Australian Shepherd Puppies: What to Know

By Julie •  Updated: 07/01/20 •  10 min read
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Are you thinking of bringing a puppy into your family? Nobody can resist the adorableness of puppies and the excitement that they can bring to your life. When they grow into an adult, they are also a loyal companion and member of the family.

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But we all know that puppies are a lot of responsibility. You are going to have to do some research before you get a puppy so that you are prepared for their arrival. If you are thinking about getting an Australian Shepherd, you also want to learn more about this breed and what you can expect. This is going to ensure you have the best time with your Australian Shepherd puppy.

The Australian Shepherd

While you have seen the Australian Shepherd around town, you might not know a lot about their breed. They can be a very rewarding pup to have in your home. So, let’s find out a little more about them, starting with where they came from.

The Origin

You may think that the Australian Shepherd originated in Australia. Indeed, this is what most people assume. But this furry pooch actually originated in the United States and on the West Coast. The breed existed around the 1840s and the Gold Rush, with their purpose to be herding livestock. Therefore, the Australian Shepherd is a working dog that loves to be active and have a job to work on. Due to herding, they are athletic and know how to direct. They are also hard working and will do what you want them to with the right commands.

Size

Of course, your Australian Shepherd puppy is going to start out cute and small. But they will soon grow into a medium-sized pooch with a lot of energy! They can reach a height of up to 23 inches if they are a male. Female canines can enjoy a height from 18 to 21 inches. Males are also going to be heavier, weighing between 50 to 65 pounds. Females typically weigh 40 to 60 pounds. They are going to be best in a big home and with a generous yard to play in.

Characteristics

Everybody recognizes the Australian Shepherd. As your puppy becomes older, they can have multiple colors. Typically, they have a white undercoat and your canine may have a docked or bobbed tail. The common colors for Australian Shepherd include grey, red, black, white and brown. They may even have a spotted pattern. They have folding ears and their facial experience is always bright and alert. What’s more, they can have even different colored eyes!

Life Span

Everyone wants to know that their furry friend is going to live for a long time. After all, they are a member of the family and you want to spend as much time with them as possible. Indeed, Australian Shepherds have a good life span. When they are fit and healthy, they can live for between 12 to 15 years. Investing in your pup’s health from the beginning will help you enjoy more time with your canine.

Grooming

Australian Shepherd puppies are small and fluffy when they are young. But they do develop a double layer coat so that they are waterproof. This will mean that brushing your furry friend every week will be advised. This is going to prevent matting and tangles from developing. During the spring, you can expect your canine to lose their winter coat. Again, brushing them is going to help the hair from getting all over your house. An occasional bath is also going to be beneficial, as they are going to get dirty from being outside.

Temperament

Generally, the Australian Shepherd has a good temperament. This is known as a working dog breed and they love to be active and have a job to do. They were bred for herding and this still shows in their temperament. This can mean that they enjoy chasing and herding other animals. They might even herd members of the family. This is something that can be channeled through outdoor games and even dog sports. They are agile and can make good competitors.

Energy Level

It is essential that you are aware that Australian Shepherds need a lot of exercise. They are pups that love to be active and on the go. This means that they suit households that love going on an adventure in the outdoors. They will settle into your home knowing that you live similar lifestyles and you can fulfil their needs. In other words, if you are looking for a lap dog, you live in a flat or are not a fan of a lot of exercise, this is not going to be the right breed for you!

Therefore, the Australian Shepherd has boundless energy. This breed was intended to run free and this shows in the pups you find today. Daily exercise will be crucial even when they are growing up. In addition, they make fabulous running partners and a furry friend for going hiking. They will need some off-leash training. They used to have the job of herding animals and this is something they naturally want to do. Without good recall, they may struggle to listen to you in crucial situations.

Without proper exercise and playtime to burn their excessive energy, your Australian Shepherd pup can develop bad traits. This can include destructive behaviors in the home. If you are going to be working, you will need to arrange a dog walker or be able to come home at lunch times. This is going to prevent problems from developing.

Need for Training

Training is always important for any breed of dog. The same notion applies for Australian Shepherd puppies. They are going to benefit from early obedience and leash training. This is going to allow you to have fun with your pooch and not have any problems when you outdoors. They do have a lot of energy and if they are not properly trained and exercise, they can develop bad habits.

