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Guide To Australian Shepherd Training & Care

Is An Aussie Right For Me?

(22310, VA)

I am 12 years old and considering getting an Aussie next summer. My parents are open to the idea but have a few concerns. I agree with their concerns and have a few of my own. I would like to get the opinion of people with first-hand knowledge.

1. How would my current dog react? (she would be 3 1/2 on the proposed date for an Aussie)

2. What about college? Would my parents be stuck with my dog during college, or would I have to find an Aussie-friendly place?

3. Would I have the time for an Aussie? I currently have about 1-1 1/2 hours of homework, and 7 hours in school, plus about 1/2 an hour of chores.

4. I would get the puppy during the summer, so I could be with it all day for 2 months, but then who would watch the puppy?

5. I've looked at breeders near me, but most of them are 5+ hours away. Do you know any good breeders near northern Virginia?

Comments for Is An Aussie Right For Me?

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by: Jan

You post some good questions. Take these into consideration. You will be in High School in 2 to 3 years opening up more socialization opportunities are you willing to give these up in order to spend time with your dog? Aussies are a lot of work. I got my Aussie because my cousin put school fun before the dog. As far as college that's something you will have to work out with your parents. Off campus housing may allow you to have a dog, who knows. Just realize Aussies live between 12-15 years. At 12 are you ready for that kind of commitment? Good luck

Better to wait
by: Anonymous

I would say wait till you are done with school and college. College could take up a lot of your time, you could be in school up to 6 days a week with a lot of work. Its better to wait till all the is done and over with. Aussies have a lot of energy and need to be out doing high energy things for sometimes 2-3 hours a day. Along with mind games, as they are smart. If not they can get super crazy. Aussies are a working breed and need a job. They cant just be left alone in a house all day to do nothing. You are young, you have a long time ahead of you, so just wait till you are done. Get all your ducks in a row then get a dog. Even a puppy is a lot of work. As you have the house brake them, teach manners, walking manners... etc. This takes a lot of hours. If your parents work, they may not have the time to deal with a new puppy.

by: Shannon

Those are all great questions and it is good that you are thinking about them now.

I will say that although I grew up with family dogs, I got MY first dog at the end of my sophomore year in college. I moved off campus into a shared house to allow for a dog, since most campus housing does not allow dogs. You definitely need to think about the social element and how many activities you plan to be involved with in both high school and college. I was on the swim team and a member of a local sorority, and managing all of that with a dog to consider meant often deciding which activities *needed* to be done versus which I just wanted to do. 4am workouts? Necessary to be on the team. Swim team bonding camping trip? Not a necessity. Fortunately I am not an overly social person to start with, and enjoyed staying home with my boy more than taking part in unnecessary activities. You will need to do some soul searching to see where you fall on that scale though.

As far as your other dog and if you will have enough quality time with your dog, I would advise you to get your affairs in order to guarantee at least one weekly training class (with a trainer, outside of the home) for the first year of your new dog's life. This will help you two bond, and will also teach valuable socialization for the home environment.

Is An Aussie Right For Me
by: Anonymous

I congratulate you on your insightful questions. We are older retired owners of Aussies three times. We got our present red merle girl after having two black tri girls. This Aussie has an entirely different temperament and needed more exercise, training, and activities than our previous dogs that were more mellow and not as high strung although still requiring lots of activity. Fortunately, we had time and resources to train Jodi adequately before I had a serious auto accident and could no longer walk or dog park her. We have enough property and people around to play with her and exercise her. That is what you have to weigh when you are in school or your parents cannot fill in for your training and exercising your puppy.

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