I got Darla when she was just 8 weeks old. Darla has the most character of any dog I’ve ever trained. Winnie is her idol and she follows Winnie around and wants to be just like her. Darla knows the rules and obeys. When she turned a year old, I started allowing her on my old leather loveseat but she knows she’s not allowed on my new cloth couch, and she happily complies. Darla knows dozens of phrases like “get in your bed”, “let’s go in the car”, “wanna play frizbee”. And boy does she love to play frizbee. She’s been wanting to play since she was a puppy but I didn’t teach her to jump and catch a frizbee until she was 14 months old. It’s always good to wait until they are grown before they are allowed to jump, in order to protect their joints and hips.
Since I work from home every day, and Darla always has Winnie by her side, Darla gets very sad and a little nervous when she is left alone. I don’t leave my dogs for more than 4 hours per day anyway, but Darla doesn’t like it.
Darla bursts with excitement when new people come over. She is not shy AT ALL. She is so docile with kids and smaller dogs. She lets the puppies bite her and climb all over her and she loves it. She is very submissive. I’ve never once heard her growl. If another dog comes and tries to steal her food or bone, Darla allows it, which is really rare for an Aussie. When I say, “want some food?” Darla runs to her crate and sits and waits patiently for her food. Darla does not jump on the back door to come in; she knows to bark one time. She does NOT bark in the back yard, even when she hears neighbor dogs barking. The only time she barks is when I’m leaving the house; she barks because she doesn’t want me to leave. But she quickly settles down and accepts that I’m leaving. Darla is not a chewer, not a barker, she gets along with every human and other dog she’s ever met. She knows her boundaries.
If you want a submissive dog, a dog who can jump 5′ in the air and catch frizbees, a dog who loves to go everywhere with you, and most of all, a dog who’s day is made when you snuggle up and give her attention, then you might want to consider a puppy from Darla.