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.

 

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.

Australian Shepherd Puppies

The Australian shepherd is one of the herding dog breeds around, first developed in ranches found in the western portions of the US and not in Australia as its name implies. Commonly referred to as an Aussie, Australian shepherd puppies got their name because some Australian sheepdogs came into the country with a lot of Australian sheep. There was gradual increase in popularity for this dog breed, what with western riding experiencing a growth after the First World War. They became more popular with the general public through horse shows, rodeos, and some Disney movies that were made for television.

For a lot of years, Australian shepherd puppies were valued by stockmen when they grew up because they are naturally easy to train and are very versatile. While they are competing in herding trials, the Aussies were continuing their work as stockdogs, earning recognition for other roles because they are eager to please and highly obedient as well. Like other working breeds, this dog has considerable drive and energy, excelling at dog sports like Frisbee, flyball, and dog agility. Other occupations that Australian shepherds may find themselves excelling in includes as disaster dogs, search and rescue dogs, detection dogs, therapy dogs, and as guides.

When you have Australian Shepherd puppies, you can expect to have a breed that is highly energetic, looking to get a lot of attention and exercise from you, although they can also just as easily be easy-going and calm. Australian shepherds enjoy working, whether they are competing in dog sports or are learning tricks or pretty much any other activity where the dog is mentally and physically involved.

When Australian Shepherd puppies grow up, they are known to be devoted and kind and loving to the people they know. Very loyal, you can reap a lot of rewards if you simply treat this dog well. Since the breed is primarily developed to be part of a ranch, it is natural for the dog to be protective of its home, which inclines it to bark out warnings regarding neighborhood activity. While not obsessive about barking, an Aussie does have the tendency to bark in an unpleasant and annoying manner.

Since an Australian Shepherd has fondness for being around its human as much as possible, this dog is typically known as Velcro dog, forming very devoted intense bonds with their favorite people. If they are not given something to do, Australian shepherd puppies may grow out to be destructive so it is best to have your dog engaged in activities regularly. If they’re not doing anything, sometimes they’ll invent games, like running around the house, which is something that a lot of owners can mistake to be hyperactivity. This shows you too that the Aussie is able to adapt to various situations so they are best for all-around duties.

To prevent an Australian shepherd from having too much pent up energy, make sure that it gets at least two hours of attention and exercise every day. They need space to run around in so they’re not the best dogs for you to get if you are living in an apartment setting.

Basic Australian Shepherd Care

Australian Shepherds are a good breed if you want a herding or working dog to help you in your work, or if you simply want to have a good companion with you. As with other breeds, these dogs will need to be shown proper care and attention so that they will be happy and well-adjusted. This article gives advice in basic Australian shepherd care so you can take good care of your dog.

Diet

One of the most important parts of basic Australian shepherd care is the diet. Make sure to feed your pet high-grade dog food. While this may cost a bit more, this will ensure that your dog will get all of the essential nutrients he or she needs. Be sure to check the ingredients to see what goes into the food. Crude protein should not be less than 30% and crude fat not less than 20%. Puppies have different nutritional requirements compared to adult dogs, so be sure to change the diet accordingly. If you have several Australian shepherds at home, make sure that each dog has his or her own water dish and food dish.

Health

Once you get your Australian shepherd, make sure that you bring him or her to the vet for vaccinations and deworming. Bringing the dog to the vet is also important to get your pet checked for any diseases, such as cataracts or hip dysplasia. Be sure to bring your dog to the vet yearly as well for check-ups and booster shots.

Socialization

It’s important for you to socialize your dog as early as possible so that he or she will become comfortable around people. Dogs that haven’t been socialized are more fearful or aggressive towards individuals that they’re not familiar with, so make sure that you introduce your Australian shepherd to new situations and people to make him or her used to these.

Training

Australian shepherds will need to be trained, as they can grow to be very powerful dogs that can do a lot of damage. What’s more, Australian shepherds have strong guarding and herding instincts which can cause trouble if left alone. The good news is that Australian shepherds are quite smart, so it won’t be that difficult to train them. Crate training is an effective method to potty train them. You will also need to train your Australian shepherd when it comes to furniture (especially if he or she is an indoor dog), any forbidden areas in the house, and acting around guests.

When training your Australian shepherd, make sure that you establish that you’re the leader between the two of you, otherwise, he or she will disregard your commands. Be firm but patient when it comes to training your new canine friend.

Playtime

Australian shepherds have a lot of energy, so they will need to be exercised regularly so that they don’t end up being restless or bored. Don’t just take your dogs to walks. These dogs love running, so make sure that you give them the exercise and freedom that they need. Their liveliness doesn’t make them good apartment dogs or city dogs, not unless they can be brought to open areas where they can play.

Australian shepherds may not be high-maintenance dogs, but this doesn’t mean that they don’t have any needs. Keep these tips in basic Australian shepherd care in mind so that you will be able to take care of your canine friends without any problems.