Are you looking for a new dog to keep you busy? Then maybe an Australian shepherd is the right choice for you.
Do not be fooled, they are not the perfect breed for everyone, and they are definitely not just a dog for Christmas, but they might fit your lifestyle.
Rita Chaves, 30, is a dog breeder from Portugal.
She started to work with the breed after a trip to Luxemburg, where she was sure that she needed to start dog breeding Australian Shepherds.
Now, seven years later, Rita knows more about the breed than anyone else as she is seen as a reference in Portugal for Australian Shepherds breeding.
For her, the breed is about dogs that you can easily fall in love with, however, she states that they aren’t the right dogs for everyone.
Here, Rita shares her top five tips on how to be a good Australian Shepherd owner.
Are you sure this is the right breed for you?
The American Kennel Club shares on its website that Australian Shepherd breed “isn’t the pet for everyone”.
“They are very active, family dogs that like to spend time with their owners,” Rita says.
My Australian shepherd has bad separation anxiety. So i feel like that too. 😢
— alexis ✨ (@Lexiiii8913) April 4, 2021
Rita explains that “Australian Shepherd dogs are very intelligent, so it is necessary that they expend mental energy, and this can be done through teaching tricks”.
2. Are you expecting your dog to be perfect?
Teresa Marques, 31, from Lisbon, Portugal is the owner of Cmyk, a 2 and half years old Australian Shepherd couldn’t agree more.
“It has been an intense experience, with a lot of growth and perseverance. Our dog has a very strong personality and is quite different from what the standard dog of this breed is.”
“This breed is considered quite sociable and brave and unfortunately Cmyk is not. But there it is, within the breed each dog has his personality.”
“And, although the Cmyk is not the dog with the easiest temperament to understand and deal with, it has its great qualities that make us fall in love with him every day a little more,” Teresa tells”.
3. Can you give the dog the exercise it needs?
The Harlingen Veterinary Clinic agrees with Rita.
“Aussies (Australian Shepherd) are best suited for families with an active lifestyle and a large fenced yard. They need plenty of exercise and mental stimulation to prevent boredom,” they state.
can’t wait for the day i live on the road, whippin my vw bus w/ an australian shepherd named waffles
— mabe (@mabelbaileyy) April 7, 2021
So, it is really important that dogs of this breed go to the right family as many people do not have the time to take care of a such active dog.
4. Do you want a dog that stays inside?
If yes, this is the right breed. But don’t forget that they also need time outside.
Because of that, Rita confesses that she has refused several owners.
Rita tells the first step of her selection process: “I make a selection of owners through questionnaires, since the owner may want something that I don’t want my dogs to have / live in.”
“For example, in Portugal there is a stigma that dogs have to stay outside, but this breed is not supposed to be out all the time,” Rita tells.
Unfortunately, Rita has some stories of owners that did not have the lifestyle that fits the dogs’ needs so she got the dog back.
“If there is any problem with the dogs I sell, I get them back because the dogs deserve a happy live as well as the owners.”
5. Do you have the right lifestyle for an Australian Shepherd?
So, if you’re in love with Australian Shepherd, see if your lifestyle is good for them.
Rita tells how important it is to choose the right dog for you.
“You can love the way Australian Shepherd look. I mean, I know they are cute and beautiful, but if love them, you should be sure if your lifestyle fits their needs.”
“Choose a dog breed that will make your life easier and that can be happy with the way you live, and you will find your best friend.”