If youve ever seen an Australian Shepherd, youve probably taken note of their unique fur markings, beautiful eyes, and stubbed tail. But, looks arent everything when choosing a dog breed that is suitable for your lifestyle; you might have wondered whether are Australian Shepherds as smart as they are attractive.
Keep reading to learn more about Australian Shepherds, or Aussies, including their level of intelligence, their instincts, and some training suggestions. Australian Shepherds are highly intelligent dogs with natural herding and guarding instincts.
They will require proper training and a lot of attention and exercise that potential owners should be prepared to provide. If you choose to own an Australian Shepherd, it is important to make sure that you have the time and space to give them the proper exercise they need each day. This means that owners of Australian Shepherds should have a fenced-in yard that will be difficult to escape, as this will keep them away from any danger.
In addition to their herding instinct, Australian Shepherds origins and level of intelligence also makes them natural guardians. An Aussies guarding instinct has allowed this breed to be involved in programs such as Search and Rescue and Drug Detection. Surprisingly enough, Australian Shepherds did not rank in the top ten breeds on Corens list.
Instead, they ranked 69th, which means they fall into the category of breeds who obey commands 50% of the time and can learn a new trick after 25 to 40 repetitions. However, Coren also noted that a dogs potential based on this list could vary and is heavily determined by the qualityof their training . Australian Shepherds can be mischievous and disobedient when not given proper attention and care, which probably contributed to a lower ranking on this list.
In other words, an Australian Shepherd could perform as highly as the top ten breeds on this list if given the proper training and attention. Because of Australian Shepherds work ethic and guardian tendencies, they have a high level of intelligence, making them easy to train. However,Aussies are clever and motivated, so training will be a bit trickier beyond basic commands.
The South Texas Aussie Rescue describes Australian Shepherds mindset and temperament in this way: Other dogs see fences as insurmountable obstacles. Guess Ill be staying in the yard. The Aussie looks at a fence and thinks, Hmm, I can get over that, and then proceeds to try 90 different ways to do so. So, it is very important to establish limits early on in training your Australian Shepherd before they get themselves into trouble.
This is why both physical activity and mental stimulation are important parts of an Australian Shepherds training and daily care. Training a dog takes a lot of patience and effort, but it is important to stick with it until your Aussie has learned all of the skills it will need to be a happy and obedient companion for you and/or your family. Socialization Australian Shepherds guardian instinct can keep them from being friendly towards new people or strangers.
It is important that you incorporate socialization into their training and routine, or they may even develop aggressive tendencies when they are introduced to people or other animals that they are not familiar with. Additionally, you should include children in the training process so that your Australian Shepherd can learn how to properly interact with them and vice versa. In addition to proper training, regularly incorporating physical and mental activities into your Aussies routine will keep them well-behaved and obedient by preventing boredom.
If theres a day that you are extra busy and dont have a lot of time playing with your Aussie, take them along with you on your errands! Play Hide-and-Seek Once your Australian Shepherd has learned the command sit (which should be easy to teach since they are so smart), you can play hide and seek with them by asking them to sit, leaving the room, and finding a good hiding spot. Just fill the toy with peanut butter or another kind of treat, and allow your dog to spend time digging it out of the bone.
In addition to the mental exercises mentioned above, you should make sure that your Aussie gets plenty of physical activity as well. Australian Shepherds that are in good physical condition can also go on long runs with their owners, as they are naturally active and agile animals. Retrieval Games Spend some time teaching your Aussie to play fetch with a ball or frisbee .
While some may view this breed as high maintenance, proper training and exercise can make an Australian Shepherd a loyal and obedient companion. However, if youre looking for an energetic, fun-loving, and loyal pet with lots of personality, then an Aussie might just be a great match!
Are Australian shepherds the smartest dog?
Australian Shepherds are highly intelligent dogs. In fact, the Aussie is the 42nd smartest dog breed for obedience & working intelligence. And although they’re classified as ” above average” intelligence, they excel with high instinctive IQ in herding and their incredible ability to learn for themselves.
