Ty Steele: Notes On A Rescue Dog

Ty arrived here on October 29th, 2017. What we know of him is from scraps gathered here and there from different people.

  • He’s 7 to 10 months old and not yet neutered.
  • Australian Shepherd mix.
  • He weighs about 25 pounds.
  • He’s good with other dogs.
  • Is great with older children.
  • Loves car rides.
  • Is leash trained.
  • Is crate trained.
  • Is house trained.
  • Is non-destructive of bedding and toys.

Ty’s History

Ty was an apartment dweller, which is hard enough for an active dog, but that apartment was located above a BBQ restaurant! Can you imagine the torture that was for him? So that was not very successful; which is not surprising since he is an Australian Shepherd. (Aussie’s are true working breeds: unemployment does not sit well with these guys! Since being here he has assigned himself as Head Beagle Herder — much to Josephine’s chagrin.)

His owner went to Florida and left him in the care of two ladies. I assume the owner never came back and these ladies could not keep him so they surrendered him to Steele Away Home – Canine Foster and Rescue — for whom Marie and I are a foster home.

He was in at least one other foster home before coming here because his enthusiasm was more than their older dogs could handle. Ty needs some Boot Camp training in manners.

Updates will be added to each section below as this little fella progresses.
There may also be Doggie Tale Adventures posted. Click HERE to check.

House-Dog Training

At Piney Mountain Foster Care house breaking/training is done in our home and done in stages. At first the dog is allowed inside, crated, for short daytime visits to observe our Mentor Dogs exhibiting Good Dog behavior. Blondie often chats with the newbie about what the rules are and how to earn free-play time indoors.

Once the padawan learner is comfortable in his crate and will go inside it on his own he has earned some supervised indoor free-play time. Normally this is done with the house dogs outside so it’s just the new dog and me. How long he gets depends on his behavior. As long as he will correct his bad behavior when scolded, he gets to stay free. He gets treats for extra-good behavior. When he insists on pursuing bad behavior it’s time to go back to the crate. Any time (and every time) the padawan goes into the crate on his own he gets a small treat for his compliance. The crate should never be used as, or seen as, punishment.

When daytime visits prove successful the newbie is invited inside for dinner (with the trainee eating in his crate. When that goes well, over-night stays are attempted.

Ty is a needy little fellow and does not like being left alone. He gets fussy/barky when lonely. As long as someone is in the room with him he’s content. Giving him a good chewie (like an Oinky) at bed time helps to distract him while we slip off to bed.

We were told he is house broken already. That seems to be true in a basic sense but he is not house trained. He is rowdy, and unruly, and thinks nothing of standing up to see what’s on the kitchen counters. I’m working on that sort of behavior now.

Last night Ty woke me (scratching around in his crate and whining) to take him outside. He went straight to the door, went out in the yard, peed, and came right back inside. But he was reluctant to settle in and go back to sleep. Marie works a full-time job and I didn’t want his fussing to keep her awake (at 1:00 AM) so I sacked out on the sofa next to Ty’s crate. He went right back to sleep and slept soundly until Marie got up and our day began.


House broken
10/29 Need to test and verify.
11/01 Went straight to door to go out after release from crate. Came back when done and went into crate.
11/04 Ty is getting longer periods of indoor free play as he learns to reign in his curiosity.
11/15 Ty has learned to scratch on the door to be let out when he needs to go. He has since been reliable in house-breaking. I only crate him when I’m leaving for long periods.

Kitchen counter cruising
10/30 This is a steady problem.
11/04 He now knows he’s not supposed to but struggles with temptation.
11/15 Doing better: at least he hasn’t jumped up ON any counters lately. Still stands up to see what’s there if he smells something. I have to watch him and say, “no” when he looks like he’s preparing.

Enters crate willingly
10/29 About 50/50. Never fights against it but sometimes resists.
11/04 Almost always – because he knows he’ll get a small cookie.

Fusses/Barks while in crate
10/29 Frequent problem, but not all the time.
11/04 Doing much better. Is quiet most of the time now.

