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Australian Shepherds - The Breed that Works.

Honeycreek Australian Shepherds

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Australian Shepherd Lovers

To Get or Not to Get A Australian Shepherd

Do Not Get a Australian Shepherd If?

Do not get a Australian Shepherd for looks

Striking and unusual colors and markings are usually what attracts the average person to the Aussie. Looks, however, are only a small part of living with an Aussie. The true beauty of the Australian Shepherd shines outward from their character. An Aussie can be a strong guardian of your home and a dog that is not overtly social with people outside of your immediate family. Is this something you will enjoy for the 14+ years of an Aussie's life? Get an Aussie because you have researched the breed's temperament, personality, traits and think they are the breed that you could enjoy living with for a long time.

Do not get a Australian Shepherd if you lack time to spend with them

Aussies are very intelligent. If you do not keep them occupied, they will find something to do. You probably will not like what they find to entertain themselves with. It could consist of re-modeling your home and/or digging cannels in your yard trying to find whatever it is they hear in the ground.

Aussies need people and the guidance shown by them on a regular basis in order to become a good companion dog or ranch hand. Aussies can fit in city homes, suburban homes, or country/farm homes, but in all cases need responsible owners that are willing to spend time and energy fulfilling the breed's high mental and physical activity needs. No matter what the lifestyle, be it an urban pet or a ranch dog, Aussies need to be properly prepared for how they are expected to act. They cannot be left to do this on their own. Socialization and training are a must if you wish to have a dog that can manage well in various situations, such as meeting new people, travelling, interacting with other dogs, and being able to adapt to the many changes that occur on a regular basis in normal human life.

Training is also a necessity if you wish to have a long and happy relationship with your Aussie. Your darling, bouncing Australian Shepherd puppy will grow to be a very powerful adult. An average size Australian Shepherd can easily take a large man off their feet in a lunge.

House manners include not only toilet training but also rules regarding furniture, forbidden areas, counter surfing, respect for other household creatures, walking rather than racing, begging at the table, stealing food from kids, greeting guests, resting quietly in a crate, grooming routines, when to bark and when not to.

If you have acquired an Aussie as a working dog, remember that although he comes with the basic instinct to do his job, he will not know what that job is unless he is properly directed and trained. You cannot expect any working dog to magically become a ranch hand unless you have spent the time and effort to guide him into his role. If you do not train him, he will probably become, at best, "just another yard dog", or at worst, a real nuisance.

An enormous reason to thoughtfully prepare your dog for how you wish him to act is his strong guardian instinct. Left unguided, this instinct can lead your Aussie to behave in ways that can get him (and you) in trouble.

Do not get a Australian Shepherd if you cannot show leadership

Hope and Faith
Dogs do not view life as a democracy. Dog packs have clear rules, hierarchies and consequences. Pack leaders lead by posture, predictability, eye contact, and many other subtleties and nuances. Aussies are often forceful personalities that, in the absence of a strong leader, will not hesitate to step into that role. Establishing and maintaining leadership is a lifetime job that you must take seriously to maintain order in your household with an Aussie as a family member. In addition, your Aussie needs you as a strong leader to help him be relaxed and confident. Being a leader of a human household is a difficult job for an animal! Dogs that do not have clear leaders are often stressed and reactive.

Do not get a Australian Shepherd if you are scared of hair or a neet freak

Australian Shepherd are robust, athletic dogs. They get dirty. They don't know that you just mopped the floor or that the dead groundhog they just rolled in makes your house reek to high heaven. If you get stressed out if your house is less than totally sanitary, please reconsider getting a dog.

Australian Shepherds shed and shed and shed some more. They usually "blow their coat" about twice a year and shed undercoat continually. Their type of coat can be managed by a good brushing twice a week or so, but you will still find lots of hair on your furniture, car upholstery, clothing and floor no matter how often you groom them.

