The Australian Shepherd is an intelligent, medium-sized dog of strong herding and guardian instincts. He is also a delightful and loyal companion and a great family dog. He loves to be part of the daily hustle and bustle and enjoys riding in the vehicle just to be with his beloved master. He is easy to train, easy to house break and eager to please.
Animated, adaptable and agile, the Australian Shepherd lives for his job, which can still involve herding livestock and working as an all-purpose farm and ranch dog. He needs a lot of activity and a sense of purpose to be truly content. Today, due to the breed’s intelligence and versatility, “Aussies” also excel in competitive events such as agility, obedience, rally, tracking and herding.
Aussies have been used as utility dogs to the physically handicapped, hearing aid dogs, police and narcotics dogs and search and rescue dogs. Many go with their masters as volunteers to children’s homes and nursing homes to do therapy work. Truly, the Australian Shepherd is a highly versatile dog.
Aussies are very active dogs that need daily exercise to prevent them from becoming bored or frustrated and developing destructive habits. Because of their high energy level, combined with high intelligence, Aussies need to be given a “job” to perform, be it shepherding the children, protecting the house, comforting the ill or aged, herding livestock or competing in dog events. Mostly they just want to be with their owners, doing whatever is asked of them.
One of the most frequent reasons Aussies are turned over to rescue groups is because their owners didn’t realize how much energy the breed has, and weren’t willing to channel that energy through training. Aussies are also quite demanding of their owners’ time and attention and want to be constantly with them, following them from room to room in the house and going along on errands.