Interacting With Other Dogs

Ty is energetic. He’s an Aussie: that comes with the breed. If you want a sedate lap dog, get a Basset. Ty is half the size of a typical Aussie, so he’s not so hard to handle. Ty is also young enough (still a puppy) that he hasn’t developed delusions of grandeur. He has not shown aggression toward anyone. He just wants to play. But he does play kind of rough, can be insistent, and he has his own ideas of what constitutes play. He’s an Aussie: herding things is in his blood. It’s what he does. Our two Beagles like to race each other and wrestle a little. Being herded is not their idea of fun, so after a while that gets irksome and they’re ready to go back inside to get away from him.

Blondie Bear used to run and frolic with the best of them, but as she ages, she is settling into more of sideline supervisor role. She has, however, been playing with Ty. I’m not sure if this rediscovered enthusiasm is because of him, the cooler temperatures, or the bone broth I’ve been adding to their kibbles, but she has been more playful. She has an advantage in being 3 times Ty’s size and built like a bear: when he becomes tiresome, she just slaps him to the ground and says, “Enough! Go away now.” and he does!



Respects the wishes of other dogs
10/29 Nope.
11/04 Doing much better (see Ty and Buddy in Gentle Play video below).
11/15 Ty now gets along well with everyone. If the older dogs don’t want to play, they say so and he leaves them alone. That was an issue in his last foster home and when he first got here.

Will break off play when called to me
11/01 No.
11/04 Usually. I have to use a hand clap to get his attention.
11/15 Doing really well at coming when I call him regardless of what he’s doing.

Can eat food/treats near other dogs
11/1 Unknown: has only eaten in his crate.
11/15 No. Still too greedy and feeling entitled. He eats in his crate. He’s not aggressive, just feels like he should be able to steal from others. We do keep an assortment of chew toys out for all to share, and he does well at taking turns with those.

Ty’s Interaction with People

Ty is friendly and seems to get along well with all the people he has met. At the moment he has too much uncontrolled enthusiasm to be trusted around small children. He does not mean to hurt anyone, but it would happen.

Australian Shepherds and Border Collies are intelligent dogs. That means they will learn quickly, but you must find the right motivation. With many dogs, offering a treat for compliance is all it takes. With these guys you need a little more motivation. They will be asking, “Why should I?”. To get past that there needs to be a bond between you. They need to respect you (I’m saying respect, not fear) as the pack leader. Read The Importance of Pack Order and Why Good Dogs Go Bad for more on that. Once they WANT to please you, they will work hard to do so.


Appropriate affection
Does not resist but does not seek being petted. Tends to mouth my hand when I pet him. Has no interest in sitting beside me or on my lap for quiet affection.
11/04 Ty now seeks petting. Mouths only when excited/revved up. Follows me calmly as I work in the yard.

Jumping up on people
10/29 Consistent problem. Down/Off command is ignored.
11/04 Doing better. Sometimes he forgets, but usually obeys the “off” command.

10/29 Consistent problem.
11/04 Doing better. Still a problem, but less consistent.

Comes when called
10/29 No.
11/04 YES!

Sits on command
10/29 Sometimes, if he’s not too distracted by something else.

Obeys “In your room”
10/29 No.
11/04 Yes.

Alerts me of need to go outside
11/01 He got fussy in his crate last night. I got up and let him out. He went straight to the door. He hasn’t had enough indoor free-play time to know if he will alert me during free-play.
11/04 When in his crate and in need, he will fuss and scratch at the door. When I let him out he goes straight to the door to go out. When loose, he goes to the door and stands looking at it. So far I have been alert and saw him do it and let him out. No “accidents” to date.
11/15 Yes! He has been scratching in the door.

Leash walking
10/29 Zips all over. Will not walk beside me.
11/15 Will now walk calmly beside me on a short lead. When given a long (6′) lead he wanders from side to side but does not pull or jerk.

Each of the above sections will be updated as this little fella progresses.
There may also be Doggie Tale Adventures posted. Click HERE to check.
If you have questions about Ty’s training and behavior, please post a comment below. If you have questions about taking Ty into a rescue/adoption program, please e-mail our Rescue Coordinator.

Thanks for your interest in Ty!

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