Is The Australian Shepherd The Right Dog For Me?

I have been looking into getting an Australian Shepherd but have some concerns about whether or not this would be a good dog for me. My biggest concerns are me being gone for work during the day (8hrs), living in an apartment and if the amount of exercise I can give the dog will be enough. I made a list of what I can provide for the dog and would love input from current owners!

Living conditions:
- medium sized apartment
- no yard but dog park less than 1 block away
- I am gone 8 hrs a day during weekdays for work but will be able to spend most of my time with the dog on weekends and weeknights

- go for 3-5 mile runs with me before I leave for work
- Bikejoring/skijoring (dog helps pull you when you are biking or cross country skiing) depending on the season after work and on weekends
- hiking and camping on various weekends

- advanced obedience
- the skijor and bikejor training
- many tricks

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Comments for Is The Australian Shepherd The Right Dog For Me?

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I don't think so
by: MrJohn

An aussie would love all your exercise routine but I don't think being in the apartment for 8 hours a day would be. Crating or restraining an aussie for that long would not be fair to it. They need lots of stimulation. Just my opinion and maybe others will chime in.

go for it
by: candice

Try fostering one if you can for like a week and see how it works out. It sounds like with your life style & the commitment you would have to work with the dog would be a great would be good to know if a male or female will be a better fit for you just talk to your breeder or shelter & see what their advice is and see if they offer fostering. The fact that you ride & you can teach thise sort of tricks us great because that gives an Aussie a job to do that it will love. You don't have a yard but as long as your active with it everyday it will enjoy being with you at your house as long as its had plenty of daily stimulation. The dog park sounds good, obstacle courses are good & frizbee is always great! If you can't foster one then just give it a try, as long as you put in the work & time with it when you are home I'm sure you will enjoy your Aussie as much as it does you. Best of luck!

Aussies are social beings
by: Colleen

It sounds like you're going to give him the exercise he needs but I do worry about you being away from him for 8 + hours a day. Aussie's are social and become very attached to their family members. Being alone all day for that long could make him/her depressed. They are not the kind of dog to leave in the house for hours on end or leave out in the yard. They like/need to be with their owner/companion. Could you possibly have someone come and visit/walk him during the day? That could be a good compromise.

Acquiring an Aussie
by: LindaM

I'm afraid I agree with MrJohn. I had previous dogs while I too worked 8 hours a day and was away, I said I would never get another one until I was retired. I got an Aussie, they are a lot of work and I had the 24 hours a day to spend with her, they are smart, high energy animals and as pups need lots of stimulation and training. Any dog would be frustrated being pent up for 8 hours without its best friend, and you might begin to feel guilty about leaving it, think it over well.

it would be worth it I still say go for it
by: candice

I know the 8 hour days seem like a lot & yes Aussies need a lot of stimulation but you said you go riding or running every morning & I think that's great for an Aussie. It gives a since of routine & he or she will be so happy to get up with u every day & exercise with u before work, it will give it a since of purpose & leave it with plenty of stimulation to last while ur gone to work. I say this because when we 1st got my Aussie, Coley, i wasnt living here, my brother was the dogs care taker & he had high school for 8 hours a day until coley was about 3 years old. Of course as a puppy she chewed on things but she wore out of that quickly & she didnt have to be crate trained very long at all before she could just go free around the house during the day. I used to come check on her & the house & Coley would just b okaying with a toy & happy. She knew she was loved & she also knew that when my brother got home he was going to take her out & play for hours. As long as you do it right & as long as u leave it with things to stimulate its mind, things to chew on or hide toys before u leave in the morning so its excited when you leave & it has a task & as long as it gets more from you when u get home from work I think it could work out great. You can always find a good dog walker or sitter for an hour or 2 a day if it really bothers you but I think as long as you work with the dog & there's of course no neglect it will fit along with your life style just fine

During the day
by: Anonymous

I can afford 1-2 days of doggie daycare a week or a dog walker for each weekday but that would only be a quick walk/potty break. Maybe a combination of the two?

I have an Aussie in house for 8 hours a day !
by: Anonymous

Go for it ! I have an Aussie and a Sheltie home for 8 hours a day . Me and hubby work they are fine once they are trained . Remember , for each month of a puppy is how long they can hold their bladder . You seem to be very active which is good for the breed . I would suggest a dog service for you in your area to break your puppy/dogs day . They even have daycares now for dogs . I hope this was a good tip for you ! I hope you enjoy that Aussie soon .

Know the line
by: Anonymous

When you decide to get your aussie make sure you dont get one from a working line. Show line dogs are much much more mellow than working lines and would be better suited for your situation. We have a show line aussie and he does awesome in his crate while hubs and i work (but we have a puppy sitter come for thirty minutes each workday)

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