THE AUSTRALIAN SHEPHERD
TRAINING AN AUSSIE
Aussies are a very smart breed. They love using their brains it can be for what we intend, but also for their own benefit.
Whilst Aussie love to use their brain, they arent the dog for everyone. Aussies like to think they have come up with everything themselves, you cant always tell them how to do things. They also dont like repetition, if they have done something once, why should they do it again. That said once you have the best way for your dog to learn, and dont mind an Aussie thinking they know better some of the time (or most of it!) then they may be the dog for you. Aussies can be successful in what ever activity you choose, whether its teaching tricks at home, the various competitive activities, to even search and rescue, and service dogs. Some Aussies have also been successful as Pets as Therapy and Reading Dogs.
Many people start obedience when their puppies are young for basic manners including sits, downs and wait. A lot of Aussies have sucessfully achieved awards in the Good Citizen Dog Scheme. Because of Aussies some people take this further, and get into competitive obedience, where Aussies can be successful right through all the classes. For more information on Obedience, Please go to The Kennel Club website or Obedience UK
Agility involves the dog negotiating an obstacle course, over jumps, though tunnels, and over contact equipment. Aussies very much enjoy agility, although you do need to have a sense of humor. They often think they know best when it comes to the course they should take, and can also be vocal.
Aussies may not quite match the fastest collies when it comes to speed, but the certainly hold their own and can be found competing throughout all the grades in Agility. For more information on Agility, Please go to the Kennel Club website or Agilitynet
This is one of the oldest of the activities available for you to take part in with your dog. It was based on Police dog trials, and involves not only testing the dogs obedience, but their ability to navigate obstacle, and to follow a scent trial. Aussies have been successful throughout all the different levels of working trials. For More information please check out the Kennel Club Website.
Heelwork to Music
Heelwork to music, could be termed as dancing with dogs. It started off as heelwork being put to music, and has developed, to putting together routines involving various different tricks along to music. For More information take a look at the Kennel Club website
Rally developed from Obedience, and involves putting a sequence of different obedience commands together following a series of signs put out by the judge. For more information on Rally please look at the Kennel Club website.
Is a relatively new activity. This was based on Agility, but designed to be low impact. This involved dogs running through a series of hoops, round barrels and through tunnels in a course laid out by the judge.
This is another new and developing sport. For many years dogs have been used for drug detection among many other substances. This has been developing into an activity where people can train their own dogs to detect scents in many different environments.
This is a team event, where dogs race over a number of hurdles, in order to retrieve a ball. Many Aussies have enjoyed competing as parts of Flyball teams thoughout the UK. This is often a fast and furious event that the dogs very much enjoy. For more information on Flyball please look at the British Flyball Association or the UK Flyball League websites.
Canicross is running with your dog, where as Bikejoring is the dog running alongside its owner who is on a bike. Due to the Aussies energy levels many enjoy this. Many people take their dogs out running with them, and this has also developed into a competitive sport. However because this can be a strenuous activity it is important to allow your dog to fully grow before you start running with it.
This was the breeds original purpose, and many dogs are still very capable on stock. Opportunities to train dogs on livestock for most people in the UK is increadibly limited. However there are a very small number of dogs in daily use on livestock in the UK, working both cattle and sheep. If you are looking for a dog to work on stock, it is a very important to remember than an Aussie is not a Border Collie, and there are differences in the way the two breeds work livestock.
Search and Rescue
Aussies can often be found as search and rescue dogs throughout the world where they are used to help find missing people following accidents or disasters. To be certified search and rescue dog, takes lots of dedicated training, as well as regular assessments. If this is somthing you would like to do with your dog, please contact your local Search and Rescue Teams who will be able to guide you through the process.
In the UK aussies only appear as Assistance dogs when they are owner trainer. However across the world, Aussies can be found helping out in various roles as assistance dogs for disabled people.
PAT Dogs and Reading Dogs
These are dogs where their owners have trained them to help other people through social interaction. This can involve visiting people of all ages in hospitals and nursing homes. Reading dogs visits schools and libraries to help encourage children to read and engage with books, where they may not do to just an adult.