I first met an Aussie back in 2010, my sister-in-law Kathy (of Mysql Australian Shepherds) introduced me to "CC" & a couple of her other Aussies. I was fascinated by these wiggle-butted, fluffy, happy dogs with such a zest for life. They weren't in my "Dog Breeds Book" that I got in Year 3!!!
Over the next couple of years I enjoyed learning about Aussies, observing (and helping) a few litters be brought into the world & just spending time with the Aussies at Kathy's place. In late 2013 I was lucky enough to take one home (Robo) & from then on I was hooked.
After the death of Robo, I actually looked at other breeds that may suit including Australian Cattle Dogs & English Springer Spaniels (I'm hoping one day to get an ACD it just has to be the right time). In the end I decided I wanted to stick with Aussies as I had fallen in love with the breed. I also kind of knew what I was getting.
Australian Shepherds have been bred to be biddable & loyal to their owners over generations of assisting their owners with herding, guarding the property & being a loving companion, they are smart & easy to train. That said they can be easy to teach bad habits. If they're not taught what's expected of them they'll make something up - they're creative like that.
I love their enthusiasm to learn, they're usually food driven, toy driven or both so teaching tricks or general obedience is made a lot easier (plus, if I want my dogs to do something they don't really like, food sweetens the deal). While Aussies can have a lot of energy they usually have a good "off-switch" and they're perfectly happy lounging in front of the TV as long as their exercise needs for the day are met. They love spending time with their people so being able to get out & about makes them happy! It's how they got the name, "Velcro dog".
I personally find Aussies very easy to live with. They come with varying levels of energy & usually a couple of quirks (i.e. sock stealing, grinning). Personally I think that's what makes them fun. They thrive on any kind of time being spent with them: training, hiking, fetch, swimming - anything and they'll do it.
I have been mad about dogs for my whole life, but it was only after meeting Kathy & her dogs that I became interested in the pedigree dog world. I had always appreciated a nice pedigree dog but now I have developed a passion for the fancy & want to see it thrive in the future.
Diana is an Exhibitor & Registered Breeder of Australian Shepherds in the Eastern Wheatbelt of Western Australia. She is married to a farmer and owned by 3 loving Aussies.