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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.
In A Dog Jam? Get Out Of It With These Tips
A dog is a person's very best friend, as the saying goes. Millions of dog owners know that to be true. The challenge that you must be as good a friend to your dog as he is to you. If you use the tips below, you are going to be able to know you are a great friend to your dog.
Brushing your dog's teeth is important, but it is not easy. If your dog is resisting, once a day simply lift their lips and use your finger to rub their teeth lightly. Do it quickly at first, and then begin to draw out the time you spend performing this action. This will help them get use to the process. After that, you can begin using an actual brush and toothpaste.
Never allow your dog to ride in a car unsecured. Sitting on your lap or in the front seat is dangerous both to him and your ability to drive. Always place him in an appropriately sized pet carrier or invest in a pet seat belt that will keep him snug and safe in the middle of the back seat.
If you are thinking of getting a new dog for your family, be sure you are prepared for this commitment. Smaller dogs will require at least a 14-16 year commitment, and larger dogs will require at least 10 years. If you are not prepared to own the dog for its entire life, then do not choose a dog as a pet.
Your dog has teeth just like you, so it makes sense that he needs proper dental care. Invest in a dog toothbrush and brush his teeth often. Simply allowing the vet to do it at his regular checkups is not enough. You can also purchase treats that are specifically meant to help with your pet's teeth.
Although the sound may be cute, your dog's nails shouldn't click along the floor when it walks. That's a sign that the nails are too long. The nails should actually just barely touch the ground. Seek the advice of a professional on what tools are the best for giving your dog a pedicure.
If your dog seems sad and lonely, consider investing in a friend for him. Dogs are pack animals by their very nature and usually prefer the company of their own kind. Matching a dog up with another of a similar disposition will make your dog very happy.
Know your dog's behavior and body rhythms well, to keep him at his healthiest. Medical issues often present themselves in slight nuances early on and if you know your dog, you'll see them. Pay attention to input and output, sleep duration, energy levels and so forth to keep on top of important issues that affect his health.
It is very important for you to keep your dog's ears clean. Keeping the inside of the ears clean will help prevent infections of the ear. This is also a good time for you to inspect the ear for fleas, ticks and any other pests that could have made your dog's ear home.
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.
Feed your dog dry, premium-quality dog food. This kind of dog food helps to make sure your dog gets all of their vital nutrients. Making sure that they get proper nutrition helps them live a longer life and reduces their chances of obesity, malnutrition, skeletal problems, muscular problems, and many more conditions.
Give your dog a great place to sleep. Every dog needs a bed to call his own that is temperature controlled and comfortable. If not, the dog may alternate sleeping locations between undesirable locations, such as your sofa when you're not watching. A bed also gives him a great sense of security and belonging.
If you are planning on getting a new puppy, plan on investing in some training classes. These classes offer a great opportunity for your puppy to socialize with other dogs and learn basic commands. These classes will provide your new puppy with a great foundation for future training and will help them get a great start in life.
When you are walking your dog in the wintertime, there may be rock salt or chemical ice melters that come in contact with his feet. Once you get back in the house, wash his paws and dry them gently. This will prevent these items from causing any type of infections.
Never allow a puppy to climb up or down steps in order to prevent joint problems in the future. This is extremely important, especially with breeds that are at high risk for hip dysplasia. Any sort of high impact shock such as jumping or stair climbing should be avoided due to the fact that their growth plates are still developing.
If your dog is ruining your home while you are gone, it is probably suffering from anxiety. This issue is very common in young puppies, especially if they are still getting used to being home alone. You should find some toys your dog can play with and let your dog have a shirt or a blanket that smells like you.
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.
All of the expert advice contained above should have you ready to really take good care of your dog. That said, focus on love and everything else will fall into place. As long as you continue to adore your four-legged friend, and mistakes you make will be forgotten quickly and won't be so harmful.
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