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Known for being a tough ranch dog, the Australian Shepherd, is one of those unique cases where it was bred and perfected in the United States, specifically in California and has nothing to do with Australia. 

How the name itself came about has nothing to do with where they came from, but rather their association with the “Basque shepherds” of Australia in the 1800s. These people played a significant role in Australia’s history and had sheepdogs from the Pyrenees. Want to know more? This article can tell you all about the cowboy lifestyle.

Their coats come in different colours from contrasting shades of red or blue to brown and white, and their eyes are uniquely coloured too from browns to blues. They have an innate urge to hunt birds and other dogs or small rodents and this is what makes them some of the best sheepdogs. 

Their drive to work hard makes their great working dogs and have remarkable intelligence to match up to their active personalities. These are highly capable dogs and fit best with those looking for a trainable partner, who is tireless and brainy all in one.

So, let’s dive into the good traits, and then we will tell you about the bad ones, which aren’t that bad.

The Aussie’s Good Traits

Starting with their temperament, this is something not many know about these dogs, but not all of them have the same or similar temperament. Some of them can be highly energetic and hyperactive, where their quick movements can throw you off by surprise, while others can be quite relaxed, and calm with a cool temperament and mannerisms.

The one thing however that most of them do love is an active lifestyle. But this can be remedied by mental stimulation and loads of physical exercise and activities to keep them busy. You can spend on average 2 to 3 hours a day with them to give them that.

Anything from letting them run beside you on a bicycle, to playing frisbee, running and jogging and even advanced obedience classes can do the trick. If they get bored, they can start barking and being obnoxious.  

They do love attention and want to be around almost all the time, so if you cannot offer this to them, perhaps adopting a dog that has a more laid back or lazy side, is the better option. There are tons of breeds that have calmer personalities, such as a King Charles Spaniel, a Wolfhound, St. Bernard, Pekingese, Greyhound and others that are mentioned on this website:

These guys are no trouble with strangers. They may come across as aloof, but they are polite dogs. As with all dog breeds, early socializing is an important thing to do from the start so as to avoid them being standoffish with new people and also to help them get along with you and your family easily so you don’t need to take them to dog training school when they are older.

Their dominant traits can make them slightly bossy around other pets in the home like other dogs or cats but they are typically good-natured poochies. If you want to enrol them in a competition, these would be the best dogs to do it with. Same with any dog sports. They love a good challenge. If not trained at an early stage they can get difficult to train as they get older as their personalities have already been dictated by the time they are 6 years of age.

All in all, if you are in the market for a dog that’s sturdy and medium-sized, has a lovely coat of striking colours and is good looking, vigorous and athletic, and is versatile when it comes to training them and can learn almost any trick in the book quickly, then the Australian Shepherds may just be who you are looking for.

The Aussie’s Bad Traits

When we mentioned the Australian shepherd personality also includes the bad traits, what we meant is that there is no way these dogs are bad, in the slightest. However, what we did mean is, by looking at the list of traits below, you can decide whether they are suitable for you or not before you go ahead and bring a puppy home. 

The seven things mentioned below should give you a good idea of what you’re in for:

  1. When they are bored, they can become disparaging and tend to bark a lot until you take them outside for a run or an activity
  2. They do need plenty of training and exercise and their mind needs to be kept stimulated and active, and this keeps them satisfied
  3. They have health problems associated with their digestive systems and hips, which is mainly a genetic condition that can't be treated but the vet can help them with the discomfort and pain sensations they may get because of these issues. Consider getting affordable pet insurance to help with any financial obligations these health issues may involve.
  4. When you don’t socialize with them enough, they can become shy or suspicious of the people around them
  5. They love to chase things, and also nip at things. So, if you have children around you should be wary of this and teach them not to. Also, when you go out for a run or to the park, they could nip at other joggers, cars, bikes and children. 
  6. They do have a tendency or becoming stubborn and dominating the environment around other pets in the home
  7. They tend to shed quite a bit because of their medium-length hair, but regular grooming should keep them to a minimum