Catarina & Köda

Catarina & Köda

Who are you?

My name is Catarina, I'm 24 years old and I live in France right outside of Paris. I live with my family in an apartment. I am currently a student in Human Resources and I am doing my studies on a work-study program.
Oh yes! My family is from Portugal, so every August, since I was born, we take the car to “Pourtougal”. And for the past two years, a four-legged companion has occupied the 5th seat in our carriage.

Can you present your Aussie?

Köda (aka Mouloud for close friends) is a 2 and a half year old blue merle Miniature American Shepherd (Mini Aussie). He is a weirdo (like master, like dog?), funny, sociable with his fellow dog mates, introverted with humans (it's not really his thing), very playful, greedy and stubborn! But he's adorable and he's so nice.

He is dynamic, loves going out but he also needs to have his cocoon, to be able to settle down at home and nowhere else. He needs to find have his bearings, this is the only time when he is 100% relaxed.

It's also a velcro dog! He is not very "cuddly", but you’ll always find him at our feet.

Our relationship ? I would say we are the same. I don't know if he modeled his personality off on me or if it's just luck, but we both weirdos! We don’t manage our emotions very well, we love to play. We have a lot of trouble staying in place, we don't demonstrate our affection to others very easily and we need space. But we understand each other very quickly, just by looking at one another.

He is my motivation, my pillar, my best friend. He helps me a lot, I have evolved so much since he came into my life.

Why did you choose the Australian Shepherd?

At first I just wanted to have a dog, regardless of the breed, I wanted to adopt. But after several refusals from shelters because I lived in an apartment (yes, it's ridiculous), I started to take an interest in breeding and therefore in dog breeds.
My favorite breed since childhood? Huskies! But after having doing some research, I decided it was not a breed that corresponded to me for a first dog and with my lifestyle.

So I directly thought of the dogs that surrounded me when I was younger. My grandparents have always had shepherds, so I investigated this category, and then the revelation! The Australian Shepherd: a breed that is close to man, ready to follow his master everywhere, great players, dynamic and who needs to learn constantly!

But ! My mother thought they were too big and there I came across the Mini (same character in a smaller body)!

What is your favorite thing to do with your Aussie?

Our favorite activity: hiking! Discovering incredible landscapes between sea and mountains, forests and fields. I have never traveled as much as since I have Köda!
We also love trying out lots of different activities; herding, cani-paddle, boating, obstacle courses, agility... Our favorite spots in the Paris area? The forest of Rueil Malmaison and Fontainebleau.

Do you have a funny anecdote to share with us?

Fun fact: Köda is not afraid of water, of giant dogs, of climbing mountains... but he is terrified when I eat chips !! (I have no explanation yet of why or how) . Maybe he's afraid I'm a Grimlins?

Did you encounter any difficulties with the education of Köda?

The management of emotions in general! Aussie’s are very sensitive dogs:

- Separation anxiety (Köda arrived two weeks before the 1st confinement), we had to go gradually. It took time and a lot of treats.

- Management of barking: Mouloud is a dog who expresses himself loud and clear, he communicates this way. But sometimes it gets out of control and it creates a stressful situation. We are still working on it today but he has made a lot of progress.

- Fear of loud noises: fear that we are still working on

Was there anything you weren't prepared for before Köda arrived?

I didn't think I would create such a bond with my dog and that he could bring me so much. I also realized that at the beginning I really didn't know anything about the canine world. I also didn't think that everyone would have an opinion on the relationship I have with my dog (which is often annoying). "But you can’t enjoy life like that!", "He's just a dog, you give him too much importance"....Do not listen to them!

What advice would you give to a future Aussie owner?

One thing to know before adopting: every Aussie is different! Depending on character, experience, your education... They don't necessarily like tricks, water, agility... And that's completely normal! Don't compare yourself to others (especially on social media)! EVERYONE encounters problems one day or another with their dog, what matters is to understand how he works (how he reacts, what he likes, what puts him in difficulty, relaxes him... ).

Advice: Get informed, be patient, trust them and give them lots of love!

Do you have any #aussie Instagram accounts that you particularly like to follow?

So hard to choose ! But here are the ones that come up the most in my feed/stories, for 100% Aussie accounts: @stiltontheaussie, @reiko_theaussie, @preston_my_aussie, @aussie.sedona, @frompakowithlove, @petertheaustra

For 100% mini aussie : @mymumcallsmenala @noumeathesheapherd @rumba_aussie @whisky_mini_american

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