AUSTRALIAN SHEPHERD DOGS, THEIR NATURE AND NEEDS

Australian Shepherds come in a variety of colors.  Tri eyed dogs are common, often sporting one blue eye and one amber or brown. Pictured Blue Merle, with blue eyes
Australian Shepherds come in a variety of colors. Tri eyed dogs are common, often sporting one blue eye and one amber or brown. Pictured Blue Merle, with blue eyes
Unsocialized Australian Shepherds can end up in the dog house.  It is important to socialize your aussie at a young age. Pictured: Lucky Samson, Black Tri with brown eyes
Unsocialized Australian Shepherds can end up in the dog house. It is important to socialize your aussie at a young age. Pictured: Lucky Samson, Black Tri with brown eyes
Pictured, Texas Pete Jr., Red Tri with Olive Green-Gold eyes
Pictured, Texas Pete Jr., Red Tri with Olive Green-Gold eyes
Pictured: Brandy Delilah, Red Merle with Amber Wolf eyes
Pictured: Brandy Delilah, Red Merle with Amber Wolf eyes
Aussie puppies enter this world in a variety of colors
Aussie puppies enter this world in a variety of colors

NATURE

WORKING DOGS

Australian Shepherd dogs are bred to work, and are herding dogs by nature. They have extremely high energy levels, and can herd other animals all day long. They also have a protective nature, and will guard the animals from danger. Aussies typically keep other animals within boundaries through lightly biting or nicking their heels. They also use their bark to keep other animals within boundaries, and bark frequently.

APPEARANCE

Aussies come in a variety of colors, and sizes. They can be almost the size of a typical Golden Retriever Dog, or come in an intentionally bred mini size. They enter this world in a variety of colors, as Black tri puppies, solid black, red tri or solid red, blue merle, red merle, and with different hair textures, lengths, and eye colors. Eyes can be blue, brown, gold or amber, olive green, or tri eyed, with eyes of different colors. They are especially fun and interesting for breeders, as one never knows what to expect from an Australian Shepherd litter.

Temperament

Australian Shepherd dogs are extremely intelligent, energetic, and loyal to their people. They are protective, and require socialization in order to keep this positve quality from becoming a negative one. When socialized and trained appropriately, Aussies are very obedient, and excell in high energy competition and herding duties.

NURTURE

Australian Shepherd Dogs require intense socialization, preferably as puppies. If you are considering an Australian Shepherd puppy, plan to take him or her to a number of different environments that include people of both genders, and all racial types. He or she should accompany you to crowded locations that include other dogs and many people you do not know. Your aussie should attend obedience school as soon as possible, and you should practice his or her training lessons at home in-between training school sessions.

POTENTIAL PROBLEMS

Most potential problems with this breed can be remedied and eliminated through appropriate training and socialization as discussed above, as they are very intelligent and eager to please. One problem that may occur; however, even with a friendly, well trained aussie, is the problem of barking, and neighbor complaints if you keep your Australian Shepherd Dog outside. If you plan to keep your dog outside, and have neighbors living in close proximity, do not get an Australian Shepherd Dog. In that case, I would recommend either a lab or Golden Retriever. These dogs do not bark very much and enjoy being outdoors.

Australian Shepherd Dogs are herders by nature, and they will bark constantly, and bark loudly. They need to live inside if you have neighbors living close by, unless your neighbors also have herding dogs and do not object to dogs barking for seemingly no reason at all, possibly at all hours of the day and night.

ADULT PROBLEM DOGS

Do not give up on your adult problem Australian Shepherd. This breed is extremely intelligent, and can be socialized at any age. Purchase a muzzle, if your dog is overly protective, demonstrating aggressive behavior towards other animals or people, and begin to expose him or her to others while on a leash and muzzled. Your dog will gradually learn that other people are not dangerous or cause for fear or alarm. Do not rush this process. It is better to be safe than sorry, and you have the rest of your dog's life to resolve the problem. Mesh muzzles are available that allow dogs to pant, drink and even eat, so it is not cruel or insenstive to require your dog to wear a muzzle anytime others are present in your home. In fact, it is much more humane than so-called humane euthanasia, your other option, and one I hope you will reject.

AUSTRALIAN SHEPHERD DOGS AS PUBLIC SERVANTS

Aussies need a job, so give them one. Australian Shepherds have been used as Search and Rescue Dogs, Therapy Dogs, Seeing Eye Dogs for the blind, and also visit nursing homes and hospitals. Your Aussie can bring much joy to you and others, if he or she is treated "half as good as you would treat a dog." Do it, and see if you don't reap the benefits of unconditional love from your dog, and those he or she serves. Remember that it is never too late for a dog to learn new behavior.

CLICK BELOW TO LEARN ABOUT RECESSION PROOF PET CARE TIPS:

http://hubpages.com/_2pvzhao591xs4/hub/RECESSION-PROOF-PET-CARE-TIPS

CLICK BELOW TO READ ABOUT SAMBO, THE BAD DOG:

http://hubpages.com/_2pvzhao591xs4/hub/DOG-DAY-AFTERNOON-THE-STORY-OF-SAMBO-THE-BAD-DOG

 

More by this Author


Comments 35 comments

changtian profile image

changtian 6 years ago

???????????????????????

