Saltar al contenido

How to handle an Australian Shepherd?

While some Australian Shepherds are friendly goofballs, most are quite reserved. In fact, that’s the breed standard – they’re not bred to be everyone’s bud. In order for them not to become shy and/or suspicious, they need to be socialized.

Books and breeders agree that socializing is important. That is very true, of all dogs. But exactly how much socializing are we talking about? A couple of walks down Main Street? Some more children? That might be enough for a calm Labrador, but it’s not even a start for an Aussie. I’m here to tell you that you should make this your #1 priority in a big way. In fact, this is the most important thing you can do for you and your pup.


Adult Australian Shepherds that have been properly socialized and trained can generally handle just about anything life throws their way, but in a different way than many other breeds. Reserve with strangers becomes «I’m not everyone’s best friend and I won’t act that way.» Adult Australians are often ignorant of strangers and are slow to change classification from «stranger» to «friend.» Don’t expect your Aussie to be the Will Rogers of dogdom, «I’ve never met a stranger…» Treasure your Aussie’s loyalty to you and your family members. Do not allow others to force unwanted affection on you. Respect his nature, and allow him his dignity.

Watchdog traits in adults are often prominent, but a well-trained Aussie should have a fairly good judgment of when it is appropriate to be a watchdog and should respond to their owners’ command of «Ok, that’s enough».

A good Aussie with the right temperament will probably guard the car and house with savage intensity when the owner is not around. He can even shield himself like this with non-family people he’s been friends with before… when you’re there they’re fine, when you’re not they qualify as «trespassers».

Be consistent.

This is the absolute key when training any animal. You may be tempted to let them slide from time to time, but this will only serve to hinder your efforts. Be consistent with both praise and correction, and your dog will begin to understand that you are the master.

While many old dog training techniques, such as choke chains, may be effective initially, they can actually cause more problems down the road. Positive reinforcement helps your dog associate good behavior with good rewards and is a very effective means of addressing even the most difficult canine behavior problems.

A common problem, right?

You’ve tried everything…. you end up screaming, you’ve tried kindness, treats, hugs, and everything possible to get your pup to do what you want.

But nothing seems to work and the only result you’ve gotten is frustration….

Common Health Issues for Australian Shepherds

While Aussies are generally healthy, there are a few health related issues that Aussie owners need to be aware of when it comes to caring for these dynamos .

Allergies: One of the most common health problems Australian Shepherds face is allergies, especially skin allergies. The most common symptoms of allergies include excessive scratching and/or licking of paws, hot spots, paw and ear infections, and hair loss. These allergies can be caused by environmental factors (such as pollen or fleas) and food, so if your Aussie is experiencing any of these symptoms, see your vet to determine next steps for treatment.