Australian Shepherd Traits: Do you want one?
Knowing the traits of a specific breed is beneficial for knowing what you are getting yourself into once you own the dog. I liked the looks of Australian Shepherds, in particular, the merle coloring, but it was just by luck that their personality fit my husband so well.
Australian Shepherds will always be moving unless they are asleep. They have an abundance of energy as they were originally bred for working on a farm. They have a herding instinct, that keeps them moving and constantly checking on whatever your dog considers his/her flock. In my house, this is my plethora of cats. My girl Lexi, also believes she can herd and control Elliot whenever she sees fit. Lexi can also go from a dead sleep to running at full speed for any type of noise, movement or all around danger she perceives.
#2) Aussies are highly intelligent.
Australian Shepherds are on every list of the most intelligent dog breeds. Unfortunately, they also make the most difficult to handle list. Aussies are easy to train, but get bored easily. This makes them destructive if the owners do not provide enough physical and mental stimulation for the pup. Sitting on the couch waiting for your master to have time for you, is not what an Aussie does best. They are working dogs (See #1) and want to be active with their brain as much as with their muscles.
#3) Australian Shepherds are very protective.
Aussies are protective by instinct, but this increases as they age. You can help your Aussie puppy by introducing him/her to as many different situations as possible. Socializing a puppy will allow them to be less nervous and cautious about new things. As they get older, their caution and nervousness turn to aggression if they cannot control the situation properly. They will perceive danger where there is just a new situation. Elliot went everywhere with my husband when he was small. He doesn’t get protective now unless Lexi is with us. He feels the need to protect her because she wasn’t with us when he learned all about the new things. Also training your pup on what is acceptable behavior in public is key. Older dogs are harder to train, so make sure your pup knows what is acceptable and show them the world while they are still puppies.
#4) Aussies love to be with their humans.
Expect to have a constant companion (or two) when you own an Australian Shepherd. This may stem from their high energy and protective nature, but Australian Shepherds follow you around all the time. Going to the bathroom in our house is a group affair that involves not one but two dogs and maybe a cat or two. Also – both my dogs can be resting under my desk as I work, but as soon as I move, I can expect for two noses to be pushing on my hand to pet them.
#5) Australian Shepherds are highly intuitive.
Aussies can sense if you’ve had a bad day. They stay at a distance but close by in case you need help with your task or a small cuddle to make you feel better. I believe they can hear the intonation in your voice. They know when I’m upset when I need to be left alone, or desire cuddling for hours.
Australian Shepherds turned out to be the best dog for our family and I love both our pups, Lexi & Elliot. I would not trade them in for the world. All dogs have their challenges, however, but I prepared and researched in order to know what kind of new family members we were taking in.
What dog breeds are your favorite?