The Australian Shepherd is a very active and agile working dog that never fails to deliver on its tasks as a farm and ranch dog. Also called “Aussies”, they are typical participants in agility, herding, and obedience events of the American Kennel Club. The Aussie is one hardworking dog, whose purpose in life is to keep on moving and moving. It’s also noted for its impeccable intelligence and reliability. You can definitely domesticate this dog but unlike most dogs, they’re not really bred to be extremely pampered pets. In fact, they need to be doing something all the time. Otherwise, they become really destructive.
The AKC has 7 groups for dog breeds: hound, herding, non-sporting, sporting, toy, terrier, and working. The Australian Shepherd belongs to the herding group, which is the most recent classification created by AKC. It doesn’t come as a surprise that many breeds in the herding group formerly belonged to the working group. The working group and the herding group are somehow similar because they excel in helping humans with many tasks. But the herding group has a special characteristic – it has the ability to control and lead other animals. They nip at the heels of animals that are twice as big as they are to drive them. The amazing thing about the herding group is that they can control without being harsh. Herding dogs like the Australian shepherds make very great companions, even for children. They’re also very intelligent and fare well during training and competitions.
Many dog lovers consider the Australian Shepherd as their favorite breed yet each of them are quick to admit that not all dog lovers deserve to keep an Aussie under their wing. Although they are very intelligent, Australian Shepherds tend to be dominant and pushy. This is really natural for this breed since they were created to herd animals. They will really try to assert leadership in a pack.
Australian Shepherds also have an almost unquenchable thirst for physical and mental activity. Experienced owners of Australian Shepherds always subject their pooches to obedience training because Australian Shepherds actually enjoy the process.
In relation to physical and mental alertness, Australian Shepherds never seem to run out of energy. Hence, the requirement for vigorous exercise. You can never confine the Australian Shepherd in a small space. Dog lovers that live in apartments and condominiums should forego getting Australian Shepherds, unless they are willing to take out the dogs to vast spaces for long periods on a daily basis. They love to play and run around so they certainly need constant stimulation.
Lovers of the Australian Shepherds say that the Australian Shepherds are:
A Short History
The Australian Shepherd is really not from Australia. It was just dubbed as such because it is associated with shepherds from Australia who went to the United States in the 1800s. These Australian Shepherds dos not have a clear history but most dog experts speculate that the breed came from the region in the Pyrenese Mountains between Spain and France.
The Australian Shepherds rose to popularity after the Second World War, thanks to their appearances on television programs as valuable assets in farms and ranches. The Aussies are recognized for their adaptability, stamina, and versatility. They are practically considered to be an all-around dog. The Australian Shepherds even became part of the herding group in 1993.
Keeping a Happy Australian Shepherd
Being a hardworking herding dog, Australian Shepherds will surely benefit its owner in a lot of ways. However, the Australian Shepherds abilities will only shine if they are trained well and given a lot of activities. Owners with no time and resources to spare for training and outdoor activities should not even think of getting Australian Shepherds. Early on in its childhood, you have to establish dominance with this dog. They have strong leadership skill so the dog has to know that you are the boss of him. This should be a foundation for efficient training. Training should start as early as possible. Obedience training is a must but don’t just limit it to simple obedience training. Give your dog a lot to do and think about enrolling it in agility and herding classes. This will be very rewarding for you and the dog because Australian Shepherds are known to be very eager to please. Simply put, they love to show off.
Socialize it with humans and other animals as much as possible. The Australian Shepherd is a social animal. If left to its own devices, it may wreck havoc in your home. Have it mingle with other animals in order to tame aggressiveness. Reassure it with love and affection so it grows to be a self-assured dog that it is supposed to be.