Last Updated on July 4, 2023
The Australian Shepherd is a very energetic and highly intelligent dog that will become your loyal friend and an excellent companion.
Training Australian Shepherds and Owning one can bring you joy and happiness. As fun as training can be, remember how important it is for your Aussie.
01. Start Socialising Your Australian Shepherd Puppy As Soon as Possible
Socialisation is essential for young puppies to become great family members. All puppies need time to adjust to a new place, home, and people. However, training should start immediately.
The Australian Shepherds are known to be problem-solvers. So, when a puppy gets into your home, the main task is to let the puppy know his limits. It is indispensable for building a good relationship.
Think well about the limits you are going to set. Make sure you are not planning to change your mind about those limits. It would be best if you also were consistent and never made exceptions.
Remember that the critical period for Australian Shepherd puppy socialisation is between 7 weeks and four months of age. But if you miss this hugely significant period, raising a well-behaved and disciplined dog will be tough.
Have you ever thought about what socialisation means? It is a process through which your dog learns to behave in a friendly way with others. You certainly do not want your Aussie puppy to be aggressive and fearful. That is why early socialisation is crucial for any breed, especially for Australian Shepherd puppies.
Do your best to introduce the puppy to various sounds, including kitchen noises, thunder, vacuum cleaner, trains, aeroplanes, and many others. The Aussie will gradually get used to all those sounds and will not be afraid of them.
Your puppy is likely to be scared if it’s not appropriately socialised. As a result, your puppy will probably have behavioural problems. So, you should help your Aussie understand that meeting strangers and visiting new locations is not scary but exciting.
02. Reward-Based Training for Training Australian Shepherds
The Aussies are very smart. That’s why training Australian Shepherds will not be a problem if you find the right approach for your dog. Reward-based training is the most effective way to train your Aussie because this type of training helps develop and maintain good behaviour in your dog. Plus, it allows owners to address the unwanted behaviour that the Australian Shepherd puppies might show.
This type of training is also called positive-reinforcement training. The reward-based training methods include praising your dog for completing the tasks successfully. It is highly recommended to choose treats that your dog can eat quickly. Remember that small treats are vital to making the training session successful.
Small treats are also perfect if your Aussie is prone to weight gain. Keeping treats small will help you count calories and prevent your dog from losing weight. Try several treats until you find out what your Aussie likes. You can start with the following:
- Sweet potato
The dried liver is one of the Australian Shepherds’ most effective training treats. There is hardly a dog who doesn’t like it. The dried liver is high in protein. Plus, it contains no additives that can damage your pet’s health.
When training Australian Shepherds, you may also use tiny pieces of chicken if your puppy is attentive and follows all of your commands.
Sweet potato is not just delicious; it also has a lot of health benefits. This vegetable is a powerful source of vitamins and essential nutrients, including vitamins A, C, and B5, calcium, copper, iron, potassium, and dietary fibre. Sweet potatoes can also be successfully used during training sessions.
Even if you know what treat your Aussie likes, giving it regularly is not a very good idea. One day you may notice the dog getting bored with the old treat. So, if your pet’s enthusiasm is gradually fading, try to use a variety of treats during the training session.
In this case, the Australian Shepherd will never know what treat is coming next. It will help keep the dog motivated and eager to learn more.
To keep your Aussie safe, avoid giving artificially sweetened sugary treats and toxic human food.
The reward-based training works well for sensitive dogs. So, it is an excellent option for training Australian Shepherds.
03. Get Your Australian Shepherd Puppy to Respond to Commands
Building a bond and going through puppy training can be challenging and frustrating. Set yourself up for success by beginning training when your puppy is seven weeks old. Research and learn proper training Australian Shepherds techniques to create a solid and safe training foundation for your puppy.
Responding inappropriately to your puppy during training will create a lack of trust in you when you need to establish yourself as a trusted leader.
At first, teach your puppy to respond to such basic commands as “sit” and “lay down.” Repeat the commands several times to ensure your Aussie understands what you want. Remember to use treats when your puppy behaves well and does what you ask. Your dog will lose interest if the training session lasts at most 20 minutes.
Find more time to play with your puppy during the training session. It will help you end the training session on a positive note. Plus, you will stimulate more interest and curiosity in your dog.
If you want your Aussie to be obedient and listen carefully to what you say, choose the right strategy to communicate with the dog. Avoid raising your voice when you give commands. Remember that you start yelling because you are not in charge and cannot control the dog. It’s worth mentioning that dominant Australian Shepherds do not bark like nervous and fearful dogs.
Remember that you should be the boss do not have to yell. It would be best if you were patient and consistent during training sessions. Choose a specific word for each command and stick to it. If you use different words for the same command, the Aussie is less likely to remember it. You will confuse the puppy and achieve no desired result.
