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I would have given a year's earnings to be able to enter my Aussie Davie's mind when she charged into a group of tired, organized and calm sheep, stirred them up, just so that she could round them up again. Sheep-folk call the act of causing disarray for the purpose of re-organizing Aussie Bowling, because it is typical of the little sharp, fun-loving, and easily bored herding dog.
Australian Shepherds are bred since centuries to bring order into chaos. That personality trait is so ingrained that they find ways to create chaos in order to work. Hence, the clever Aussie has a reputation for being determined, bossy, and active.
And for that reason many owners believe they have to be bossier, more controlling and more determined to keep the pooch in line. The problem is that unless the owner is born CEO material, the persistent and stoic Australian Shepherd will struggle back. What could be a relationship of mutual respect and voluntary co-operation, is one that is overshadowed with confrontation and a whole array of behavior problems. The key to a rewarding partnership with your Aussie is not to control the dog, but to control and channel what is important to your dog, and to use her intrinsic personality traits to your advantage.
Understanding and paying attention to the following four key aspects ensures that your controlling Aussie doesn't get out of control; that intensity doesn't turn into obsession; loyalty into possessiveness; energy into hyperactivity; pack belonging into territorial aggression and herding behaviors into chasing and nipping Jeff Jaquish An Australian Shepherd's favorite pastime.
Activity Your Aussie is "plugged in" from the moment you invite her into your social group and remains alert, attentive and energetic for many years. Chronological age doesn't mean much to your pooch. You have to put her to work right away and don't hope for retirement any time soon. Many owners are aware of that, but many also believe that physical activity is enough.
It's not. Quite the contrary, too much physical activity often leads to a permanent high and your Aussie becomes hyper and overly vocal. You have to work his mind and body, and because he is a herder, herding activities leave him mentally and physically satisfied the most.
If there are several family members in your pack, teach your Aussie to round them all up first thing in the morning, and several times throughout the day. Make it her job to wake them, and let her usher them to the breakfast table. On walks, spread out on purpose and give your dog the joy to group everyone back together. Make sure she waits until you command her to. That part is critical, because you want to be in control of her drive, her instincts. If you don't have family members, name her toys and teach her to bring each one, or to return it to the toy box.
Spread her stuff everywhere and teach her to bring it back, or to place it all on a mat in the middle of the room. On walks, ask her to find the car, or a glove you "accidentally" dropped. Have her work for food by hiding part of it or stuff it in a Kong; play ball and Frisbee but ask her in a down stay every so often and hide it, for her to find. Jeff Jaquish Okay! Okay! I'm MOOOOving! Mind Work Obedience and tricks, are a wonderful way to channel an Aussie's energetic personality and keep her balanced.
Because she is easily bored, spread her activities out, rather than having an allotted time set aside for training. Stay involved. Don't send her in the yard on her own, join her in scouting the property; take her to check the mail; ask her help to clean the cat litter box—a good time to practice the leave-it command when there is yummy cat-doo to be had.
In other words, incorporate your Australian Shepherd in anything you do and be attentive then, command her to go to the mailbox, rather than have her trudge behind you. It doesn't take a lot of extra time but your dog will feel useful; will feel like a working partner. Off Switch You have to have a command and hand signal to let your spirited Aussie know when you're done engaging with him.
You'd be hard pressed to physically outdo your Australian. He is like the everlasting Energizer bunny. The "All-done" command tells him that work is over for now. Sweeten it by giving him a chewy, bone or stuffed Kong. That way you teach that "All-done" is a desirable command and doing nothing is rewarding. Be consistent with all your commands; follow through once you uttered a request.
Consistency is important for all dogs and all commands, of course, but the "All-done" is especially crucial for the Aussie. If you throw the ball one more time after you off-switched your dog, you can be sure that he'll remember that.
You only have to do a thing your Aussie likes once, for him to believe it's a new routine. Space Australian Shepherds are herders and as such very aware of space and space infractions. If you wonder why many space-clueless retrievers are clued in by herding dogs, it is because the herders rightfully know that being in someone's face is rude.
That means that whenever your Aussie in encroaching into your space, she knows what she is doing. Don't let her. Control your space. Because the Australian is also very perceptive of body movements, again more so than many other breeds, you best move her by walking into her, backing her up with your body, or blocking her way.
