Contrary to what the name suggests, the Australian Shepherd was developed in the United States, not in Australia. The second part of its name – shepherd – is however absolutely true and the Australian Shepherd is a strong and capable working dog that needs a lot of physical and mental stimulation to stay happy and healthy. In addition to herding cows and other animals, this breed is known to love dog sports such as agility and flyball.
First and foremost, the most important aspect of proper Australian Shepherd dog care is to keep the dog active and provide it with an outlet for all its energy and cleverness. An Australian Shepherd that becomes bored will often find destructive ways of entertaining itself, such as chewing your furniture or barking at everything that moves.
When it comes to coat maintenance, regular brushing and combing is required and even when provided with daily Australian Shepherd dog care this breed will shed a lot. If not regularly tended too, its coat will eventually turn into a big mess of mats and tangles.
The Australian Shepherd dog puppy is a charming little fellow, but before you decide to get one you should ask yourself if you are willing and able to provide it with everything it needs – including enough exercise and time with you – for the next 14-16 years. You should also determine if the Australian Shepherd is the perfect breed for you. Getting an Australian Shepherd dog puppy is a good idea if you want a sturdy, medium-sized dog that loves athletic activities and is really intelligent. Getting an Australian Shepherd puppy is however a really bad idea if you do not love spending a lot of time outdoors, training your dog and playing with it. You should also keep in mind that this is a herding dog and without any cows to herd it can start herding and nipping at other things that move, including children and other pets. This breed is also known to shed a lot.
The Australian Shepherd dog is a clever breed that loves to learn new things and Australian Shepherd dog training is therefore very easy. In addition to basic obedience, Australian Shepherd dog training can for instance involve agility, flyball, Frisbee and herding competitions. Well trained Aussies can jump as high as 4 feet (1.3 meters). This is also very quick breed and it can actually herd huge bulls without being kicked.
According to the American Kennel Club, the aim of Australian Shepherd dog breeding should be to create intelligent working dogs that retain their traditional herding and guarding instincts. The ideal Australian Shepherd is clever, active and good natured. It is okay for the dog to be somewhat reserved towards strangers, but never to the point of shyness, fear or aggression. In addition to this, Australian Shepherd dog breeding should strive to create dogs that are enduring enough to work all day out in the field.
Despite the name of this breed, the first Australian Shepherd dog breeders lived in the United States, not in Australia. It is possible that the ancestors of the breed were introduced to United States farmer by an Australian citizen, but the true facts remain unknown. Some sources claim that the dog has several notable similarities with herding dogs used by Basque farmers in Spain. What we do know for sure is that the first real Australian Shepherd dog breeders lived in the western parts of North America in the 19th and early 20th century. The American West was very dissimilar to the American East, and to the European climates that most settlers hailed from, and these early farmers were therefore forced to develop more fitting herding dogs.
The Australian Shepherd dog price can vary considerably from breeder to breeder, and it is important to find out exactly what you will get for your money. You should for instance investigate the parentage of the puppies; are the parents vet-checked, screened for hereditary disease? Are they of high quality ancestry? Reputable Australian Shepherd breeders will also make sure that the puppy is examined by a vet, vaccinated and de-wormed before being sold. As you can see, many different factors can determine the final Australian Shepherd dog price. The Australian Shepherd is not very popular among the owners of puppy mills, but this doesn’t mean that all Australian Shepherd breeders are serious and devoted to the welfare of the breed and the individual dogs.