Australian Shepherds are tireless, high-energy dogs and are one of the world’s best herding breeds. They are highly intelligent and very responsive to training. Amy is using these breed strengths to open a different door to communication by teaching her sign language. And Addie is working hard to pick it up…Go Addie!
Like French Fries, you might expect the Australian Shepherd to reign from Australia. But, like French Fries, they’re not. The progenitor of the Aussie is the Pyrenean Shepherd. The Pyrenean Shepherd hails from the Pyrenees Mountain region between France and Spain, home to the indigenous Basque people. Escaping centuries of regional conflicts, some Basque found their way to Australia where they crossed their Pyrenean Shepherds with a variety of imported British breeds to enhance their herding capabilities.
On the move again, some Basque found their way to the United States west coast later in the 19th century. California ranchers instantly fell in love with this new breeds’ amazing herding traits and high intelligence…and an assumption they were from Australia. A better name for this breed might have been, the American Shepherd.
Trainability Grade: B
Early socialization and obedience training are tremendously beneficial for the Australian Shepherd. Aussies frequently end up in rescue situations when the dog can’t constructively channel it’s boundless energy. Aussies develop a strong bond to their families and can be territorial and overprotective of their owners and property. They can become destructive if left without companionship for long periods of time. Fortunately, that loyalty combined with keen intelligence makes them very easy to train.
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