FurBaby Update

So I posted in March 2022 when I had to put my Puppy Watson to sleep after 15.5 year of having him. It took me about 15 months but I finally figured I was ready for a new BFF. So I adopted Ranger back at the beginning of July. So here is my new boy:

He is a pure bred Australian Shepperd - A red Tricolor. He is almost 4 years old. Apparently he was littered on Halloween. His first owner surrendered him because he had become unmanageable for her. She gave him up to an Australian Shepherd rescue which is where I found him through. The foster Mom had him for about 7 months.

When it is just me and him he is the most lovable fellow you can get. Unfortunately he developed some bad socialization habits at his first owners home. So this is what I heard from the Foster mom so it is second hand. Apparently she had 18 cats and 2 dogs other than Ranger. And as time went on he grew more and more unmanageable. After having him for 3 months, I think I have pinpointed where he got these bad habits.

The simple truth is he has developed habits that he picked up from her cats. Given the number of them versus the number of dogs. Ranger was smart enough to see that she babied them when they did certain behaviors. So he copied them. The problem for her was he was larger, stronger than any cat and his lung capacity far outstrips what any cat could do.

So when he wants something he yowls like a cat. And let me tell you that he can hit octaves that opera singers would envy. And unfortunately he does it whenever something either startles him or he sees another dog he wants to meet. But as they get closer his volume goes up as he gets more excited which ends up scaring the other dog and the owner. And as they move away he just gets louder. One day I had someone come out of their house because he thought two dogs where fighting to the death. I couldn’t tell you if the other dog started barking or not. Since my eardrums were overwhelmed by Rangers vocals. Thankfully I knew him and talked to him about it later in the week when I saw him outside.

So he is really special needs in his way. I’m definitely not sorry I got him. But right now I just haven’t been able to figure out how to break him of this. I’ve tried some of the exercises a dog trainer has given me. But he doesn’t react to them like a normal dog does. He just sits there curious like a cat would and dismisses it. So my online time and computer time have definitely tanked since I got him.

So there you go. My nickname/stage name for him is Ginger Vitus. I tell people he is looking to audition for a Heavy Metal Thrash band as lead vocalist. :rofl:



Oh I forgot to mention that when he play fights with me, He does it just like a cat. He sticks his front paw/legs straight out to hold me in place and then bicycle pedals with his hind legs like he is scratch at you to death. But in a playful non scarring way.

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He definitely sounds like he thinks he’s a cat. Haha… that is both cute and unfortunate. I hope you can find some way to break him of his bad habits.

Not that my dog is much better… when she needs to go outside or is excited because I came home from work her bark is shrill and ear-piercing. Gah.

Good luck Mithinar. Our dog also thinks she’s a cat. Fortunately, not thru vocals. Hope you can stop the ear bleeding quickly.

As someone who’s been rescuing / rehoming cats for awhile, I can tell you that no two cases are alike. I’ve had young cats with such bad behavior issues that no one would keep them for long. And I’ve had some, that once they are around other cats, pick up their behaviors and change quickly. Sometimes it’s a quick process… one interaction and done. Other times, it’s an ongoing time-consuming process. This sounds very similar to what your dog is doing… long and time-consuming. It might help to have one-on-one play dates with an alpha dog that has good behaviors. I would think he will pick them up quickly from an alpha with a good temperament. You could also try the positive reinforcement approach. The words “good boy/girl” and “naughty boy/girl” are staples that are used daily in our home. (We have 5 indoor cats right now.) I can say “naughty” in the nicest possible way and they still understand they did something wrong. When they avoid a fight with one another, after I have reprimanded, I will say “good boy/girl” and give one (highly loved) treat, often that none of the others get. Their goal, then, is to be good to get that treat! Just a few thoughts that might help :slight_smile: