Australian Shepherd Training Profile
Weight: 40 to 65 pounds
Height: 18 to 23 inches
Lifespan: 12 to 15 years
Australian Shepherd Temperament and Behavior
This is a spirited dog breed, but it’s also a very unique breed that makes building a relationship very rewarding. Their athletic build makes them very active companions.
The Australian Shepherd’s ancestor is the great Pyrenean Shepherd of the Basques, a group of people indigenous to an area that borders Spain and France.
The Basques eventually traveled to Australia with their dogs — Pyrenean Shepherds — in search of land for herding. Their dogs bred with Collies and Border Collies, creating the Australian Shepherd.
The Basques later migrated to California, where the breed was fully realized. However, locals believed the dog’s origin country was Australia, which is how they got their name
Historically, Aussies have been used as worker dogs on ranches or in the rodeo circuit.
Much like the Border Collie, the Australian Shepherd loves to work and needs to be active in order to live a fulfilling life. They like to have both physical and mental challenges to work on every day.
Aussies love the outdoors and they are extremely athletic, which makes them particularly suited for canine sports. They are very loyal to their families, but they are wary of strangers.
They form extremely close bonds with their owners, to the point of being overprotective of their home and property. Australian Shepherds do not get along well with other animals.
Australian Shepherd Training Tips
Aussies have a tendency to herd anything that moves, from cars to children; a fence will help keep them from leaving your yard. This is why it’s so important to keep them busy; if they’re not, they can they can become very destructive and develop bad behaviors.
Due to the complex nature of this breed, early socialization and strict training sessions are almost necessary for a well-behaved Aussie and a happy owner. Otherwise, Aussies may try to take over the alpha role and dominate their owners, which can result in aggressive behavior.
This breed’s overprotective tendencies can also be a problem, even in harmless situations; if Aussies develop triggers that lead to them viewing other people or animals as a threat, it can take a great deal of patience and repetition to change this mindset.
When you’re correcting an Australian Shepherd, do not yield at all to any behaviors you don’t want them to exhibit, whether it’s gobbling down food before you can even set down their dish or growling and barking at harmless passersby.