Is It A Good Idea To Get An Australian Shepherd?

by Natalie

I am hopelessly in love with Austrailian Shepards. I have never owned one and currently live in an apartment. We are looking to get a house at the end of year, so I am waiting til then to get one of my own. The problem is, I work the normal Monday-Friday 8-5 and I wonder if that is too much time alone for the dog. Even left outside with a yard, I live in Arizona and it can get very hot. So even with a shaded area I am not comfortable leaving them outside the whole time I am at work. Any suggestions?

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By The Way
by: Natalie

We do have another dog, an English Mastiff, so the Australian Shepherd would have canine company so not completely on her own. The mastiff is quite laid back and does well with short bursts of exercise. I just don?t want them to pick up bad habits from each other, like chewing or digging, by being on their own.
Has anyone found this happening with their pets?

Love my Aussie
by: Anonymous

Aussies are wonderful companions. They need to spend most of their time with their people. They are not good as "backyard dogs". If you will google the phrase "don't get an Australian Shepherd", you will find several articles that go into great detail about how to determine if an Aussie is a good choice for you.

Note from Anton: We actually have an article about this on this site too. Here's the link.

by: Gayle-- Big Run Aussies

Maybe you should consider getting an older pup. There are plenty in rescue. Whatever you decide, do you have a neighbor or friend who could let the dog out in the middle of the day and give him some quality time? Could you hire a pet sitter or take him to doggy daycare a couple days a week? Or better yet, could you come home in the middle of the day to let him out? He definitely can't be left out in the heat during the day and Aussies don't do well being left alone outside no matter what the case.

If you do decide to make an Aussie a part of your family, he will need lots of attention when you get home from work and on weekends. Lots of quality training, love and exercise. If no one got a dog because they work, practically no one would have a dog. The pup will make a change in your life, but one well worth it.

Tough Call
by: Anonymous

Tough call, but I would say wait. Maybe in a few years, you'll work less, or have a spouse you can rely on. Aussies are loving, loyal, dogs, and if they don't have people around to be loyal to, they'll put their energy, which they have LOADS of, into barking, digging, etc. Also, in the heat of Arizona? Not such a good idea to leave a dog out all day, even with water (heatstroke can happen, even in shade).
Maybe ask if you can bring your dog to work occasionally? Another option is to hire a dog-sitter or walker, or board your dog a few days a week at a doggy daycare, but in these cases, your Aussie might not have as close a bond to you as you'd like.
But, Aussies are THE best dog breed EVER, so I hope you do find a way to let one of these wonderful dogs brighten up your life. :)

bored aussie
by: Anonymous

I work the same hours and my Aussie did ok by herself except that she is an aussie with a full tail. She would get bored during the day and eat all of the long hair off her tail. I recently got another aussie puppy for her companion and she is doing much better. They do fine as long as you are sure to get them a lot of excercise when you are home and interact with them.

Thank You
by: Natalie

Thank you all for sharing your experiences and opinions. I believe my best bet is to get a doggy door for when I'm at work - that way they can play/go to the bathroom, but are not stuck in the heat (as I would never leave them outside all day). I am hoping with the companion she would be alright while we are at work. I don't think waiting until I work less is probable. I can always come home on my lunch break as well. Thanks again everyone!

Aussie in an apartment
by: Anonymous

Hi there. I am currently raising an aussie in an apartment. I got her at 8 weeks, and now she is 8 months. She does fine during the workday, she has partial run of the apartment. We will be buying a house next year, and my goal is to get her a yard asap:) But, she is on a schedule with walks, and playdates. We include her in almost everything we do! She even went to a Cleveland Browns tailgate last weekend (not kidding). I walk her minimally an hour per day (we live near a large State park). It is totally possible to have an aussie in an apartment. They will be content as long as they are sufficiently exercised, and you spend a lot of time with them. Even allowing the dog to come along for the car ride while you run errands counts as quality time:) They get destructive if not sufficiently exercised. However, I believe my aussie sleeps most of the time I am at work:)

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