Personality and Character
The basic characteristics of Aussies are generally understood, and for many of us, loved and adored! For those of us who love Aussies, we’re eager to share this experience with everyone.
But Aussie lovers also understand that the breed may not be the right fit for everyone. There are certainly households and lifestyles where Aussies are a poor fit. Finding the right match is vitally important!
We know historically the breed was developed to be a dog of outstanding character and endurance. We know they were used as intelligent stock dogs. We know they love to herd – it’s a strong, natural instinct they possess, even if they’ve never been exposed to sheep or cattle.
Aussies are agile, fleet afoot, moderate-sized, and can charm you with their wiggle butts! They enjoy running, jumping, and roughhousing. But ultimately, they are dogs that want to stay busy, they need jobs to do, and they are strong. Owners must have time to play and train their Aussies – in essence, to keep them mentally and physically stimulated, to keep them busy.
These dogs also want to please you. They have an innate trait to please, just as much as they have an innate trait to herd. The loyalty of an Aussie is legendary. But it’s up to the owner to make sure their dog’s energies and abilities are directed properly. Aussies, if left undirected by their owner, will use their supreme intelligence to find something else to do. Like digging and chewing. They are clever dogs. Remember, they had to be clever to out-smart cattle and sheep.
Aussies are quick learners though. As an owner, you can teach them how not to dig, or how not to chew – to be obedient, and to occupy your Aussie’s time with constructive activities like walks, play, and training. Accordingly, having a fenced yard for playtime and training is highly recommended. Other dogs, children, and traffic, or anything rolling along with wheels, can be overwhelming to their instinct to herd!
Part of an Aussie’s history is that they were bred to be strong, high-energy dogs, the kind that can work all day long. They weren’t bred to be couch potatoes. However, Aussies do have individual personality traits, and some are quieter than others. But make no mistake: they’re not a “lay around” dog, they’re a “get up and do things” dog. They thrive on having fun, exhibit a good-natured almost whimsical disposition – and, along with their wiggle-butts, Aussies are often described as exhibiting smiles.
Like any breed of dog, it’s important to socialize your Aussie. While all Aussies are friendly, some are slightly reserved with strangers. Each Aussie will signal to their owner the degree to which they’re comfortable engaging with others. It’s important to note, ultimately, along with their loyalty, Aussies can be protective of their family and property.
Grooming-wise, Aussies need a regular cleaning of their coat, regular brushing, and regular nail trimming. They are generally healthy and can live twelve years or more. In that sense, it’s important to consider that ownership can be a long-term commitment and not to be taken lightly.
Aussies take commitment and interaction on the owner’s part. Aussie lovers find these dogs to be special, and in a way, Aussie owners are special in their own right.