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How to train an Australian Shepherd to do tricks?

Being a working dog, your Aussie is constantly «on» from the moment you bring him home. He will continue to demonstrate this alert and energetic behavior throughout his life. Many new Australian Shepherd owners are unaware that physical activity is not enough. Conversely, too much physical activity can send your dog into a state of permanent euphoria, leaving your Australian Shepherd puppy hyperactive and overly vocal.

How much exercise does an Australian need?

Precisely how much exercise your Australian Shepherd needs depends on his age and health, but generally speaking, a healthy adult Australian needs at least two hours of exercise every day, but preferably closer to the three!

Your Aussie’s daily exercise should be divided into two or three walks. It’s great to vary your walks by going to different places and incorporating different things into them, like running, walking, swimming, and playing fetch and frisbees.


Puppies need to be given clear leadership and guidance from a very early age, right from the start. They must have clear limits and understand that the human being is in control of their behavior. This does not mean harshness or strictness, but that the human being must control all aspects of the puppy’s life in a way that the puppy can perceive it. Play, food, toys and access to valuable items must be carefully controlled so that the puppy clearly understands who is the leader in the household.

Most Aussies are «easy pups», and far too many Aussie owners go through the «easy pup phase» without considering the consequences. An Aussie who hasn’t had much practice bowing to a human’s wishes doesn’t easily take direction at times when direct compliance is needed. It is advisable to train your puppy to be obedient, docile and non-argumentative during the part of his life that is easiest…the puppy stage.

Step 3: Begin training your dog to perform basic commands such as sit and lie down.

This very basic initial training can be the hardest part because you need to establish communication with your dog about what you want him to do. It helps that Australian Shepherds are so smart that they can figure it out pretty quickly. After your dog does the feat and you’ve said the word, give him a treat. Every time you notice your dog beginning to sit, give him a compliment or treat after saying the word «sit.»

With repetition, your dog will learn to associate the word you say with his action and will know that he receives a treat if he does what you have asked. Australian Shepherds are highly motivated by treats. They will work in your favor when you train them. You can also use treats to entice your dog into performing the desired behavior. For example, you can hold a treat and raise it in an arc over your dog’s head for him to sit on. As you sit, identify the behavior by saying «sit.»


“Sit” is one of the most common basic obedience commands to teach your dogs. It may also be one of the easiest. Sitting can help keep your dog under control in situations where he is excitable.

You can use it when you’re handing out sweets, when company arrives, and in a dozen other everyday situations.