Given the breed’s genetic traits – brainy, charming, smart, athletic, and more, an Aussie might be many people’s dream dog, but it is not for everyone. In case you are planning to own an Australian Shepherd, you should really read through the key points and see for yourself if you can really handle one.
1. Find out a Certified Breeder
Unless you want to start a herd, the first step to own a healthy Aussie is to find a certified breeder. You can start by checking with your local breeders, reputed pet shops, and top dog websites in India. Australian Shepherds are prone to some serious and uncommon health issues if they are obtained from puppy mills or backyard breeders.
Research about the genealogy of the puppy up to a few generations on both sides to find out working lines or show lines. Stay away from working lines as they are bred to obtain a very strong mind and herding instincts – both not suitable for a family dog. Search for a show line instead if you are not planning on herding, especially if you have children at home – working lines are a big no!
2. Socialize them like the Sky is the Limit
Australian Shepherds, by gene, are shy and reserved despite being friendly. So, if you don’t want your Aussie to be shy or suspicious of everyone that comes to your house, socialize it from the very first. Not just a few kids or strolls down the street are enough to socialize your puppy, you need to do even more than for a normal dog. This should be a top priority if you are certain about buying an Aussie, right from its puppy hood. Take out time to visit dog shows, puppy training classes, parks – where loads of people are present. This way, it will also develop affection for humans and not become unnecessarily aggressive.
3. Training is a must
Owning an Australian Shepherd and not training it would be the last thing to do. Australian Shepherds require extensive training by professional trainers to tame them. Otherwise, its excessive energy and knack for adventure may just create havoc in your and your neighbors’ house. Aussies are engineered to work and think, and lack of enough opportunities to show its acts might be troublesome for you. You can contact professional trainers who train Australian Shepherds from dog websites in India, vets, or pet shops.
4. Require Exercise and Assigned Works
Vigorous exercise will not only keep your Aussie healthy but will also keep it happy and sane. Aussies are extremely intelligent and need to be kept involved in something constructive – it can be as simple as babysitting or guarding or house. If it’s left without a job, it will find a job for itself that might not be good for you.
5. Health Care
Aussies need regular health check-ups as they are prone to hip dysplasia, eye anomalies, cataracts, skin infection, and so on. Australian Shepherds are high maintenance dogs and require a healthy (and strict) diet, regular vigorous exercise, and routine check-ups.
It will be a bad idea to own an Aussie if you think you cannot meet the above requirements. These key points should be enough to help you decide whether an Aussie is for you.