Australian shepherds! The dog to have if you’re tres chic! In the know! Or just a geeky mom, like me.
Granted, Flash and Patches are not full bred Aussies. Our babies are rescue pups. We got the pair, litter mates, when they were three years old. I cannot recommend rescue dogs highly enough. My favorite part of getting both babies at age three? They were housebroken and fully trained!
Okay, so that’s not everyone’s story with a rescue dog. But I’m off track. Why should you have an Australian shepherd?
- Highly intelligent – these pups are brilliant! They learn quickly.
- Agility – those cool agility trials you’ve seen on TV? Aussies are pretty much the best dog for the job.
- Pretty – if you like pointy toed shoes and pointy nosed dogs, Aussies are the right pups for you.
- Thick, soft fur, in lots of pretty colors – my favorites are the reds and the merles.
- Protective – Australian shepherds are herding dogs and protective of your family. They’ll keep strangers and other critters from harming your babies and children if you raise them up together.
- Tricks – they LOVE to catch a Frisbee! And they can learn any trick in the book!
Our Aussie babies – my Hunny and I have had Australian shepherds or mixes for nearly 20 years – have always been extremely loyal, sweet, protective and playful. I can’t seriously see us having a different kind of dog, shy of moving to a farm and getting a Great Pyrenees to protect the chickens. In addition to an Aussie. BUT. There’s a down side to keeping an Australian shepherd.
- Highly intelligent – Aussies are often smarter than their owners. They learn quickly.
- Full of energy – having the pup spayed at the optimal time helps, but it’s usually about year two that they calm down. It’s the perfect dog for a high energy person who’ll keep the dog active and worn out.
- Thick, soft fur- two layers of it. All over your floor and house. Our best investment was a cheap undercoat brush from WalMart. Australian shepherds shed like NOBODY’S business. Seriously. We brush ours outside. Once a week brushings seem to work well.
- Protective – the trick is to socialize these dogs from day one as often as possible. Take them to PetSmart, to the farmer’s market, to the park – where ever you go that you can bring a dog, bring your dog. Otherwise, they tend to be aggressive to anyone they don’t know. Oh, and have people into your home frequently, beginning when your pup is young.
- Destructive pups – because Aussies are smart, they’re easily bored, much like intelligent children. And quite like smart kids, Aussie pups will destroy everything they can if they’re not kept busy. Later in life they’ll just dig holes all over your back yard. Aussies need a job to do. Agility training is good for you and your dog.
Aussies are a lot of work. Oh, and did I mention that they’re classified as working dogs? So it pays off. They’re herders. Which is one of the reasons they keep your kids safe. I recommend them for young families who are active and looking for a good pup to grow up with their kids. I recommend them for people who live on tile or wood, not carpet. Swiffer that fur! And I definitely recommend them if you enjoy Frisbee, Frisbee golf, running with your dog, agility trials, any active individual who wants to spend time outdoors with your dog.
Size-wise, they tend to run between 45 and 60 pounds. A great size for sleeping at the foot of your bed. Not quite too big for a lap dog, eh?
Go. Read what others have to say. Do your homework. But I can’t tell you enough how much we love our Australian shepherds.
Until I write again …