6 Tips For Successfully Training Your Australian Shepherd

6 Tips For Successfully Training Your Australian Shepherd

Author WDF Staff


The Australian Shepherd is a well-known dog breed, famous for its irresistible impulse to herd. Very intelligent, fast, energetic, agile, tireless, with a strong work drive. However, the Australian Shepherd is not suitable for just anyone. Because of their nature, strong work drive, and impulse, they need to be properly trained.

Are Australian Shepherds easy to train?

The Australian Shepherd is a herding breed and needs much mental stimulation to be happy and satisfied. Training an Australian Shepherd training takes much time and can be exhausting. 

This breed is extremely intelligent, so they don't need to put in much effort to train their Aussie. On the contrary, it takes more time, effort, and patience to train an Australian Shepherd precisely because of their intelligence.

When to start with training?

Australian Shepherd training will be easier and quicker if you start training your dog when he is just a puppy, from the moment you take him home. Most importantly, your puppy learns from a young age that you are the leader and the one whose commands he needs to follow.

Moreover, if your puppy knows his place in the family from the very beginning, he will be happier and healthier. Australian Shepherds love consistency, and when there is order and rules, they have to follow them.

The key to successful Australian Shepherd training is a proper physical and mental activity.

Australian Shepherd jumping

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How to train an Australian shepherd?

Although no magic formula will guarantee success when training an Australian Shepherd, there are some guidelines you can follow to facilitate the process and help you have a well-behaved, happy, and satisfied dog.

1. Start with the basics

As with any other dog breed, it is important to start with the basics. Teach your Australian Shepherd his name and basic commands, such as come, sit, lay down, stay, and heel. It is important to teach him that "no "means that his behavior is unacceptable.

Be consistent and patient, and keep in mind that Aussies do not love to be still and without exercise for a long period, so we recommend you limit your training sessions to 10-15 minutes at a time, 20 minutes tops. This way, your Australian Shepherd will maintain interest and focus, and the training will be more successful.

It is also very important that, after every training session, you take some time to play with your pup. This way, he will be more willing and excited to do the next training session with you. 

Australian Shepherd jumping 1

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2. Socialize your Aussie

Aussies are a loyal and protective breed and thus can be overly careful and territorial when around strangers and in new, unfamiliar situations.

For successful Australian Shepherd training, it is very important to socialize your Aussie at an early age. It is recommended to start socializing the dog when he is 7 weeks old. That is when the dog's prime socialization period starts, lasting until the dog is about 4 months old. This is the period in your Australian Shepherd life when it is the easiest to socialize with them. You can socialize them successfully later too, but it will be that much harder for you.

When very young, take your puppy to different places, and let him meet many different people and different animals, especially dogs. Take your puppy to your friend's house when you go, walk him on different routes and neighborhoods, take him for car rides, and try different dog parks. It is important to expose your Aussie to many new places, people, sounds, and new experiences in general.

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3. Exercise both body and mind

As said earlier, maybe the most important thing for Australian Shepherd training is to give your Aussie a proper amount of physical and mental activity.

The key to having a happy and healthy Australian Shepherd is a great deal of daily exercise. Your Aussie will not be satisfied with a few short walks on a leash. These dogs need to have at least two hours of exercise daily. This includes long walks, running, playing fetch, playing with frisbee, etc. Hiking is a great exercise for your Aussie.

Australian Shepherds have a lot of energy; if that energy isn't consumed through physical activity, it will likely be directed toward bad behaviors.

Apart from physical training, you need to stimulate your Aussie's mental activity. This breed is the happiest when there is a job for them to do. 

Australian Shepherd laying 1

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4. Get him into dog sports

Continue to the previous point; consider getting your Aussie into dog sports and competitions. There are several dog sports in which Aussies can excel. Agility training is a great way to go. Dock jumping, flyball, and tribal are also great choices.

Australian Shepherds are naturally very sportive and athletic, and these sports will stimulate your Aussie's mental activity while spending his physical energy in the best way possible.

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5. Be consistent

When training an Australian Shepherd, always keep your commands consistent. You must communicate clearly and use the same word for a specific command. Using different words for the same command will confuse your dog, he will not understand what he is told to do, and your training session will most likely end in frustration. The owner needs to follow some of these basic learning techniques because if you are not consistent and clear with your dog – how will he learn?

Also, while learning your Aussie new command, always throw in some of the commands you already taught him. Repetition, persistence, and consistency are keys to a well-trained Australian Shepherd.


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6. Use a lot of treats and praises

It is no surprise that positive reinforcement can do wonders while training your Australian Shepherd. Giving your dog treats and praises to reward his progress will make him learn more quickly and teach him to be more obedient.

Australian Shepherds thrive on positive reinforcement and are highly motivated by treats. Never punish your Aussie if he's doing something wrong or is not behaving the way you want. Focus your energy on teaching your Australian Shepherd dog by rewarding him for good behavior and a task well done. These dogs are extremely intelligent; they will understand quickly that good behavior and obedience pay off. 

World Dog Finder team

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