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.

 

How To train Australian Shepherd Dogs

Few have even heard of this breed of dogs. The usual thing that you would hear when someone says Australian shepherds is the question: Are there Australian Shepherds? or How are they related to German Shepherds? In a way, they do have similarities with German Shepherds. These dogs are also quite loyal to their masters and will treat any unknown face to a scowl or a growl. They also have the killer instinct when it comes to attacking unknown people, though in the case of Australian Shepherds, they are not as big as German Shepherds that is why they are not ideal to carry out the same jobs as these dogs do.

Australian Shepherds have long, thick fur that extends out of their body. They can be described as very playful to the people that they have grown accustomed to. This is a common trait with Australian Shepherds as these dogs are mainly known to be great in terms of socializing. As a matter of fact, these are the most ideal dogs to take care of if you have kids. Ideally, these dogs are also great to have if you have a farm. These are herder dogs that have the instinct when it comes to taking care of farm animals. These are one of the traits that you may not need to teach as you train Australian Shepherd, as Aussies tend to be instinctive herders even at a very young stage in their life.

If you want to train Australian Shepherd, the most important thing you need to do is to keep them socialized. These dogs tend to be very aggressive when they are left alone without any kind of companionship nearby. These dogs are very smart and when not taught the right commands, they can cause some damage in their brains. So at an early age, you have to provide it with a uniform kind of treatment as you train Australian Shepherd. There has to be a certain time of the day where it can go potty and a certain time as well when it has to exercise. Never disregard any need to provide it with companions. That is why it is ideal to keep the dog free when in the house. This will allow them to be acquainted with everyone and everything that they see. If there is any change, then they will know how to react to such as well.

Basic Australian Shepherd Training

The Importance of Starting Early

Australian Shepherds are a breed of great and wonderful dogs, and they come off very smart even in the early stages of their growth. This means that you should work on training them as early as you can so as to allow them to develop such skills early on in their lives.

Australian Shepherd Training would come off as easy given that your puppies are going to be smart and energetic. However, there are still certain things that you can do on approaching such a task to ensure that the training you will facilitate is going to be effective, and will allow you to have well-trained adult Australian Shepherds that you will love and certainly be proud of having around your home.

How to Train Australian Shepherd Puppies

Australian Shepherds are a hyperactive dog breed, so keep in mind to socialize them early on. They easily mingle with any individual that they are familiar with, but if you do not expose them to other people or animals they will end up having trouble adjusting to the presence of such. A well-socialized dog also makes for easier training, which is why it is important to expose them to such things.

Leash training should be facilitated early on when it comes to Australian Shepherd Training. Because this dog breed is very much inclined to herding, they can become hyperactive when in the presence of moving objects or individuals, heading off towards such. Keeping them on a leash while you are out walking and efficiently tugging them back when their impulse to head towards such will become more effective when you train them early on.

Another thing that you have to keep in mind when you are training Australian Shepherd puppies is to teach them basic commands to keep them still. Making them learn how to sit will help you keep them at bay when you want them to stay put, especially in the presence of guests and visitors. Getting them to lie down as well will help, and progression of such training will be best if done one after the other.

Do not forget to teach your Australian Shepherd puppy the command to “come” so it can learn to walk towards you. This will basically allow you to get them into certain places where you might want to head to and will help you work about especially if you have taken them to a dog park, or even outdoors.

Potty training is also important when it comes to training Australian Shepherds. Because they are hyperactive, they may end up going about doing potty all over your home. Potty training is essential so as to allow you to impose on your puppy how to signal you properly if they need to go potty. It is also essential in Australian Shepherd Training to teach them such so as to provide them with an idea on where they can go potty properly without causing you much trouble when they grow up.