12 Things You Need to Know Before Getting an Australian Shepherd

Australian Shepherd is a beautiful dog. Devoted, smart, this dog is everything you could want in a dog. But this pup is not for everyone. There are many things you need to know before an Australian Shepherd dog. What is the dog like? Can you train it easily? Do they require a lot of exercise? What about some of the dog’s herding instinct habits?

Here are important Australian Shepherd facts for you.

We recommend you learn more about the dog breed before you fall in love with its beautiful looks and blue eyes.

She will train you

It is as simple as that. If you do train your Australian shepherd puppy, she will train you. This herding dog will start training you the moment she enters your home.

Aussie shepherd is a breed that has to find ways to amuse herself. So, you have to start training the day you get your pup and never stop. The moment you get lazy, your puppy will try to stretch your boundaries.

Socialize, and then socialize even more

The Australian Shepherd breed standard is a reserved dog. Yes, you can see a friendly goofball every now and then. But they are usually shy and suspicious. The best way to change that is to socialize them even more.

For your Labrador Retriever or Golden Retriever, a few strolls down the block might be enough. But with your Australian Shepherd dog you need constant socialization. You need to get your pet used to all kinds of people and situations.

They need a lot of exercise

This dog is an energy bomb. Yes, some of them are moderate energetic dogs, but you cannot get anything lower than that. This is not a couch potato dog.

Exercise is important for this puppy to be happy. Depending on your dog’s energy levels, one walk might be enough. But most Aussies will need more than that.

They are a great companion dog for hikes, runs, and any outdoor activity. And yes, the key word is activity.

They crave mental stimulation

Physical exercise is not enough for your Aussie dog to be happy. She needs mental stimulation as well. With a powerful brain, this working dog breed craves a job or task to fulfill.

Without mental stimulation training, your Australian Shepherd dog will become anxious, unsatisfied, and disobedient.

This dog needs a job even more than she needs exercise. If you do not give her a job, she will find. For example, the dog might find a job of watching you, watching over the property, and policing other animals and kids around the home. Their herding instinct kicks in.

They shed a lot

Australian shepherds shed significantly. You have to be prepared for a lot of dog hair. And everywhere around the home. They have a double coat, meaning they have two blowout sessions during the year. One in the spring and one before the winter.

Implement a solid brushing routine and grooming habits to tackle shedding.

You should not leave them alone

This dog doesn’t do well when left alone. Yes, leaving your dog home alone is inevitable. It will happen at some point. But while a few hours here and there is fine, you cannot leave your Aussie alone without a job for several hours a day, every day.

Most working dog breeds are extremely attached to their human family. They crave constant companionship. When left alone, they get anxious and stressed. And they can easily develop separation anxiety.

They are protective and territorial

Your Aussie puppy will become very territorial and protective. As a dog owner, you might like this trait. But others do not. It is imperative that you control their behavior and spend many hours on training and socialization.

You do not want a dog with uncontrollable aggression towards guests coming to your home.

They have a dominant personality

When you see Aussies outside playing and having fun, you might think they are goofball. But this dog likes to be in control. They have a dominant personality. Bred specifically to control cattle and sheep, this dog has a natural instinct to lead, not to follow.

They might very easily start to herd you, your kids, other dogs, cats, and anything they can.

Attached to their owner

We talked previously about how you should not leave an Aussie dog alone. Here are some Australian shepherd facts for you. This dog has a nickname, Velcro dog. And there is a good reason for that.

They want to be with their owner as much as possible. They will try to be where the action is and walk close to family members.

More often than not, they will be underfoot. Encourage the dog to bond with all members of the household to stop the hyper attachment of an Aussie.

They are vocal

Barking comes naturally to a herding breed. It is a communication tool that herding dogs use. This puppy is not afraid to voice its opinion.

If you do not correct excessive barking, it might make training difficult.

You can get a mini version

Did you know there is a miniature Australian shepherd? If you do not like the size of the regular Aussie, get a mini Australian shepherd. This toy Aussie dog gives you everything you want but in a miniature version.

Health problems

Australian Shepherd dogs are prone to several health problems. They are not considered among the healthy dogs. It is imperative that you find a reputable Australian Shepherd breeder. That is the best way to guarantee you have a healthy dog.

Some of the health issues that can appear include allergy, tumor, eye disease, epilepsy, skin infection, cataract, coloboma of the iris, autoimmune disease likes hypothyroidism, lupus, but also orthopedic diseases like hip dysplasia and elbow dysplasia.

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