Australian Shepherd Dog Training & Care

Known as an Aussie, the Australian shepherd dog is a type of herding dog that is being bred in the Western United States.  Their popularity began through rodeos, horse shows and Disney movies.  The Australian shepherd dog is commended for their innate versatility and trainability.  They are always obedient and keen in pleasing their owners.  They are also highly energetic and driven that is why they stand out in dog sports.  Unlike other dogs, Australian Shepherds need more physical and mental activities.  It is possible that they can acquire serious behavior problems if they become bored or even self-destructive.  Due to this energy, they would always want to have a task at hand, making them very efficient as search and rescue dogs, disaster dogs, detection dogs, guide, service, and therapy dogs.  In addition, they can be a good watchdog even for children because they love to play.  They are very even-tempered and puppy-like even if they are already adults.

The Australian shepherd dog has a medium-sized built and a strong, well-balanced, rustic body.  It is important that the whole size of the head is proportional to the body.  Along with this, the muzzle should be equal or somewhat shorter than the back of the skull.  Moreover, their teeth should be forming a scissors or level bite.  The ears of an Australian shepherd are triangle in shape but its tip is slightly rounded and their eyes are shaped as a medium-sized oval with colors brown, blue, amber or any variations of these colors.  Their coat is medium in texture and is straight to slightly wavy.  It is also weather-resistant and moderately long with an undercoat.  The colors of the coats vary from blue merle, black, red merle and solid red.  They can come either with or without white markings and copper points.  The texture of the hair varies on each part of its body.  The hairs on the head, outside the ears, front of the forelegs and below the hocks are short and smooth.  On the other hand, the hair are the back of the forelegs are somewhat feathered.  The breeches at this area are also sort of full.  Moreover, male Australian shepherd has more obvious moderate mane and frill.  As for its tail, Australian shepherd has a bobtail that is docked and straight.  Their chests are deep that its lowest point can already reach the elbow.   In addition, they have straight front legs that are perpendicular to the ground and oval feet and well-arched toes.

An Australian Shepherd dog is prone to several inherited health problems, such as problems in the back, hip, vision and hearing.  Serious health problems among Australian Shepherds are cataract and Collie eye anomaly, whereas, minor health problems of this breed include coronary heart disease, nasal solar dermatitis, Pelger-Huet syndrome and iris coloboma.  There are also other health conditions that sometimes affect the Australian Shepherd dog and these are lumbar sacral syndrome, epilepsy, progressive retinal atrophy, von Willebrand disease, distichiasis, patent ductus arteriosus, and persistent papillary membranes.

What is an Australian Shepherd?

The Australian Shepherd is a very active and agile working dog that never fails to deliver on its tasks as a farm and ranch dog. Also called “Aussies”, they are typical participants in agility, herding, and obedience events of the American Kennel Club. The Aussie is one hardworking dog, whose purpose in life is to keep on moving and moving. It’s also noted for its impeccable intelligence and reliability. You can definitely domesticate this dog but unlike most dogs, they’re not really bred to be extremely pampered pets. In fact, they need to be doing something all the time. Otherwise, they become really destructive.

The AKC has 7 groups for dog breeds: hound, herding, non-sporting, sporting, toy, terrier, and working. The Australian Shepherd belongs to the herding group, which is the most recent classification created by AKC. It doesn’t come as a surprise that many breeds in the herding group formerly belonged to the working group. The working group and the herding group are somehow similar because they excel in helping humans with many tasks. But the herding group has a special characteristic – it has the ability to control and lead other animals. They nip at the heels of animals that are twice as big as they are to drive them. The amazing thing about the herding group is that they can control without being harsh. Herding dogs like the Australian shepherds make very great companions, even for children. They’re also very intelligent and fare well during training and competitions.

Many dog lovers consider the Australian Shepherd as their favorite breed yet each of them are quick to admit that not all dog lovers deserve to keep an Aussie under their wing. Although they are very intelligent, Australian Shepherds tend to be dominant and pushy. This is really natural for this breed since they were created to herd animals. They will really try to assert leadership in a pack.

Australian Shepherds also have an almost unquenchable thirst for physical and mental activity. Experienced owners of Australian Shepherds always subject their pooches to obedience training because Australian Shepherds actually enjoy the process.

In relation to physical and mental alertness, Australian Shepherds never seem to run out of energy. Hence, the requirement for vigorous exercise. You can never confine the Australian Shepherd in a small space. Dog lovers that live in apartments and condominiums should forego getting Australian Shepherds, unless they are willing to take out the dogs to vast spaces for long periods on a daily basis. They love to play and run around so they certainly need constant stimulation.

Lovers of the Australian Shepherds say that the Australian Shepherds are:

  • Easy-going
  • Playful
  • Energetic
  • Intelligent
  • Easy-to-Train
  • Athletic
  • Dominant
  • Gentle
  • Loyal
  • Affectionate
  • Attentive.

A Short History

The Australian Shepherd is really not from Australia. It was just dubbed as such because it is associated with shepherds from Australia who went to the United States in the 1800s. These Australian Shepherds dos not have a clear history but most dog experts speculate that the breed came from the region in the Pyrenese Mountains between Spain and France.

The Australian Shepherds rose to popularity after the Second World War, thanks to their appearances on television programs as valuable assets in farms and ranches. The Aussies are recognized for their adaptability, stamina, and versatility. They are practically considered to be an all-around dog. The Australian Shepherds even became part of the herding group in 1993.

