Australian Shepherds – Agile, Loyal and Lovable Dogs

Within the last few years, Australian Shepherds have become a very popular breed in the USA. This is not just because they are attractive but also intelligent, obedient, loyal and athletic. Placed in the right environment and with adequate exercise and training, these dogs make excellent family pets and ideal companions. The standard Australian Shepherds weigh between 35 to 70 pounds and grow up to 18 to 23 inches in height.

Australian Shepherds were bred to be excellent at herding and this instinct is very strong in this breed today. This excellent talent, however, can be a problem when this dog is a family pet or companion. Unless training is started very early, this dog can easily herd, chase or drive anything that moves and that includes cattle, sheep, cats and children. They may even kill livestock. Training and good exercise will keep your dog from becoming bored and getting into trouble.

Although Australian Shepherds are loyal and great with children, they must be properly trained. They naturally try to dominate and training your Aussie must also ensure that your dog respects every member of the household especially children.

Australian Shepherds make good guard dogs. Not only are they herders but they instinctively protects the herd. A pet dog will bark when a stranger approaches your front door or your children. Socialising your dog will also help your dog to recognise real danger and avoid unnecessary or inappropriate barking.

These dogs are intelligent and if not adequately engaged, will become bored and find creative ways to entertain themselves. This often gets them into trouble. Give your Aussie a daily task such as collecting the newspaper or post in the morning. Also challenge your dog by involving it in good active sport such as agility workouts, Frisbee, and flyball. In addition you can enhance the dog-master relationship by obedience training.

There are four main colors: black, blue merle, red and red merle. The eye color can range from dark black to amber to a very pale ice blue. Today Australian Shepherds are everywhere. They are not only good pets and companions but they are very competitive. They regularly win herding, agility, obedience, flyball and tracking competitions. They also win conformation and freestyle competitions. They love hiking and backpacking. They will also run alongside you as you jog and they enjoy swimming. They also make excellent guide dogs.

Before buying an Australian Shepherd, you must be aware that these dogs shed hair. This is unavoidable. To reduce this problem, you must brush your dog thoroughly once a day. Some owners vacuum on a daily basis or even buy matching colored carpets. This breed of dogs loses hair all year round but sheds most hair in spring and autumn.

For whatever reason you are acquiring an Australian Shepherd, make sure you do your homework. This way you will be matched with a healthy dog with the right temperament for you and your family. The rest is up to you. With the right training, socialising and exercise, you will have a dog that is devoted, obedient, protective and loyal for the rest of its life. Any love and attention you give to this breed will be returned ten fold.



Source by Lloyd Ashley

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