Dogs and Jobs

Because Australian Shepherds were bred to work, many breeders and trainers say they “need a job.” A lot of people are very confused about his job thing—especially with Aussies.

Actually, it's the new dog owner that has the job: Every dog, Aussie or not needs direction, and providing it is the job of the human. Dogs need physical and mental exercise and proper positive training, which encourages good behavior, strengthens bonds, and creates a happy atmosphere.

When people say that a dog needs “a job,” what they really mean is that the dog needs to be stimulated, engaged, and focused.

People with happy, well-behaved dogs have consistent rules and pay attention to them when they're being good, not just when they're misbehaving. They take their dogs to training classes and keep at it till their dogs are well-mannered in any environment. They may also go on to train for competitive dog sports such as agility, obedience, or tracking.

They give their dogs plenty of physical AND mental exercise. A person who sits in an office all day comes home just as tired as a person who digs ditches. A dog who is mentally stimulated, with games, learning tricks, and other activities that focus his attention will be more likely to fit harmoniously into family life.

So you don't need a flock of sheep for your Australian Shepherd to herd. But you do need to spend a lot of focused time and attention on your dog.

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