Australian Shepherds (Aussies)

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by KDOGG331, Jul 12, 2018.

  1. KDOGG331

    KDOGG331 Addict

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    Anybody here have Australian Shepherds? I love them and am considering getting one or another herding breed but would like opinions on them and what they are like to live with and stuff like that. I have done research and understand that they are usually pretty high energy and often somewhat high drive too and that they can be protective but they seem like amazing dogs. My brother's fiancé had one growing up and says he was a great dog and very intelligent and my cousin had one that they just put down last week at 14 and he was a great dog. They have 3 little kids and he taught all of them how to walk. They would grab his fur and pull up. He was a bit over protective though. One time they brought him to my aunt's house and my mom made the mistake of going in or near my cousin's old room and he freaked out and lunged but we shut the door on him. I think a lot of that is probably training (or lack of) and/or poor breeding. They are not exactly dog people. But despite that he was a great dog. I would be paranoid of an overprotective, aggressive dog though so that is one aspect of the breed that worries me. I guess if I find a reputable breeder and do extensive socialization and training they may be good? But they are still typically one person dogs, correct? And how are they with other dogs? From what I have read, herding breeds have a different play style than, say, retrievers, and can sometimes come across as bossy, rude, or aggressive even if they are not? We have only ever had retrievers or retriever mixes so I know it may be an adjustment but I love how smart/intelligent and handler focused the herding breeds are. But I also love the goofy, playful, love everybody nature of retrievers. That is why I am torn between a retriever such as a Lab or Golden and a herding breed such as an Australian Shepherd or an English Shepherd (lesser known breed). I do not mind if the dog does not want to be friends with anyone and everything it meets like a retriever and in fact it might be better if it wasn't but I just worry about it bordering fear or aggression. Maybe I am completely off base though and Aussies are actually friendly dogs? I mostly just care about a dog that wants to please and is fairly easy to train. Our current dog is Black Lab/Great Pyrenees and my brother's puppy is Lab, Great Pyrenees, Boxer and a little bit of something else, and they both have a stubborn streak and laziness. Hers is less so because she also has the boxer and she loves playing and training (I walk her 3 times a week and usually always play and train too) and she loves pleasing but the stubborness shows where she has to think about it sometimes and if she doesn't want to or there is nothing in it for her, she won't always do it. My dog is the same but worse lol they are working on it with theirs but anyway, very long story short, I want my next dog to want to listen and do what I want without having to question every single little thing. That's not to say I want a robot dog or perfect dog or one that's never allowed to have fun. It just would be nice for simple things like come to not be a chore LOL

    Anyway, we also have almost 3 acres amd are set back in the woods. Not all of that is yard of course but the yard is very very large. It's not fenced but it is, again, set back in the woods and we are hopefully going to be fencing at least part of it soon. My brother also lives 2 miles down the road and they just fenced their yard so we can go over there too possibly or even walk there. Could also play with their dog. We also live in a great area that has lots of quiet, safe roads for walking as well as cranberry bogs across the street and all over the area, a pond, and a large field that connects to the ocean on one end and has a little beach. Plus town and state forests. So plenty of opportunities for exercise whether fetch or long walks or whatever. I am also planning on hiking and biking with it if it wants to and possibly doing a dog sport even if it's just for fun to burn energy and not competitive. I love dogs and dog training and try to very involved with my dogs if they want to be (mine is lazy) so I am pretty confident I could handle one and meet their needs. I just have concerns about their interactions with strangers and other dogs.

    Please share any info you would and if anyone has any pictures or stories that would be great.

    And apologies this somewhat turned to specifically my situation but we can share stories, pictures, information, etc. too.
     
  2. We have 2. The only thing I dislike about them is they bark. Constantly. At everyone and everything. Even at nothing. Dear lord, the barking.
    Otherwise, they're great dogs. Good with the kids, the chickens, the tortoises, the pigs, the rabbits, everyone. They do shed once a year, for 365 days. 366 on leap years. They do much better when they have a job, and are definitely a more energetic breed.

