The Australian Shepherd
The Aussie can be one of the most amazing dogs you have ever been around, but at the same time, they can really be a pain in the butt if you are not prepared when owing one. Each potential Australian Shepherd owner should think long and hard before they make the decision to go ahead and get one of these awesome puppies. They can conflict with certain lifestyles and cause problems when matched up with the wrong owners.
What Is Life Like With An Aussie?
One of the distinct features of the Aussie that they stand out for is there ability to be an extremely energetic dog that likes to have a sense of purpose. Much like their ancestors, they still have that herding instinct that made them one of the most popular dogs. They might still be used for herding on the very rare occasion, but for the most part many owners are now trying to convert them into loyal house pets.
The upside to this is of course that you get a beautiful dog in your home that loves to run around and play. The downside is that you now have a dog that will require a ton of attention and needs daily exercise as well. Most Aussie’s don’t like being house dogs, they like to be outside doing stuff and having a blast. So, if you are planning on being gone for extended periods of time, this is probably not going to be the dog for you. They take that energy that they should have spent playing and will become destructive and release that energy, much like a lot of other breeds do.
The Tendencies of the Breed
These are very smart dogs, there is no doubt about that. Although some times that intelligence can be used for the wrong reasons. If they are not occupied with obedience training, walks, and plenty of time between them and their owner, it could go south really quick. There have been plenty of occasions in which this dog has outsmarted their owner when they are reaching out for attention. So, keep them occupied and get them to obedience training as soon as you can.
Although it is uncommon, once in a while you will get an Aussie that doesn’t want to socialize and is extremely cautious around strangers. If this is the case, the owner should try and socialize them when they get the chance. Just don’t try and keep forcing encounters on the dog as this could cause more harm than good. You need the proper training in order to make sure they are not aggressive with strangers. Most Australian Shepherds are going to be naturally weary of strangers and want to protect their owners, so it is a good idea to teach them not to become more aggressive in certain situations.
Brief History of the Breed
This is a very trainable dog breed that has made their living working with livestock and being ranch dogs. They are incredibly smart and quick learners, and are extremely loyal to their owners. This dog is still used today for controlling herds of sheep, cattle, and other animals. Farmers love having a dog around that can help them with smaller tasks and still be a devoted guard dog when they need them to be as well. Way back in the day you could find the dog protecting the house and the family while the adults of the estate were out working in the fields. They were also used to guard valuable equipment that might have also been stored on the property.
Twelve or more years seems to be the average among Australian Shepherds as far as life span goes, so this is a commitment for the long haul. They also have a naturally high energy level, which means they are going to eat more than most dogs of the same size. This should be taken into consideration when you are thinking about the financial side of things. They may need to have a small amount of grooming done every now and then in order to look their very best.
The last thing I want to say is that Aussie’s can be a very fun and exciting dog to have around if you have the time and money to invest in them. They are one of the most loyal and energetic family dogs that you can find these days. Yes, they do come with their needs and disadvantages, but there are plenty of reasons why you should get an Aussie. Just make sure that you can take care of them first.