A photo of Cosmo a Blue Merle Australian Shepherd

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All About Aussies

Frequently Asked Questions about Australian Shepherds...

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Origins of the Australian Shepherd

Purpose of the Australian Shepherd

Who Should Have an Australian Shepherd

Can You Commit?

 

The Origins of the Australian Shepherd

There is much speculation and controversy on the origins of the Australian Shepherd of today. Little is known of which breeds contributed to the Australian Shepherd breed but it is believed that the herding dogs of the Basque shepherds closely resemble the Australian Shepherd. These dogs and their shepherds immigrated from their Basque homelands in Spain to Australia and then to the Americas to work the vast sheep herds. Photos dated in the early 1900's show little blue dogs working sheep and cattle for farmers and ranchers in North Western United States.

A comprehensive guide to the history of the Australian Shepherd can be found in the book "All About Aussies: The Australian Shepherd From A To Z" by Jeanne Joy Hartnagle-Taylor.

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Purpose

The Australian Shepherd is accepted as a dependable herding dog of great intelligence as well as a loving and loyal family companion. Because of this intelligence, Aussies need some type of responsibility assigned to them. These versatile dogs "work" in many fields and excel. This includes jobs as Ranch Dogs, Schutzhund, Search and Rescue, Service Dogs for the handicapped, and Therapy Dogs. They are easily trained for competitive sports such as fly-ball, obedience, and agility. Their dedication, drive, and desire to please make them a wonderful dog to be partnered with.

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Who should have an Australian Shepherd...

Australian Shepherds are not for everyone. They need room to roam. A fenced back yard is a must. Daily exercise such as walking is necessary for their mental health and physical well being. 

Again, keep in mind, these dogs need a "job" or destructive tendencies may surface because of boredom. Basic obedience is strongly recommended. Obedience work will reinforce and strengthen your bond with your Aussie. We believe positive obedience training methods work best for this breed.

Obedience training and socialization should be started at an early age. Socialization is important to your dog's self-confidence. Its function is to create a dog who is undaunted by people or children, strange surroundings, and unusual situations. Australian Shepherds can be an asset to any community when properly socialized and trained.

A recommended article "Don't Buy an Australian Shepherd" is a must read.

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Can you commit?

Having an Australian Shepherd is a life long commitment. They are loyal and loving companions and will give you their all. Can you do the same? For more information on this breed, please visit our suggested Aussie Resource Link. If an Australian Shepherd is a dog that you are considering, please educate yourself thoroughly before purchasing one. Because of their herding heritage, Aussies are a high energy dog. You must be sure that you have the time to devote to them to become good canine citizens and the lifestyle necessary to coincide with the needs of an Australian Shepherd. 

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