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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi guys, long time no talk!
The boyfriend and I are still a couple of years away from getting a dog... but we're one more year down, yay! :)

We're still highly considering a german shepherd and have found two great breeders to choose from. We have talked to both, love them both, and have been following their adorable little babies for the past year.

Although WE love the german shepherd, we have realized that there is (unfortunately) a stigma attached to them. We've seen it personally by watching how people started to react to our good friend's dog after she lost her puppy coat. We're just not sure if we want to deal with this stigma for our first dog. It's definitely not a total deal breaker, but we have started researching other breeds.

One breed that we are strongly considering is the Australian Shepherd. We also think we may have found a possible breeder. Although we haven't made actual contact with her yet, she seems wonderful from her website and is actually in our state! (unlike the two German Shepherd breeders, whom are 16 and 30 hours away).

So... please, tell us all about your furry friends. Be truthful, share the good and bad! :)
 

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I'm also calling @Shandula @jclark343 and @Sabina88!

I have a 7 month old Aussie that I have had since she was 8 weeks. I have owned several different breeds and I can tell you I don't know if I'll be able to get anything else. I am just in love with my little girl! Just like all animals, even within their own breed there are big differences. I have seen differences even in Aayla's litter between her and the rest. I think I got the best pick, but I'm biased.

She is wicked smart and easy to train. She was loose leash walking by 10 weeks, and now at 7 months has about 60 commands and behaviors trained on command. We are in a Rally Advanced class and she is doing phenomenally. She has a good sense of focus and is willing to please. She is very mature for her age. She loves everyone and everything. She loves small children and even the 'scary' man in a huge trench coat walking up and down our street. She loves all dogs, cats and hasn't shown any aggression towards anything. She likes swimming, hiking, getting muddy, the snow, and enjoys everything. She is VERY athletic.

She also has a wonderful ability to settle. I take her to breweries, cafes, other people's houses, UBER cars...camping and she does great. Sometimes she is a bit fidgity but hey she is a puppy. Most of the time when I sit down, she looks around for a couple minutes, then flops down and naps at my feet. Aayla is very attached to me, while she does love everyone she has bonded more heavily to me than my boyfriend who I live with. She is in whatever room I am in, outside the bathroom door until I come out (though honestly she just goes in with me most of the time), and gets a little too stressed for my liking when I leave her with friends. She is a lover and likes cuddling with me every morning, though when its hot she stays close but not touching. Yet she does good at home by herself. She has been fully potty trained since 5 months, and loose in the house for two months now.

A lot of these things I attribute to training. Every since I brought her home at 8 weeks I have been very consistent with training for at least an hour (spread out through small training sessions) every single day. I also exercise her every single day. Right now she gets an 1-3 hours walk every day, and at least one 20 minute training session 5-6 days a week. I have enrichment toys scattered around my house for her to entertain herself with. I also took her everywhere with me so she got A LOT of socializing and learning to settle anywhere.

She is very busy, its hard to eat when puppy is shoving toys in your lap. She gets restless a lot and gets way over excited for greeting new people and other dogs. She jumps all over people, kids and other dogs and its taking a while for her to learn manners. For this reason I can't let little kids pet her because she would knock them over.

In other Aussies I have seen reactivity, fear aggression, prey drive, over bearing herding behavior, unable to focus due to high energy, destructive and very vocal tendencies. (Aayla isn't super vocal, she very rarely barks, but does whine a bit) If you want to put in the work they make wonderful dogs. I am just love love love the breed and how Aayla is turning out. Yet its been A LOT of work!
 

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Thanks for the mention @ThatYellowDog!

My Aussie is a year and a half, and he's a total goofball. I've had him since 8 weeks old, from a breeder who does all the health testing required (eyes, hips, elbows, MRD1). His parents are "champions", but she also uses them on her farm, so he's a little more drivey/motion sensitive than some other Aussies, but not horrible.

The Good
  • Training him is eaaaasy peasy. He gets things very very quickly (Bonus: It makes you look like an awesome trainer!)
  • He loves to snuggle. Couch or bed, he curls up and lets you spoon him
  • He's a little bit protective. At night, his bark changes from a cute woof, to a big, deep, WOOF.
  • Great size. Not too big, not too small. Levi is full grown (and a little outside of breed standard) and 23.5" tall and 55 pounds.

The Bad
  • He needs lots of exercise. Physical and mental.
  • He's a little bit protective. He releases a bark sometimes that scares the hell outta me.
  • Hair. Hair everywhere. It's in your food, in your drinks, and sometimes you just watch it float by your face... There's a joke that says Aussies shed twice a year, for 6 months at a time. ;)
  • Something no one told me about: Aussies have wonderful "pants" - total fluffy butts. But what that means is if their stool is loose at all - it's going to get all through their fur.
  • If your Aussie is a natural bob or your breeder docks the tail, be prepared for some judgement.
  • Also, be prepared for no one to have any idea what breed your dog is. Levi is routinely a Husky mix.
  • Barking. Levi is basically mute (until my husband gets home) but some Aussie are crazy high barkers.

That's all I can think of off the top of my head...

Edit:
Aussies also need to be pretty heavily socialized due their wariness of strangers (although mine has never met a "stranger"). They can also have quite a bit of reactivity, and motion sensitivity. All that in mind, I love my Aussie and think it is an awesome breed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Guys I appreciate the help so much! Your posts were really very helpful.

I've been looking up exercise games and mind tricks online, but if you guys want to share your favorites I'd love to hear :)
 

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These 2 wonderful ladies that have already spoke have covered a ton of bases!

Honestly, the breed is amazing. I got Forbes at a year from a Breeder. He comes from confirmation lines and was the pick of the litter. The breeder had originally kept him for herself to be her confirmation dog but his color is just slightly off so he wouldn't win the ribbons she was hoping for.

