Are Aussie Shepherds Easy to Train? Ultimate Owners Guide

An Aussie Shepherd is an agile, quick, and extremely intelligent dog. The breed is a herding breed and is also a loyal family companion.

If you’re thinking about adopting an Aussie, you need to know that it takes a lot of effort, time, and patience when training one.


What is Their Temperament Like Related to Training?

When you start to train your Aussie, you need to remember that this is a working dog with a strong herding instinct.

It means that your dog will try to herd people and small children. If you don’t give your dog a job, he will find one of his own, which could be to being destructive and annoying.

Your Aussie will excel at agility courses and love to learn tricks and obedience commands. This is a very loyal breed, and he will latch onto one person in particular, and that person will be his leader.

Your dog will be somewhat reserved around strangers until you show him that the person is ok. You will build a strong bond with your dog throughout his training sessions.

Your pup will respond to training that is positive and reward-based. You don’t need harsh punishments or corrections is you’re training an Australian Shepherd.


What Are Their Breed Instincts Like Related to Training?

When you are training your Aussie, you need to minimize his herding behavior. You need to anticipate any bad behavior from your pup before it happens.

For example, before your puppy goes into herding mode, he may bark or sniff at a person’s heels. If you see this behavior, you need to interrupt him and show your dog that this behavior is unacceptable.


What Are Their Energy Levels Like Related to Training?

Your Aussie will always be “on” from the moment he walks through your front door. You need to be aware that just physical activity won’t be enough to satisfy your dog.

In fact, if he gets too much physical activity, it can leave your pup overly vocal and hyperactive.

Because your dog is a herder, you need to find him activities that will satisfy that instinct. Your dog needs to be both mentally and physically stimulated.

You can train your pup to pick up his toys and place them in his space. But you need for your dog to wait until you give the command to herd.

You can hide his treats inside a dog toy for him to “find” it. It’s vitally important that your keep your dog occupied mentally and physically so he doesn’t become bored and get into trouble.


8 Tips for Training Aussie Shepherds

The main thing to have when training your Aussie is patience, focusing on good behavior, and avoiding the bad.

You need to reward and reinforce training with consistency and repetition. Below are some training tips to help you achieve this with your pup.


1. Socializing

your pup at an early age to interact with a broader amount of people and other pets. He needs to be able to function in a variety of situations too.

Take your pup to different places where he can interact with strangers. Showing him that new places can be fun and not scary is an integral part of his training.

The best time to begin to socialize your dog is between the ages of 7 weeks and 4 months. It’s the period of time when a dog goes through a prime socialization period.

It doesn’t mean your pup can’t be socialized if he’s younger, it’s just more challenging to get him used to people and places.


2. Training

with reward-based principles will be the most rewarding for you and your dog. Positive-reinforcement training promotes your dog to want to please you.

Instead of punishing or yelling at your dog, your dog is motivated to work hard. He’ll give you the behavior you want for the reward or praise.

When you use reward-based training, you give him a treat or praise when he does what is asked. Be sure to purchase a high-value treat at the local pet store to encourage the best behavior your dog can give.


3. Clicker Training

You can use a clicker for clicker training. This type of training uses a sound to teach your dog that a command has been completed.

You give a verbal command; when he does achieve a command, you click the clicker and then give your dog a treat. This teaches your dog that he did what was asked when he hears the clicker sound.


4. Start With Basic Commands

When you start training, it can be the most difficult part of it because you need to get across to him what you want him to do. So, when you start, you wait until your pup is ready to sit.

When he starts to sit, tell him to sit, praise him, and give him a treat. Soon your dog will learn to connect the word with the action. Always use treats and praise to reward your dog when he does what is asked.


5. Short Sessions

Training sessions should be short when started. The sessions need to only be about 15-20 minutes. It lets your dog get consistent training, but you and he aren’t set up for failure.

If he has a long training session, your pup may lose interest and focus, which can frustrate you and him.

When the training sessions are completed, take some time to play with your dog to end it on a good note. This way, he’ll be more likely to want to have more sessions in the future.


6. Consistent Commands

Keep all your commands consistent for clear, focused communication.

Use one word for each command and always use that command for the action you want from your pup. Say it the same way, with the volume and pronunciation consistent.


7. Don’t Get Frustrated

If you become frustrated, then the tone of the commands can change from a kind command to a gruff command.

If you use the same command with the same consistency, then your dog will learn what you’re trying to tell him.

