Last updated on September 23, 2022
Have you been thinking about adopting an Australian Shepherd? Well, you’ve made an excellent choice. Aussies are fun, loving, loyal, and adaptable. So, whether you’re looking for a family pet, or a workforce for your ranch, worry not; this dog can play any role.
However, these pups require training, even though they’re brilliant and obedient. It would be best if you first learned many things about this beautiful breed as a future owner. Worry not, I got your back. Today, we’ll talk about trainability. So, read on to find out are Australian Shepherds easy to train.
Are Australian Shepherds easy to train
The short answer would be, yes, Australian Shepherds are easy to train. They’re intelligent, obedient, easygoing and energetic. As such, training these pups should be a fun experience. Aussies are eager to learn, and they do it quick. However, this does not mean you will train your Aussie in a day. Aussies are time-consuming dogs. Also, training an Aussie requires a unique approach due to its high intelligence. Aussies are instinctive dogs that might act on their own. Therefore, you have to establish ground rules at the beginning of the training.
Besides being intelligent, the Australian Shepherd is also clever. Unfortunately, these dogs are notorious for trying to outsmart an unsuspecting owner. So, if you’re a first-time dog owner, maybe you should go for another breed or employ a professional trainer. However, if you’ve decided to train your Aussie on your own, you must respect specific rules.
The first step towards successful training is establishing yourself as the pack leader. Of course, the Aussie will try to outwit you and take control. However, once you’ve made yourself the alpha, your dog will respect that. After all, these dogs are all about pleasing the owners. Also, through training, you will bond with your dog. Once created, this bond is unbreakable. And I promise you, no one will adore you as much as your Aussie will.
Now back to training. Do not use yelling or hitting while training your Aussie Shepherd. These dogs don’t react well to anger. Instead, use the positive reinforcement method. When the dog does something right, reward it with praise or a treat. But if the dog does not obey your command, correct it with a calm voice and no reward. Aussies are smart enough to realize what you are doing. Soon, your dog will obey every given command.
How intelligent are Australian Shepherds
Australian Shepherds are intelligent creatures. Out of 360 recognised breeds, they rank as the 42nd most intelligent. Now, this may not sound impressive, but it is. In human terms, the Australian Shepherd possesses an above-average intelligence. But, combined with their instincts and eagerness to learn, they are something special.
These dogs have proven to be able to learn a plethora of tricks. The average Australian Shepherd needs 15 to 25 repetitions before learning to obey a command, which is better than most breeds. The world’s most intelligent dog breed, the Border Collie, needs about ten repetitions to remember an order. So, as you see, the Aussie fares pretty well.
Besides high IQ, Aussies also possess emotional intelligence. This trait makes them suitable to work as emotional support dogs or therapy dogs. Aussies love the three things: people, work, and people. They’re social, tireless, exuberant and affectionate. However, they have a protective trait, which you must pay attention to during training.
All these qualities make Australian Shepherds easy to train.
As I previously mentioned, training an Australian Shepherd is an exuberating activity. However, you can incorporate the training sessions into daily activities. The Aussie is a lively dog. These pups require at least two to three hours of activities per day. Aussies are fit companions for walking, running, hiking, or even swimming. Use these times to educate your dog on how to behave.
The first step towards proper training is establishing the roles. Aussies are somewhat stubborn. Therefore, obedience training is a must. Next, establish yourself as the leader. Once properly trained, your Aussie will be the most obedient creature, living to please you in every way.
Once the dog knows who the boss is, you can begin with socialization. This phase is crucial. Australian Shepherds are aloof with strangers because of their herding instincts and tend to be protective. Introducing your dog to as many people and animals will solve this problem. Start the socialization as early as possible.
Next, you’ll need to teach your Aussie not to bark at everything that moves. For example, Australian Shepherds would howl at pedestrians, passing cars, or other dogs as a noisy breed. Let your pup know that this kind of behaviour is not acceptable. Do not yell, do not hit the dog. Instead, warn your pet with a steady voice. Aussies are smart enough to know when they’re doing something wrong.
You must also train your dog not to herd. Aussies have been working on ranches for a very long time. Herding is the sole purpose of their existence. Their job embedded this practice deeply into their DNA. If you own a ranch, your Aussie will have a job to do. But if you adopted your dog as a pet, herding will cause you headaches. The Aussie Shepherd sees everyone as their flock. Hence, your pup will try to herd everything that moves, including children and other animals. Address this issue early to prevent nipping and pushing.
Crate training is also vital for the Australian Shepherd. These dogs need their own space, and the crate is perfect. However, just buying the box won’t do the job. The dog has to be patiently trained to accustom to its new spot. Take your time and be persistent. For more guidance, please read our full article about crate training.
Among other things, Aussies also excel at agility courses. So, you can train your dog in agility as well. Teach it to cross various obstacles. This activity will challenge the dog both physically and mentally. Also, it will be a fun experience for both of you.