If she's too close on the heels rounding your children up, or ushering your guests around, get in between your dog and the other person and back her off. Don't use any force, never confrontation, but be convincing; move strong, confident and with conviction. Your dog will learn space balance; to be respectful of a 30-50 cm personal space everyone is entitled to. That is the single best way to prevent heel-nipping.
Put cuddling on the couch or bed on command. Space control doesn't mean you can't be close, but it means that it has to be invited. Your controlling Aussie might also see the need to be in charge of your home's entrance points, namely the doors.
Teach her very early on that you control the space around the door, that you let your guests in and she needs to be a good 2-3 feet behind you. Don't allow guarding and don't let her bark out the window. Who exists and enters first when you go for walks is irrelevant. What is relevant is that she doesn't perceive the home as a space she has the right to control.
Motion Aussies are motion sensitive. They have a keen awareness of movement in their environment. And because they are herders, movement causes them to act, to charge up and redirect, or kill, if whatever moves doesn't belong into her perception of the world. Joggers, children, cats, a flock of birds, anything can be targeted. If she hasn't learned space balance and bite inhibition, this ingrained reaction to motion can get her and you into trouble.
Have questions about Aussie training and care? Our Official Ebook Guide was created just for you. To be aware and proactively redirect are keys to successful off leash outings. Recall, leave-it and name attention to connect her back to you should be solid. An Aussie is not the kind of dog you can just take to the park and forget about. When she is bored, she'll create her own fun—if she focuses on the environment, she'll engage with the environment.
Stay engaged with her, play ball, teach her to jump across logs or target sticks and leaves, play follow the leader and have her chase you, keeping that 30-50 cm personal space in mind, organize a playgroup with dogs that have similar play behaviors. She'll learn that you make fun and work happen; that the environment is irrelevant and boring. Your Australian Shepherd might naturally rule the other dogs (and cats) in your home as soon as she takes residence and regardless of age.
Don't let her bully them, and don't let her be bullied by the other dogs to "teach her a lesson". Australians are persistent and he won't learn it, will instead redirect aggression. Instead, step in and, without taking sides, you guessed it, create space.
Your Aussie craves your attention and wants nothing more than to have social belonging and be a working partner. To be engaged with you should be her biggest reward, withholding attention her biggest punishment. Social isolation is abuse, but don't give her all the attention for free—reward her with it for desirable behavior and then be generous.
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best dating tips after 40 australian shepherd - Australian Shepherd Training Tips & Tricks
The Australian Shepherd, often known simply as the "Aussie", is a medium-sized of that was, despite its name, developed on in the during the 19th century. There is disagreement regarding the exact history of the breed prior to its arrival in the United States, and thus no official consensus on the origin of its name or association with Australia.
Australian Shepherd Red Australian Shepherd Common nicknames Aussie Origin Traits Weight Male 18–23 kg (40–50 lb) Female 14–20 kg (30–45 lb) Height Male 51–58 cm (20–23 in) Female 46–53 cm (18–21 in) Coat Straight and may have curls Color Tri-colored (black/red/blue), Bi-colored (black/red/blue), blue merle/red merle Litter size 5 -10 Life span 13–16 years Classification / standards Group , Section 1 Sheepdogs #342 Herding Group 5–(Working Dogs) Group 7–(guard dogs) Pastoral Working Herding Dog ( Canis lupus familiaris) They are similar in appearance to the popular and breeds, and research has found that Australian Shepherds and are closely related to each other; both the Border Collie and Australian Shepherd are slightly more distantly related to other kinds of and to .
Australian Shepherds rose in popularity with a boom in after World War II. They became known to the general public through , , and movies made for television. For many years, Aussies have been valued by stockmen for their versatility and trainability. While they continue to work as and compete in , they have earned recognition in other roles due to their trainability and eagerness to please and are highly regarded for their skills in obedience. Like all working breeds, Aussies have considerable energy and drive and usually need a job to keep them occupied.
