Breed Spotlight: Australian Shepherd

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Australian Shepherd Facts

Australian Shepherd
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Characteristics

The Australian Shepherd is a medium-sized dog recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC) as part of the herding group. Weight varies from dog to dog, but Australian Shepherds are generally 40 to 60 pounds with height ranging from 20 to 23 inches. Coloring of the Australian Shepherd varies greatly. It is common to see merle marking of different shades or solid red. Australian Shepherds shed so it’s best to brush them at least once a week.

Bred to be active, adaptable and agile, the Aussie dog require lots of exercise and mental stimulation. Australian Shepherds are also known to be highly intelligent and willing to please their owners.

Dog Training Tips

Being part of the herding group, the Australian Shepherd needs more exercise than a short daily walk. If you’re working with or own an Aussie, enroll your dog in a stimulating training class that varies from basic obedience to herding trails to dog agility classes to flyball. If the Aussie doesn’t get enough quality exercise and mental stimulation, it could lead to behavior problems, such as destruction of home items or guarding of objects.

The Aussie is known to be willing to please his owners. This makes training more rewarding for the dog and owner. Strong leadership should be implemented by the owner so the dog doesn’t naturally assume the leader role.

RELATED: 3 Ways to Become the Pack Leader

Australian Shepherds as Pets

Australian Shepherds are very alert and loyal family companions. Their strong loyalty to their family or pack can cause suspicion of strangers or unacquainted animals though. Make sure to socialize your Aussie as much as possible from an early age to adulthood.

They love to play so they do very well in family homes with children. Consultations with a dog trainer or dog training classes can help curb their natural tendency to herd children. Aussies make great watchdogs, as they are usually naturally protective of their pack. You can expect them to let you know when someone may be at the door.

Due to the Aussie’s high energy levels, they are not suggested for small apartment owners. Aussies are not the type of pet who will typically lie around on a daily basis. They can do very well on a farm or anywhere with land and plenty of space to run. This dog breed is perfect for the active dog owner.

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