?????|????????????????????

(??????????????????????

????????????????????????


valeriebelew profile image

valeriebelew 6 years ago from Metro Atlanta, GA, USA Author

I don't get it. Was this a typo?????? Or were you just tired. Anyway, thanks for reading my hub.


dgicre profile image

dgicre 6 years ago from USA

Great hub on Aussies; we rescued a Tri off the street. She was very shy with strangers but is coming around. She is a very sweet dog, loves to play and gives my Standard a run for his money. She may be mixed with something else but her personality is 100% Aussie. Here is a Picture: http://bit.ly/cxW2G0


valeriebelew profile image

valeriebelew 6 years ago from Metro Atlanta, GA, USA Author

Thanks dgicre. Her picture definitely looks Aussie, and she favors my Sambo in her appearance. They are commonly standoffish with strangers, but very loyal once they warm up, and running over the top with energy. (:v


SafeCard 6 years ago from Charlotte, NC

I got an aussie a few months ago and he is turning out to be a great boy. He does have one annoying habit I cannot find an answer to. He walks literally between my legs when I do. Anybody have ideas on stopping this, I have tried several things.


valeriebelew profile image

valeriebelew 6 years ago from Metro Atlanta, GA, USA Author

Walks between your legs?? You mean when you are trying to walk him on a lease?


About Australian Shepherd 6 years ago

If I may add, Aussies are so energetic that they need plenty of vigorous exercise. If this breed is under-exercised, they can become restless and destructive.


valeriebelew profile image

valeriebelew 6 years ago from Metro Atlanta, GA, USA Author

Thanks obvious aussie lover. They are extremely energetic dogs. Mine don't chew that much, but my sister says her dog, from the exact same line, does, and she has to watch him to make sure he doesn't chew things he shouldn't chew. Thanks. (:v


belle 6 years ago

I just purchased an australian shepherd puppy. He is 8 weeks old and a darling.I have heard from many people that an all white aussie with two blue eys can have problems.I would like to train him fordog agility as i have a smaller cocker spaniel who loves it.Just hoping you could help.his dad is a blue merle and his mom is supposed to be a tri but i think she has some blue merle in her.in the litter there were 6 white ones.Three have some brown or black.Two of the white ones had eyes that weren't formed.please help for he is a character.Thanks:)


valeriebelew profile image

valeriebelew 6 years ago from Metro Atlanta, GA, USA Author

I would suggest either getting him into agility training or purchasing an agility kit from a pet store. White Aussies sometimes have problems, but some do okay. I would just treat him like any other Aussie unless he needs to see a vet. Good luck. They are wonderful dogs, but socialize him early. (:v


Lisa 6 years ago

The 3rd pic looks just like my Aussie, her name is Sage


valeriebelew profile image

valeriebelew 6 years ago from Metro Atlanta, GA, USA Author

Thanks for commenting on my site, Lisa. The 3rd pic is actually Brandy and Sambo's son, Pere Jr. He is a male. (:v


Marcel 6 years ago

I HAVE ONE


valeriebelew profile image

valeriebelew 6 years ago from Metro Atlanta, GA, USA Author

Marcel, I have three. Aren't they great. My sister has one as well that she named after her husband. Its just as well because the dog wears the pants in the family now. (:v


Old Poolman profile image

Old Poolman 6 years ago from Rural Arizona

Great hub - I have three Aussie's, one male and two females. They are all rescue dogs I saved from the dog pound. I think they are outstanding dogs, and could not think of any breed of dog I would rather have.


valeriebelew profile image

valeriebelew 6 years ago from Metro Atlanta, GA, USA Author

Oh wonderful, Old Poolman!! Wonderful dogs. (:v


karli_&_picasso 6 years ago

I have an aussie, whom I bought from a breeder about 5 months ago. He is 9 months old, and already so intelligent. I had a GR before and adored him. I got Picasso when my retreiver past away. I absolutely love him. He is a great companion and protector. He has a bit of a kennel problem. He knows how to get out of every kennel I have put him in.. Any suggestions?


valeriebelew profile image

valeriebelew 6 years ago from Metro Atlanta, GA, USA Author

karli, they are smart dogs. Chances are if he doesn't want to stay in a kennel, he won't. Maybe you should crate him inside when you're gone. I'd worry about him getting hit by a car running wild while I was gone. (:v


Kirsten 5 years ago

im getting my first aussie puppy tomorrow from a breeder. she's 9 weeks old and a red merle w/ one green & blue eye. she's a beautiful little girl, and i cannot wait to add her to the family.


valeriebelew profile image

valeriebelew 5 years ago from Metro Atlanta, GA, USA Author

Wonderful! They are wonderful dogs. As you can see my Brandy is a red merle with two amber eyes. She is still with me, but is now spayed. I don't breed anymore, but Aussies are definitely my family dog breed. Just about everyone in my family has or has had either an Aussie, a lab, or a Golden Retriever.


stylezink profile image

stylezink 5 years ago from Atlanta, GA.