Smart is an understatement. Training is easy peasy. Forbes isn't a big toy guy, but he is majorly food motivated. He is a super star in agility class and makes me look a lot better then I am! The downside of being smart is that he is constantly thinking. Brain games are a god send for when I just want to relax (I've learned to tune out the banging of the kong wobbler on my tile floor). Plus you really want to do something with them as far as training. Tricks, agility, herding, anything to keep them active.

Oh the hair. @Shandula wasn't lying when she said it's everywhere. I find it in my clothing, when I get to work. It's everywhere. I don't care how much you brush, it is going to be everywhere. And I feel like you could brush forever and it not ever stop. Wearing black clothing? It's speckled with white hair (at least for me). And the pants. As adorable as they are, we have plenty of pants cleaning parties. I feel like I am constantly wiping his butt (which is gross). We also have an anal gland problem, so we are constantly in the bath getting our pants washed. He dries considerably fast for how fluffy he is, but it's probably my least favorite part about owning a dog.

The personality is great. He constantly has me laughing at the dumb faces he makes. He really is a comedian. I honestly don't think I'll ever own another breed. There is a downside. He is pretty stand-off ish in his house, and pretty territorial. He does not like when people come into his house, and he does not do well when they are not introduced to him correctly. He will stand on the other side of the house and bark. He usually isn't too bad out (he usually take a moment to approach a new person). I've met a lot of aussies that are like this. Once he meets you, he usually won't have a problem the next time you come over. And once he loves you he will be all up over you.

They are a great breed, but I really recommend meeting one, talking to a breeder and spending time with one. They are beautiful, and a lot of people get blinded by their looks. They are not an easy dog to own.
 
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They are beautiful, and a lot of people get blinded by their looks. They are not an easy dog to own.
This, this THIS!

People see Levi (I sometimes regret that he's a merle because he is so striking) and are instantly interested in him because of a) his looks and b) his obedience. Well his looks I can't help, but he's been in classes since he was 10 weeks old with minimal breaks, and we train together everyday. I've met a lot of nasty, under-exercised, and over-stimulated Aussies.

He used to be such a lover as a puppy, but as he's aged, his aloofness is really starting to come through. So many people want to pet him at the park, but he's just not feeling it. He goes over, checks you out, accepts a pat, and then is on his way. People are always bending down and trying to pet him, and he's very "meh" about the whole thing.
 
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The amount of people that want to stop to say hi to him because he looks nice is ridiculous. I always feel bad because Roxie loves everyone and will accept pets from just about everyone, but people don't usually even see her when he is around. Forbes tends to be more confident around new people when Roxie is with us, but they are more unruly when they are together.
 

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The personality is great. He constantly has me laughing at the dumb faces he makes. He really is a comedian. I honestly don't think I'll ever own another breed. There is a downside. He is pretty stand-off ish in his house, and pretty territorial. He does not like when people come into his house, and he does not do well when they are not introduced to him correctly. He will stand on the other side of the house and bark. He usually isn't too bad out (he usually take a moment to approach a new person). I've met a lot of aussies that are like this. Once he meets you, he usually won't have a problem the next time you come over. And once he loves you he will be all up over you.
Sorry to thread this thread off topic, but OMG you just described Tessa to a T. Her dad was an Aussie/Border Collie and she is exactly like this with people coming to her house. She doesn't HATE anyone, or be aggressive with them, but she also act displeased and lets us all know it. We always have to let her have a proper greeting for repair workers, family, friends, and if we don't she is very stand offish and bark from across the room. If the greeting is done right, which it is, then the 2nd visit is a sure success and if she's determined that she's in love with you then she's just buddy in the person's hands. She's not like this outside the house, though she prefers to be the one to initiate the interaction/greeting rather than having people come up to her. Though she has an amazing judgement of people's intentions lol.

I always thought that was just a personality quirk of hers, since I've never met another dog like this, until you described Forbes! Now I can say she's not weird she's just got Aussie in her lol:p
 

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I agree with every thing that's been said already so I don't have to much to add. I have a 2 year old aussie and almost 2 year old mini American shepherd. They are deffinitly hairy goofballs and dorks all rolled into one smart cookie. And they definitely need lots of mental and physical exercise.
As every one else has said, they've become my breed of choice and I don't think I will ever not have one.

jclark343;2996881 There is a downside. He is pretty stand-off ish in his house said:
This sounds a lot like how Sawyer is, but since he is still fear reactive he has to make sure someone is ok every time they come over. Though if he's meet someone plenty of times he is quicker to warm right back up and once he's comfortable he will want lots of attention.

Also agree with the hair lol. Thank god Maye doesn't seem to be as much of a shedder as Sawyer. Honestly at this point the aussie hair has become a bit a accessory, especially on black :p.

As Jclark said, I would go and meet a few aussies, there a great breed but there not for every one.
 
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I have just contacted a local breeder to get her insight! I'm still not sure if the Aussie is the way for us to go, but I answered her questionnaire as honestly as I could. I hope she emails me back, because I know (from her website) that she gives her honest opinion. She said that if she turns people down, it's not to be mean or because she doesn't think a dog [of a different breed] wouldn't be loved, but because she wants what's best for the people AND her dogs. Obviously, I want the same.
 

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I grew up with Aussie's and I am an Australian . This breed is a working dog and it is not truly happy if it's not working or very active . They are very loyal and very protective of the family group and home . They dislike and are even paranoid of strangers .There very intelligent and fantastic problem solvers ( mine climbed tree's to get over fence's ) . They are renowned for there heel or hamstring bite from behind , in which is breed into them for herding cattle . But they will also use it on a unannounced stranger . Most love swimming , games or rural work . I would still love to have one but there not a suburb dog .
 
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