Aussie’s are skilled and eager to learn commands. Your pup will thrive on being taught more and more commands.

You can teach him to heel, stay, come, down, and even wait before opening a door. Constant repetition will keep your dog consistent and better trained.


8. Consider Professional Training

If you are having trouble training your Aussie, consider professional training. By using a professional, they will provide your dog with an expertise that your Aussie may need.



Are Australian Shepherds easy to potty train?

Yes, Aussie can be potty trained easily. You just need to be consistent, and the easiest way is crate training. Make sure the crate is large enough for him to stand in, turn around, and lie down.

But it has to be small enough that there isn’t room for him to relieve himself in the crate. A young puppy needs to be taken out every three hours.

When your pup is let out of his crate, after he naps, and after your pup has eaten. Take him out the same time every day.


How do you punish an Australian shepherd?

You need to be consistent when you discipline your dog. Because your Aussie is so intelligent, he will push you to see what he can get away with.

You will need to keep your dog both mentally and physically active is the main point. When you train your pup early, he will be happy and healthy for life.


How to Bond with Them

When you train your Aussie, you will build and strengthen the bond with your dog. The more you work with him and reward your dog’s good behavior, the closer you will bond.


Why Do They Nip at You?

Your Aussie will nip at your heels because he comes from a herding breed. When an Aussie herds sheep or cows, they nip at the heels to move them along.


Do They Like the Water – How Can I Train Them to Swim?

Although most Aussies like to swim, there are some that don’t. You can train your dog to swim by doing the following steps:

  • Find a place where the water is clean, there’s a slope, and the water is calm.
  • Place a canine life jacket on him for extra buoyancy so he’ll sit higher in the water. Have him wear it at home and on walks a few times, so he’s used to it when you put it on him to go into the water.
  • With his leash on, let him get his feet wet and then turn around and run back out like it’s the funniest thing you can do. Praise him when he comes out and then make a game of dashing in and out of the water.
  • Toss his favorite toy into the shallow part of the water and encourage him to go after it. Praise him when he fetches it and then keep throwing it a little further out. If he looks worried, walk next to him, encouraging him as he goes back to shore. If he starts to panic, then grab hold of the handle on the life jacket and guide him back to shore. Then begin the shallow water play again before tossing it into deeper water again.
  • When a dog swims efficiently, his front feet move underwater without splashing. He moves easily through the water with his head out and breathes easily. A dog who isn’t used to swimming will splash on top of the water frantically. If your dog does this, walk by his side, and support his weight. When he calms down and swims correctly, then praise him.
  • If you have a pool, then place a plant by the steps to the pool. This will show your dog where to get out at. Many dog drownings happen because a dog will swim in circles because he doesn’t know when to get out.


Always stop at a point before your dog becomes exhausted. If you try to do too much with him in one session, he’ll start to dislike swimming instead of enjoying it.


Are Australian Shepherds cuddly?

Yes, your Aussie will love to cuddle with you and your family.


Do They Bark A Lot?

Yes, they are considered to be a noisy breed because they will bark at strangers, other animals, and even loud noises. Aussies will only bark incessantly if they are isolated from family members or bored. Another potential issue can be with excessive shedding.


How Does Training Mini Aussie Shepherds Differ?

There really isn’t much difference between training the two types of Aussies. The Mini Aussie may have less stamina because of it’s smaller size.


What Are Some Health Issues of Aussie’s?

Many Aussies suffer from cataracts. Plus, epilepsy is a common issue that can or cannot be able to be treated. There are certain genetic anomalies that will need to be tested for if you’re planning on using your dog for breeding purposes.

There can be a possibility that the mutant MDR1 gene can create a severe reaction to common medications you may need to give to your dog. The gene removes your dog’s ability for his body to remove certain toxins and drugs from his brain with will result in death. If you’re purchasing your dog from a reputable breeder, ask to see the results of its genetic testing.

Plus, if two merle parents are bred, the offspring could inherit two merle genes. The end result is a white dog with blindness to deafness issues.



The Australian Shepherd is a breed that requires hard work and training for him to be the best dog he can. The effort you make will give you an intelligent, balanced, and well-behaved dog. These dogs are a friendly and active breed but don’t do well when left alone for long periods of time.

Australian Shepherds aren’t the dog for everyone. These dogs require consistent discipline, communication, strong leadership, and commitment. If you meet this dog’s requirements, then an Aussie Shepherd may be the dog for you.


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