They often excel at such as and and are also highly successful as , disaster dogs, , , , and . They are considered the 17th-most popular dog breed in the United States. A seven-month-old male Australian Shepherd Size The Australian Shepherd is traditionally a medium-sized breed of solid build. They can weigh from 30 to 65 pounds (14 to 29 kg) and stand from 17 to 26 inches (43 to 66 cm) in height. The Australian Shepherd Club of America (ASCA) standard calls for the Australian shepherd to stand between 18 and 23 inches (46 and 58 cm) at the withers, females being 18 to 21 inches (46 to 53 cm) and males measuring 20 to 23 inches (51 to 58 cm); however, quality is not to be sacrificed in favor of size.
Color Variations of Australian Shepherd colors Recognized Aussie colors are solid black, solid red (liver), blue , and red/liver merle; each of these colors may also have copper (tan) points or white markings in various combinations on the face, chest, and legs. A black or red dog with copper and white trim is called 'tricolor' or 'tri', while a black or red dog with white trim but no copper is called 'bicolor' or 'bi'. White, rather than pigment, on or around the ears is an indicator of increased risk for white-related deafness.
Excessive white on the face and ears can place an individual dog at greater risk for sunburn and subsequent skin cancer. The wide variety of color combinations comes from the interaction between the color , which is either black (B) dominant or red (b) recessive, and the dominant merle allele (M). Together, these provide four coat-color aspects that can appear in any combination: • Black, with copper points, white markings, or both on the face, collar, legs, chest, underbelly - solid black dogs are equally desirable as ones with copper or white.
• Red (liver) with or without copper points or white markings on the face, collar, legs, chest, underbelly - either white or copper points are required. Solid red dogs are equally desirable as ones with copper or white. • Blue merle (a mottled patchwork of gray and black) with or without copper points or white markings on the face, collar, legs, chest, underbelly - neither white nor copper points are required.
Solid merle dogs are equally desirable as ones with copper or white. • Red merle (a mottled patchwork of cream and red/liver) with or without copper points or white markings on the face, collar, legs, chest, underbelly - neither white nor copper points are required.
Solid merle dogs are equally desirable as ones with copper or white. The allele, which produces a mingled or patchwork combination of dark and light areas, is the coat pattern most commonly associated with the breed. This merle (M) is dominant, so heterozygous dogs (Mm) show the pigmentation pattern; however, when two merles are bred, the statistical risk is 25% of the offspring will end up with the two copies of the merle gene (homozygous).
These dogs usually have a mostly white coat and blue irises, and are often deaf, blind, or both. In this case, the deafness and blindness are linked to having two copies of the merle gene, which disrupts pigmentation and produces these health defects. All black and blue merle dogs have black noses, eye rims, and lips.
All red and red merle dogs have liver or brown noses, eye rims, and lips. Red merle with copper points and one brown eye and one blue eye, blue merle with copper points with blue eyes Also, great variety is seen in the Aussie's eye color, and they are often heterochromatic. An early nickname for the breed was "ghost-eye dog". Aussie eyes may be any shade of brown, or blue; they may have two differently colored eyes, or even have (for example, a half-brown, half-blue eye), which appear to be linked to the merle coloration.
Merled eyes occur, as well, where one color is mixed in and swirled with another. Any combination of eye color is acceptable in the breed standard, so long as the eyes are healthy. In general, however, black Aussies (self, bi-color, or tri-color) tend to have brown eyes, while red (self, bi-color, or tri-color) Aussies tend to have amber eyes, though these Aussies may also carry the blue-eyed gene. The merle phenotype in Australian Shepherds is very similar to the coat color in Mitf mouse mutants.
Tail Although some Aussies are born with naturally bobbed or partially bobbed (stubby) tails, the majority are born with full, long tails. Breeders have historically docked the tails when the puppies are born.
working dogs' tails has become a tradition with the goal of preventing injury. It can also be seen as a way to increase speed and improve hygiene (the Aussie's long-haired tail can become easily matted and soiled). In the United States and Canada, the standard calls for a natural bob or docked tail not to exceed four inches as a defining characteristic; however, some long-tailed examples have been successfully shown and been given recognition.
