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So we have been thinking of adding another dog to the mix and I was looking at maybe an Australian Shepard (Aussie) ....I guess I should tell you a bit about us.We live in a single family home about an acre yard totally fenced in (6ft in back 4ft around the front part)we currently have Boston Terriers 3 females and 4 children living in the home ages 3,5,9 and 11 years old all boys.I am a stay at home mom so working and time away from home is not a problem.My 11yr old has expressed and interest in having his own dog something all his (as in not a BT) a dog he can teach new tricks and maybe go into advanced obedience,rally or agility with.(We would be doing basic obedience anyway)

So my questions are

How active are Aussie's in general are they bouncing off the walls all day long ? How much exercise do yours require ?

How are they with other smaller breeds (and young puppies),How are they with other animals in general ?

How are they with children (remember my youngest are 3 and 5) ? Can they take alot of noise and running around ect ? Are they gentle with young ones ?

Are they escape artist's do they in general like to dig and get out and run ?

Do you see any differences male vs female ?

I see alot of breeders breeding mini and other types of Aussie what size range should a well bred Aussie range? and what health testing should I be looking for any breeder referrals would be great!!!
 

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So we have been thinking of adding another dog to the mix and I was looking at maybe an Australian Shepard (Aussie) ....I guess I should tell you a bit about us.We live in a single family home about an acre yard totally fenced in (6ft in back 4ft around the front part)we currently have Boston Terriers 3 females and 4 children living in the home ages 3,5,9 and 11 years old all boys.I am a stay at home mom so working and time away from home is not a problem.My 11yr old has expressed and interest in having his own dog something all his (as in not a BT) a dog he can teach new tricks and maybe go into advanced obedience,rally or agility with.(We would be doing basic obedience anyway)

So my questions are

How active are Aussie's in general are they bouncing off the walls all day long ? How much exercise do yours require ?


How are they with other smaller breeds (and young puppies),How are they with other animals in general ?

How are they with children (remember my youngest are 3 and 5) ? Can they take alot of noise and running around ect ? Are they gentle with young ones ?

Are they escape artist's do they in general like to dig and get out and run ?

Do you see any differences male vs female ?

I see alot of breeders breeding mini and other types of Aussie what size range should a well bred Aussie range? and what health testing should I be looking for any breeder referrals would be great!!!
They are great dogs, but with 4 kids, you'd probably be better of with a golden retriever. Kids say they want a dog, but it's Mom who winds up taking care of Rover.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
haha yep I know that very well which Is why mom is the one researching the breed's to see what would be a fit
 

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I'll put it this way; if I had 4 boys and 3 dogs already, I'd not want an Aussie. They need loads of attention, behavior training and might try to herd the kiddies around and are known to nip at kids' feet and the kids don't like it. They love their families but can be testy towards company and kids friends, should they come over to play with the kids. If my son had a friend over, for instance, we'd have to keep our old Aussie in another room, as she couldn't be trusted with people outside of the family. Aussies are good watchdoogs and guarddogs but they could annoy strangers and visitors, not all of them, but some. They are herding dogs so, although it's normal for a herding dog, the nipping can be hard to stop and the kids get annoyed with it.

I have a 4 month old Aussie and he is just like having a 3 year old on my hands. Always into everything and a bundle of energy. After about a year, he will settle into being a wonderful pet but it takes my energy all day to keep this "baby" in tow and train him into being a good adult dog.
 

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We have an aussie, she is 5 years old and our second aussie. We are fortunate that she is pretty laid back, not high energy and not high herding drive - unless she is swimming and then she'll herd everything. We have two kids, two other dogs, two cats and a rabbit. While I love her to death and would get another aussie in a heartbeat, they are not for everyone. The previous poster brought up a lot of good points to consider.
We can't give our aussie an inch, she'll take it all and more very quickly. She has to earn everything every day. While she gets a lot of out time and running/wrestling with the other two she requires several extra walks/bike rides per day to really wear her out.
She is not an escape artist, she likes to be where her people are. THe more excitement and running around there is, the more amped up she gets. She's kind of like a pre-teen that doesn't know when to quit. She's great with our animals, she doesn't allow any other cats on her property. She's fine meeting other dogs, but again if they get all hyped up and crazy, she's going right there with them. She wrestles daily with our poodle mix and border collie mix puppy and has never hurt them, she's usually the one crying because they get too rough with her. She's very reserved with people she has never met before. Once she has met someone a few times, she is fine but not the most welcoming host to strangers.

To sum her up, she is an amazing dog. I love her dearly, but she has been an amazing amount of work and it's ongoing. My son is almost 13 and he is just getting to the point where he can work with her and she respects him and listens to him consistently. Before this she would "forget" to sit, "forget" that she isn't allowed to jump on people, etc with him. He was her playmate, not her leader and she would quickly take advantage of that with him and with anyone else that comes into the house and lets her get away with it.

