Aussie puppies in tn what happens

This breed of dog has almost become a kind of fad, more and more people and especially families keep a Shepherd at home and are often confronted with problems in everyday life.

Stephanie Cramer runs her DOGS dog school in Bochum and lives with a Mini Australian Shepherd bitch. We asked you what thoughts you should make before purchasing this dog breed, how you can do it justice and achieve a harmonious human-dog relationship.

Many people flirt with an Australian Shepherd. How do you explain that this breed has become a kind of fashion dog and how would you describe the breed?

Beauty paired with intelligence and liveliness - it is wonderful to see when the Aussie romps in the brook and rushes across the meadow or performs tasks with great attention. Real eye-catchers are the Aussie's gorgeous fur drawings, which unfortunately are often the reason why people buy a Shepherd. But appearance should never come first when deciding on a dog breed or a dog. Much more important are the specific breed characteristics as well as the individual character of a dog, because these must match the respective people and their living environment! For a while, the Australian Shepherd was seen as the "Border Collie light". The background was the idea that the Aussie was easier to keep than a border collie. However, one cannot draw this conclusion, because although the Australian Shepherd and Border Collie are both herding dogs and look very similar, they are completely different in nature and character. This is due to the fact that the breeds originally had completely different areas of application or still have them today: As a so-called paddock utility dog, the Border Collie was responsible for moving the sheep across the pastures from a distance. He had to work independently, but always be guided by the shepherd. Typical is the crouched posture with a fixed gaze, the dogs usually work silently. The Australian Shepherd, on the other hand, was more of an all-rounder, a farm dog that was also used for herding, but very often had to drive herds of cattle in front of him. The Aussie was therefore allowed to go forward once and drive the cattle with physical effort, light bites in the heels and loud barking. The result is that the Shepherd is much more physical than the Border Collie and still likes to try to assert himself with all his physical strength. Since he was often used to guard the farms, he is also very vigilant and territorial as well as suspicious of strangers. In the loneliness of the Australian farms, there were only few stimuli, so that the Aussie reacts quickly to all kinds of stimuli, he has a very low stimulus threshold.

Still, it is fun to work with a Shepherd - comparable to a child who learns easily. Because the Shepherd is actually always one thing: He is intelligent and connects very quickly. But: masters and mistresses are also heavily challenged in the upbringing and employment of their dog, because the Shepherd not only learns the tasks assigned to him very quickly! Therefore, the person must always be very attentive when training and when dealing with the Shepherd, otherwise the Aussie has suddenly learned exactly the opposite of what was actually intended. A Shepherd therefore needs mental and physical exercise from the start. Otherwise it quickly happens that he comes up with stupid ideas. But it is much more important that the Aussie learns to simply do nothing or not to react to stimuli. Shutdown training as well as being able to just be calm and wait are the most important exercises that should determine the training of the Aussie from the puppy on!

What do you have to consider when purchasing this breed and what requirements do people have to meet for a harmonious human-Shepherd-dog team?

Of course, people first simply have to enjoy working with their dog. Anyone looking for a dog exclusively for long walks or as a jogging partner will definitely not be happy with the Shepherd, any more than the Shepherd with him. A beginner dog is not a Shepherd because of his character and his usually great intelligence. The owner should already have experience with keeping dogs or have informed himself intensively about this breed and its special features, especially in relation to keeping dogs as a family. Although the Aussie is close to his family and is always ready for a joint training session, problems often arise in our everyday life due to his character, because very few people here in Germany live on a farm with hectares of land. The Aussie has to get used to the many charms of our civilization these days. He has to accept that strangers enter the garden and the house as a matter of course and that he constantly meets other conspecifics. He also has to learn that there is no continuous fun for him, so in addition to regular training, rest phases are essential.

When buying an Australian Shepherd, I think one question is particularly important: "Which stable does it come from?" I would always advise against a puppy who has spent its first eight weeks "idyllically" on a lonely farm. It is always good if a puppy gets to know a lot of stimuli as early as possible, but with the Shepherd this point is particularly important. The Aussie puppy must have contact with many friendly people from an early age and get to know a wide variety of stimuli, from loud noises to blowing tarpaulins to everyday stimuli such as the dishwasher or car traffic. However, if the puppy grows up quietly in the country and the puppy buyer then takes him into town, the sensitive Shepherd can often process the many foreign stimuli with which he is confronted very poorly. This can then lead to aggression and fear in the dog. So that the Aussie does not show any problems towards strangers as an adult dog, the good puppy character and socialization of the breeder must also be continued by the puppy buyer. In small steps, humans show the Aussie the world without overwhelming them. If the Aussie reacts with uncertainty or shows territorial behavior, the owner must recognize this in advance and react accordingly. Because only if the Aussie feels safe with his human, he will orientate himself to him and leave him territorial decisions and tasks. If you adhere to this, the adult Shepherd can continue to have visitors home without any problems. It is therefore particularly important for owners of this breed to be able to read the dog's body language and communication. In addition, rules should be drawn up and consistently adhered to right from the start. Once the puppy has moved into its new home, we humans tend to want to let it arrive first. Unfortunately, that is exactly what is wrong! The Aussie has to know what he is up to from the start. Only in this way will he orient himself to his new family.

