Last Updated on July 4, 2023
If you are looking for an intelligent dog with a great desire to please its owners, the dog that will become your best friend and always stay loyal to you and your family, the Australian Shepherd is probably one of the best options you can get.
Australian Shepherd dogs have gained popularity due to their high intelligence and trainability. If you plan to buy your first Australian Shepherd, you should know some essential facts before bringing the puppy home.
1. Prepare for Your Puppy
The first Australian Shepherd owners should learn as much information as possible about the breed. Australian Shepherds are known for their ability to control livestock successfully. To be able to do this job, the Aussies usually have the following traits:
- Deep loyalty
- Strong prey drive
Australian Shepherd puppies have a strong herding instinct and are very intelligent. As a result, this breed does not fit every family or lifestyle type. First, Australian Shepherd owners must build trusting leadership relationships with their dogs and provide them with mental and physical stimulation.
This strong bond will make your dog feel safe with you in new environments and with new people. Spend as much time as possible with your puppy when they get home and avoid visitors for a few days.
2. Get Your House Ready for a New Puppy
Make sure your house is safe for your Aussie to explore the house. Keep in mind that the first Australian Shepherd puppies are curious about everything. All puppies need to chew something.
Remove dangling electrical wires, shoes or any valuable things your pet can spoil. Remember that your puppy may start chewing things not just because it wants to be destructive. It usually happens when your puppy is teething. Get some teething toys for your puppy when you notice this chewing behaviour.
3. Begin Training Australian Shepherd Dogs As Soon as Possible
If you are a first-time Aussie owner, this dog probably doesn’t need immediate training. Start training the moment you bring the puppy home. Do not postpone this process. Otherwise, some unpleasant consequences may occur. The first Australian Shepherds that need proper training tend to become aggressive.
Show your dog that you are the leader, and he has to obey. Avoid physical punishment if you want your dog to be loyal and happy. Give your puppy clear commands and praise him for good behaviour. Training the first Australian Shepherd can take much work for inexperienced owners. But you will achieve positive results if you persist.
4. Socialise Your Dog
The Australian Shepherd is a herding breed. That’s why your puppy will have protective instincts. Early socialisation is crucial to prevent your dog from becoming overly protective. If you fail to do that, your dog will try to herd any moving object:
- Vacuum cleaner
The Australian Shepherds are cautious with strangers. Try to introduce new people gently. Avoid running, jumping or screaming. If you need help with how to do that, invite a professional. Make this process go smoothly.
5. Consider the Size and Energy Levels of Australian Shepherd Dogs
Australian shepherds are medium-sized, highly energetic dog breeds and require constant mental stimulation to keep them from becoming depressed and highly destructive.
Generally, give your Aussie at least 60-90 minutes of exercise daily. Or you may keep the exercising sessions at 60 minutes if you cannot give more time properly to an Australian shepherd.
The routine can go from walking your dog to making them do exercises such as running, jumping through hoops, playing fetch and swimming. Remember, you must exhaust your Aussie as much as possible to fulfil their exercise needs.
Otherwise, you may also include mental puzzles to make your Australian Shepherd use their brain and solve the puzzles in the best way possible.
You may also have to feed them well according to their size; if you are unsure about their nutrition, you may consult a vet for a diet chart.
6. Grooming and Maintenance of Australian Shepherd Dogs
While Australian shepherds are independent dog breeds on their own, they require occasional maintenance and grooming to keep them and their fur fresh and silky.
Consider getting a detangler dog brush, a quality dog shampoo and scissors to cut off excessive fur on your Aussie if required.
Remember, be gentle when giving your Australian Shepherd a bath with dog shampoo, and brush their fur to remove mats and tangles wherever found to ensure their fur pieces do not fall from breakage.
If you need help getting your Australian Shepherd groomed, hire a professional dog grooming service to maintain your Aussie through grooming properly.
7. Health Concerns of Australian Shepherd Dogs
As with all dog breeds, Australian shepherds, while mostly healthy, may often suffer from a variety of diseases that may or may not occur over their lifespan, such as:
These are mostly the bare minimum of the diseases that may get your Aussie. Therefore, it is generally recommended to get your dog checked up by an animal veterinarian in case they start displaying unusual symptoms such as excessive limping, vomiting, whining at random intervals, and sleeplessness.
8. Buy Your First Australian Shepherd Dogs From a Reputable Breeder Only
Buying your first Australian Shepherd is an exciting event. You undoubtedly want a healthy puppy that will stay with you for an extended period. Buying a puppy from a reputable and responsible breeder would be best.
Responsible breeders put the well-being and quality of the puppies first. Producing high-quality puppies with proper diets and appropriate veterinary care can be expensive. This does mean puppies from responsible breeders can be expensive. Remember, you are purchasing a puppy from a breeder who cares and spends their time and money to produce a healthy dog.
Australian shepherds are some of the best dog breeds for an owner looking for an all-in-one package that can either be a bundle of joy or a determined worker with a simple goal-focused mind.
Regardless, you will have to train your Aussie and get regular check-ups to ensure they both remain happy and become well-behaved dogs.