Training and Care — Tip Of The Week
Excerpt from Our New Ebook
Australian Shepherd Lover's Guide To Australian Shepherd Training & Care
What's in a Name?
Australian Shepherd History
I know you may be eager to get straight to the training techniques, but to ensure your success in training it's important to develop an understanding of how your dog's mind works. In fact, if you know how your dog's mind works, you can even develop your own techniques to deal with problem behaviors as they arise. This chapter is all about understanding the way your dog thinks and the principles behind all the training tips we'll be going through in this book.
Most owners assume their breed originated in Australia. The Australian Shepherd must have been bred in Australia, right? This is not actually the case. The breed developed in the United States. Settlers from across Europe, including shepherds from Great Britain, Scotland and Spain as well as Latin America and Australia emigrated to North America. Many shepherds brought with them their favourite herding dogs to help manage the flocks of sheep that came with the massive influx of settlers. These flocks of sheep did include many from Australia. But the breed itself was bred on the ranches of the U.S. More about Australian Shepherd history here.
This origin as a working dog explains many of what Aussie owners today consider to be "problem behaviors." Those behaviors that seem so annoying in a suburban, family setting – behaviors like herding and nipping children – were actually bred into the dogs to make them more useful on the ranch. Aussies are herding dogs first and foremost, and much of their natural behaviour can be understood when you look at this history.
So let's get one thing straight here: Aussies act exactly how they were bred to act. Every behavior they display is there for a reason – it was an important part of their job as herding dogs. Most of what we now consider problem behaviors are actually just behaviors the dog has been bred to produce – by HUMANS. The problem isn't the dog, it's a change of scenery. We now have Aussies in our suburban homes. We don't all live on ranches. So we need to teach them to adapt to this new lifestyle.
Next time: Herding Characteristics of Aussies
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