Newsletter #005

Greetings Fellow Australian Shepherd Lovers,

In this issue I wanted to touch on a couple of health concerns that could affect your Aussie - fleas and commercial dog food. I also wanted to let you know about about some dog training programs that can help you get on the right track with training your Aussie. Special thanks to readers who wrote in with their questions.

It's Flea and Tick Season! Protect Your Aussie

The trees are budding, the grass is growing and the fleas are biting! Depending on which species, a flea can live from a few months to a couple of years. It starts out as an egg laid by a female. Females can start laying eggs about two days after mating. She lays from 3 - 15 eggs at a time and can produce 30 - 50 in one day. That can add up to 400 - 1000 eggs in her lifetime (she doesn't lay eggs every day).

After two days or so the egg hatches and our flea moves to the next stage of its development - the larva. The larva feeds on feces or "flea dirt" left by its mother and begins to spin a cocoon. In the cocoon it is at the pupa stage of development. Here it changes into its final form and emerges as an adult in about a week.

Fleas live on blood they suck from thier hosts. They are well suited to life on a mammal or bird. They are about 1.5 to 3 mm (1/8 to 1/16 inch) in size and have hard bodies that are resistant to being crushed (by scratching) as well as narrow bodies to make movement through hair, fur or feathers easier.

Their long hind legs give them remarkable jumping abilities. They can jump 200 times their body length, about 30 cm or 1 foot. So they can easily hop from the carpet to your dog and from your dog to you.

Protect Your Aussie from Fleas and Ticks. Use this link to Save up to 50% when you buy the best flea & tick products at PetCareRx. We are an affiliate of PetCareRx and when you use the link above (or the ones on our website) you help support
>>> To Learn More About Those Pesky Fleas

Australian Shepherd Training

I received a question from one of our readers about getting their Aussie to walk on a leash. I thought I would share my reply with you.

Getting your dog to walk on a leash is a common problem. The main ideas are to make it fun and let your dog know you are taking them for a walk, not the other way around.

Some recommend using choke and prong collars but I don't think that is necessary. If your dog is pulling she needs to focus on where you want to go instead. So when you are walking stop, turn and go back in the opposite direction, take a zig zag path even. The idea is to get her to realize that she has to start paying attention to you.

If you change direction and go back the opposite way and she corrects herself and takes your lead, reward and praise her. If she goes off on her own one way, you go the other while ignoring her. Don't pull on the leash too hard, you just want to give her opportunities to learn that going the way you want is good and produces desirable results. Bring training treats just for this purpose.

In order to help teach their dog to focus on their movements some have tied the leash to their belt and just walked around the house. For example while making dinner. Going back and forth to the refrigerator and stove and over to the sink, etc. gives your dog the chance to practice paying close attention to where you are going. Related to this is the idea of never stepping around or over your dog. Make her move instead. After a while she will be tuned in to where you are going and will automatically get out of the way or when on the leash she will automatically walk where you want to walk.

When going for a walk always lead off with your left foot with your dog on your left side so she will get used to that. Be consistent. Never walk around your dog, at home or out for a walk. She needs to adjust her speed, direction and position to accommodate you. Mild corrections balanced with plenty of praise and a few treats for good measure will get her on the right path.

Try These Dog Training Programs

There are different approaches to dog training that you can take. I would recommend that you take a look at these dog training programs. They all cover walking your dog on a leash (and much more of course).

The first one is by Dove Cresswell. She trains animals for film, television and commercials and offers one of the most popular dog training programs on the internet. You can have a look at her program here.

Another popular dog training program that can help you with leash training is SitStayFetch by Daniel Stevens. You can check out Daniel's site here.

There is another dog training program you might want to take a look at that talks about leash training called "My Dog Tutor". More info on that here.

Hope this helps. Have a look at these and decide which one works best for you.

>>> More Australian Shepherd Training Information

How Dangerous is Commercial Dog Food?

I also recently received an email from a reader asking about commercial dog food. We all remember the tainted pet food that cost countless pets their lives and resulted in a massive recall. We've become wary of commercial pet food but it seems our concerns were nothing compared with what some pet food manufacturers are knowingly putting in their products. I recently came across a report by Andrew Lewis called "Dog Food Secrets" that is absolutely shocking. I was outraged at what is being passed off as healthy and nutritionally balanced dog food.

Everyone with a dog should read Dog Food Secrets. The author goes far beyond describing the so-called "ingredients" that go into making dog food and how it will make your dog sick (and may even be slowly killing your dog!). He goes on to provide real solutions and outlines nutritional requirements right down to providing healthy alternatives including recipes you can use.

All his information packages come with Dog Food Secrets and a bonus ebook 23 Healthy & Delicious Doggy Treat Recipes but his most popular one also includes The Confidential Dog Food Report: "The 9 Very Best, Ultra-Healthy, Dog Food Brands in all of North America". He originally hired a researcher to compile a list of the top 10 commercial dog foods that meet his strict quality standards but she could only find 9 - in all of North America!

If you are feeding your dog commercial dog food please read the information on Andrew's website:
>>> Dog Food Secrets

Thanks to Everyone for Sending in Photos of Your Aussies

Our "Reader's Aussies" feature is a great success. Each page on our site features a different photo sent in by one of our readers. Just browse through the site to see some of the wonderful pictures we've gotten so far. (You'll find them at the top of most pages.) If you have great photos of your Aussie that you would like to share with other readers follow this link for more info on how to submit your pics:
>>> Send Us Your Best Aussie Photos

Aussie Breeder Contest Winner Announcement

Congratulations to River Runs Kennels!
They are the winners of our "Free Puppy Arrival Announcement Contest".
We've decided to keep this contest going and we will be having more winners soon. If you are an Australian Shepherd breeder listed in our directory and would like to enter just add a link to our website from yours and fill out the contest entry form here*:
>> Enter "Free Puppy Arrival Announcement Contest".
*If you've already entered and are linked to us you don't have to re-enter.

Aussie Breeders - Add a Puppy Arrival Announcement to Your Directory Listing for Only $10.00!

Let visitors know when you have a litter available.
Four Month Display! Puppy Arrival Announcements are shown with your directory listing for four months.
• Includes a photo at no extra charge.
• Also includes one free update.
>> For more information or to order a Puppy Arrival Announcement for your directory listing.

Until Next Time...

Check back with us often as we are always adding more great information. Please let us know if there is something you would like to see on

We love to hear from fellow Australian Shepherd Lovers like you. Send us your ideas, your feedback and photos of your Aussie so we can include them on the site.

All the Best and Woof!

Scott and Levi

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