Last Updated on July 4, 2023
The Australian Shepherd, or Aussie, is a prevalent breed, and due to its high intelligence and unlimited energy, these dogs are great pets and loyal companions.
Are you thinking about adding this fabulous Australian Shepherd dog to your family? There are many exciting things that you probably didn’t know about Aussies. Now, it’s time to learn more about these fantastic dogs, mainly Australian Shepherd Temperament. Keep on reading to find out more exciting information about the breed.
1. The appearance of an Aussie
Australian Shepherds are medium-sized dogs. The dogs are about 18 – 23 inches in height and weigh 18 – 27 kg. Males are usually taller and heavier than females. These beautiful dogs have a double coat that is straight or slightly wavy. Their coat is not long. However, it is dense and weather-resistant. The coat may come in a variety of colours:
- blue merle
- red merle
- Black with copper points
- Red with or without copper points
According to the breed standards, the Australian Shepherd may have some facial, chest and tail markings. The dogs have gorgeous blue eyes. But some dogs may have eyes of different colours. Most Aussies are born with short tails.
2. The Australian Shepherd Temperament
Australian Shepherds are very smart and active. They require lots of mental and physical stimulation daily. As herd animals, they love having a job and a purpose. A dog that does not have this need fulfilled will often become destructive.
As you already know, Aussies are brilliant dogs. That’s why they can create their activities when they get bored. The Australian Shepherds can start herding your kids or chasing cars. These dogs are not couch potatoes who get pleasure and satisfaction from a sedentary lifestyle. Due to Australian Shepherd temperament, they constantly want to engage in interesting and exciting activities. Otherwise, they quickly turn to destructive behaviour.
Aussies are very loyal to their owners. These loving and caring dogs become devoted companions. Those who love the Australian Shepherd temperament say it’s tough to find a dog with a better character.
The Australian Shepherds can’t feel happy without human interaction. So, you should remember that your Aussie can’t be left alone to play in the backyard, just like any other breed. The Aussie will start barking, attracting your attention.
3. Training means a lot for the Australian Shepherd
Australian Shepherds are excellent working dogs. They need at least two or even three hours of exercise a day. Practical training helps keep their minds busy all the time. The Australian Shepherds were bred to withstand harsh weather conditions. They can be used for herding such animals as:
Training must be an integral part of your Australian Shepherd’s life. Due to regular exercise, your dog will feel happy and stay healthy.
Even though Aussies possess many fantastic qualities, they can’t learn new things independently. They need your help. The Australian Shepherds are easy to train. However, you should be patient and have enough time to work with your dog. In this case, the training process will be smooth and effective.
Now you know that physical exercises are essential to your Aussie dog. Mental stimulation is significant as well. The Australian Shepherds are problem-solvers. So, they like to be challenged with intellectual exercises. Such exercises will help keep your dog’s mind sharp. So, to stimulate your Aussie’s brain, you should
- Play interactive games with your dog
- Work on new tricks
- Run errands with your Aussie
- Give your dog new toys
It’s also worth mentioning that there can’t be too much work or activity for your Australian Shepherd. They can handle more than you may even think of.
4. What it’s like to live with one
Aussies often display dominant behaviour. When the puppy appears in your home, show that you are the boss. Teach the puppy to obey you. Otherwise, your dog will try to become a leader. As a result, dangerous situations may occur. If you are planning to bring the Australian Shepherd home, be ready to spend a lot of time with your puppy.
These dogs need a lot of attention. They want to be around you all the time. Plus, Australian Shepherds have protective nature. They are always overprotective of their owners and other family members. The Aussies do not like strangers very much. They feel nervous about them. So, it would be best to be careful when introducing new people to your dog.
Living with an Australian Shepherd will not be hard if you establish a routine. It’s well-known that Aussies need consistency in everything. And when you establish a routine, your dog will get used to it within a short period.