What problems do dog owners of this breed or herding dogs often come to your dog school with and what do you advise your customers? What should you watch out for during training?

As already written, the Aussie often shows problems that do not occur in this form in other herding dog breeds. It is true that there are problems with the Aussie as well as with the Border Collie, for example, if it is not used to capacity or has not learned to endure stimuli and to calm down. However, the most common problem in the Australian Shepherd is aggression from fear or insecurity. Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for people to come to my dog ​​school with a Shepherd who have problems due to a biting incident. In this case, of course, the first priority is to avoid further incidents, the safety of people and dogs must be guaranteed in any case. In a first step, the dog is z. B. accustomed to a muzzle so that people can deal with it in a relaxed manner again. In addition to targeted workload, switch-off training is often on the training plan. In addition, people have to take on territorial responsibility. This is the only way the Aussie can learn that he is not responsible for guarding and securing the house.

As a rule, one does not keep a flock of sheep at home that the dog can tend. How do I still do justice to the breed and how can I keep the Aussie busy?

Indeed, this is a big problem with keeping herding dogs “private”! Retrieving dogs - instead of taking them with you to duck hunting - can also be used for retrieving exercises with dummies. Bloodhounds are enthusiastic about tracking training or mantrailing, greyhounds are allowed to chase an object on the stimulus rod and cattle dogs have fun pushing the driftball around. For all of these original predispositions of dogs there are alternative employment opportunities, as opposed to herding, since living beings are always necessary to be herded. If the herding dog is therefore not to be used in the herd, one should make sure that it does not come from a performance breed. Some herding dog owners now come up with the idea of ​​attending herding seminars with their herding dog in order to give their dog at least the occasional opportunity to herd. However, one can only advise against this. On the one hand, it promotes the dog's disposition, and on the other hand, other living beings are necessary to carry out this "occupation", as already written. Of course, a herding dog who will later work on the herd must be trained. Training with sheep for this purpose is therefore ethically and morally justifiable. Just for fun and so that the herding dog “is allowed to herd at least once in its life”, in my opinion, no animal should be exposed to the stress that inevitably arises from herding.

So even if you cannot meet the herding dog's need to herd other creatures, there are still many forms of employment in which the herding dog enthusiastically participates. It is important that he is mentally active and can work together with his person.

As for many other dogs, fetching is a good workload for Shepherds. The tasks should be varied and complex so that the Shepherd does not get bored. Distance training is also suitable because the dog's urge to drive is addressed and cooperation is practiced at a distance and the shepherd is also very accommodating due to its rather robust way of working. Many Shepherds love to learn new tricks over and over again, such as B. “Paw”, “Roll”, “Play dead”, “Turn around”, “Close doors” or “Turn on the lights”. And of course most Shepherds love agility! In this obstacle course they are completely in their element and can prove their special skills well. They react very attentively to the smallest of signals from their humans and change direction at breakneck speed. After completing the course, there is the deserved and longed-for praise - shared fun for the human-dog team.

But at this point I would like to emphasize again that Shepherds don't just need activity. From the beginning you should therefore build up all forms of training calmly and make sure that the Shepherd is always approachable for his people. Breaks were a part of every training session with the Aussie. Nothing is more important than that the Aussie learns when activity is required and when he can or should switch off and relax.

Are Australian Shepherds also suitable for families with children?

The Shepard is only a limited family dog. It becomes particularly difficult when small children belong to the family, as the breed generally has a low stimulus threshold. However, small children cannot read dogs very well. They do not notice when a dog is tense and they should better withdraw. In general, of course, you should never leave dogs unsupervised with small children. Small children are still clumsy in terms of their motor skills. It happens quickly and the child stumbles over the dog during the first attempts at running or holds on to it shakily and grabs the fur with his fist. The Shepherd, who reacts to minor stimuli, will under certain circumstances correct this behavior of the child quickly with a physical reaction, a defensive snap occurs, which is at least uncomfortable for the child and in the worst case can also be accompanied by an injury.

Of course, this does not mean that a Shepherd is never suitable as a family dog, but the acquisition of a Shepherd, like basically any acquisition of a dog, should always be carefully considered. If you are thinking of buying an Australian Shepherd, I would be happy to advise you. Together we consider whether a Shepherd suits you and your family. You will then learn how to best organize everyday life with your Shepherd so that problems do not arise in the first place.

Action day "Shepherds among themselves"!

Only Shepherd-Human teams meet here. We play with the intelligence of our dogs and train "circus-ready", fun tricks for which your Shepherd will earn applause at home.

When: 11/18/2018 (2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.)

Where: Bochum

Info & registration: