The weatherproof coat is easy to maintain; regular brushing minimizes shedding
An energetic breed with strong herding and guarding instincts, the Aussie requires daily vigorous exercise. Although sometimes reserved with strangers, they are "people" dogs that want to always be near their families. Their thick coats require weekly brushing.
Depending on the size of your dog as an adult you are going to want to feed them a formula that will cater to their unique digestive needs through the various phases of their life. Many dog food companies have breed-specific formulas for small, medium, large and giant breeds. The Australian Shepherd is a medium breed and has a lifespan well into their teens.
What you feed your dog is an individual choice, but working with your veterinarian and/or breeder will be the best way to determine frequency of meals as a puppy and the best adult diet to increase his longevity. Clean, fresh water should be available at all times.
Occasional bathing, especially when he is dirty from a day out in the field, will also keep the Aussie coat clean and free of mats and accumulated debris. A slicker brush works great on this profuse coat, especially when combined with an undercoat rake to help remove dead hair. Their nails should be trimmed regularly to avoid overgrowth and cracking. Their ears should be checked regularly to avoid a buildup of wax and debris which can result in an infection. Teeth should be brushed regularly.
Many Aussies still live the cowboy life on working ranches. And those kept as pets exhibit the same irresistible impulse to herd, anything: kids, birds, other dogs. This strong work drive can make Aussies more dog than a sedentary pet owner might bargain for. Aussies are remarkably intelligent, quite capable of outthinking an unsuspecting novice owner. In short, this isn’t the pet for everyone. But if you’re looking for a brainy, tireless, and trainable partner for work or sport, this is a good place to start.
Australian Shepherd &HEALTH
Running, playing with another dog, retrieving a ball or Frisbee, swimming or participating in other activities are some ways your dog can get the exercise he needs. If exercise is not provided on a daily basis, your dog may bark or become destructive out of frustration. As a pet owner, your responsibility includes ensuring that your dog has a securely fenced area in which to exercise, or leashing him when exercising in public places.
When your Aussie is not being supervised, he should be confined to your home or a fenced area. Working with a responsible breeder, those wishing to own an Australian Shepherd can gain the education they need to know about specific health concerns within the breed. Good breeders utilize genetic testing of their breeding stock to reduce the likelihood of disease in their puppies.