Keeping a pet for the first time can be pretty challenging because each pet has different necessities and personalities.
A first-time dog owner needs to be well prepared for what to expect of a particular type of dog.
The article below explains if Australian shepherds are suitable for first-time dog owners.
So, Are Australian Shepherds Good For First Time Dog Owners?
The answer is they are not the best. After all, they are pretty demanding because they require a lot of exercise. However, you can decide to pick an Australian shepherd only if you deem it fits your profile. Similarly, even though this dog breed is loving, brilliant, and loyal, it is challenging to keep for a person who has never reared a dog because of its dominant personality. Initially, they were bred to look after sheep alone and took the leadership roles, which now become a trait for every Australian shepherd dog.
For these reasons, these dogs tend to take charge of every situation.
Therefore, if they are not in the company of humans who usually take the lead, the Australian shepherd takes the lead and controls other pets in the environment.
What Should You Know About Owning An Australian Shepherd?
1. They Are Very Active
Generally, there does not exist another dog breed that is more physically active than an Australian shepherd dog.
In most cases, they are referred to as working dogs because, throughout the day, they have something physical to do.
However, they do not remain active the whole day because they usually take one or two hours exercising.
Therefore, you, as the pet owner, will be required to take a long, energetic walk with them at least once every day.
Similarly, you will also be needed to play fetch, among other games, to ensure your dog has had enough exercises.
2. They Are Family Oriented
Even though Australian shepherds are mostly dominant, they are also very family-oriented.
They like being around people most of the time, and they do not like being left alone for long.
They can only stay alone for approximately four to six hours a day.
Therefore if you do not spend most of your time at home or have long working shifts, this might not be the best dog breed to keep.
Additionally, this dog breed can get too attached to one person in the family and will only follow or obey their commands.
Loyalty and love can also negatively affect you if you are not careful because if this dog was not socialized at a young age, they become timid.
It can also make your dog act wary around strangers and might become aggressive.
3. They Are Very Intelligent
Australian shepherds are intelligent breeds because they can easily be trained to perform a wide range of tasks.
They are also interested in learning new activities and tricks, thus benefiting from constant learning.
However, it isn’t easy to raise this breed because you will be required to nature their intelligence and ensure they remain mentally stimulated the entire day.
But if they are not mentally stimulated, they usually engage in destructive activities like tearing furniture and digging holes which is not good.
4, They Require Moderate Grooming
They require minimal grooming because of their thick and double-coated mane.
Since they are moderate shedders, brushing them every week is recommended. It would help to increase your brushing rate during their shedding seasons.
They also do not require to be frequently bathed unless they get dirty. Therefore, you are advised to avoid washing them more than once a month.
What Should You Consider Before Getting An Australian Shepherd As Your First Dog?
If you think an Australian shepherd is fit for you, below are a few things you need to know before making your final decision. They include:
1. It Would Help If You Found A Vet
One of the essential things you need to do before bringing this dog breed home is to find a veterinarian to help you maintain its health.
Therefore before training or playing with your dog, you should first submit it to the vet for a checkup.
However, if you procrastinate and fail to look for one, finding the best vet for your dog might be challenging.
After all, you will not have enough time because most of your free time, the attention will be on exercising and training your dog.
And since the choice might not be the best, it poses some harm to your Aussie.
2. Choose The Right Food
You should ensure your dog has a proper diet to ensure it remains healthy.
Therefore, you must investigate various types of food thoroughly because there are multiple types available in the market.
Hence you are supposed to decide which foods are good for your Australian shepherd.
There is no particular type of food that is good for dogs in most cases because how you feed it depends on its characteristics.
Therefore, all you are required to do is search on the nutritional requirements of Australian shepherds and choose what you deem will be best for your dog.
3. Buy Extra Supplies
Typically, before getting an Australian shepherd, you must purchase a lot of new items, just like when you are expecting a baby.
Therefore, you should buy necessary objects like bowls, a doghouse, toys, and a cage. You should buy the required items because they are vital for your dog’s welfare.
4. Calculate Additional Costs
Calculating additional costs seems like an obvious thing.
However, it is crucial because you might still have forgotten one or two items even if you think you have purchased everything.
As a first-time dog owner, you might not understand the need for calculating additional costs, but if you have a friend who has a dog, you can enquire more about this.
In most cases, they will inform you of hidden expenses like increased power bills and water, among other costs.
What Are Some Essential Tips To Know As a First Time Owner?
For starters, You need to;
– Perform a thorough research on Australian shepherds to help you know what you are committing yourself to. It would help if you inquired from other dogs owners rearing this breed for more information.
– Look for an excellent Australian shepherd breeder to ensure that your dog’s previous generations did not have some genetic disorders. Doing so increases the chances of you getting a healthy dog with fewer risks of suffering from certain diseases in the future.
– Ensure you get help from an Australian shepherd trainer to help you eradicate some bad traits before they are reinforced.
– Establish dominance from the time your puppy is young to let it know who is in charge.
Australian shepherds are reliable and cute but very demanding because they require some advanced knowledge.
Therefore, you should look for another simpler breed.
However, if you are really into this type of breed, you can also get one because, at times, passion can outdo any difficulties one is having.