I’ve been getting a lot of emails and comments lately on these two posts Five Facts You Need to Know Before Choosing an Australian Shepherd and Bringing Home an Australian Shepherd Puppy: What You Need to Know.
There are many wonderful people out there who think their lives might be enriched by sharing their lives with an Aussie, and they’re asking my opinion.
So who would make a good match for an Aussie and vice vera?
I’m going to try to be as kind and direct as I know how to be. Give yourself 1 point for each YES answer.
- Have you previously owned and SUCCESSFULLY trained at least two dogs prior to considering an Aussie?
- Have you owned a herding dog or at least a dog from the working breeds before?
- Are you committed to putting in the training that an Aussie would need? Beginning obedience is a good start only. You need to keep going. And you should seriously consider agility and/or herding.
- Are you a good positive dog leader? If you don’t know what this question means, then don’t get an Aussie. Period. Seriously.
- Do you have the time to socialize your Aussie around all kinds of people and environments? Are you willing to take your dog with you to as many places as you can?
- Do you have at least a 1/2 acre of fenced land?
- Do you have a dog door so your dog has access to the outside to relieve itself if you are gone for more than 4 hours a day?
- Do you have the time to actively exercise your Aussie at least twice a day until they are at least 2.5 years old (fully out of the puppy stage) and then at least once a day after that?
- Would you consider getting a second dog to keep each other company and help exercise each other if you are gone from the house for more than 4 hours a day?
- If you are a child, are you over 10 years old? If you are an adult with children, are your children over 10 years old?
1-4 points: Your life is not currently set up to have a dog of any kind.
5-7 points: If I am really thinking about your happiness and the Aussie’s welfare, I strongly suggest you look into getting an easier breed. But if you must get an Aussie, try to get to at least 8 points before you bring one home.
8-10 points: You’re good to go. Enjoy the love of a lifetime.