    This is Copper. He's 5
    IMG_20180515_123624.jpg

    This is Charlotte. She's 2. IMG_20180515_123423.jpg
     
  3. cassie

    cassie Crowing

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    The trouble with these high energy herding dogs is that they really need a job. If you don't give them one they will find one, and you may not like the job they find. They really are great dogs for the right owner. They are intelligent, devoted and willing to please, but they do need a way to burn off that energy. They are outstanding agility dogs. If you are looking for a laid back companion dog, these are not the dog for you.
     
  4. I've got two aussies. They are not pain tolerant and will yelp and whine at any small discomfort.
    They were both about 7 or so when I introduced my chickens to them. They didn't even bat an eye. They do a decent job keeping stuff away from the house, it's pretty rare something gets up to the house.
    As for prey drive, yes they have it, but they don't act on it thanks to some training. It was minimum training and they didn't need anything further than "No." a few times when they seemed a little too interested in a squawking chicken.

    My Aussies are not pure, high quality. They came from a pregnant stray dog that found the place, so the dad is unkown.
    You have to put an effort in your relationship with the dog, Darla is a sweet baby that I had to work months to get her to let me touch her. But finally after all my work, she's now my greatest protector. I feel more protected by my Aussies than I do my massive German Shepherd.
    Mine aren't high energy at all, they are the laziest dogs ever during the day. At night they prowl around the property and keep an eye on things.
    They are very quiet unless something is wrong, when they start barking that means something is out there. Most the time they kill what wanders here, sometimes your intervention is needed.

    Darla is okay with strangers, but prefers to just stand back and observe. She has never bitten, growled, or barked at someone who's wasn't trespassing. When I am outside with someone, she couldn't care less. If I'm not out there, she will alert me there is somebody here, but won't engage them.
    With other dogs they are pretty good. Darby is grumpy, but Darla likes some socializing, just not an overwhelming type dog.


    Like I said, My Aussies are not pure, top notch breeding stock so they probably do not follow exactly to a pure one acts like. But I love them and they are perfect. One day when I need a new farm guardian, the Aussie is what I will get.
     
  5. Abriana

    Abriana Spicy Sugar Cookie

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    My family thought about an Aussie but we got a collie instead. We decided against the Aussie for two main reasons:
    1. They have a lot of energy and need a job all the time. They were built for running all day long without getting tired, and puppies will be just nutso hyper, chewing on everything and running around.
    2. They can be protective of their family. We have quite a few families over that have small children or that hug as a greeting, and an Aussie can become protective.

    Beau our collie is a perfect match for our family. He is relatively calm, extremely well behaved, smart, and fairly patient. He would never bite, but as herding dogs will, has nipped to say let’s play or stop it. He does an amazing job protecting our property and animals, scaring away animals and people (a road worker trespassing in our barn!!). We have bred him and are finding out next week if Sadie is pregnant and we plan to get one of his sons.

    I recommend a collie if you would rather not deal with all the Aussie energy or the protectiveness. Of course, not all Aussies are like this, but this is the info I found while researching.
     
  6. KDOGG331

    KDOGG331 Addict

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    They're beautiful! The barking is a little concerning though. My current dog constantly barks and it's annoying.

    Thanks for the info. The job thing is no problem cause I'm pretty involved with my dogs and love being with and working with them. It's weird cause otherwise i can be somewhat lazy but for dogs I'll do about anything to keep them happy. I also plan on trying agility, frisbee, or dock diving or nose work. Hiking and biking lots too and lots of trick training. Idk if any of those count as jobs?
     
  7. KDOGG331

    KDOGG331 Addict

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    Thanks for the info. They sound great and good to know not all are loud. I don't mind if they're not a social butterfly so to speak, just as long as they aren't aggressive
     
  8. KDOGG331

    KDOGG331 Addict

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    I hadn't thought of a collie, thank you. I may have to look into them
     
  9. Abriana

    Abriana Spicy Sugar Cookie

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    They’re amazing! A bit skittish but that apparently wears off by about age 3. Beau is afraid of wood, cement, or tile flooring but so was Sadie until she turned three.
     
  10. I can't speak for all, but mine are not aggressive at all. They have to be EXTREMELY provoked before they'll even snap their teeth. They give a lot of warning if they are uncomfortable in a situation.
     

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