04. Reduce Your Australian Shepherd’s Herding Behaviour
The Australian Shepherd is an excellent family pet. It has great personality traits, so this means that an Australian Shepherd is:
The Australian Shepherds can get along very well with other pets in your home. They are loving and caring dogs that always want to please their owners.
When your dog gets ready to herd, it usually demonstrates specific behaviour. However, these dogs still possess strong guardians and herding instincts. If you are not planning on training Australian Shepherds to herd livestock, you want to minimise this behaviour.
Your Aussie may start barking loudly. Interrupt the behaviour that you consider unacceptable. You will learn to analyse your dog’s behaviour over time. It will help you predict your Aussie’s herding behaviour before it even occurs.
If you have kids, you should also remember that some Aussies consider children part of their flock. So, the Australian Shepherds may even try to herd the kids. It would be best if you tried to explain to the dog that it is not allowed and that you will not tolerate unacceptable behaviour. It will require a lot of training.
When your Aussie learns the lesson, he will become your kids’ best friend. So, what can you do to achieve that purpose?
Let your kids and the Australian Shepherd play together. Such activities will make both of them healthy and happy. Plus, it will contribute significantly to building positive and friendly relationships. Spending time together will also create more trust between the children and the Australian Shepherd.
Australian Shepherds tend to be more aggressive with smaller kids. They try to control and even nip them. Fortunately, this type of behaviour is rare.
When you learn how to anticipate herding behaviour, you can prevent it. When you notice that the dog will herd your kids, interrupt him and explain that it’s not what he’s allowed to do.
If you want to teach your Aussie the correct behaviour, ask your kids to be present during the training sessions. However, training Australian Shepherds is one of many things you should do. Explain to your kids how to react to the dog as well. Let the kids walk the Aussie alone. They will learn to trust each other soon enough if things go well.
05. Think About Hiring a Professional Dog Trainer for Training Australian Shepherds
No doubt, training Australian Shepherds is a complicated process that requires much time and dedication. If you lose precious time and let your dog do whatever he wants, you will have to solve severe problems in the nearest future.
If you are not successfully training an Australian Shepherds puppy, ask a professional for help. The professional trainer will analyse your dog’s behaviour and provide actionable advice on addressing and changing the undesirable behaviour.
The professional dog trainer knows well how to fix your problem within a short period. A specialist will help you make your Aussie an obedient dog that brings unforgettable emotions into your life.
Frequently Asked Questions
How To Train Australian Shepherd?
Australian shepherds respond well to positive reinforcements; as long as you give treats and praises to your dog for specific behaviour that is beneficial for them and fitting for the owner, the dog will keep repeating that behaviour in the future to receive more treats and praises.
Ensure to create a proper routine for the Aussie by taking them on regular walks and giving them the exercise they need; also, make sure to discourage undesired behaviour.
Try to expose the Aussie to new people and animals for a better socialising experience if the Aussie is a puppy, as puppies exposed to positive stimuli will grow up sociable.
Are Australian Shepherd Puppies Hard To Train?
Australian shepherd puppies, as they belong to the working class and are used for herding cattle, are brilliant and easy to train. On the contrary, Aussies work on the formula of “eager to please”, which means that these dogs will try their best to ensure the owners are highly pleased.
Giving Aussies positive reinforcement can be an even better step when you are looking to train them more efficiently, as the dogs respond well to treats and praises.
How To Train an Australian Shepherd Not To Bite?
The best way to ensure that your Australian Shepherd learns not to bite is to react strongly to them, giving a nibble even if it doesn’t hurt. It is recommended to reward the Aussies every time they control their urge to do so. As long as your show your dog that their biting actions are enormously “hurting” you, they will try to reduce the behaviour and eventually get out of the habit.
If your Aussie puppy is teething, it is a good idea to get them a chew toy to chew upon till their teething stops.
Australian Shepherd Treats for Training
Treats are one of the best ways to motivate a dog to keep exercising and act more calmly; the same can be said for an Australian shepherd. There are lots of different types of dog treats out there, from rawhide chews to freeze-dried kibble. Some are better than others, but they all have pros and cons.
Generally, treats such as cheese or filled dog bones as the Ultra Chew Double Treat Bone Greek yogurt Flavor Dog Treat.
Australian Shepherd Training Tips?
Starting with basic training commands such as “Sit” or “Down” should be the priority; giving your Aussie a name and ensuring to treat them with rewards whenever they favourably do an objective will be a great way to encourage your dog to go along with positively well-desired behaviour.
These commands will help them behave appropriately at home and during walks. Check this article for detailed information on the importance of training Australian Shepherds from an early stage.
The Australian Shepherd is a fantastic dog that can quickly become a perfect family pet. Your puppy will grow into a well-behaved dog if you have enough time to train him properly.