Known for their extreme intelligence, working abilities, and gorgeous coats, Australian Shepherds could easily be deemed as one of the most popular mid-sized canines. These dogs can just as easily settle in to a work routine on a farm as they can settle in as a beloved member of the family. However, just as it is with most dog breeds, the Aussie has specific needs and specific quirks owners should be educated about. Here are a few things every Aussie owner should know about this shepherd breed.
Aussies are known to outsmart their owners.
The intelligence of the Australian Shepherd is partly what makes them such a desirable pet. These dogs tend to take to training quite well, will learn from your correction, and can easily grow to know several verbal or visual commands. The breed is very alert and more intuitive about what's going on around them than you can imagine. It is not at all uncommon for an Aussie to outsmart its owner by waiting for them to get out of sight to get into something they know they shouldn't have. This is one reason why it is important to always keep potentially poisonous materials or dangerous items out of reach and safely tucked away.
These dogs need ample room to run.
Working dog breeds were bred with the purpose of serving various roles for mankind. Aussies were originally used as herding dogs, which means they have high energy levels, are incredibly agile, and have an inherent need to move and run. It's fine if you don't have a backyard, but make sure there are frequent walks and trips to the dog park for brisk activities. Otherwise, your Aussie can grow obese and face a full list of health concerns.
Australian Shepherds need ongoing grooming.
This shepherd is known by its trademark coat, which can be medium-to-long with fine, soft hair outwardly and thicker closer to the skin. This thick double coat was specifically bred into the dog because it helps the dog stay comfortable in varied temperatures and ward off moisture. However, this luxurious coat also means the Aussie is a major shedder, and it will need ongoing grooming. Part of good dog care for an Aussie means brushing their coat thoroughly at least a few times a week. While the Aussie doesn't necessarily like water, they may need to be bathed periodically as well to prevent tangles and mats.
For more information on dog care, check out sites like http://www.murrellsinletvethospital.com.
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