Australian Shepherd Puppy: The Hard-working Herding Dog
Australian Shepherd are one of the many breeds of dogs who are purely designed for work. Aside from the daily farm life, they are also a versatile breed which excels in other tasks. Like police work, rescue and retrieval operations, and aiding handicapped persons such as the deaf and the blind. They are also used as therapy dogs because of their mild temperament.
One can say that throughout the advancement of farming in the United States, these pooches are there. Helping farmers and herders rounding up their livestock and guarding them against wild animals such as coyotes and wolves. Australian Shepherds are always on alert and ready to help at all times. They will do any job their owners will throw at them, guaranteed that they will get the job done.
The Confusing Origin
One can really tell the origins of a particular breed. Because usually, they add the name of the place in the dog’s breed. But in reality, Australian Shepherd did not originate from Australia, but in the United States.
Back in the days where cattle and sheep herding was a common sight in the western United States. Ranchers, cowboys, and shepherds have always seen with these dogs herding flocks of sheep and cattle. It is said that they have developed from the dogs that shepherds from the Basque region. Between the border of France and Spain, particularly the Berger de Pyrenees back in the late 1800s.
These dogs work hard for long hours in farms, ranches, and rodeos around the world. Doing all the things such as herding livestock. Like the sheep, cows, poultry and even horses. Fetching and carrying stuff, and rounding up horses, goats and other livestock.
Understanding Australian Shepherds
Aside from their hard-working behavior, Australian Shepherds are also known to be super smart. One of the few breeds who are very good in decision-making. Which is very essential considering the line of work they are bred to do. They are also very active and are eager to lend a hand on any task their owners are doing. Australian shepherds, just like any other working dogs, are also very dependable, lively, and devoted to their owners.
Appearance-wise, they are medium-sized dogs having long bodies in conjunction with their height and a bobtail. They also sport a pair of medium-sized eyes that come in many shades, especially blue, brown, amber or sometimes in a combination of both (Heterochromia iridium).
Australian Shepherds have a medium-length coat that is water-resistant and comes in either wavy or straight. This usually comes in different colors, either black, red Merle, blue Merle, or a combination of either black, tan and white. Also, one key characteristic of these pooches are their full mane around their necks and feathering on the back of their legs.
Keeping Them Healthy
Just like any other dogs with medium to long coat that sheds throughout the year, Australian shepherds need regular brushing of their coats. Usually done weekly, to keep their shedding under control and to get rid of mats and tangles. Aussie shepherds do not need regular bathing. It is only required if they get dirty or if they started to smell bad.
These pups should be have a balanced diet containing protein, healthy fats and minerals. Avoid feeding pups with foodstuff and dog food that contains corn, soy, wheat, and excessive amounts of protein.
Aussie shepherd pups need to have all the vaccinations they need to grow healthy. Diseases such as epilepsy, eye problems, and chronic allergies that may lead to itchy skin. A regular visit to the vet is important to keep your pooch healthy and to figure out underlying diseases which may become severe in the future.
Their Social Life
Being an active dog, Aussie shepherds need constant attention and exercise to stay active and conditioned. Some people say that Aussies are easy to train because of their intelligence, but in reality, it is their willingness to learn and their affection to their owners that drives them to learn better.
They are a very loving breed and are known to form a strong bond with their family. Most of the time, they are pretty reserved with strangers and don’t easily show aggressive behavior towards them. (That does not mean that they can easily make friends with them, they are just very selective in interacting with others). They are also known to be very authoritative, and usually the first to respond if something happens around them.
These working dogs are perfect for people who are very active and always have the time to give their dogs the attention. Just make sure to interact with them all the time, for lack of interactivity and activity sometimes lead to them developing a destructive behavior.
Proper knowledge of the basic needs of your dog can make you raise and train your pooch to be the best active companion there is. Disregarding these basics will result in problems, and will ruin your expectations towards your dog.
For some people who are looking for a lapdog, well, you are in the wrong place, but if you are seeking for an active, intelligent and hard-working dog, Then the Australian shepherd is the best for you.