Last Updated on July 4, 2023
Australian Shepherds are intelligent, curious, hard-working dogs that will make you happy. Here are five Australian Shepherd facts you will be interested to read.
So, to start our top 5 facts about Australian Shepherd dogs, the Australian Shepherd, Aussie for short, has been a prevalent breed for years. Their brains and looks have captivated people for ages, while their docile temperament makes the Aussie the perfect companion.
If you, like many, have fallen in love with the Australian Shepherd, here are some fun facts you probably didn’t know about them:
1. They Are Originally From Europe
Many people believe Australian Shepherds originated in Australia because of the name. That is not the case. These beautiful and brilliant dogs are not registered as native Australian breeds. The breed originated in Spain, and when a group of Basques immigrated to Australia in the 1800s, they brought their herding dogs with them. Those dogs were known as little blue dogs with bobtails. These herding dogs were the foundation for creating the Australian Shepherd breed we know today.
But it was only when, much later, they were brought to California that they received the denomination of Australian Shepherd. Interestingly, the American ranchers successfully bred the Australian Shepherds for herding purposes.
The Aussies are powerful dogs who feel comfortable in different types of terrain. That’s why these fabulous dogs do amazingly well in high plains where the ranchers pastured the flocks of sheep.
Some Aussie enthusiasts believe that they come from the British herding dogs, Collies, which were often merle, tricolour, and black with tan or white patches. And these coat patterns are known to be typical for Australian Shepherds.
These sweet-natured dogs have gained massive popularity due to their exceptional trainability. In 1991, the breed was first recognized by the American Kennel Club.
2. Australian Shepherd Can Be Very Shy
The Aussies are adorable working dogs, incredibly loyal to their owners. With energy to spare, they are always down to games, chases or any task that requires physical or intellectual ability. However, another Australian Shepherd fact is they can be very reserved when it comes to strangers. Although never hostile, don’t expect them to be the life of the party in a group of strangers.
Keep in mind that early socialisation is vital to your Australian Shepherd puppy. Because the Aussies can be very shy and apprehensive, you should start socializing with your puppy as soon as possible. Ideally, it would be best to begin working with your puppy when you bring it home.
The Aussies need human contact all the time. So, try to expose your dog to different people and situations regularly. You will not be happy with a dog scared of everything and everyone around you.
Teach your Aussie how to function successfully in society. Help your puppy get all the necessary skills to be friendly with other dogs, cats, and people. It’s worth mentioning that the puppies learn from their positive experience.
The Australian Shepherds are smart. Even though dogs do not understand the human language, you can still teach your Aussie what the words mean by constantly repeating those words. So, the training process will not be arduous.
Make sure that your Aussie is not fearful of people. Being shy and fearful are two different things. And being afraid of people is not acceptable for Australian Shepherds. Fearful dogs can start biting your visitors. That’s not what you need.
If you plan to use your Australian Shepherd for herding, it would be great to find enough time to visit a farm with your puppy. Introduce your dog to goats, horses, cattle, sheep and ducks. Let your puppy play with other puppies. However, make sure that those puppies are healthy and vaccinated.
Take your Aussie to the park. Remember that the more people your puppy meets, the less fearful it will be.
Another Australian Shepherd Fact you might be interested to know is when you introduced the Australian Shepherd to different surfaces, including linoleum, concrete, gravel, and grass. Plus, let your puppy hear music, the sound of the vacuum cleaner, lawnmowers, motorcycles, baby screaming and other loud noises. All these tips will undoubtedly help you raise your Australian Shepherd puppy to be a confident, brave and friendly dog.
3. Heterochromia Is a Very Common Trait
Australian Shepherds have many different eye colours recognized in the breed standard. However, they are also prone to Heterochromia, which is having two different eye colours. This is a fairly common trait in Australian Shepherd fact, coming from their ancestors, and enhances their unique look.
Your Aussie may inherit heterochromia from its parents. The Australian Shepherds may have blue, hazel, brown, amber and even green eyes. It’s interesting to know that the parent dogs do not need to have different-coloured eyes themselves. It’s enough for the dogs to carry the gene that can be passed on to the puppies.
Some breeders want to produce Aussie puppies with Heterochromia. It’s possible but still very unlikely. To achieve that purpose, the breeder has to ensure that mother and father dogs possess the gene. Otherwise, the result of the breeding will be unpredictable. In this case, the only thing the breeder can do is play the guessing game.
Dog breeding is a time-consuming and expensive process. Think well if you are ready to spend time and money, even if the results are not guaranteed. Plus, keep in mind that you should never let two Aussies with Heterochromia have puppies together. In this case, the puppies will likely develop severe diseases, including blindness and deafness.
4. They Make Wonderful Service Dogs
With sharp minds, eagerness to please and an excellent disposition for work, Australian Shepherds are great options for service dogs. Not only are they easy to train, but they bond well with their trainers. Giving them a vital job will make your Aussie very happy.
The Australian Shepherds are perfect dogs with adorable personalities. They can provide their owners with love, care and comfort. The Aussies are highly intelligent. It helps them learn a lot of new information without any difficulty. So, Australian Shepherds make excellent service dogs due to their loyalty, great temperament, unique intelligence, strength and energy. But what tasks do service dogs perform?
Service dogs are usually trained to help people with physical or mental disabilities. A service dog can guide a blind person, pull a wheelchair or alert deaf people. A service dog can also remind people with mental disorders to take the prescribed medications.
Service dogs play a vital role in the lives of so many people. The Australian Shepherds are very talented. They can be trained to become guide dogs, hearing dogs, mobility assistance dogs, autism service dogs, and diabetic alert dogs. The Aussie can also make a brilliant psychiatric service dog and effectively help people suffering from depression, anxiety and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. This is another Australian Shepherd fact you must hear.
5. They Can Get Destructive When Bored
Australian Shepherds need constant exercise and distractions to keep them happy and relaxed. They love running outdoors and are more than pleased to help people with their work. But without the proper stimulation, Aussies will get stressed out and bored. When that happens, they need to spend their energy somehow — which will eventually involve excessive barking and destructive behaviour around the house.
To prevent this type of behaviour, ensure your Aussie is always busy and gets enough mental stimulation. Daily walks are indispensable for your dog. Hiking is excellent for high-energy dogs. Your Australian Shepherd will like spending time with you and exploring new places.
You can also entertain the Aussie by using food puzzles. These puzzles will keep your Aussie busy, bringing the dog much pleasure and satisfaction.
Trick training can be rewarding as well. Start with simple tricks and gradually move to more difficult ones. You will be surprised how quickly your Aussie can learn. You may also consider choosing the most exciting and interesting canine sport for your Australian Shepherd Fact. You can sharpen your Aussie’s mind and talent by getting your pet to Dock Diving, Frisbee, Flyball, agility training, Treibball or any other activity.
And last but not least, give your Aussie a job. It doesn’t matter what kind of job the Australian Shepherd will get. The most important thing is to keep the dog busy. And when the Aussie is doing an exciting job, it has no desire to damage or destroy things in your home.
Ensure your Australian Shepherd has the right amount of chores and recreational activities. Take the Australian Shepherd facts and use them to improve their lives.