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Working Australian Shepherd vs Show – Which is a Better Choice?
As a newcomer to the Aussie scene, you are sure to be repeatedly confronted with the two terms “working Australian Shepherd” and “show Australian Shepherd”.
What is behind these terms and how do these dogs differ from each other?
Can a newbie train a working Australian Shepherd, or should a family choose a dog from a show line?
Show Australian Shepherd
These dogs are primarily bred for the purpose of achieving the highest possible rating at (beauty) shows. There are such exhibitions in many places and by many associations.
Puppies that do not reach the quality of a future show champion are often offered as easy-to-use family dogs.
At the exhibitions, the dogs are judged in rings, separated according to males and females and different age groups, solely with regard to their beauty and the correctness of their physique.
Character, motivation, performance, health, robustness, and sporting opportunities play a subordinate or no role in the assessment. It’s all about having the most beautiful dog possible in the ring.
Often the show judges prefer dogs with a lot of colors and distinctive markings, a very strong, heavy build, a lot of fur, and with large sizes within the standard.
Since these exhibitions often take place with many people and dogs in a confined space, there are often few opportunities to run around. The dogs often spend a long time in so-called exhibition cages at the exhibition until it is their turn. Dogs with a “chilled” mind is much easier, and it turns out that show line breeders usually breed a type that can be characterized as follows:
They are often more difficult to motivate and sensitive in warm temperatures due to the pronounced coat and strong undercoat. Sometimes they have to get a lot of grooming so that the undercoat does not become matted and starts to smell.
Character defects such as fearfulness, insecurity, or aggressiveness can easily be covered up by an experienced exhibitor. Therefore the championship does not guarantee a first-class character.
Working Australian Shepherd
The original Australian Shepherd was and is still a pure working dog who tirelessly helps the ranchers with their work.
He was selected to have a lot of interest in cattle, to be easily trainable, to have a high level of stimulus and drive control, and the desire to work with and please his humans.
This package creates the fascination of the dog. It seems as if he only has eyes for his owner, obeys the slightest word, can do the most incredible tricks, and is successful in every area of dog sport.
But for breeding, the following applies: “If you don’t use it, you lose it”.
This means that characteristics and physical traits that are not constantly requested and checked by the breed as part of a meaningful selection are lost or changed to a form that no longer corresponds to the original characteristics.
Working line dogs were selected solely on the basis of their work performance and robust health, which means that these dogs have comparatively few problems with diseases of the musculoskeletal system such as hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, and Osteochondritis dissecans. Epilepsy is also comparatively rare in working Australian Shepherds.
However, since they are not bred with a particular beauty standard in mind, they are often much lighter and smaller in size, have lighter, narrower heads and often significantly less and very easy-to-care-for fur, and are therefore often not as colorful and impressive as their colleagues from the show ring. Upright ears instead of the button ears desired for the show ring also appear from time to time.
If You're Dealing With Dogs, You Have To Know A Few Things
Do you want a canine companion? Do you understand what you will be responsible once you take possession of your dog? There are many responsibilities which come with dog ownership, and they start the first time you bring your puppy home. This article will show you the ropes and get you ready for your new best friend.
If the cost of your dog's high-quality food is a burden for your family, team up with another one and buy in bulk. The big-name pet store chains offer top rated names in pet cuisine at a significant discount when bought in the larger quantities. You can minimize the cost for you and some friends while still providing your dogs with fresh and wholesome meals.
Don't give table scraps to your dog. Doing so teaches it to beg and ruins its appetite for its regular food. Feeding your dog table scraps can cause obesity and a number of digestive issues. You need to make sure your dog is not near the dinner table. This will make it easier for your pet (and you!) to avoid temptation.
If your dog spends a lot of time outdoors, he or she may eventually come in contact with a skunk. If he gets sprayed, mix together one teaspoon of dish-washing detergent, a fourth a cup of baking soda and a quart of hydrogen peroxide solution (but make sure it is no more than three percent). Apply the mixture to your dog's coat and allow it to sit for five minutes. Wash your dog off well afterward.
Never give your dog milk! It's not necessary for his body and he doesn't have the proper enzymes to digest it anyway. Feeding your dog cow's milk can lead to chronic diarrhea and leave him with an upset stomach, among other health problems. Stick with plain old water for a healthy and hydrated dog.
Be sure to schedule a check up for your new friend with a trusted veterinarian. This should be done as soon as he is adopted. The vet will provide a full health check and create a vaccination schedule. You also want to check with the vet about fixing your dog if you will not be breeding him.
Try to provide your dog with plenty of opportunities to socialize. Take him on walks to the park or beach where he will be around people and other dogs. Encourage his interactions with others and praise him for good manners. He'll be much more comfortable in any setting and generally happier too.
If your dog is a digger, make sure to protect him and your garden. Some plants are poisonous to dogs, not to mention the damage those paws can do to your prized flowers and produce. Put up an appropriately sized fence to keep him out or consider using an electric one.
Check to make sure your dog's collar is adjusted properly by fitting two of your fingers comfortably underneath it and pulling gently. There should be just enough room to do this and no more, otherwise he may be able to wiggle out of it. Always keep it on, except during crate transport, as the collar can get snagged and injure.
If your dog does something that you do not like, try to avoid just saying no. To your dog, no doesn't really explain what you want your pup to do. Instead of saying no if your dog is jumping, try to get your dog to sit or lay down. By doing this, you provide your dog with an instruction of what to do.
Designate a family member or close friend to be responsible for your dog, should something happen to you. If you are in an accident and unable to get home, your dog will need someone to feed him and address other needs. Perhaps you trust a neighbor with your house keys and they could act for you in a time of need.
Clean up after your dog when they go to the bathroom in public. Many dog owners let their dog do their business wherever they please whether its on a sidewalk, neighbor's lawn, etc. They can do their business in public, but you must take a bag with you to clean it up when they're done so that it doesn't cause an unsightly and smelly mess for someone else.
Yelling at your dog or displaying any other violent behaviors are not good options. Your dog will fear you and establishing a bond with your pet will be very hard. The best way to train your dog is to use positive reinforcement and simply say no in a firm voice when you catch your dog misbehaving.
Attention exercises must be practiced daily. These exercises will help you gain your dog's attention when they are barking or being disruptive or destructive. Once you can gain your dog's attention, you will have less to worry about when you have him out of the house or when there is company over.
If you have a hard time with keeping your dog from chewing your possessions or your furniture, use a taste deterrent. Most pet stores sell bitter apple sprays or other products you can use to keep your dog from chewing. Choose a product that does not contain any chemicals if possible.
Be careful with your dog in the summer. Pets tend to overheat, even before humans begin feeling the strain of the hot weather. Make sure they have somewhere shady to hang out during the summer months. Give him water, too. Consult with your vet about the necessity and advisability of sunscreen for your dog.
Make sure that you spend adequate time on each thing that you try to teach your dog. Even though your dog might catch on to something, for example the "sit" command, it may not be mastered. You'll want to make sure that the command is done every time that you ask no matter what situation you are in before you move onto a new command.
When you bring a new dog home, the first thing you should do is make sure they'll always be able to get back to you. Invest in a safe collar and a tag that contains both your name and phone number. Most lost dogs don't make it home, but with a good tag, you can be sure yours will.
It's time for you to do something about your dog's weight. Your dog will only continue to get fatter if you don't do anything about it. If you truly care about your friend and companion, you'll do what it takes to make sure it stays healthy. Use these tips and help it slim down.
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