? Do you think the breeder was breeding Aussies poorly, or for no standards? Note they kept her tail, too. From what I've read, most Aussie breeders dock the tails a couple of days after birth.

Abbylynn: Thank you so much! I am also sorry to hear about the loss of your mother. I am glad that you have some furry companions to help you through a difficult time. I really would have been (even more) depressed if it weren't for Sammy coming into my life. I will definitely keep you guys updated, especially with pictures when Helo arrives this December!

Niraya: I understand. I was just curious of your opinion regarding the breed's characteristics. I know they are independent breeds, and can be very strong minded. I am already seeing that in Baeo, but she also seems like a real people-pleaser (hopefully this is a good thing)! Once we have worked with our behavioralist, we also want to take her to a local training club/facility where Sammy will be learning agility. My fiancé and I want to take basic obedience classes with Motley and Baeo. I think it would be a good experience for my fiancé. He is not always on the same page as me when it comes to training... We have never taken a course before, but I'm actually really excited to be around other dog people! I had so much free time when I got Sammy that I read books and did a lot of research online, as well as watched training videos to train Sammy myself. It will be interesting to work with a professional trainer. I know I will learn a lot of new techniques!
 

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For short, she's a blue. Long term she is a blue merle with copper and white.
She is lovely but she exhibits a head and ear type uncharacteristic of an Australian Shepherd.
It could be poor breed type or she could have a touch of another breed. We'll probably never know.
She is a great companion and that's what counts.
As for the tail, our ASCA breed standard here in the US " Tail is straight, not to exceed four (4) inches, natural bobtail or docked."
So either the breeder does not feel compelled to follow the breed standard or like you said a poor breeder, did not want the expense of
docking or this is not a pure bred. A tail is just a tail it doesn't make an Aussie an Aussie.
We once had two dogs picked up at a local shelter. Both had tails, one was a blue merle with copper/white and the other was a black bi. I voiced concerns
that they were misidentified as they were very different in small aspects. They labeled the black bi a Border Collie and the blue an Aussie. They were both claimed by one owner. The black bi was and Aussie and the blue was a Border Collie. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Yeah. It doesnt matter to me if she's purebred or mixed, but it's interesting to know. Just like with Baeo, there are many different opinions on Motley. Some people ask if she is a mixed breed because of her tail, and others think she is gorgeous for an Aussie. I agree that her head and ears are awkward, but I have seen a couple of Aussies since I got her, who looked a lot like her.

This is my idea of an ideal Aussie appearance:



This is more like Motley's appearance:

 

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The Australian Shepherd community is very small. Most legitimate breeders know of or know each other.
Most generally participate annually in our ASCA and USASA Nationals. For example we can look at a dog
and have some idea of it's lines. The photo you posted was stolen from Shelly Hollen's website. Her
site is a great asset. http://www.shalakoaussies.com/BreedStandard_GeneralAppearance.html
More information ASCA http://www.asca.org/ Breeders List:http://www.theaussieconnection.info/links2.htm

The dog in the photo exhibits breed type. Comparing the photo to your Avatar.
The pictures dog has more width of scull and topskull. Motley has more of a narrow
wedge shaped head, less typey. Also, Motley has a heavier ear set. Motley does have
a very Aussie like expression to her eyes. The dog pictured and Motley share a very
similar color.
 
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