Is an Australian Shepherd smarter than a German shepherd?
Both breeds are very intelligent and pick up on new commands very quickly. Both dog breeds are very smart, making them easy to train. … German Shepherds usually do best in a large dog crate that’s 42 inches in length, whereas Aussies can fit into a smaller crate, usually one that’s 36 inches in length.
What is the stupidest dog breed?
Afghan Hound. The Afghan Hound is the “dumbest” dog. ….Basenji. Basenjis also make the list of dumbest dog breeds. ….Bulldog. Bulldogs are known for their stubbornness. ….Chow Chow. Chow Chows can also be difficult to train. ….Borzoi. ….Bloodhound. ….Pekingese. ….Beagle.
Do Australian Shepherds pick one person?
The Australian Shepherd is not one of them. They, like some other animals, have their one chosen person, which is probably you if your dog sits on you all the time. When the Australian Shepherd chooses their person, they begin to exhibit loyalty towards you, even to an extreme degree.
The Australian Shepherd is a medium-sized, smart, athletic, and working dog. They were also used as herding dogs. Australian shepherds are known for their talent for all kinds of activities. They are very energetic and great companions for active owners. In this article we will discuss the origin of the Australian Shepherd, its health, care 
Are Australian Shepherds Smart?
Australian shepherds are a breed of herding dog that, surprisingly enough, did not originate in Australia. While the exact origins of the Australian Shepherd are thought to be from Spain, they were originally bred on the West Coast of the United States as working dogs that herded sheep and other livestock on ranches and farms. Often, the livestock being herded came from Australia, which may explain the origin of their name.
Because they are herding dogs, Australian shepherds are very active and have a strong will to work. This makes them easy to train but also means that they are high-energy animals. If you choose to own an Australian Shepherd, it is important to make sure that you have the time and space to give them the proper exercise they need each day.Australian Shepherd’s herding instinct can be uncontrollable at times, and they may even have the urge to herd cars and traffic, which is obviously very dangerous. This means that owners of Australian Shepherds should have a fenced-in yard that will be difficult to escape, as this will keep them away from any danger. When not in a fenced-in area or indoors, Aussies should be kept on a leash at all times unless they have been very well-trained, and you are confident in their ability to come to you when called.
In addition to their herding instinct, Australian Shepherds’ origins and level of intelligence also makes them natural guardians. They will be loyal to their owners and are great family dogs. An Aussie’s guarding instinct has allowed this breed to be involved in programs such as Search and Rescue and Drug Detection.
Are Aussies Easy to Train?
In the 1990s, psychologist Stanley Coren wrote a book called “The Intelligence of Dogs,” in which he surveyed 199 dog-obedience judges to determine a ranking of the most intelligent dog breeds. Here were his top 10 picks:Surprisingly enough, Australian Shepherds did not rank in the top ten breeds on Coren’s list. Instead, they ranked 69th, which meansHowever, Coren also noted that a dog’s potential based on this list could vary and is heavily determined by theIn other words,
How to Train an Aussie
Below are some specifics on different areas in which your Aussie may need training and what you can do to provide proper training in those areas.Training a dog takes a lot of patience and effort, but it is important to stick with it until your Aussie has learned all of the skills it will need to be a happy and obedient companion for you and/or your family.
Of course, training for any dog can start with simple commands, such as sit, stay, lay down, come, etc. These can be taught through repetition with rewards such as a treat. Thanks to their intelligence, Aussies should catch onto these commands pretty quickly. These commands will lay the foundation for more advanced training, too.
Australian Shepherd’s guardian instinct can keep them from being friendly towards new people or strangers. It is important that you incorporate socialization into their training and routine, or they may even develop aggressive tendencies when they are introduced to people or other animals that they are not familiar with.To add socialization to their routine, take Aussies to playdates or dog parks regularly, or enroll them in an obedience class with other dogs. Even taking them on walks where other people and dogs may be present is a good idea.