Good luck with your decision.
 

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Well with 4 boys and a acre , sounds like an Aussies dream . I think they vary widely as to their activity level . Mine is 6 months old and he loves to go go go in the backyard , but also likes to take it easy , he's asleep in the garage right now on his favorite easy chair :D.

Where as my friends Aussie who is 1 year old , there is NO END to her energy . When she's here I could play fetch all day and come inside and she will pace the floor while everyone else wants to nap . She's not happy unless she's busy.
If you decided to get one , ask about what the pups parents are like ,laid back , always on the move , thats not a guarantee though , the pup will be like that. All that being said they are great , loyal , friendly dogs and SO SMART ! To smart sometimes :p
 

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yeah , I have to agree with lil red because it does sound like an aussies dream. I have an aussie who is very energetic(most aussies very much are),although I have to say that because they are herding dogs they could very very well nip at your 3 year olds heels. In saying that,my aussie doesnt nip much at all so it sort of depends on the one aussie you are focusing on getting. I would do some research before going to a shelter or breeder.
 

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How active are Aussie's in general are they bouncing off the walls all day long ? How much exercise do yours require ?
Well, mine doesn't bounce of the walls all days, but she gets plenty of exercise. Daily 2-3 mile walks, along with at least 5 hours of outside play time, and she's tired. She could do more when she was a few years younger. Bu I do know there are people who tell them their Aussie is an absolute nut and can't sit still for anything.

How are they with other smaller breeds (and young puppies),How are they with other animals in general ?
We also have two papillons. She's been great with them. If they get to close to her feet when she's running she tells them to back off... she's pretty conscious of them when they're playing. But the papillons also know how to play with her, they know she can hurt them if they step wrong. With other animals in general? Well, I just found out the one animal my Aussie cannot stand, no matter what, is snakes. Everything else I've taught her to be tolerant of.

How are they with children (remember my youngest are 3 and 5) ? Can they take alot of noise and running around ect ? Are they gentle with young ones ?

I got my first Aussie when I was four. She was the best dog ever. She was very gentle with me. But Aussies do have a lot of energy and can accidentally knock down small children. You might be concerned that your Aussie might want to try and herd the children.
Are they escape artist's do they in general like to dig and get out and run ?

Lady would try and dig to get next door to play with her best friend, the neighbor's German Shepherd. But other than that she never tried to get out. Shadow's never really a digger unless there's a mole in the yard.

Do you see any differences male vs female ?
I've only had females, but I can't really see much of a difference.


These dogs are highly intelligent. If they are bored, you won't be. You'll be running around after them cleaning up messes. My only thing I would be concerned about is having small children that have the potential to be "herded".
 

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We just started with a 7wk pup from a reputable breeder we know. We were able to watch the parents, and get our pick from the litter, so that helped as well. As everyone else said before, they are very smart, and full of energy. Unless you have them working on a task or give them a game to play, they will most likely take that energy into digging or running around the house with the toilet paper in their mouths as it flies off the roll...but once we tire out our pup, he flops down and crashes hard for a few hours.

If your kids are well behaved around dogs, and you teach them to not reinforce bad habits (like chasing after the pup), then I think you will have good success, especially with the land you have available. I think like the other poster above, your Aussie might end up being your responsibility after a short time, but if you dont mind, they are great dogs, but require a little more effort in the beginning while you are training them since they do have so much energy.
 

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I have had 2 Aussies in the last 20 years. Both were neutered males. My first passed away 5 years ago; the second one is 5 now. Very different personalities but "one person" dogs. They got (get) along with others but definitely "my" dog.

Both dogs came to farm with me where there were kids and got along just fine with them. The kids would take them out in the fields and run them, jump "jumps" with them and play ball. The one I have now is totally ball fixated. He would play ball until he dropped dead, if I would let him.

Both dogs were trained not to herd the horses although that took some time. Both dogs were (are) extremely smart. They watched TV, knew the names of their toys and would fetch them, the one I have now does some agility.

My first dog "loved" his stuffed toys. The one I have now pulls the stuffing out to get the squeaker and then carries the "dead" carcass around with him. Both dogs needed a job and regular activity although they could be a couch potato too. Just not all the time.

I have seen a difference between male and female. The females I know are more protective. Both dogs were (are) friendly towards strangers but a bit aloof. Get down on their level though and be prepared for big, sloppy doggie kisses.

I think Aussies make great family dogs provided they get the exercise and attention they need. And make sure you give them a job!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks for the advice everyone..I think I am going to have to research a bit more...I think maybe the 3yr old would get herded around a bit ... :) we might just have to wait until the young ones are a bit older.
 
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