An Australian Shepherd is not for everyone! Thank you for taking the time to research the breed and to ensure that this is the puppy that will best match your lifestyle. Aussies require a great amount of daily exercise and quality time with their families. We hope that throughout these articles you will find a great selection of useful information 'All About Aussies'. Keep checking back as we periodically add new material.
The Australian Shepherd is a double-coated breed and they will shed. Because of this, your Aussie must be groomed (bathed and blown dry) every 8-9 weeks in order to prevent matting and to keep their coats shiny and and their skin healthy. This also will help to reduce the amount of excess hair around your home. A basic grooming kit will include shampoo, conditioner, a shedding rake, a pin brush, nail trimmers, thinning shears, and scissors.
Good health for your Aussie also means regular vet visits for parasite control and vaccinations. Through conversations with your veterinarian you will learn about the recommended vaccination schedule for the area of the world you live in. Often vets will advise of 3-year boosters in place of annual vaccinations where possible. Be careful to never give your Aussie flea medications containing Ivermectin since it is toxic to the breed!
Training and Activities
Including basic obedience as an essential part of your routine will make your Aussie a better companion and will help to establish a stronger relationship. It is a part of responsible dog ownership! Your Australian Shepherd is eager to please and learn so training can be a very enjoyable experience when it includes positive training methods along with lots of treats and praise. Harsh corrections are seldom necessary for this breed.
Most communities offer dog training classes and activities. Inquire at your vet or ask other dog-owners for recommendations. CedarPaws will also be happy to offer suggestions for appropriate classes. Most classes begin with the basics and progress to advanced levels for those owners who wish to prepare their Aussie for competition at dog shows, agility trials or flyball events.
The Australian Shepherd is a natural herder, born with varying amounts of herding instinct and ability. Herding clinics are often offered to help to develop these natural abilities. Stockdog trials provide opportunities to test your teamwork and skills and also to earn competitive titles.
For more information about competitive and other events offered in Canada, CanuckDogs is a wonderful resource.
**Note: In the video it states that Aussies are born with a natural bobbed tail. While true, not all Aussies have such a tail. They in fact can be born with any length of tail.