How to Raise an Australian Shepherd

Take your Aussie everywhere you go.
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Finding a dog who will fit your active life is challenging. A well-raised Australian shepherd is a loyal, family-oriented dog worth considering. From riding in the car to morning jogs, the Aussie loves to be right in the middle of it all. Proper upbringing makes that life possible.

Step 1

Take your Aussie puppy to your veterinarian and set up his vaccination schedule. If he's going to be out and about with you, your little pal will come in contact with dangerous viruses, including canine parvovirus and distemper, that are preventable with effective vaccination. It's best not to take a small puppy anywhere until you are satisfied that his immunity levels are high. Your vet also will check your little Aussie for parasites and set up a deworming schedule at the initial visit.

Step 2

Teach your Aussie to be social by accustoming him to being around people and other pets. Socialization with people should have been well started while he was still with the litter. If not taught from a young age, your pup may be standoffish and may not take well to strangers. Interaction with people of all ages helps to socialize him. Brush and pet him daily, and play games like fetch. All interactions are part of socialization, and it is your job to ensure the interactions are positive. Introduce outsiders to your Aussie, and give him time to “warm up” to them.

Step 3

Find your Australian shepherd a large area where he can run, such as a dog park. Aussies were bred to be herding dogs, and they require a lot of exercise. A daily walk on a leash isn’t vigorous enough activity to use up their pent-up energy. Without proper exercise, your Aussie may act out, chew furniture and generally do damage in your house.

Step 4

Enroll your pup in obedience classes after he has completed his immunization schedule. Your Aussie will learn basic commands such as sit, stay and down, and attending the classes will increase his socialization skills. It's a good idea to join a group engaged in dog sports. Aussies are intelligent, and many Aussies love to perform agility exercises, for example.

Step 5

Groom your Australian shepherd regularly. His grooming needs are minimal. Beyond a daily coat brushing, your buddy requires an occasional bath, teeth cleaning and nail trimming. Because Aussies are active outside, their nails rarely need cutting.

Step 6

Feed your Aussie a well-balanced diet. Provide continuous access to clean, fresh water. Generally, the amount you feed your Aussie is based on his size and activity level.

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