Any natural tail length is permitted when showing in Europe, where docking has been banned in most countries, including the United Kingdom. Tri-color puppy The breed is typically highly energetic, requiring a great deal of exercise and attention. An Australian Shepherd enjoys working, whether it is learning and practicing tricks, competing in dog agility, or engaging in any other physically and mentally involving activity. Dogs may show reserved and cautious guarding behaviors.
They are kind, loving, and devoted to those they know. They are very loyal to their owners, and are rewarding dogs if treated well. Because the breed was developed to serve on the ranch, a job which includes being protective of its property, it is inclined to bark warnings about neighborhood activity. It is not inclined toward obsessive barking. The Aussie is intelligent, learns quickly, and loves to play. This means that a bored, neglected, unexercised Aussie may invent its own games, activities, and jobs, which to a busy owner might appear to be hyperactivity: for example, an Aussie may go from being at rest to running at top speed for several "laps" around the house before returning to rest.
Without something to amuse them, Aussies can become destructive. Aussies also do best with plenty of human companionship: they are often called "Velcro dogs" for their strong desire to always be near their owners and for their tendency to form intense, devoted bonds with select people. The Australian Shepherd has a reputation as a highly intelligent and versatile stock dog with a range of working styles.
A good working Aussie is quick, thoughtful, and easy with its stock: there are working lines in the American West that still herd sheep, smaller cattle, and goats.
They are fast runners with a loose eye style of working livestock. The ability for the breed to adapt to the situation and to think for itself makes it an excellent all-around worker. For this reason, the Aussie is often chosen to work unusual livestock such as ducks, geese, and commercially raised rabbits.
These dogs require a minimum of two to three hours a day of play, exercise, and attention. They thrive in rural, ranch-like conditions, and need space to run and play in an urban setting. The Australian Shepherd is a high-spirited dog, that requires much attention and work. Teaching them tricks keeps them focused and happy, which also keeps their minds working.
The breed also has great stamina and can live in a variety of terrain. Because of this, they are popularly used as trail and working dogs. Australian Shepherds need roughly 30-60 minutes of exercise each day.
They do not adapt well to apartment living. Australian Shepherds can have several health problems. Vision problems are common, and epilepsy is also a concern.
In merle-to-merle breeding, the puppies that have inherited two copies of the merle gene have an increased risk of being born blind or deaf.
Australian Shepherds are the most common dog breed to acquire Epilepsy. Feeding The recommended amount of food an Australian Shepherd should eat is 1-1/2 to 2 cups of dry food a day, But size, exercise level, and age should be considered. With proper diet and exercise, the Australian Shepherd can stay in good shape. Grooming Australian Shepherds have a medium-length, water-resistant coat. With the coat being somewhat long and wavy or curly, this breed does shed, mostly in the spring to get rid of the winter coat.
The shepherd should be brushed weekly to maintain a healthy and clean coat and also to prevent matting. Being a "working dog", this breed should be outside to get its needed exercise. If a dog is dirty, a basic bath can be given, but not frequently, for it can dry out the skin and coat. Mortality The median lifespans for breeds similar in size to Australian Shepherds are mostly between 11 and 13 years, so, assuming the results of the UK study are not representative of the population there, Aussies appear to have a typical lifespan for a breed their size.
Results of a 1998 internet survey with a sample size of 614 Australian Shepherds indicated a median longevity around 12.5 years, but that longevity may be declining. Morbidity Based on a sample of 48 still-living dogs, the most common health concerns noted by owners were eye problems (red eye, epiphora, conjunctivitis, and cataracts).
Dermatological and respiratory problems also ranked high. (CEA) is rare in the breed, but it and are a concern in Aussies. Other conditions of note include iris coloboma, , Pelger-Huet anomaly, , and nasal solar dermatitis. Prior to breeding, the Aussie should be checked for hip and elbow dysplasia and DNA tests performed to show the dog to be free of the MDR1 mutation, cataract mutation, and CEA. Tests should also include those for thyroidism and clearances for other known eye diseases like colobomas, progressive retinal atrophy, and retinal folds.
Some Australian Shepherds (as well as , , and many other herding dogs) are susceptible to a genetic mutation of the MDR1 gene. Dogs with the mutation can suffer toxicity from antiparasitics such as ivermectin in high doses, and other drugs. A test is available to determine if a particular dog carries the mutated gene.
