The Cowboy’s Dog: Australian Shepherd Breed Info

australian shepherd is the cowboys favorite dog breed

Are you thinking about getting an Australian shepherd and you want to learn more about this breed? Do they make a good family pet? Are Australian shepherds easy to train? How much grooming do they require? Do Australian shepherds bark a lot?

Learn more about why the Australian shepherd breed has become a favorite for cowboys, farmers, and active families.

Do Australian Shepherds Bark a Lot?

Yes, Australian shepherds can bark a lot. This breed is high-energy and requires lots of exercise and activities. This is not a dog for people who enjoy a sedentary lifestyle. Lack of routine play and work time are major causes for an Australian shepherd to obsessively bark at pretty much anything and everything. All of his excess energy will come up in the form of barking at every car that passes your house, squirrels, and the dreaded thunderstorm.

Lack of early socialization can also cause an Australian shepherd to incessantly bark when he’s isolated from his humans or bored. His anxiety, if high enough, may lead to other destructive behaviors like aggression toward other animals and humans.

How to stop Australian shepherds from barking?

Australian shepherds need exercise every day. A regular routine of exercise and mental stimulation will help them burn pent-up energy and relax throughout the day.

Training any dog requires consistency, time, and a lot of patience.

As a first step, before you correct unwanted behaviors, you should try to identify what triggers your Australian shepherd to bark. You might be able to remove the sights and sounds that trigger them to bark, or at least distract them. For example, if your Australian shepherd is anxious during a thunderstorm, which is not uncommon, you might sit with him and watch TV or listen to music. Try to drown out the thunder and lightning. Don’t leave your Australian shepherd alone during a stressful event like thunderstorms as it can increase his anxiety.

Once you’ve identified and eliminated or reduce triggers, use our train, treat, repeat training technique to stop unwanted behaviors and reward wanted behaviors. If your Australian shepherd finds your commands and guidance weak, he will become the leader. A positive reinforcement approach using a combination of firm voice commands with the BarxBuddy ultrasonic training tool will prove helpful to the success of your training. And, always be sure to lavish immediate praise and treats. Although it can be frustrating to hear your Australian shepherd bark constantly, using harsh corrections or yelling at him will only teach your pet to be afraid or even bark more.

Finally, make sure everyone in your home is on the same page about correcting your dog’s behavior. Teach them the same training techniques. If you’re the only one training your Australian shepherd, your dog will learn who’s a pushover and who’s top dog.

Learn more about training devices for dogs

Facts About Australian Shepherds 

Known as rustic dogs, Australian shepherds, or Aussies, are a strong working breed, often found on ranches. Australian shepherds are easygoing, dependable, extremely loyal and have excellent guarding instincts. Even as adult dogs, Australian shepherds enjoy their playtime and get along well with other pets and children, which makes them a great choice for a family pet. Australian shepherds are active dogs, always looking for a job to perform and don’t do well if left alone indoors for long periods. Outdoor activities and exercise, like walking every day will help keep your Australian shepherd happy and in shape.

  • Size: The average height range for Australian shepherds is 18-23 inches and weight range is 40-65 pounds.
  • Life expectancy: The average lifespan for a healthy Australian shepherd is 12-15 years.
  • Coat: The straight or slightly wavy, double-coat of an Australian shepherd is waterproof and comes in an array of shades.
  • AKC group: The Australian shepherd belongs to the AKC herding group.

Are Australian Shepherds Easy to Train?

Australian shepherds are highly intelligent and eager to please, making them easy to train. Although they take direction well and listen to their owners/trainers, it’s essential Australian shepherds receive early socialization and puppy training. Aussies need more than just physical exercise, so be sure to incorporate both physical and mental activities in training sessions. While it’s important for a trainer to be firm with an Australian shepherd, the tone of a trainer’s voice can negatively impact this breed. Positive reinforcement, like treats and heaps of praise, will go a long way with Aussies.

Does the Australian Shepherd Breed Need to be Groomed Often?

Australian shepherds are moderate to heavy shedders and require regular grooming. The most important grooming tip for Aussies is to keep your dog brushed. Daily or weekly brushing with a slicker brush, like the BarxBuddy Self-Cleaning Brush, down to the skin, will stimulate the skin, keeping it healthy and help reduce the dead hairs on your floors and furniture. These grooming sessions also allow you the chance to check for issues, like ticks. Clippers or shears might be necessary to maintain the hair on your Australian shepherd’s feet, legs and tail. If your dog is outside quite a bit, a bath every four to six weeks will help keep his coat clean. Don’t forget to maintain nails, using the proper tools, like the BarxBuddy nail clippers, or by visiting your groomer. Regular teeth brushing will also maintain good oral health and overall well-being.

What If My Breed Is an Australian Shepherd Mix?

Ranked 17 on the AKC breed popularity list, Australian shepherds are a favorite for creating designer dogs. Aussie mixes make for some adorable, unique pups, thanks to genetics from both parents.  While you can never know exactly what to expect with mixes, researching what physical and personality traits both breeds possess will give a better idea of how your Aussie pup will look and behave.

Here are some popular Australian Shepherd breed mixes:

  • Aussie pom — Australian shepherd + Pomeranian
  • Aussie Siberian — Australian shepherd + Siberian husky
  • Aussie-chi — Australian shepherd + Chihuahua
  • Aussie-corgi — Australian shepherd + Pembroke Welsh corgi
  • Aussiedoodle — Australian shepherd + poodle
  • Aussiedor — Australian shepherd + Labrador retriever
  • Australian boxherd — Australian shepherd + boxer
  • Australian retriever — Australian shepherd + golden retriever
  • Border-Aussie — Australian shepherd + border collie
  • Cotralian — Australian shepherd + cocker spanial
  • German Australian shepherd — Australian shepherd + German shepherd
  • Texas heeler — Australian shepherd + blue heeler