Do not get a Australian Shepherd if you love your solitude

Once you have a Aussie in your home you will never be alone again this is 100% fact. Whether you are doing your business in the bathroom, cooking, mowing, walking, sleeping, watching TV or whatever it maybe they will ALWAYS be by your side. They are a curious breed and loyal which can be taken as nosey and this would be true. Never again will you have that lonely feeling as your Aussie will always be by you side, under your legs, on top of you, licking you, tugging at your pant legs. Nope loneliness is over.

Do not get a Australian Shepherd if you are un able to provide them with exercise requirements

Australian Shepherd are extremely active dogs they require a lot of time to get them clamed down, everything and anything can be a toy and/or a play time enjoyment. They love to run and jump a lot and enjoy the exhilaration of outdoor exercise. Whether it is walks, jogging, swimming, ball chasing or whatever they enjoy the opportunity to show you their skills. If you have physical limitations and cannot provide them the needed exercise, they require to maintain their sanity please think twice before getting this breed, think of their needs not your desires.

Do not get an Aussie

  • if your life and available time is better suited to a goldfish
  • if your life is unstable in job or location
  • if your children's activities and demands will put the dog's on 'hold'
  • if no one is home 10-14 hrs a day, and the remaining time overbooked.
  • as your first dog
  • to have a different dog, lawn ornament or trophy of success
  • if you find it hard to make commitments in your life
  • because a spouse is pressuring you for a dog you will end up being primary care taker for.
  • for the kids as a 'playmate.'

Do Not Get an Aussie or ANY Dog for a Investment

Did you know that the IRS's preferred position on dog breeding is that it is a hobby? If breeding dogs was such a lucrative, money making opportunity why are they not cashing in on it? Respected dog breeders who have actually kept books for their kennel mostly show losses annually. This is because $100 a month per dog is not an unrealistic budget figure for food. To that figure you must add health certifications, show and advanced training expenses, traveling to these events, advertising, club dues and donations, and sometimes a dog you raised for 2 yrs at minimum $100 per month fails to make the grade as a quality breeding or show dog. Then you either have a loving pet or you decide to place this one for little or no compensation to a new home.

This is just the beginning. The average litter size is about 7. Price tail docking and dew claw removal into the equation along with Vetranary check ups. Or are you willing to do it on your own and take the risk of harming your pups and possibly your adult dogs as well? What do c-sections cost in your area if needed? Are you qualified enough to know if your dame needs one? Do you have experience hand raising orphaned or abandoned pups? Will your employer allow you time off for whelping-or 3 weeks minimum for hand rearing (feeding every 2-3 hours around the clock?).

Do you know that even established breeders often have several left over pups-due to last minute cancellations, wrong sex, 12 born in the litter? Can you raise and train as your own these 'left overs' until good homes are found? Remember puppies eat to so apply the $100 per month per dog figure to leftovers. If your puppies are dumped by the buyer can you retrieve them from rescue or a shelter (usually more fees) and continue your responsibility to them? Most club codes of ethics REQUIRE you do this.

Do Not Get a Aussie Because You Read They Are Not Aggressive

The Australian Shepherd standard describes the dog as having 'strong guardian instinct.' Aussie's are loyal and can be protective of whom they consider their master and will protect them, guard them if they feel they are threatened without thinking of themselves. Though this is in a extreme circumstance as most generally they would rather jump on you and give you a bath in kisses they can be protective if driven to it.

You can rightfully expect this from even the most peaceable dog. Dogs with less socialization or weaker characters may also bite if afraid or feel threatened. It is a dead wrong assumption to believe an Aussie will never bite because he is 'laid back' or 'so friendly.' If your couch potato mistakenly thinks your neighbor's son is assaulting your son with a baseball bat, or you and your spouse are fighting rather than engaging in horseplay, there may be some 'intervention.' Be aware and PREPARED always for your friend to stand up for his or her master.

CLOSING THOUGHTS

If after reading this you still think an Aussie is right for you then all I can say is, “Welcome to the Best dog breed in my humble personal opinion there ever was, and remember they are like potato chips you cannot have just 1.”

If the plain talk about the breed hasn't discouraged you, you are likely to embark on a most intense, rewarding relationship with a remarkable breed. The information provided here is the flip side of what living with an intelligent, demanding, enthusiastic dog can be like.

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