Training for a Home with Kids
While Aussies are generally great family dogs, especially if they are raised in a home with kids from an early age, their herding instincts could cause problems. Aussies will try to herd or even nip at the heels of children who are running and playing.You can correct this by diverting their attention elsewhere when they want to herd. This will teach them that playing elsewhere is more fun and rewarding than herding the children.Additionally, you should include children in the training process so that your Australian Shepherd can learn how to properly interact with them and vice versa.
Final Training Tips
Aussies are known to be escape artists when it comes to enclosed spaces, like fenced-in yards. There are several methods to deter or discourage this habit. First, you should try to make it more difficult for them to escape. Here are some ways to do this:Many mechanisms can be used to discourage different escape methods your dog may use, and this article from the American Kennel Club describes them well.Additionally, make the yard a more desirable place so that they’ll want to stay, rather than trying to escape. You should make sure that they always have access to water, shade, and toys. Also, don’t leave them out in the yard alone for too long. They want to spend time with their owner more than anything, so be sure you don’t make the yard a lonely place for them.
Best Mental Stimulation and Exercises for Aussies
Below, you’ll find a list of the best mental and physical exercises for your Aussie. These activities will keep your Aussie healthy and happy by giving them their much-needed physical exercise while also allowing them to use their active and intelligent brains.In addition to proper training, regularly incorporating physical and mental activities into your Aussie’s routine will keep them well-behaved and obedient by preventing boredom.
The following are some great activities that stimulate your Aussie’s brain, which is key to a happy Aussie!
Take Them on Car Rides
Australian Shepherds love riding in the car because it allows them to see new things and places. If there’s a day that you are extra busy and don’t have a lot of time playing with your Aussie, take them along with you on your errands! Just be sure that you don’t leave them in the car alone for too long, especially on a hot day.
Once your Australian Shepherd has learned the command “sit” (which should be easy to teach since they are so smart), you can play hide and seek with them by asking them to sit, leaving the room, and finding a good hiding spot. Call them to come once, and then allow them to find you!
Buy Them a Kong Toy
Kong rubber chew toys are possibly the ultimate way to keep any dog occupied for a long period. Just fill the toy with peanut butter or another kind of treat, and allow your dog to spend time digging it out of the bone. The farther down you can get the treat into the Kong, the longer your Aussie will be occupied!
Teach Them to Put Their Toys Away
If you keep all your Aussie’s toys in a container or basket, you can teach them to put them back in the basket with a little repetition and reward. This is mentally stimulating for them, plus it helps you tidy up your home!You can also teach them to help you clean up other objects, too, like laundry on the floor. This will be both fun for them and helpful for you!
Freezing one of your Aussie’s treats or toys inside of a block of ice will keep them occupied, and their brain stimulated for a little while. Plus, it’s a nice cooling treat for them on hot summer days. Here’s how to do it:
Go for Walks or Runs
Of course, simply walking your dog is the simplest way to make sure they get exercise. Going on regular, long walks with your Australian Shepherd has several benefits. First, it allows both you and your Aussie to enjoy physical activity. Also, your dog will be happy to spend some quality time with you.Australian Shepherds that are in good physical condition can also go on long runs with their owners, as they are naturally active and agile animals.
Play with Other Dogs
Scheduling a playdate for your Aussie with other dogs, or even taking them to a dog park where they can interact with other dogs, is a great way to add physical activity into your Aussie’s routine. Meeting new dogs is also excellent mental stimulation.
Enrolling your Aussie in an agility class, or setting up an agility course at home like this one on Amazon, is a unique way to work on obedience training with your Aussie while also working physical activity into their routine and allow them to use their brain! This option is a win-win all-around!
Spend some time teaching your Aussie to play fetch with a ball or frisbee. Our pack’s favorite fetch toy is the ChuckIt! frisbee. This is a classic obedience exercise that will also stimulate their brain and provide them with great physical exercise. After a good game of fetch, your Aussie is sure to be worn out and happy!
With this activity, you can train your dog to herd large yoga balls, also called Treibball. This is a great way to give your dog mental and physical activity while meeting their urge to herd in a positive way. This video gives a great explanation of how to introduce and implement this activity with your Aussie.