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Guide To Australian Shepherd Training & Care

Australian Shepherd Puppy Training Steps to Success

By Anton Hout, author of The Guide to Aussie Training & Care

Australian Shepherd puppy training is extremely important and should begin as early as possible. This is a breed that is known for its intelligence, loyalty, and energy, but those same characteristics also make it especially important for Aussies to be trained properly to avoid unwanted behavior. If their bodies and minds aren't continuously challenged they can easily become bored and a bored dog is more likely to get into trouble.

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Those challenges should begin at around 8 weeks of age, when most puppies are first capable of understanding basic commands. New puppy training should include learning to respond to their name, learning simple commands like "sit" and "stay" and walking politely on a leash. If you have specific household rules, like staying off the furniture, you should begin teaching them too and make sure every family member enforces those same rules so there are no mixed signals.

It may seem awfully early to be trying to teach a dog, but that sharp Aussie intellect will lead them to pick up other behaviors if you don't start teaching them what you want them to do. Fortunately, though, Australian Shepherd puppy training doesn't have to be hard work. Aussies are eager to please so they will usually pick up on your commands quickly and look for praise when they do the right thing.

Australian Shepherd Puppy Training Steps to Success - Photo: Australian Shepherd puppy training on leash outdoors.

Justyna /

Australian Shepherd Puppy Training Has to Include Socialization

Guide To Australian Shepherd Training & Care Ebook

Start with our official ebook Guide To Australian Shepherd Training & Care. It was created by Aussie lovers for Aussie lovers. You can read this practical guide on any computer, tablet, or smartphone.

New puppy training should also include proper socialization. It's important for your Aussie to get used to different people, places, sounds, and dogs as early as possible. This will help them to develop into a friendly, well-behaved dog and will also help them to acclimate to the farm if they are in a working environment.

Of course, young pups' health can be more fragile so when you do socialize with other dogs you should make sure that they are all fully vaccinated, and healthy to avoid problems.

As with any breed, one of the major parts of Australian Shepherd puppy training will be house training. It's important to begin house training as soon as you bring your pup home and crates can be a very useful tool in this process.

Get your pup used to his crate right away and make sure you have a specific plan for house training. Have a designated potty area and be sure to take him to it every time he needs to go.

New Puppy Training Progress at 6 Months

By about 6 months of age, your pup should have the basic commands down and be comfortable walking on a leash, but that doesn't mean that new puppy training is over. There is still much to be learned and you should continue to work with him regularly and use treats as reinforcement. Potty training may not be completed by this stage, but it should be well on its way so you should continue working on that as well.

Guide To Australian Shepherd Training & Care

One thing to keep in mind during Australian Shepherd puppy training is that the same intelligence that helps them to pick up new behaviors easily can also be a detriment. In most training, repetition is crucial. You need to repeat a command over and over to ensure that the dog is making the proper connection. With Aussie's, however, they are generally smart enough to pick up on your commands quickly, which can make that repetition frustrating and boring for them.

If you keep repeating something over and over they may think that they aren't doing it right so they'll actually change their behavior. You need to tread carefully with your new puppy training and make sure that your pup is still listening and paying attention and of course be sure to praise him when he's gotten something right.

Australian Shepherd Puppy Training Steps to Success - Photo: Woman training Australian Shepherd puppy to stay.

Suzanna /

Australian Shepherd puppy training isn't just about the mind; the body needs to be exercised as well. Aussies have a lot of energy and that energy needs to be channeled in the right direction both to keep them healthy and to prevent boredom. You can engage in low impact activities when your pup is very young and up the impact as they get older.

For intellectual exercise, Aussie's respond well to puzzle toys and feeders or you can play hide and seek type games as part of new puppy training—anything that will get them thinking and satisfy their natural curiosity. Again, remember to praise them when they solve a puzzle or win a game because nothing is more important to an eager Aussie than pleasing his owner.

Australian Shepherd Puppy Training After a Year

By the time your puppy reaches one year of age, they should have all the basics down and have a comfortable daily routine. At this stage, Australian Shepherd puppy training can include more advanced activities like agility, obedience or herding. These are all areas where Aussies particularly shine and the AKC (American Kennel Club) has many different classes and events that can help to keep you and your pup engaged.

At a year or a year and a half even the best behaved dogs may show signs of struggling with obedience. This is a natural phase and not a sign of any problem with your new puppy training. It's important to be patient with your pup at this age and not to overreact if he should act up. Just gently but firmly reinforce your original training and he'll get back on track before too long.

As any lover of the breed can tell you, Australian Shepherds can be a joy in your life. With the proper Australian Shepherd puppy training you should end up with a loving, loyal, and intelligent companion that will become an important member of your family. Just remember to be consistent, be patient, and never underestimate the brain power of an Aussie pup!

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Guide To Australian Shepherd Training & Care

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