At first glance, or meeting, the Australian Shepherd might look like a dog for everyone and anyone. They are enthusiastic, friendly and uber- intelligent. But with that intelligence comes a strong will, high energy and a dog who becomes bored easily.
An Australian Shepherd really wants to work, and to be with their humans. These highly domestic, loyal companions NEED training and preferably a job, like search and rescue or service dog work, but also obedience competitions, agility competitions or herding work. If you want–or have–an Australian Shepherd and you don’t have a job for it, you will need to find other distractions for your pet, such as frequent hiking, long walks in the city, obedience classes or other classes like dog freestyle (dog dancing) or anything else that will keep your Aussie engaged and content. A bored Australian Shepherd will destroy your house and possibly do harm to itself. They will chew everything in sight–even as adults and they will have trouble sitting still.
Aussies are often confused with Border Collies, but they are two very distinct breeds. Aussies typically are born without tails (although not always) and they are significantly larger than a Border Collie and come in many different colors, like Blue Merle, Red and White, Tri-Color and variations on those color schemes. Both are super intelligent, but I believe the Aussie has a more willful mind of it’s own) nature that requires a stronger human handler than a Border Collie would.
Now that I’ve given the Aussie cautionary tales, I can say that I truly love this breed. They make fantastic pets for the right owners and you will fall so deeply in love with your Aussie you will not be able to imagine life without them. This is a breed that becomes a part of your soul. If given all the proper elements of exercise, training and mental stimulation, and of course LOVE, an Aussie makes a fantastically loyal and fun pet. They learn tricks in a snap–sometimes after only one training session! It’s like they can read your mind.
Because of how strongly an Aussie can bond to its owner, I would only recommend this breed to someone who would definitely never re-home or surrender their pet. Affable Aussies will do well on kennel stays or with pet sitters when need be–but they always prefer to be with their human partners and they actually make great traveling companions if you are able to bring them along.