... are first and foremost herding dogs. The traits
and skills that make them excellent herding dogs are often interpreted
as bad habits that can cause people to give them up. As working dogs,
they need a job to do. That could be helping with yard chores,
bringing in the newspaper, pulling your groceries into the house in a
cart, making therapy visits to local hospitals and retirement homes,
... may herd whatever moves, including small
children, bicycles, and other animals. A cat that runs can be great
fun to chase! Some Aussies will try to herd the kids, nipping at their
heels to keep them under control. Others are very bouncy and exuberant
and may unintentionally knock over or frighten smaller children. For
these reasons, Aussies may not always be the best choice when there
are young children (under the age of 6) in the household.
... are NOT everyone's friend, unlike most Labs and
Goldens. Some Aussies are extremely outgoing and friendly, but
generally speaking, Aussies are reserved with strangers.
... are NOT a non-shedding breed! Aussies shed year
round and typically blow their coats twice a year, so vacuuming twice
a week is common.
... are NOT maintenance free. Regular
necessary to keep their coats free of mats. The hair between the feet
and nails are also trimmed on a regular basis.
... require firm, consistent discipline. Aussies
definitely need training. In the inexperienced home, they may decide
to take control. Aussies need a confident, assertive owner who is not
afraid to be in charge.
... require daily exercise. This breed has a high
energy level and needs adequate daily exercise. A walk around the
block will not satisfy the needs of the average Aussie. They require
regular, vigorous activity such as Frisbee, ball playing, or agility.
Aussies are NOT couch potatoes.
... may bark excessively. Their strong guarding
instinct can cause some to feel it is their job to warn their people
of any dangers, real or imagined. Some may bark with enthusiasm or
when they’re bored.
... are highly intelligent. This intelligence
requires adequate mental stimulation or Aussies may resort to
inappropriate activities such as chewing up your house, digging up
your yard, or worse.
... need early socialization with people, dogs, and
different environments. The breed standard calls for
Aussies to be reserved with strangers. Their guarding instinct can
make them overly protective of their family. A puppy without adequate
socialization may develop behavior issues such as fear of strangers or
even fear aggression.
... love to be with their family. Aussies will
follow you from room to room, even to the bathroom. They are not a
breed that enjoys being left alone in the back yard. Aussies are
affectionately referred to as “Velcro” dogs due to their strong
need to be with their humans.