Keeping a Happy Australian Shepherd

Being a hardworking herding dog, Australian Shepherds will surely benefit its owner in a lot of ways. However, the Australian Shepherds abilities will only shine if they are trained well and given a lot of activities. Owners with no time and resources to spare for training and outdoor activities should not even think of getting Australian Shepherds. Early on in its childhood, you have to establish dominance with this dog. They have strong leadership skill so the dog has to know that you are the boss of him. This should be a foundation for efficient training. Training should start as early as possible. Obedience training is a must but don’t just limit it to simple obedience training. Give your dog a lot to do and think about enrolling it in agility and herding classes. This will be very rewarding for you and the dog because Australian Shepherds are known to be very eager to please. Simply put, they love to show off.

Socialize it with humans and other animals as much as possible. The Australian Shepherd is a social animal. If left to its own devices, it may wreck havoc in your home. Have it mingle with other animals in order to tame aggressiveness. Reassure it with love and affection so it grows to be a self-assured dog that it is supposed to be.

 

Australian Shepherd Information

Herding, search and rescue, pet therapy… You name it, the Australian Shepherd can do it! As hardworking as they are friendly, these dogs are perfect for people with high energy and have enough time to take these dogs out to play.

Despite its name, the Australian Shepherd actually originates in the United States, its name coming from the fact that the dogs that were used to breed the first ones were brought to the country from Australia. Because of their intelligence, they are favorites as working dogs, being able to do just about anything from herding to performing search-and-rescue work. While they are primarily used as working dogs, these make for great pets as well, especially if you want a breed that’s very protective and affectionate towards his or her family.

Surprisingly enough, the Australian Shepherd isn’t much of a shedder, despite its medium-length coat. Nonetheless, they will need moderate grooming in order to help them manage their dense coats.

Our 4 Paw Rating – to the suitability of Australian Shepherd for your home and lifestyle:

Size
Males are about 20 23 inches in height and weigh 50 to 65 lbs, while females are about 18 to 21 inches in height and weigh 40 to 55 lbs.

Coat Care
The coat of the Australian Shepherd can be black, red, red merle, or blue merle, with or without the white markings and/or the tan/copper points. Their coats are of moderate length, weather-resistant, and can either be short or wavy. The undercoat is usually shed twice a year. Weekly grooming using a firm bristle brush is sufficient to help the dog manage his or her fur. However, the dog will need to be groomed more frequently during shedding seasons.

Family Life
The Australian Shepherd is a good choice if you want an affectionate, smart, and protective dog. They are usually wary around strangers, although this can be avoided through training.

The Australian Shepherd may not be ideal for households that have small children and other pets, as the dogs’ herding tendencies may lead to them nipping kids and animals, which can make them afraid.

Lifestyle
These dogs are very energetic and need lots of exercise, so they may not be the ideal pet for those living in apartments or those who travel frequently and can’t spend that much time with them. If the Australian Shepherd doesn’t get enough exercise, they can be destructive. However, high-energy owners will definitely love this breed, as Australian shepherds love doing athletic activities, making them good running companions.

Health
Life expectancy of about 13 to 15 years. The Australian Shepherd is prone to hip and eye problems, seizures, von Willebrand’s disease, thyroid disease, discoid lupus erythematosus, patent ductus, arteriosis, and cleft palate. As such, they will need to have to be tested for these problems before breeding. A yearly check-up can be beneficial to make sure that your Australian Shepherd is in tip-top shape.

Exercise
Australian Shepherds need a lot of exercise in order to keep them happy. They can be indoor dogs provided they are given a lot of time playing outside.

Training
The Australian Shepherd is very smart, so they can be trained easily.

 

Australian Shepherd Breeders

If you are planning on getting an Australian shepherd for your home, you might want to seek advice from Australian shepherd breeders to know if this is the best choice for you and the kind of lifestyle that you have. This type of dog is bred to be a herding dog where its versatility and intelligence makes it good at its job. Ask any Australian shepherd breeder and they will all say that this dog wants to please its master, which then makes it quite obedient and easy to train. If this sounds interesting to you, you should start getting more information on how to care for this dog when you manage to buy one for your home.

According to Australian shepherd breeders, Australian shepherd or Aussie, as it is sometimes referred to, is one of the best working breeds in the canine world. Aside from being a herder, this dog can be trained to do other jobs such. They can serve as therapy dogs, service dogs, search and rescue dogs, guide dogs, and disaster dogs, among others. It is simply a matter of giving your pet proper training while it is still a puppy to fully develop its abilities. Breeders will recommend that you teach your pet as early as possible and spend enough time with it to foster good relations while it is still growing.

Ask Australian shepherd breeders on what these dogs look like and they will say that they are of medium built with strong and sturdy bodies. It measures about 18 to 23 inches while the females are smaller with their height ranging from 18 to 21 inches. If you are out to get the best aussie, never choose size over the quality of the dog. Aussies come in different colors as well such as red, black, blue merle and red merle. Merle is the term used to refer to the patchwork design of their coat. Take your time in assessing which color you would like your aussie to have.

When it comes to this dog’s temperament, Australian shepherd breeders say that they have high levels of energy and often require attention and exercise. They are sweet, loving and loyal to their owners and they are always ready to please their masters. Unless you give them something to do, Aussies will come up with their own games and possibly run around the house for a couple of minutes before resting. Sometimes they become destructive because they are not getting the attention they need from their owners. If you don’t want to come home and see your favorite items destroyed, spare some time from your busy schedule and pay attention to the needs of your pet Australian shepherd.

You should get as many information as you can on how to raise and care for your Australian shepherd if you want it to live a long, happy and healthy life. The best way to get the information you need is to look for the nearest Australian shepherd breeders in your area so make sure that you browse around online and find these experts today.