Everything you Need to Know About Your Australian Shepherd

The first thing you need to know about an Australian Shepherd is that although you may call them an Australian Shepherd they aren’t actually from Australia.

In fact they are American dogs and originated in the Old West. You may want to know why they are called Australian Shepherds then.

There are many reasons for that and one reason is that since many of the shepherds then in the old west were Australians the dogs were named after those shepherds. Others believe that since the colour of the dog matched to that of many Australian breeds it was known as the Australian Shepherd.

Intelligent, Sharp and loyal are 3 qualities that perfectly describe an Australian Shepherd. Now if you’re wondering whether an Australian

Shepherd would fit into your family then there is no reason for worrying because this breed of dog is said to be an excellent companion and would easily become a part of your family.

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Now moving on I will tell you more about the characteristics like the Mentality, Look etc. of the Australian Shepherd.

Mentality of an Australian Shepherd

As the name would suggest you these dogs act like shepherds. They were used by shepherds to take care of the herds so you can expect them to be very hardworking and full of energy and since the herding instinct of this breed is also very strong you can trust them to keep your little ones safe.

But you need to make sure you keep tabs on the herding instinct otherwise it can become a little frightening for the children. Also make sure you give them proper exercise because if you don’t they would find something to burn their energy on and that could prove a little annoying and also destructive.

It’s important that you make them channel their energy properly. Apart from being strong and energetic they are also very loyal and look upto one person as their master. They also behave themselves around strangers but remember it is very important that you train them properly.

Appearance of the Australian Shepherd

On the basis of their looks you can categorize the Australian Shepherds into 2 types. The first type are the show dogs that usually tend to have a longer, shinier and thicker coat and the other are the work dogs that tend to have thinner and shorter coat.

Now if you want a male Australian Shepherd note that they can weigh upto 50-70 pounds and can be 20-23 inches tall. On the other hand a female Australian Shepherd is much lighter and shorter and can weigh around 35-60 pounds and can be 18-22 inches in height. Some of these dogs are usually born with shorter tails.

As far as the colour of the Australian Shepherd is concerned you can find them in 4 different colours. They can be multi coloured i.e. black and light brown or fully black or fully brown, merle or a solid colour trimmed with white. Now what’s unique about this breed of dog is their eyes.

Usually they have either green, Hazel, brown or blue eyes but some of the dogs can have 2 colours in the same eye or two differently coloured eyes. Thus you would find them very interesting to look at.

Health issues regarding the Australian Shepherd

Owning a dog is fun but you also need to care because you’re Australian Shepherd because they can suffer from eye problems like cataract or epilepsy which may or may not be curable.

Diarrhea, Blindness, deafness etc. are other problems your dog might face if you don’t take proper care. I would advise you to take your dog to a good doctor for regular check-ups to ensure everything is fine.

How to Teach your Australian Shepherd Not to Bite?

If you have a dog and he is got a habit of biting irrespective of whether he is doing it for fun or seriously you have got to get him rid of the habit before he injures you or someone else seriously.

The first and foremost training you need to give your dog is to not bite only then you can move on to training him things like fetch or jump etc.

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One thing to need to remember is that if your dog is small he may be mouthing and not biting. Yes there is a difference. Mouthing is a part of his development and if you control it he will eventually stop it once he grows up.

The problem is if he is using his teeth and to help you stop that habit below I have provided a few steps. Follow these steps and soon your dog will stop his biting habit.

1. Check for medical issues

Firstly if your dog bites a lot I would advise you to get him checked by a good doctor because usually dogs tend to bite due to some nutritional deficiency. Even gastro problems can be the reason because then dogs chew to counter the nausea feeling.

2. Talk/ Play with your dog

One of the best ways to prevent your dog from biting is to play with him because this would make him tired and he is more likely to fall asleep.

But make sure you don’t play too roughly as he can end up biting you since rough play encourages bad behaviour. Another great way to keep him calm is by talking to him.

So when he is settled go near him, stroke his hair gently and also talk to him. This will help you connect better to your dog and build trust.

3. Provide him correct chewing material

After all he is a dog and is going to want to chew on something so what you can do is provide him with the chew toys or bones you will find in any pet store near you.

Avoid giving him real chicken bones because those will only upset his stomach and also make sure he does not chew on your stuff like your shoes, a table etc. Avoid inappropriate chewing as much as possible.

4. Use water Spray

If you do find your dog chewing on inappropriate things what you can do is use water spray since dogs do not like it. Just say a very firm no and spray some water onto his face. Make sure you don’t end up spraying too much too hard. Also turn his attention away from such things by showing what he should really chew on.

Taste deterrents can also be applied to things he should not chew on. Follow the measure that works best and soon your dog will realise what he is supposed to chew and he is not supposed to chew on. Also note one important thing that whenever your dog does behave right encourage him by treating him and praising him.

How to Train your Australian Shepherd to Fetch

Apart from the usual jump, sit, stand and stay commands you can also teach your Australian Shepherd another interesting command and that is to go and fetch something you throw. Playing fetch with your dog not only gets him his daily dose of exercise but even you will have a lot of fun.

Teaching your Australian Shepherd is simple but what you would need is a lot of patience. So if you’re wondering how exactly you can teach your Australian Shepherd to fetch below I have provided a few steps that will help you out. Just follow the below steps and soon you would be playing fetch with your dog.

