Pure Stock Aussies
348 Country Club Rd, Chadron, Nebraska 69337
(308) 207-0811  -  Fax:

About Aussies > Aussie Traits

The Australian Shepherd has been bred for years for their intelligence, intensity and instinct for working livestock. Because of their blue eyes and colorful coats they have become popular and some of the better established working lines are in jeopardy of loosing these herding traits that are the very essence of the breed. Dogs bred to look pretty for the show ring and for the pet market resemble less and less the original Australian Shepherd in both mental and physical characteristics. The good news is we strive to maintain these herding qualities in the dogs we produce.

The herding instinct varies in intensity and ability in each dog and in every bloodline. Aussies exhibit these instincts by nipping at legs and feet, circling people or moving objects or herding the kids in the yard and the house.  Add this trait to his intelligence and drive and most owners consider this aggressive, annoying and unacceptable behavior. Most Aussie owners learn how to focus this behavior and accept it as part of being a real Aussie!  The prospective new Aussie owner needs to take these traits into account before they decide if an Aussie is right for them or not.

Biting of people and children should never be allowed but you should be aware of this behavior that is unique to herding breeds.  Aussies normally become protective of their territory and family, particularly any children in the family. Some are more protective than others. They usually make excellent watchdogs. Potential Aussie owners must be aware of the guardian tendency and understand that normal precautions should be taken when introducing strangers to the Aussie's territory and family. Also, if there are children, be aware that the Aussie may exhibit its protective nature when "its" children play with other children, particularly if the play involves running and rough housing.

According to the ASCA breed standard Aussies are reserved with strangers.  To us reserved with strangers means that the Aussie does not normally greet every stranger begging to be petted.  Show lines are different than herding lines. Aussie show lines have more of a pet attitude toward people and would love to be petted by every stranger that walks by.  Herding lines have a one track mind when it comes to strangers, "Don't bother me, I'm looking for my sheep."  This goes right along with them being ordinarily solemn and would rather not be directly approached or touched until properly introduced to the stranger. One of the most important things to remember, even after introductions, is the time allowed for the Aussie to get to know the stranger, not the other way around.  They are very loving and loyal toward their families, but Aussies may not desire being touched by other people.

Rev. 15 January 18

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