Are you a fan of furry dogs who are also big enough to cuddle with? Then you would LOVE Australian Shepherd! It is a medium-sized dog with a charismatic personality.
But to adopt a dog requires knowing about their everyday needs, training essentials, and personalities. So, to make it easier for you to fall for these furry buddies, we have covered everything you need to know about Australian Shepherds.
|2 hours daily
|Calm, People pleasing, Independent
Origin of the Australian Shepherd
Australian Shepherd dog breed wasn’t born yesterday! The innocence and charm of their faces have been around humans for many years. They originated in the late 19th centuries and early 20th centuries. Before having their recognition, they led the life of a herder.
This dog breed is also referred to as “Aussie.”
The funny thing about their name is that it does not match their origin. In reality, Australian Shepherds never originated in Australia. Instead, they have their roots in West America. So many theories surround this and try to break the code behind naming this dog as an Australian.
One of the most promising stories says this-
The shepherds of the Basque region in Spain took Aussies to Australia and America. These dogs were bred with the finest of breeds and developed the best herding skills there. Americans associated this breed with Australians. Australian Shepherds originated as an American breed with a confusing name.
Many of their early lives belonged to them working as herding dogs. They protected the livestock and proved to be one of the loyal dog companions. They were bred with breeds like Border Collies and Collies to enhance their herding skills. As we see them today, Aussies have the intelligence and skillset to be excellent herding dogs. They also have the appearance and personality that makes humans want to pet them.
Appearance of the Australian Shepherd
The Australian Shepherd dog breed is a medium-sized dog that stands up to 18-23 inches tall while weighing about 40-65 pounds. Just like in most cases of dogs, females are slightly smaller than males. Rest, both males and females have similar features. Here’s a couple more features to check out:
1. Beautiful coat
Starting with their magnificent fur coat. Aussies have a water-resistant double coat that protects them from harsh weather conditions. They spent most of their lives surviving rugged terrains, which is the reason for their muscular body. Their whole body is covered with heavy fur, which keeps them warm.
2. Different coat colors
The coat of Australian Shepherds comes in a wide range of colors. It includes- black, grey, blue, red, and tanned markings. The rough color markings are the distinctive feature of the Australian Shepherd dog breed.
3. Beady eyes
The dog’s amber-marbled eyes are catchy and complement their overall appearance. This dog breed’s tail is barely ever visible. Aussies have a tiny tail that is mainly covered in fur. Yet, they carry themselves gracefully and confidently.
4. Distinct feet
Mostly, if you look at them closely, their appearance is based on and has evolved for their herding lifestyle. From the thick fur to oval-shaped feet, the features are naturally designed to make life easier for Australian Shepherds.
Personality and Temperament
We have yet to unbox many magical facts about this magical furry breed—the Australian Shepherd! They have a unique set of personality traits that can put anyone in awe.
Here is a list of temperaments and traits of Aussies:
1. Easy, peasy, and calm
The Australian Shepherd dog breed is not aggressive. They follow the mantra of “live and let live.” If you want a dog breed with a calm temperament and does not go around barking at people, Australian Shepherds, aka Aussies, might be the one for you. They do not panic or show any drama in situations.
This breed can be good at socialization if appropriately trained. Aussies love to be around humans but sometimes find fitting into a civilized environment hard. As these furry companions are friendly, early socialization can help to make strong bonds in adulthood. You can encourage them to visit neighborhood people or spend time with other animals.
3. Hooman pleaser
The Australian Shepherd dog breed is a loyal companion to humans. They have a rich history of working as herding dogs and protecting livestock for their hoomans. Aussies have always been all about pleasing their owners. This quality also makes them a flexible and trainable breed.
With their strong work ethic and dedication to their owners, they are highly admirable to dog enthusiasts around the globe.
4. Takes its time to open up with strangers
We cannot say that Aussies are shy or hide behind their owners when strangers come. No. However, your guests can expect silent treatment from this dog breed, as Australian Shepherds take their time. Once familiar with the faces, they ease out and can give your guests puppy smooches.
Aussies may behave reservedly because they can sense fear or threat from the new hooman in the house.
One of the best features of Australian Shepherds is that they are vocal about their feelings. If they sense a threat, they will bark the whole town up! If they are sad, they will howl; if they want to love you, they will take no time to lick your entire face. This quality also makes them dependent on their owners. It would be best not to leave them for extended periods, as they require a hooman company to share their feelings.
Another fantastic quality about this dog breed that makes them more lovable is their energy levels. You can wake them up any time of the day, and they will be all “ready, set, go” for it! This makes Aussies a perfect dog to train as you can make them do many fun activities. Especially if you can provide them with agility training, these dogs will have the best time of their lives!
7. Intelligent and independent
The list of personality traits continues! The Australian Shepherd dog breed is also mentally strong and intelligent. Due to their history of working with herders and hunters, Aussies can be reliable, independent thinkers. They can make tough decisions to save their owners and their hooman families. Their creative thinking and problem-solving skills make them one of the most admirable breeds.