Australian Shepherd dog Irish, jumping to catch disc

The first and foremost step is to start early but not too early also. When you start training your dog early you will find out that it is much easier and quicker. Once he grows up it won’t be easy if not impossible.

Now choose a toy your dog likes. Choosing anything won’t help because dogs can often be choosy about they would like to play with. Some dogs prefer a tennis ball and some a Frisbee.

I would suggest you use a squeaky ball because that would make it easier to grab their attention. Just make sure you use something that is neither to small so that your dog does not swallow it and neither too big to fit in the mouth.

Once you have made the choice the next step is to grab the attention of your dog. Call out his name or throw the ball or toy at him to get his attention.

Once you have his attention, throw the ball away and ask your dog to go and fetch. If your dog goes and fetches well and good if not then you will have to work a little harder. What you can do is play a little tug of war game with him, snatch it away from him and then throw it away. If even that does not work try throwing away something he loves eating like a biscuit or some chewing bone. One of these methods will definitely work.

Well once your dog starts to run to fetch he may bring it back and give it to you. But some dogs tend not to do so in fact they either keep it with themselves or tend to run around with it. To tackle this you can use another toy or probably something he loves eating as bait. Another problem you may face is your dog maybe to slow to bring it back. In that case you can try running away from him.

Once your dog fetches the ball and brings it to you tell him to drop it and reward him and praise him. This would encourage him and he would go and fetch it again.

Repeat this exercise for 5-6 times each time you train him. When you begin I would recommend you to keep these sessions short and once your dog seems to get a hang of it you can raise the time and the number times you throw the ball. But don’t overdo it. Also remember to stick to the routine, don’t confuse your dog.

How to Train your Australian Shepherd to use the Toilet

One thing you should teach your dog as early as early possible is toilet habits. Since your dog doesn’t know the right spots by himself it is upto you to teach him that because if you don’t he is going to choose any spot he thinks is right and I am sure you don’t want him dirtying your house and increase the cleaning work for you.

Now you can either teach him to eliminate when you take him for a walk or if not then you can teach him to use the toilet. So in this article I will cover all the steps that will help you teach your dog to use the toilet.

Australian Shepherd Training

Although I would recommend you to start toilet training of your dog in the early stages age or size is no such barrier although you can expect the smaller dogs to learn this habit faster than the larger dogs.

But the most important part of this training is for you to be patient because you may have to teach him for even a week or 2 or sometimes more before he completely understands it.

The first and most important thing is for you to set a command so that whenever you say it your dog understands he is supposed to go and use the toilet.

Just make sure the command isn’t too long or it will become harder for him to understand and training will take longer duration. Use any word that’s bathroom related.

Once the command is set if your dog is used to going outside its ok, take him outside to eliminate initially until he completely understand the command. Once he is completely familiar with the command you can move on to the next step

The next involves you teaching your dog to eliminate in a container placed in your toilet. But initially I would recommend you to take the container outside and teach him to use it there. Although more than often litter boxes are used you can use any plastic box.

Just make sure that the box you use in wide and deep enough for your dog to stand comfortably in it. Make sure your dog uses the container for a week or so before you move on to the next step.

Once your dog has learnt to use the container outside its time you moves the container inside the toilet and the next time he troubles you to take him outside you take him to the toilet and point towards the container and repeat the command.

Your dog may take time to understand this so be patient do not lose your cool. Continue this for some time and your dog will soon understand what it all means.

Once he learns to use the container in the toilet take it and place it on the toilet rim. Then teach him to climb up and balance himself and eliminate.

Once he learns this remove the container. Now your dog should be able to balance himself on the seat and eliminate.

Remember to reward your dog every time he obeys a command to encourage him to continue listening to your commands

How to Teach your Australian Shepherd to Jump

Teaching your Australian shepherd how to jump is a very important part of their training because it would help to burn their energy as these Australian shepherds are very energetic and if they don’t get proper exercise they are more likely to indulge in annoying and destructive activities.

It is also fun to see them jump and grab onto things. So if you have an Australian Shepherd but you can’t figure out how to get him to jump all you have to is follow the steps written below and be patient and soon you would be able to teach your dog how to jump.

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Remember one thing about dog training whether it’s to jump or anything else it is better if you start it early. If your dog grows up it might be a little too late to teach him anything. The earlier you start the easier it would be for you.

Now the first part of training your Australian Shepherd to jump is to get his attention and to do that that you firstly need to gather some his favourite biscuits or any other treat he likes and put them in your pocket.

After that call out your dog’s name and once he comes tell him to sit.

Once he is settled down let him know about the biscuits or whatever treat you have got by either showing it to him or by making him smell it.

Once he knows you have something he would want to eat it so don’t just simply give it him instead raise it above him. Now how high can you raise it depends on how tall you rare but since it’s just the beginning I would suggest start at a lower height.

The next step is to tell your dog to jump.

If he does not understand, what you can do is jump yourself and tell your dog to jump.

Sooner or later he will understand and jump.

Once he does so praise him and give him whatever you have in your hand. This would encourage your dog and he would not mind jumping again

Be patient with your dog. He is not going to learn it in a day or to so make him practice every day. The more he practices the faster he will learn but make sure you don’t overdo it and also make sure you don’t make him jump up to high as that could result in a serious injury resulting in you having to spend a lot of money on surgery or any other treatment. So be careful.