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Australian Shepherds - The Breed that Works.

Honeycreek Australian Shepherds

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How to care for a Australian Shepherd

Aussie Care and Information

Your new Aussie's needs and what to expect.

Australian Shepherds are playful, easygoing companions. They are wonderful pets for children due to their gentleness and high energy level. This breed is very intelligent, loyal, and eager to please. Training is usually quite easy. Aussies are protective and suspicious of strangers though, so socializing them well as puppies will help prevent aggression.

Getting an Australian shepherd dog as a pet is quite exciting. Due to affectionate temperament, Aussies become a part of our family. Bringing an Aussie dog to the family is not difficult, but taking care of them can be quite challenging for you. The first few weeks are spent on helping the pet acclimatize to the new surroundings. Its training also begins on the very first day so the Aussie understands house rules perfectly. If you own an Aussie for the very first time, it may turn out to be an interesting experience for both of you.

Australian shepherds are considered as devoted canine companions. They never judge you and accept you in the way you are, despite your faults, bad moods and eccentricities. The Aussie will go out of the way to cheer you or bring comfort in your life. He will always stay by your side and ensures that you do not feel lonely. You also need to reciprocate these feelings and rest assured your Aussie will wait patiently for your love and undivided attention.

Common Name(s)

Australian Shepherd and Aussie

Breed Type

The Australian Shepherd is a working dog. Popular among ranchers due to its skill in herding, the Aussie is also great at sports. This breed is adaptable to a variety of climates.

Background

The Australian Shepherd did not originate in Australia but rather was developed entirely in the United States. Some say its name comes from its lineage, others say it is because of the blue merle coloring of some Aussies, and still others believe it is a result of the breed's popularity among Australian ranchers who relocated to the U.S.

The Australian Shepherd's history is rather vague as well. It is accepted that the breed was developed in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, but it is unclear exactly which breeds were crossed to create it. Likely candidates include the sheep dogs of Spain and Collies.

Description

The Australian Shepherd is a dog of medium size with a well balanced build. Its muzzle is fairly long and tapered, its ears set high and triangular, and its eyes medium and oval. Eyes may be brown, blue or amber, and are often marbled or flecked.

The Aussie's coat may be straight or a little wavy. It is short and smooth with the exceptions of the back of the forelegs, breeches, mane and frill. Many Australian Shepherds have naturally short tails, and those that do not are usually docked shortly after birth. Coat colors include blue merle, red merle, solid black, and solid red, and may have white markings or copper points.

Aussies with two copies of the merle gene will turn out mostly white. Some unscrupulous or ill-advised breeders sell these dogs at a premium due to their rarity, but most of these dogs suffer from serious health problems.

Feeding your Australian Shepherd

Depending on the size of your dog as an adult you are going to want to feed them a formula that will cater to their unique digestive needs through the various phases of their life. Many dog food companies have breed-specific formulas for small, medium, large and giant breeds. The Australian Shepherd is a medium breed and has a lifespan well into their teens.

What you feed your dog is an individual choice, but working with your veterinarian and/or breeder will be the best way to determine frequency of meals as a puppy and the best adult diet to increase his longevity. Clean, fresh water should be available at all times.

Australian Shepherds for Better or for Worse

Are you ready for a Aussie?

You have read about them, watched them catch Frisbee's but are you ready for one?

I cannot stress enough the amount of time and devotion needed for a Australian Shepherd. They are one of the most tremendous, loveable, devoted, loyal, intelligent and excitable dogs. They have a extreme ability to jump, herd anything (birds, cats, cows, sheep and you) did I say intelligent and I do mean smart, very trainable but without mental stimulation and training they become easily bored and sometimes destructive.

If a Aussie could talk to you in your language because they do talk to you as they are TRAINING YOU they would say, "I would love to live with an active family or single who has time to take me everywhere, train me and spend time doing agility, flyball, Frisbee or obedience work. Please do not leave me alone and bored, as I do not cope well if my mind and body is not kept busy."