We relate Australian Shepherds with that best friend who calmly listens to all the bad decisions we ever made and replies back with a loving “woof.”
Grooming Needs of the Australian Shepherd
One of the most important parts of owning a dog is to groom them. If dogs do not feel healthy or are infected with skin diseases, it can lead to a destructive lifestyle. To prevent your dog from getting sick and living a lousy life, grooming comes into the picture.
1. Clean coats
Australian Shepherds’ first and most crucial grooming need is keeping their fur coats healthy. Managing the heavy hair shed can be challenging as these dogs have a double coat for protection.
To minimize the shed, you must groom Australian Shepherds regularly. So yes, this breed is high maintenance and requires attention to their fur health.
2. Weekly brushing
You will need to brush their coat at least thrice a week. You can extend it up to 4 days a week during shedding season. We do not recommend shaving Australian Shepherds as it can lead to skin irritation and infections. If the hair grows too much, you can trim them.
Are Australian Shepherds Hypoallergenic?
Australian Shepherds are not hypoallergenic. But if you want to be sure, you can spend time with this breed before adopting them. If you get any allergic reactions, this breed might not be for you. But don’t worry! You can always look for other dog breeds that are as fun as the Australian Shepherd dog breed.
Coming back to the grooming!
Australian Shepherds also have other grooming needs, such as ear and paw care. These areas are home to dirt, moisture, and debris. This can lead to infections and discomfort in dogs. You only need to clean Aussie’s ears and paws once a week or two.
Also, as this dog breed has luscious hair, they are prone to getting fleas and ticks. These harmful bacteria feed off them and are very hard to eliminate. Several dog supplies help you with grooming your dog.
You can use coconut oil on your dog’s skin. Coconut oil can make their coat shiny and smooth unless allergic to it. Also, the anti-bacterial properties help to get rid of skin infections.
Exercise and Training Needs
The Australian Shepherd dog breed is an easy one to train. With minimal effort, you can indulge these furry buddies in early training. You should train them for at least 2 hours daily as they grow up. As they have high energy levels, it is essential to direct it effectively.
Here are the primary training essentials for Australian Shepherds:
1. Obedience training
One of the essential things to start their early training with is obedience training. This includes teaching your dog commands and instructions. You can also associate positive reinforcement with these techniques. All you need to do is set commands and say them out loud to your dog, followed by an action. You can toss them a treat if they respond to your commands correctly. These commands can be “sit,” “run,” or even “shake hands.”
Tip: Please add their name after the command. (E.g., Sit coco!) This will help Aussies to associate their names with the commands.
2. Physical activity
To stay physically fit, you must also provide a rigorous training routine for the Australian Shepherd dog breed. The best way to get the most out of your training is to indulge these dogs in agility training. It would be tiring to finish 2 hours of training at once, so you can divide them into two parts daily. This training includes jogging, jumping over the boxes, fetching, etc.
And when they are tired, you can take them on a walk!
3. Mental stimulation
Apart from this, you must also stimulate them mentally. As Australian Shepherds are intelligent and love to be creative with their ideas, you must challenge their critical thinking. For example, there are multiple ways, like scenting games, puzzles, or tracking techniques.
It is essential to know that not having a consistent routine can lead to depressive episodes and trigger destructive behaviors (article). You must keep patience and be consistent with whatever you teach this breed.
The Australian Shepherd dog breed has won the hearts of many dog enthusiasts, and we get the hype! They truly have a magical persona that can catch anyone’s attention. From their appearance to personality and demeanor, these dogs are just perfect!
However, we don’t recommend this breed for new dog parents. This breed is always high on energy, meaning they need rigorous training. An experienced dog owner could handle their temperament during training more effectively. Also, if you can meet all their requirements, you will have THE best time with Aussies.
Frequently Asked Questions
No. Australian Shepherds are not hypoallergenic. If you are sensitive to allergies, Aussies might not suit you. They have thick fur coats that protect them from harsh weather conditions. Due to their thick double coat, they shed heavily throughout the year. To minimize the shed, you can groom them every day.
The Australian Shepherd dog breed is not at all aggressive. They have a calm temperament and spend most of their day playing games and spending time with their family. With this breed, you do not have to worry about dog biting or excessive barking. Although, if they are not trained, Aussies can show destructive behaviors.
Not really. We do not recommend Australian Shepherds for first-time owners. Aussies require extensive grooming every day, along with socialization training. Due to their high energy levels, it can be challenging for new owners to keep up with it. Also, herding dogs need exposure and stimulation that an experienced or professional dog owner can provide.
Fortunately, yes! Australian Shepherd can live a healthy life in an apartment. You do not have to buy a condo or a villa for Aussies! It would be best to have a garden or access to a big fenced area where you can train them. Rest, these dogs have a good time indoors with family and children. The only catch is to ensure that all their requirements are being met.
Shaving that beautiful coat of Australian Shepherds is a BIG NO. This can delay the shedding period and lead to severe skin problems. Also, the double coat is there for a reason more important than beauty. If the hair has grown too thick, trim it with thinning scissors and comb the shed out. If you need clarification on the process, please get help from a grooming professional.