I just recently got an Australian shepherd and he is about 6 months old now... he is very smart and has learned countless tricks in less than 30 min. Just sit down with it and keep doing the trick over and over, takes about 20-30 repetitions before they get it down. But they also have tons and tons of energy.... He could fetch all day long if I threw the ball long enough. Some days I will bring him on a walk and come home and he is twice as rowdy as before, so I have to bring him again.... They also like to think they are smarter then you, or more dominant. Its all about finding out where they sit on the tut-om pole. I also have a chow chow back home and she was very pushy as a puppy but now is the most loving and caring dog ever. If you choose to get a puppy you will definitely have to put in some time with an Australian shepherd. They are great companions though, mine follows me everywhere.