Acquired: Other (stray, given dog by friend etc.)
Training: Attended conferences / shows
Posted September 13, 2014
When I grew up, my family owned an Australian Shepherd mix named Bandit. Overall, he was a wonderful dog. However, there are a few “must haves” for Aussies.
My Aussie was very intelligent. He understood children very well; he was tolerant and didn’t even growl at a toddler grabbing his tongue! In the five years we owned him, he growled at me only once, and that was because I was poking around in his food dish when I was old enough to know better.
On top of being a family dog, Bandit was easy to train. He knew both verbal and visual commands. He responded best to verbal commands, but I recall a few times he sat with the visual command alone. He listened to anyone he knew--including children--even if a food reward wasn’t involved. I think he was eager to please.
However, Australian Shepherds are working dogs. It should be noted by any potential Aussie owner that they need space to run, and they need a lot of stimulation. While my family had a large yard and a constant parade of people running in and out, it wasn’t big enough to keep him happy. For that reason, we had to give him up to a better home. Don’t make the mistake we did. Research your breed before you adopt or buy.