Aussie Traits you may not expect.

It is my intention to give you as much information as possible good or bad. Informed with knowledge of the breed will help you make and live by your choice to have a Aussie by your side. Having had many breeds over my years from Beagles, Golden Retrievers, Great Danes, Saint Bernard's, Great Pyrenees, Miniature Schnauzer and the Australian Shepherd is in it's own world by themselves. I love my dogs and would not have anything but them but this is my choice and I hope it will be yours as well with correct and truthful as I can make it information on this breed.

An Aussie in your home may just be the only kid you will ever need or may be the best and worst kid rolled into one you have ever had. When they do not get their way you may hear them whine and if the do you just may see them smile. Aussies love to the extreme most times their people and will always be there helping you do whatever it is you are doing right by your side or under your feet stuck like glue at all times watching you.

They can be protective of their own which is you, though not intentional in most cases can be overpowering to smaller kids just because they desire to play and do not know their own strength. They have the best sense of humor of any dog I have ever met. They will do something just to get a reaction out of you, and then sit there and laugh and smile about it and boy can they talk. They will tell you about their entire day if you let them and go get objects to use as props in the story.

Aussies are at their best when they are engaged in interaction with a person, whether it be walking, running, or fetching; and are the perfect companion for an active family.

Australian Shepherds need a lot of physical activity. They are a working breed, so they thrive on learning new tasks and engaging in those tasks as often as possible. Families who are active outdoors will benefit from the company of an Aussie. They are incredibly agile and enjoy games like fetch and catching a Frisbee. Apartment dwellers should be cautioned against adopting an Australian Shepherd. Though they are medium in size, they require a lot of exercise and stimulation, and if they don't get it, can become destructive or develop separation anxiety.

Australian Shepherd - Appearance and Grooming

Coat, Color and Grooming

Coat and Color

Australian Shepherds have medium-length coats. Their thick, weather-resistant coat keeps them warm and dry in the winter. Aussies are adaptable, though, and those dogs who live in warmer climates have thinner undercoats than dogs who are subject to snowy winters. Their hair can be either straight or wavy, with short, smooth hair on the head, ears, front forelegs and hocks. There is some feathering on the back of the forelegs. Aussies also have thick, full hair on the neck and chest.

Australian Shepherds come in a variety of colors and patterns: red merle, blue merle, red, tri-color (black, white and tan), and black. Merle means patches of dark blotches against a lighter background, therefore a blue merle dog has black patches on gray and a red merle dog has red patches on beige.

Aussies do shed, but it mostly takes place in early summer or late spring. Shedding is based on light, not heat, as once suspected. House dogs or kennel dogs shed all year long because the unnatural light cycles do not make for lengthened and shortened days.

Grooming Needs

Aussies do shed, but it mostly takes place in early summer or late spring. Shedding is based on light, not heat, as once suspected. House dogs or kennel dogs shed all year long because the unnatural light cycles do not make for lengthened and shortened days.

To keep shedding under control and mats from forming in the coat, Aussies should be brushed weekly, year round, several times per week during periods of heavy shedding (it is highly recommended that Australian Shepherds never have a Shaved Cut if done it is possible their hair will not grow back correctly ever again). This breed is relatively clean by nature so baths only need to be given as-needed when the dog is dirty or begins to emit an odor.

Trimming of a Australian Shepherd is not hard to do, that would be a whole section in itself. I have looked on YouTube with the search phrase "Grooming Australian Shepherd" and there is a lot of good one's there to watch so I will leave it to YouTube at this point for how to trim your Australian Shepherd if your desire to do it yourself.

Regular ear cleanings, teeth cleanings, and nail trimmings should also be part of the grooming regimen in order to promote optimal health and appearance.


I hope I have provided you with enough information to make a informed decision that was my intention anyway. I was not trying to scare you from the breed but inform you of the breed. No one wants to take a dog home only to find out the breed was not meant for you, better to have that knowledge for both parties you and the dog prior to going home with them.

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