Last updated on September 23, 2022
The Australian Shepherd is one of the most popular dogs in the United States. According to the American Kennel Club, the Aussie is ranked the 12th most popular breed. So, as the fame of the Aussie Shepherd rises, more and more people are thinking about buying one. If you’re one of those, you’ve made an excellent choice. The Aussie is intelligent, affectionate, loyal, and obedient. However, there are some things you need to know before getting an Australian Shepherd.
Things you need to know before getting an Australian Shepherd
Aussies are wonderful. No dog will ever love and please you as the Aussie will. However, you better get prepared. The truth is, the Australian Shepherd is not for everyone. These dogs have many traits, but they can also be a handful for an inexperienced owner. Worry not; I got you covered. So, these are the things you need to know before getting an Australian Shepherd:
- Australian Shepherds are very clever
- Aussies are aloof to strangers
- Australian Shepherds are a loud breed
- Aussies have a dominant personality
- Aussies are extremely energetic
- Australian Shepherds are territorial and possessive
- Aussies love herding
- Australian Shepherds are heavy shedders
- Aussies are prone to some health issues
- Australian Shepherds are clingy
Now, let’s explore each of these characteristics of the Australian Shepherd. Hopefully, by the end of your article, you’ll know if your cut to be a proud Aussie parent.
Australian Shepherds are very clever
Australian Shepherds are one of the most intelligent breeds. However, what distinguishes these dogs from the other intelligent breeds, is their cleverness. Therefore, Aussies love to turn the tide in their favor. So, this dog will constantly try and outsmart its owner. This pooch requires a leader, so you better become one. Hence, the Australian Shepherd is not the best choice for a novice pet parent.
Aussies are aloof to strangers
Australian Shepherds get along with everyone. They’re good with people, children, and other animals. However, this dog is standoffish with strangers. So, you have to socialize your Aussie as early as possible. Taking your pet to the dog park is an excellent idea. Introduce your Aussie to as many people and other animals as possible. In time, the aloofness will surely decrease. However, you can not erase the protective nature of the Australian Shepherd from its DNA.
Australian Shepherds are a loud breed
The Aussie loves barking. This pup will bark at the mailman, a passing car, or a running cat. Australian Shepherds use barking to express their emotions, alert their owners, or simply because they’re bored. If you live on a farm, this might not sound like a problem. But, if you, however, live in an apartment, your neighbors might not be too happy. Luckily, you can train your Aussie to bark less.
Aussies have a dominant personality
Australian Shepherds are a herding breed. It’s their job to keep the livestock at bay. So, thanks to their profession, Australian Shepherds developed a dominant personality. While this is a big bonus for ranch owners, regular pet owners need to address this issue as early as possible. The Aussie will try to dominate you, that’s for sure. So, establishing yourself as the pack leader is essential for shaping the dog’s behavior.
Australian Shepherds require plenty of time
Aussies are extremely energetic
Australian Shepherds are tireless. These dogs are equipped with some heavy energy packs. When they’re herding, they spend this energy in the field. But, when these dogs live the pet life, it is your responsibility to tire out your Aussie. Daily exercises of at least two to three hours are a must for this dog. If not, the Aussie will get bored, anxious, and destructive. Sometimes, running won’t be enough because this pooch needs to be challenged mentally, too.
Australian Shepherds are territorial and possessive
Australian Shepherds are not very fond of sharing things. They don’t like sharing you, their toys, and their territory. So, if someone invades their ground, such as their crate, Aussie can become aggressive. However, as an owner, you don’t need to be concerned. Your pup will even give you its favorite toy, and that’s the cutest expression of love ever.
Aussies love herding
Aussies are made to herd. As their sole purpose, herding is deeply embedded in their genes. All is well while this dog is on a ranch. However, the herding instinct might be a problem when living in the city. In lack of livestock, the Aussie will try and herd everything that moves. This might include your children as well. So, to avoid nipping and pushing, start educating your Australian Shepherd at the youngest age.
Australian Shepherds are heavy shedders
Australian Shepherds shed throughout the entire year. However, there are two major heavy shedding seasons: autumn and spring. So, the majestic, double-layered coat of the Aussie needs regular grooming. You will have to brush your pup at least once a week when it sheds moderately. However, you’ll need to groom your dog daily in shedding seasons. If not, you better get ready for dog hair on your clothes, carpets, and furniture.
Aussies are prone to some health issues
Australian Shepherds are a generally healthy breed. These lively creatures have a lifespan of 12 to 15 years. However, they are prone to developing specific ailments. So, your Aussie might suffer from obesity, eye issues, hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, epilepsy, multidrug sensitivity, allergies, cancers, and deafness. While a healthy lifestyle will prevent some of these diseases, others can not be stopped. So, ask about the dog’s parents before buying or adopting. Also, regular checks at the vet’s office will save you a lot of trouble.
Australian Shepherds are clingy
The Australian Shepherd is a typical Velcro dog. This pup will be at your side at all times. Your second shadow and its wagging tail will follow you in the kitchen or the yard. These dogs suffer from separation anxiety. They don’t do well when left alone for an extended period. Aussies get destructive and bored when left unattended. So, having an Aussie pet means spending a lot of time with it.
I scared you a little bit, didn’t I? All this information makes the Aussie look like a hard-to-have pet. However, the reality is the opposite. Once properly trained and socialized, the Australian Shepherd is the best dog ever. This dog will do anything for you. It will obey, please, love, and protect you with its life. It will take a lot of your time; I give you that. However, trust me, every moment spent with your Aussie will be a fantastic memory. Australian Shepherds bond with their owners deeply. Once that bond is created, it becomes unbreakable. In other words, your Aussie will love you until its last breath.