Hip dysplasia Hip dysplasia is a heritable condition where the femur does not fit securely in the pelvic socket of the hip joint.
This problem can exist with or without clinical signs, meaning some dogs feel pain in one or both rear legs. Double merle An example of an abnormal eye of a double merle, "lethal white", Australian Shepherd: The abnormally small left eye is known as , and the pupil shows signs of which is dropped, not centered. Double merle or homozygous merle occurs when the offspring of two merled parents inherit two copies of the dominant merle gene.
The odds of this are 25% for each pup born from such a litter. Double merles often have excessive white and can have hearing and vision problems as a result of having two copies of the merle gene.
Homozygous merles can be deaf or blind, or express iris colobomas and microphthalmia. Not all homozygous merles are affected, but most are, making the breeding of two merles a very touchy subject. Some breeders euthanize mostly white pups, while others may attempt to sell them as "rare" white Aussies without disclosing the potential for health defects.
A large percentage of homozygous merles sold eventually end up in rescue and shelters, as the average family is ill-prepared to take on a deaf or blind pet. However, deaf or blind Australian shepherds can make wonderful pets given a home prepared for their special needs. They are an intelligent breed, which generally learn hand signals with ease. The term "lethal white" originated from horses born with , and has since evolved to often describe dogs born with the double merle trait.
This trait is found in many breeds, but most commonly found in Australian Shepherds. The name "lethal white" is a misnomer, as this genetic condition is not lethal to the dogs; it is often the breeder who is lethal to the pups by them immediately after birth. Many consider the term "lethal white" to be derogatory.
Many diagnostic tests are available for concerned Aussie owners to check the overall health of a dog. Also, the (OFA) has an extensive database to track results and provide statistics for these concerns: hips, elbows, heart, patellar luxation (knees), and thyroid (autoimmune) disease.
The OFA database also includes the results for eye exams performed by a Canine Eye Registration Foundation veterinarian, but only if the owner of the Aussie submits the results. This database is a great resource to investigate the lineage and related health of the progenitors of some dogs, at least regarding hip ratings.
Many tests have been developed by, or are processed at, laboratories to check for the 11 health concerns that plague the Australian Shepherd breed. Some of those labs are Optigen, Animal Health Trust, Endocrine Diagnostic Center, Animal Health Laboratory, Washington State University Veterinary Clinic, Vet DNA Center, and HealthGene. These labs might perform one or many of the tests that have been developed.
Tests or evaluations have been developed for: • Hip and elbow dysplasia • Patellar luxation (knees) • Eyes • Collie eye anomaly • Progressive retinal atrophy • Thyroid (autoimmune) – multiple labs perform this test-check OFA application for list • Congenital Cardiac (heart) • Multidrug resistance gene • Hereditary cataracts • Pelger Huet anomaly Other areas that are currently not health concerns, but tests have been developed for, are: • Coat color (red carrier/red factored) – Vet DNA Center and HealthGene process this sample • Dilute gene carrier – Vet DNA Center and HealthGene process this sample DNA testing to either certify parentage or to verify parentage) for Australian Shepherds can be performed, and as of January 2010, all adults producing a litter will be required to be DNA tested to allow a breeder to register a litter with the Australian Shepherd Club of America (ASCA).
The Australian Shepherd's history is vague, as is the reason for its . The breed was initially called by many names, including Spanish Shepherd, Pastor Dog, Bob-Tail, New Mexican Shepherd, California Shepherd, and Austrian Shepherd. It is believed by some that the breed has origins in and was used there by shepherds. Those shepherds might then have emigrated to the West Coast of the United States via Australia. What is known is that it developed in western North America in the 19th and early 20th centuries.
An Australian shepherd from working lines; early breeders chose dogs for their abilities rather than conformation. The Australian Shepherd was a particularly tireless sheep herder in the Rocky Mountains because it is relatively unaffected by altitude.
Ranchers in Boulder, Colorado, began breeding the dogs which would attract purchasers from as far west as California for their legendary sheep-herding abilities. A theory suggests that they were named for the imported sheep that they herded. It is also possible that many of the dogs coming from Australia were blue merle and the adjective "Australian" became associated with any dogs of that coat color.
