Australian Shepherd is a herding dog breed, coming from the Northern America ranches. Despite the name “Australian” the dog’s origins do not lie in Australia. The massive popularity of these dogs has to do with the boom of western riding in the USA after the First World War Australian Shepherds are highly valued because of their ability to be trained easily, obedience and willingness to please the owners. Commonly called the Aussie, these working dogs have plenty of energy and to be happy it needs a job to do. This makes the Aussies perfect dogs for all kind of dog sports like flyball, frisbee, and dog agility. Due to their intelligence and perfect scent, they make excellent disaster and rescue dogs and can be also used as guide or detection dogs.
Australian Shepherd Grooming
It is natural that you want your dog to look his best, but Australian shepherd professional grooming can be quite expensive. That’s why you should consider doing it yourself. If you’re careful and patient there is no cause for worry, if you follow the instructions closely you’ll have a well groomed Aussie in no time.
The first thing you need to do is to check your pet’s fur formatting and entangled hairs. To do that you’ll first have to apply conditioner to the fur and start slowly and carefully brushing it following the direction it’s growing in. If the brush gets stuck don’t force it, you might pull your dog’s hair out and cause him serious discomfort and pain. Instead, stop brushing and remove the matting, if possible by untangling it, if not by cutting the entangled hair off with scissors. Once you’re done with this stage, take a stronger wire brush and give his coat another go over, taking care not to be too rough.
After the brushing, it’s time for a bath, get your pet in the tub and slowly pour warm (by no means cold or hot) water over his back. You should make sure that he is completely soaked; you might need to rearrange his fur every so often in order to achieve this. Once you are sure that the dog is wet to the skin you should start applying the shampoo. When the dog is completely covered in it, leave it be for a couple of minutes and then start carefully rinsing it out. Make sure to get all of the shampoo out, as any residue might cause serious skin irritation. Dry the fur with a towel and then if needed, with a blow dryer, just make sure that the air coming out of the dryer is not too hot.
Next, you will want to check his ears, do this carefully as they are rather sensitive. You should check their insides for any dirt or hairs. If you find anything to remove it carefully. Some people might also use this time to clip their dog’s nails, but that is not really recommended if you don’t have at least some experience with that sort of thing. Dogs have a dark line going down the length of their nails. This line is called “quick” and if you damage it during the nail clipping it might start to bleed, that is why if you intend to this you should have some clotting agent, just in case.
The last part of the treatment is trimming the hair on your Australian shepherd dog’s tail. You should be gentle during this stage as dogs generally don’t particularly enjoy it when someone is messing around with their tails. Hold the tail softly, but still firmly enough that the dog can’t move it and perhaps get it in the way of scissors. Trim the hair to the length you find optimal, and enjoy the sight of your freshly groomed pet.
Australian Shepherd Care
Like any other animal, dogs are very sensitive when they are young, it is vital that you take good care of them in this period if you want them to develop properly. As soon as you get your new puppy home call the vet and inquire about the types of vaccinations that need to be administered. There are some that are obligatory for all breeds, like for instance rabies shots, but there are also some that are specific to certain breeds. Once it receives its first vaccination (usually when the puppy is 6 weeks old) it might need to continue receiving a series of boost shots over the course of several months, this is normal and nothing to be worried about.
Once you bring your puppy home, let him get familiar with the environment, walk him in the yard and if he goes to potty in the appropriate place commend him and give him a reward, you should praise him and encourage him as often as is appropriate, this will help the puppy get comfortable in its new home and teach him what behaviors are acceptable.
Make sure that puppy is getting three meals a day, a regular diet is a very important factor in its development. Use the best available meat based foods that contain at least 30% protein with less than 4% fibers. Puppy’s muscles and bones are forming at this stage and it is vital that it gets all the necessary nutrients.
Australian Shepherds are very energetic and very intelligent dogs, which means that they need to constantly be occupied, take your puppy out often and play with it or just let it find its own amusement. These playing sessions will not only strengthen your bond, but they will be the start of the training of your new dog.