Great info on Aussie's! I have a blue merle girl with one blue eye and one amber. Recently, she was looking at me and I saw a fleck/sparkle in the amber eye. After taking a closer look I noticed her amber eye also has blue mixed in around the edges. Pretty cool!

They are energetic dogs but if you give them something to do or interact with them daily you shouldn't have too many problems with that. I was worried when I went back to work she would get bored and destructive.. but nope!

Regarding the breeding of the lethal whites.. Sometimes people/breeders will think they have a tri when in fact it is a merle. Even with the slightest color of merle pattern on the dog makes them a merle. If the dog is docked and the merle was on it's tail you would never know. It's very important to research if you plan to breed. I don't judge breeders, I just wish they would be a little more careful. Lethal whites can live and be just like any other Aussie's but the ones who are deaf/blind have harder times being placed in homes and need owners that have time to deal with their disabilities.


poochman 5 years ago

Hello

My aussie lab mix barks during the day. My neighbors have had enough what do I do? I live on a corner lot by a school so there is a lot of traffic.


valeriebelew profile image

valeriebelew 5 years ago from Metro Atlanta, GA, USA Author

I had to bring mine inside while I'm at work and crate them. They won't use the restroom in a crate and you can take them out immediately when you get home. They are wonderful house dogs when you are there.


cheryl 5 years ago

I am adopting a 2yr old aussie Monday.Are they fence jumpers?I know he loves kids so that is a real plus.


valeriebelew profile image

valeriebelew 5 years ago from Metro Atlanta, GA, USA Author

My Aussie's haven't ever jumped a fence, but they could if they chose to do so. Sambo can jump higher than his head.


craftybegonia profile image

craftybegonia 5 years ago from Southwestern, United States

Nice Hub. We have Aussie dogs too. Boy and girl. Totally different personalities, theg irl is the better guard dog, the boy is the great lover. They are funny, fast, beautiful and extremely intelligent. It is a great breed. Thanks for all the explanations you give, people need to know before they choose them. We got ours from the pound. They had been abused by a previous owner and were heavily traumatized, till they learned to love again, this time, people who loved them. Voted up.


funnyfarm profile image

funnyfarm 4 years ago from Arkansas

Good hub. And thanks to all of the commenters. I have a red/white male and just adore him. He likes to be the boss and we work on that daily it seems. I am so glad to see you stress the need for socialization. We live in the country now, but when we lived in town he went to a dog park daily. He is a true velcro dog though and has never warmed up to anyone but my husband and I.


valeriebelew profile image

valeriebelew 4 years ago from Metro Atlanta, GA, USA Author

Yes, funnyfarm, these dogs definitely have minds of their own, and you can't count on them to like someone just because you do. They are very loyal to those they like, but THEY will decide, not their owners. LMAO. (:v


melissa 4 years ago

a few months ago we took in a stray aussie.... the only ptoblem i have is when my teenagers get loud she barks, heck if anyone gets loud she barks....and she snaps at the other dogs if the walk to close to her.... is this all normal??? and is there anything i can do to help...well besides being quiet....lol :)


valeriebelew profile image

valeriebelew 4 years ago from Metro Atlanta, GA, USA Author

Unfortunately, it is normal for some aussies. My Brndy behaves much like that with other dogs. They are extremely loyal dogs to their people and dogs they know and like, but they have a mind of their own, and don't always like dogs who are strangers. These are very intelligent dogs who think for themselves, and sometimes that can be an asset, sometimes not. (:v


maddy dayle 4 years ago

okey well i have astrailian shepard puppies. what is the best way to take care of them?


Belle 4 years ago

We adopted 6 years old male Aussie.We been told he's nervous with dogs and strangers.When I took him for a walk he always pull on lead so I decided to give him a job to do by carry backpack.He's walk better.Does the dog backpack really work to calm him down while he walking?

When we took him out in busy place like The Market,The Lake and sometime people tried to touch him and then he nipped them.As we live in the countryside when I took him for a walk and if he see walker walk toward us,he will bark and jumping at them.I need some help please.


Deedee 4 years ago

I just save a female blue Merle from going to the high kill shelter. She's 6 months & slowly learning how to play. She adores children and surprisingly she loves meeting people too! Her name is Lady & I plan on caring for her for the rest of her life. (:


valeriebelew profile image

valeriebelew 4 years ago from Metro Atlanta, GA, USA Author

Those who wrote of problems with your Aussie, socialize him or her as much as possible. Expose him or her to as many people as possible, men and women, and as many races and ethnic groups. This should happen while the dog is still young if possible. if not, put a muzzle on the dog and expose it until it stops acting out. (:v


Finleys 4 years ago

We have a wonderful Aussie, Nala, a 21 month old mini. She's a love, high energy and a lot of fun, but there's one problem: we can't get her to stop chewing her tail. For the second time, she has chewed a raw spot in her tail. Anything we can do to get her to stop chewing? Thanks.

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.


    Click to Rate This Article
    working