Australian shepherds are very charming, handsome, and good-looking dogs. Who is best known for herding sheep and cattle?
If you have been considering adding one of these pups to your family. You probably have some questions, such as: are Australian shepherds friendly?
The other question being: is an Australian shepherd a good family dog? Yes, Australian shepherds are friendly and they do make a good family dog?
In the following article, you will find more about the Australian Shepherd dog. And answers to these two questions as well as some very useful information about this very unique-looking shepherd.
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History and Origin Of The Australian Shepherd.
Australian shepherds are a breed with a little bit of a deceiving name. Yes, they are herding dogs, and quite exceptional ones at that. It’s the part about Australia that is a bit misleading.
The people of this land, the Basques, were known for their shepherding and their choice breed was the Pyrenean shepherd, an extremely smart, untiring herding dog.
In those early days, immigrants pushed forward to the Pyrenees in search of pastures that were rich in raising cattle causing the Basques.
Along with their shepherd dogs, to leave this fertile ground and set sail for Australia. This was a virtually untouched land, and they decided to try their hand at herding here.
While in Australia, the Basque Pyrenean shepherds were bred with breeds imported from Britain, border collies, and collies.
Once they had enlarged their pack of shepherds. The Basques then decided to sail to America and settled in California.
The ranchers there coveted this breed of dogs who excelled at herding but assumed they were Australian dogs. Even though the Australian shepherd claims this name, they were merely bred in Australia but not with an Australian breed.
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Australian shepherd Appearance
The Australian Shepherd is a medium-sized dog that is lengthier than they are tall. This breed can be a wide assortment of colors mixed in a multitude of ways.
Most are white with a combination of black, blue, and red. If they present with two of those colors, it is known as bi-colored and three colors, tri-colored. Many have red or blue merle, which is that mottled patchwork looks Aussies often display.
Some Australian shepherds, in fact, in five are born with a bobbed tail which is either a short stubby tailor or not much of any tail.
This is not to be confused with a docked tail, which is removing part of a dog’s tail for appearance, such as in Rottweilers. More Aussies have long fluffy tails than bobbed tails.
An Australian shepherd’s eyes can be a clear, cool blue, brown, or one of each color, known as heterochromatic.
They also can have a bi-colored eye where the iris is split, half brown and half blue. Especially because of the pale blue shade of some of these dogs’ eyes, Native Americans called them “ghost eyes.”
Australian Shepherd Temperament
The Australian Shepherd is an intelligent dog that is a very quick learner. They are a very energetic breed, love to play, and love to work.
They were bred for herding sheep and cattle being fast and agile and having the ability to think quickly. These dogs can be a bit reserved, but not with their family. They are loving, affectionate, and loyal.
Are Australian Shepherds Friendly?
Australian shepherds can be very friendly and outgoing. more so with the people they know and their family. Some can be reserved or timid.
Socializing your Aussie or any breed for that matter is the key to a friendly, outgoing, well-mannered pup and should begin as puppies.
Exposing them to many different people, places, and situations will help raise a well-adjusted dog that is calm and confident under any circumstances.
Because the Aussie’s instinct is to herd and guard, this is where their protective nature may come into play with guests or strangers.
If socialized properly and taught to be obedient, this should not be a problem. Most often they will welcome anyone you invite into your home with happiness and excitement.
Is the Australian Shepherd A Good Family Dog?
Australian shepherds are extremely energetic and need a lot of exercises. Apartment living is not the best idea for them because they need room for running and playing.
A house with a fenced-in yard is ideal, although having a dog park or a fenced-in ball field in your neighborhood will work also.
If your family is an active family that loves the outdoors, being joggers, hikers. or even campers this is perfect for this happy, high-energy pup.
If, however, your family consists of mainly couch potatoes, this is clearly not the right breed for you.
Australian shepherds are excellent with children, being that they both love to play. It is best though if your children are at least eight years or older.
This is not because these shepherds are not good with small children and toddlers, it’s because they can be a little too exuberant and excitable, knocking a small child down inadvertently.
If your children are under eight years, an Australian shepherd is still a possibility, you just must use care with both your child and your dog. They both need clear rules about what is and is not acceptable.
Small children can also hurt dogs in their excitable ways by being too rough or pulling fur without meaning to cause harm.
Small children and infants should never be left unattended with an Australian shepherd or any breed of dog.
Overall, Australian shepherds make wonderful family dogs. The more they play and socialize with your children, the better they become with children, being furry children themselves!
Australian shepherds are friendly, loyal, and affectionate and make wonderful family dogs. If you are thinking of getting one of these beauties, do your homework so you know what to expect. Adding any dog to your family is a responsibility.
Make sure you have the time and patience for training and exercise. Include the whole family in this endeavor so everyone shares in the chores as well as the fun times.
Always seek out a reputable breeder, speak with a veterinarian for some references, and do visit the breeder to see the parents as well as the puppies.
With time, patience, and love it will be a smooth transition for your Australian shepherd and your family.