Training Tips About Merle Australian Shepherd
Merle Australian Shepherd is loyal and protective of their humans and turf but can be wary and territorial around strangers if not properly socialized. As your pup is building up immunity during their initial vaccination series, you can start acclimating them to the outside world. At 16 weeks, your puppy will be vaccinated and ready to fully venture out. Whether you go to puppy classes, friends’ houses, or on walks down new streets, the more comfortable they are with new people, pets, and places early on, the better they’ll adjust to them in the future.
Aussies have a natural impulse to herd and may try to herd kids, other pets – even you! While you can’t change their urges, you can work on impulse control to help them direct their behaviors appropriately. For example, if your dog likes to jump up and grab the toy out of your hand or bolt out the door as soon as you open it, teach them to “sit” and “stay” until you queue them to take the toy or go outside, then reward them with treats and praise. Aussies are eager to please and excel with positive reinforcement.
While physical activity is key to keeping energetic Aussies happy and well-behaved, so is mental stimulation. As smart working dogs, they’re happiest when they have a problem to solve or a job to do. Keep them thinking with basic training, puzzle toys, and brain games. Finally, find a sport to do together that channels their herding instincts and challenges their mind, like flyball, tribal, disc dog, or agility training!
Temperament of Merle Australian Shepherd
The Australian Shepherd has a great deal of stamina and is loving, bold, alert, confident, independent, smart, and responsive. If they don’t get a chance to exercise and challenge their strongly developed mental and physical activities, they are apt to become frustrated and difficult to live with. With proper exercise and training, this dog is a loyal, utterly devoted, and obedient companion. The Aussie is reserved with strangers and has a protective nature. This breed may try to herd children and small animals by nipping.
Health Issues about Aussie puppies
- Major concerns: cataract, CEA
- Minor concerns: CHD, nasal solar dermatitis, Pelger-Huet syndrome, iris coloboma, CEA, hypothyroidism
- Occasionally seen: lumbar sacral syndrome, epilepsy, PRA, distichiasis, elbow dysplasia
- Suggested tests: hip, eye, (thyroid), (DNA for CEA), elbow
- Life span: 12–15 years
- Note: This breed is often sensitive to ivermectin. Homozygous merle, which is detrimental to health, commonly results in deafness and blindness. The natural bobtail can result in some serious spinal defects.
The rarest color of Australian shepherds is white.
consequently, this is because almost the only way to have a white puppy is by breeding two merle parents. The resulting white puppy would be a double merle, carrying twice the mutation. It is very, very rare that a white Australian shepherd would be born with absolutely no merle genes.
Australian shepherds are surprisingly one of the healthier merles.
equally important, many other breeds risk severe health problems with their ears and eyes. Even single merles. Australian shepherds seem to only risk these more severe problems when they’re double. While merle Australian shepherds are still prone to hip dysplasia, cataracts, and epilepsy, they’re relatively healthy. Other big ones to look out for with Australian shepherds are hypothyroidism, Collie nose, and cancer.
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