But the good news is that Australian Shepherd puppies are highly trainable. This means that they are going to want to please and do a good job, whether this is for praise and love or some tasty snacks. They are also intelligent and should pick up training quite quickly with the right direction.

In addition, do not forget to socialize your Australian Shepherd pup from an early age. This is advisable for all dogs. This way, they are going to know the best ways to interact with other canines and how to make furry friends. Keeping your canine away from other pooches will mean that they grow fearful of others and may become reactive.

Searching for a Reputable Australian Shepherd Breeder

After reading through all of this information and you still love Australian Shepherd puppies, you will want to know where you can find one. Of course, it is always best to adopt a dog from your local shelter. There are fantastic pups that are just looking for their forever home. Most of the time, the owner has decided that the breed is not right for them or they have had a sudden change in their circumstances. Indeed, there may be some Australian Shepherd puppies available. But they will be hard to find as they are not a common breed found in a lot of shelters.

Australian Shepherd puppies are easier to obtain from a breeder. But it is important to know what to look for in a breeder to ensure that you are not funding an uncaring and unprofessional one. In addition, this is also going to make sure that you receive a healthy Australian Shepherd puppy.

First of all, make sure that you do your research online. You want to read any reviews or feedback on a breeder before you arrange to meet them. Of course, the next step will be meeting face-to-face with the breeder. You want to ask them questions about their experience and how they are caring for their dogs. Always ask to see the parents and puppies to see if they are in a loving home. If the breeder refused to show you the dogs, there may be a negative reason for this. Most professional breeders will let you take a look at the canines and where they sleep and eat. Otherwise, they may have something to hide.

Know that a litter of Australian Shepherd puppies might not be ready for you straight away. You will have to be patient once you have found the right breeder. This is a good thing, as it shows that they are caring and not just focused on having as many puppies to sell as possible.

Having an Australian Shepherd Puppy

Getting a dog can be exciting and scary at the same time. You need to know what you are doing if you are raising them from a puppy. So, before we jump into information about the Australian Shepherd, it is important you read some of our tips before you get a puppy.

Use Baby Gates Around the House

Australian Shepherd puppies are going to be curious about the new world they are in. This means that they can wander around the house. To make sure that they are safe and stay in rooms you want them to, use baby gates. This is going to ensure you always know where they are and they cannot get into trouble or hurt themselves.

Have a Routine

Dogs always like a routine. This allows them to relax and know when they are going to be fed, enjoy playtime and get exercise during the day. So, make sure you start off on the right foot by having a routine for your puppy.

Potty Train from the Beginning

A lot of people think that potty training does not matter in the first few months when you bring your canine home. But it really does. Dogs get into habits and if you want them to go to the toilet outside, you need to start with this from the very beginning. You will thank yourself later when you do. Your puppy will learn faster when it comes to potty training and know where they are to go.

Take Puppy Classes

Whether you have never had a dog before or you have had many canines in the past, you are both going to benefit from taking puppy classes. They are a fantastic way to bond with your new pup and help them learn in the process. You can start with simple training, as well as enjoy fun games.

In addition, puppy classes are one of the best ways to start socializing your canine. It can be difficult to make new furry friends if you do not know anybody that has dogs. You might not live near a dog park either. But puppy classes give you lots of other dogs around the same age to interact with. Early socialization is the best way to make sure that your beloved companion knows how to interact well with other canines when you are out on walks. Otherwise, they may grow fearful of others and this can be what leads to problems.

Use Positive Reinforcement

Puppies are still learning about the world and they are going to get themselves into trouble in the process. The best thing you can do is use positive reinforcement when your puppy does something good. This is going to help them learn what behaviors you want from them. For example, when they go to the toilet out in the yard, praise them. Positive reinforcement is the best way to train your Australian Shepherd pooch. If your dog does something that you do not like, you can either ignore the behavior or use negative reinforcement. This is going to be your decision and what you think is best for your furry friend to learn.

It will only be a matter of time until you have found the perfect pooch to bring home with you!

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Julie

Julie is a graduate of the University of North Carolina, Wilmington, where she studied Animal science. Though contrary to the opinion of her parents she was meant to study pharmacy, but she was in love with animals especially cats. Julie currently works in an animal research institute (NGO) in California and loves spending quality time with her little cat. She has the passion for making research about animals, how they survive, their way of life among others and publishes it. Julie is also happily married with two kids.

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