Want to Adopt an Australian Shepherd? What You Need to Know

So you want to adopt an Australian Shepherd—good for you! Adopting a pet can be a wonderful, exciting and life-changing experience, both for you and for your dog. However, it's important to remember that this is a significant decision and for that reason you should put a lot of thought into it before rushing down to your local shelter to find your new best friend.

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The first thing to consider when it comes to Australian Shepherd adoption, as with adopting any dog, is whether the breed is really the right choice for you. Like we humans, not all dogs are created equal and the various breeds have specific personalities and traits that may make them more suited to one type of lifestyle than another. So you need to give particular thought to the breed of dog you choose in order to make sure this is the right fit.

Want to Adopt an Australian Shepherd? What You Need to Know - Photo: Young girl with blue merle Australian Shepherd outdoors.

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Learn as Much as You Can Before You Adopt an Australian Shepherd

In order to be sure about your choice to adopt an Australian Shepherd, you need to learn as much as you can about this intelligent, active, and engaging breed. The Australian Shepherd Club of America (ASCA) describes the breed as follows:

"The Australian Shepherd is intelligent, primarily a working dog of strong herding and guardian instincts. He is an exceptional companion. He is versatile and easily trained, performing his assigned tasks with great style and enthusiasm. He is reserved with strangers but does not exhibit shyness. Although an aggressive, authoritative worker, viciousness toward people or animals is intolerable."

This sums up the personality traits and temperament of Australian Shepherds pretty succinctly and is the perfect place to start when considering your decision about Australian Shepherd adoption.

Aussies Are Highly Intelligent and Full of Energy, So Training Is Essential!

The Australian Shepherd was initially bred as a working dog for farms and ranches, to both help herd livestock as well as guard the family and the property. As a result, Aussies are eager to please their master and to learn. Their innate intelligence makes them easy to train, which can be both an asset and a problem. If your Aussie doesn't get enough training, he can take those natural herding instincts and excess energy in the wrong direction, so if you're going to take on this breed you have to be committed to giving your dog the attention he requires on a regular basis.

Another important factor in your choice to adopt an Australian Shepherd is how the breed interacts with humans, including both his family and strangers. Since they were bred to be working farm dogs, that means they also tend to form a strong bond with their family. Not only are they eager to please, but they also can be quite protective, considering their family as part of the "property" they are supposed to protect. If not kept in check, this natural tendency can lead to aggressive behavior.

Want to Adopt an Australian Shepherd? What You Need to Know - Photo: Blue merle Australian Shepherd puppy running across grass.

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While Aussies are naturally friendly dogs, they can also be reserved and cautious around strangers. That doesn't necessarily mean they'll be badly behaved but it does mean that you might have to put in a little extra work to help acclimate your dog to his surroundings so that he approaches other people and animals the right way.

As a working breed, Aussies need regular exercise and attention. You don't have to live and work on a farm in order to consider Australian Shepherd adoption but if you are bringing an Aussie into your home you'll need to channel that energy some other way. Obedience training, agility training and dog sports are all great ways to interact with your Aussie and keep him active, learning and happy.

The Process of Adopting an Australian Shepherd

Once you have determined that your desire to adopt an Australian Shepherd is the right choice then you'll need to look at rescue organizations or shelters in your area where you can find an Aussie. There are many such organizations and each will have its own rules and regulations for adoption. The goal for any adoption is to ensure the proper match between potential owner and dog and they'll take you through the necessary steps in order to reach that goal.

You'll likely have to fill out paperwork, have an interview with someone from the organization and have an initial, supervised "meet and greet" with your prospective dog in order to ensure that you and he are right for each other. Eventually, after all the steps for Australian Shepherd adoption are completed, you'll finally be able to bring your new family member home.

The process to adopt an Australian Shepherd doesn't end when you get home; in fact, it's just beginning. It's an exciting moment, but it's also important to remember that coming into brand new surroundings can be overwhelming and even scary for a dog. You need to make the acclimation process is as easy on your dog as possible, ensuring that he has a safe area to retreat to, a comfortable bed to sleep in, plenty of food and water, and some toys to play with.

You should allow him to get used to his new surroundings at his own pace and try not to overwhelm him with new things and new experiences all at once. Allow for some quiet time and reassure him that he is safe and secure. During the process of Australian Shepherd adoption, you'll be learning about each other and establishing what will hopefully become a solid, lifelong bond that you can both treasure.

Provided you approach it the right way, with all the proper information and careful thought, the decision to adopt an Australian Shepherd may be the best choice you'll ever make. Nothing can compare to the love, laughter, and enjoyment you'll discover when you bring an Aussie into your life!

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So you want to adopt an Australian Shepherd—good for you! In order to be sure about your choice to adopt an Aussie you need to learn as much as you can about this intelligent, active and engaging breed. #australianshepherd #aussie #dogs #doggos #aussielovers

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