The Australian shepherd is a working dog, thus they like to keep busy. They are best suited to people with free time that can ensure they get plenty of exercise and entertainment. Without mental and physical stimulation they can become destructive, but this is only because they want to play. They may invent their own games to relieve boredom, which can be perceived by some as hyper-activity.
Australian shepherds must be introduced to a lot of people from a young age to fully socialize them. Otherwise they may become wary of strangers, although this can make them excellent watchdogs. Regardless of their attitude to strangers they are loving and devoted to their families, and are good with children. They are also friendly toward other family pets. Although they may bark at potential intruders, they are not known for excessive or unnecessary barking.
They are easy to train because of their intelligence, whether it is simple house training or something more complex. Although demanding, the Australian shepherd can make a wonderful companion for the right person. There are also many interesting facts surrounding the breed.
Australian Shepherd Fact #10: Not From Australia
It is a fair assumption that the Australian shepherd hails from Australia. However, this is not true and it is unknown how they came to be named. It is believed they originate from the Basque Mountains in the Pyrenees. It is thought that some Basque people left the region to find work, ending up in Australia and later America.
Despite the name, the Australian shepherd is considered an American breed. As people travelled to find work and new opportunities in the new world, they bought their four-legged companions with them. At the time people needed working dogs and combined the best of the varieties they had to choose from, resulting in a breed that is very happy and able to work. This melting pot of different breeds, mostly working varieties, came together to create the Australian shepherd we know today.