Breeds as we know them today did not exist before , but local variations of the ancestors of current breeds came into America along with their owners and livestock. Included are some that are now extinct or that have merged into other breeds. These may have included some British herding dogs, native dogs from North America (originating in Asia/Siberia), as well as dogs from and Spain including the .
For many centuries, were more interested in dogs' working abilities than their appearance. As a result, over time, shepherds interbred dogs that they believed would produce better workers for the given climate and landscape.
In the eastern U.S., and weather conditions were similar to that of Europe, so the existing imported breeds and their offspring worked well there. In the , conditions were quite different. Spanish flocks were introduced for food and fiber which was mainly the . The Spanish dogs that accompanied them to American West proved well-suited for their job in the wild and dangerous territory.
They were highly valued for their ability to herd and protect their charges from predators on the open range. In the and semiarid areas inhabited by early Spanish settlers, temperatures reached extremes of hot and cold and fields varied in altitude from sea level to the higher, rougher and similar mountain ranges. The ranchers in these areas often pastured livestock on remote ranges.
They preferred more aggressive herding dogs that served in the capacity of herder and guardian. Filmdog Coffey which plays Timmy the dog in the film on the Recent history Development of the breed began in the American West. The breed's foundation bloodlines are depicted in the Australian Shepherd Genealogy Chart showing the relationship between the early families of dogs.
The (AKC) ranked the Australian Shepherd as the 17th-most popular breed in the United States in 2016. for many generations focused on aspects of the dog that enabled it to function as an effective stockdog in the American West. It had to handle severe weather; have plenty of speed, athleticism, energy, and endurance; and be intelligent, flexible, and independent; while remaining obedient.
The actual foundation for the Australian Shepherd was established between the 1940s and the early 1970s, when the Australian Shepherd Club of America was formed and the registry was started. Their stunts and skills earned them places in several films, including Run Appaloosa Run and Stub: The Greatest Cowdog in the West. An Australian shepherd was featured in the film (1986) and the TV series (1996).
More recently, an Australian Shepherd starred in the film (2012) and its sequels. In June 2017, U.S. Vice President Mike Pence and his family adopted a Blue Merle Australian Shepherd named Harley. A blue merle in a competition Like other , these dogs excel at many , especially , , , and . Herding instincts and trainability can be measured at noncompetitive instinct tests.
Aussies that exhibit basic herding instincts can be trained to compete in ASCA stock dog trials or AKC herding events. The dog has a stride in which its front and back legs cross over, making for an appearance of "on the edge" speed. The dogs instinctively use a "pounce" position to deal with cattle trying to kick them. They also have strong hips and legs, allowing for fast acceleration and high jumping, sometimes as high as 4 ft (1.3 m).
The Australian Shepherd Club of America (ASCA) was founded in 1957 to promote the breed. The National Stock Dog Registry became its official breed registry, which continued until ASCA took over in 1972.
In 1975, ASCA created a , describing exactly how an Australian shepherd should look and be constructed (its conformation to the Standard). It developed more uniformity in the breed and standardized the type. In the United States, the American Kennel Club (AKC) is the primary registry for purebred dogs, and first recognized the Australian Shepherd in 1991 as a member of the Herding group. However, many Aussie breeders felt the AKC put too much emphasis on breed conformity and not enough on performance, so the ASCA declined to join the AKC.
Those breeders who felt that AKC membership had its advantages split off from ASCA to form their own Australian Shepherd club, the United States Australian Shepherd Association, created their own breed standard, and joined the AKC in 1993. The decision about affiliation with the AKC remains controversial, as it does with many performance breeds. The (FCI-World Canine Organization) recognized the Australian Shepherd for international competition in 2007, in Group 1 Sheepdogs and Cattle Dogs as breed number 342.
The was developed by breeders looking for smaller dogs ranging in size from 14 inches to the Aussie standard. In 2010, NAMASCUSA renamed the breed Miniature American Shepherds and subsequently changed their name to MASCUSA, The Miniature American Shepherd Club of the USA.