Remember that it can be very confusing for a dog when you deviate from a daily routine. The dog will know when you usually get back home from work and when it’s time to eat, exercise and go to bed. The Australian Shepherds like it when all these things happen simultaneously.
It’s also important to mention that you should never punish your Aussie. You have to discipline the dog. Punishment will scare the Australian Shepherd away and make it aggressive. The Aussies are very smart. They usually realize the results of their actions. Give your dog a treat or rub his belly when it is doing something right. But when the dog is doing something wrong, give no reward. The Aussie will quickly realize that this type of behaviour is not acceptable.
Aussies have a double coat that sheds all year round. That’s why your dog will need regular brushing. Some dog owners believe that shaving can reduce shedding significantly. If you shave your Aussie, it will still shed but with more petite hair. Moreover, shaving may prevent your Aussie hair from growing back normally. And most importantly, shaving can remove the coat’s ability to protect your Aussie from heat and cold.
5. The best food to keep them healthy
Australian Shepherds are high-energy dogs. They should consume food rich in nutrients to stay healthy.
The diet of your dog may include the following:
- Dry food
- Frozen food
- Canned food
Dry food is a top pick for most dog owners because it is easy to store and keeps your dog’s teeth clean. Frozen food is another good option and is generally a combination of raw meat and vegetables.
Canned food is another option that you have when it comes to feeding your dog. Feeding your Aussie canned food is not recommended because the dog needs help with teeth and gums.
If you are a first-time Aussie owner, keep in mind that a healthy dog diet should contain protein, fat, essential minerals, and vitamins. Protein is essential for your dog’s proper growth and development. Fat provides your Aussie with the necessary amount of energy. Because Australian Shepherds are high-energy dogs, they need food with a higher fat content than the other dog breeds. Your Australian Shepherd can consume minerals and vitamins from healthy carbohydrates.
Make sure that you feed your Aussie with high-quality food only. Do not forget that it can be challenging for your Aussie to digest the plant food. So, ensure that your dog’s carbohydrates are highly digestible and nutritious. Feel free to add fresh fruits, starchy vegetables and whole grains to your dog’s diet.
6. Why early socialization is essential for your Australian Shepherd
Early socialization helps your Aussie behave well, not just with humans but with other animals. You undoubtedly want to raise a calm, well-behaved and even-tempered dog. It would be best if you started socializing with the Aussie as early as possible to achieve the best results.
The Australian Shepherds have a unique character. They adore their owners and try to please them all the time. But they will not tolerate a bad attitude from the owner. Avoid shouting or physically punishing the Aussie. Remember that the calmer you are, the quicker you will achieve positive results with your dog.
Introduce your puppy to new smells, sounds and sights gradually. Give the Aussie enough time to get used to different situations.
7. Your Aussie may suffer from separation anxiety
The Australian Shepherds are very attached to their owners. That’s why they are likely to feel distressed if separated from them. You shouldn’t leave your dog alone for a long time, primarily if your Aussie is not engaged in any enjoyable activity. Otherwise, separation anxiety is inevitable.
Separation anxiety can be manifested in a wide variety of ways. They include:
- Whining and barking
- Destruction of the owner’s possessions
- Lack of appetite, drooling, panting
- Defecating or urinating indoors
- Causing self-injury
These are severe symptoms that require immediate attention. Play with your dog and do your best to provide the Aussie with mental and physical stimulation. It will help relieve the symptoms of stress and anxiety.
Due to Australian Shepherd Temperament, Some owners choose to put the Australian Shepherd into a crate while away. They hope the dog will feel safe in their own space. However, it’s not always like that. Some dogs become even more frustrated and scared when they have to spend time in a crate.
If all the tricks you have used do not alleviate anxiety symptoms in your Aussie, find a professional to help your dog get back on track and become happy again.
Australian Shepherds are a wonderful breed, and there is no question about this. You will be amazed to see Australian Shepherd temperament and energy; this dog breed will always be your loyal friend. It will change your life the moment you bring it home.