Our aussie, Allie, was a rescue. She was dumped off at the lake near our home and was nothing but a matted mess of neglect. I couldn't leave her there, so she came home with me. (You can read more about her on her page!)
She's young-- the vet thinks between one and two years. He also believes she is probably mixed with wolf somewhere down the line. She has some issues that we're dealing with, but she still has a LOT of puppy left to grow out of so she really isn't too interested in calming down enough to work for a reward. She is super energetic, but I can't really say "hyper"... she just never tires.
I don't think she'd ever been off of a chain, but we're slowly working on that because we have room for her to run free (supervised, of course). We'd like her to ultimately become a house dog, but currently she still freaks out indoors like it's too enclosed and she'll never get out again. She wasn't leash trained, nor did she have the least bit of obedience. We've now got her to the point where she can sit, speak, and shake on command, and she responds well to her name. She is a huge water lover. We can't keep her out of it!
The thing is, though, that she gets so lonely by herself. I'm a full time college student and my boyfriend (who Allie lives for) works mostly 10 hour days. She has separation anxiety that breaks my heart. It makes me wonder if she thinks she is being abandoned all over again when we leave of the mornings. She howls and cries and paces so much that she's left a dusty spot in our yard. She's chewed the corners off of her dog house, our steps, and pieces of our deck.
We've tried all advice we've been given. She gets walked at least twice a day every day in hopes it will wear her down a little. We've given her puzzle toys, rawhide bones, and ultimate chews to keep her busy, but they don't.
What Allie really loves is other dogs. The only dogs around for her to play with, though, are small breeds that she has accidentally hurt in the past (like stepping on them). We live in the country, so there's no dog park or anything for us to make friends at. We only have our surrounding neighbors, which are family, and their small dogs. Allie's only friend, my grandparents' 13 year old german shepherd, Harley, who even slept with her at night, was just recently put to sleep due to cancer.
So we've been thinking about getting Allie a companion to keep her company. We'd like a medium to large breed-- one who can be rough and tumble with her and we won't have to worry about her stepping on it! We'd like a breed that would sort of even out her personality. One that can be energetic enough to keep up with her, but is down to earth and calm at the same time. We'd like a water-lover because Allie loves it so much that we'd like for her to be able to enjoy it with a friend. We don't want a drooler (so no mastiffs, bulldogs, etc). Except for the normal bathing and brushing, we don't want a breed that requires a whole lot of grooming, especially if it means keeping up a cut or dealing with hair that can't take a romp through the woods (that exempts standard poodles, pulis, bedlington terriers, schnauzers, etc). Basically nothing more than the australian shepherd coat we're already dealing with. We also don't want to risk a stubborn breed who may or may not have dominance issues (I realize there are exceptions, but we're steering away from chows, akitas, rotties, etc). Because we're so far out in the country, we have limits on what kinds of dogs we CAN get, so some of the less common breeds are out of the question (so that means no entlebuchers, sloughis, ovcharkas, or anything else I can't pronounce or would have to travel to obtain).
We're not above adopting a mutt from the pound. We already have plans on visiting our local shelter and seeing what they have to offer, however we still need to know what we are looking for so that we can make a good match for Allie's needs.
Right now we are thinking more along the lines of a golden retriever or a labrador to suit and balance out Allie's personality.
I encourage feedback from anyone and everyone on our search for Allie a new sibling! Do you have a different breed suggestion? Please tell us why you would suggest that breed. Give us pros and cons to the breeds we are already considering. We would greatly appreciate it!