This new breed gained acceptance into the AKC Miscellaneous class in June 2012 with the sizes written in the standard as females from 13–17 inches and males from 14–18 inches. In addition, an emergence of an even smaller version occurred, referred to as the Toy Australian Shepherd, with adult males weighing 12–15 pounds (5.5–7 kg) and all dogs falling under a 14-inch height at the withers.
Many breeders and owners of Australian Shepherds consider the Mini and Toy to be separate breeds; others consider them to be down-sized versions of the same breed. While the Mini size can be attained through selective breeding of small Australian Shepherds, the Toy size is typically a result of cross breeding with other toy breeds.
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Fitting of their personality, Australian shepherds are not actually Australian. (They defy expectations in all sorts of ways!) This handsome breed is actually an American dog, having originated in the western United States in the 1840s around the time of the Gold Rush.
Aussies were bred by American sheepherders of Basque descent, and are known for being loyal, highly intelligent, and pretty darn funny. Flickr / These energetic, medium size herding dogs range from forty to sixty-five pounds, and come in a variety of striking colors—black, blue merle, red, and red merle—with tan and white markings.
Their fluffy, medium-length coat is stunning to behold, and an Australian shepherd puppy is heartbreakingly cute. This shepherd dog breed isn’t for everyone, however! Aussies need smart training and lots of attention. Like other herding dogs (the border collie, cattle dog, etc.) the Australian shepherd likes to have a job. That’s why these working dogs excel at tasks like search and rescue. Channel that high energy level with vigorous exercise, and you’ll have a well-behaved and loyal companion on your hands.
For Aussie owners, the love runs deep, and they’ll be the first to tell you why there’s no other dog breed for them. 1. Aussies Have Big Brains Australian shepherds would kill on the Canine SATs. They’re equipped with keen minds and sharp observation skills, and they’re studious pets—always looking for patterns and reading expectations. With proper training, they can become highly skilled work or performance dogs.
2. Your New Project Director is an Australian Shepherd A post shared by (@19.franzi.87) on Jul 16, 2017 at 2:11am PDT With their Good Will Hunting mental capacity, love something they can put their brilliant minds to. If you have a herd of sheep, chickens, or cattle, then you’re all set! Otherwise, keep an eye out for challenges and activities that will keep your dog on her toes. 3. They Have So Many Opinions In case you need a translation: Australian shepherds are the best canine conversationalists out there.
4. If You Like Extra Carpet…Get an Aussie A post shared by (@eccentric.elsa) on Jul 16, 2017 at 7:34am PDT If you can find a way to transform Australian shepherd fur into a viable, desirable product, you’ll be a gazillionaire in about a week. But, hey, beauty comes with a price tag!
And you won’t be lying when you tell your friends that an Australian shepherd is a gift that keeps on giving. 5. Somebody’s a Wee Bit Sensitive Flickr / A walk around the block is an insult to an Australian shepherd.
These dogs need ample room to run, sprint, chase, and sniff. If you’re up for the challenge, they can evolve into impressive athletes. They love mental stimulation, too, and excel at puzzles. Stock up on your hiking gear and high-performance dog food because your Aussie is ready to GO.
7. They’ll Be Watching You… Flickr / Like the eyes of a White Walker, Australian shepherds can pierce your soul with their disarming gaze. Their sometimes marbled eye coloring makes their stare even more arresting. The Aussie’s observant nature means they’re often keeping track of your every move—usually checking to see if you’re about to grab the keys and leash. Or just watching you with adoration! Considering an Australian Shepherd? Get ready to run—and cuddle.
Enjoy that energy level and be sure you’re prepared to get your loyal companion plenty of exercise and mental stimulation. In addition to obedience classes, your Aussie could excel at agility and other canine games.
Health concerns for this breed include hip dysplasia, eye conditions, and epilepsy. That said, the Australian shepherd is generally a healthy dog. For more information, check with a local Australian shepherd association or breed group, or find an Aussie rescue group in your area. _ Cecily Sailer runs creative writing programs for the Austin Public Library Friends Foundation. She earned an MFA in creative writing from the University of Houston and reviews books for The Dallas Morning News.
Cecily is also the proud momma of two hounds, Henry and Mabel, but Wony the Pug was her first dog love. Primary Sidebar
1 year old Australian Shepherd Luke! Amazing Results!