This page is under construction. If you have any suggestions on what questions I should put here, please let me know.
I've heard Aussies need a job to do, and wouldn't be happy in the city.
Actually, Aussies can be quite happy in the city. Yes, Aussies do need exercise, especially for the first 2-3 years. But this can be met with a visit to the dog park, long, brisk walks, or even a good game of fetch. What's more important is *mental* stimulation. Aussies crave it! Aussies need training. Give each of their toys a name and play 'hide and seek' with the toys. Have them put their toys away. Teach them tons of tricks. All of these are things that can be done inside your home.
What's the difference between an Aussie and a mini? I heard other breeds were introduced, to make the minis smaller.
Minis are small Aussies, plain and simple. There are quality minis, and poor quality minis, just as there are quality Aussies, and poor quality Aussies. Some problems that can be found in Aussies are hip dysplasia, eye defects, auto-immune diseases, and fearful/soft temperaments. In minis you can find all of those problems, but overly soft dogs are more common. (By soft I mean dogs that, if you use a harsh voice, cringe or submissively urinate.) ALL Aussies should be trained using humane, positive based training methods! A quality mini will look and act exactly like an Aussie, because they ARE Aussies - just small.
Which one is the mini?
How much grooming does an Aussie need?
One of the wonderful things about Aussies is their low maintenance! However, Aussies *shed*! They should have a thorough brushing (preferably outdoors), once a week, and bathed monthly. My husband used to bathe his Aussie in the yard, with the sprinkler. Nikki hated baths, but loved the sprinkler. All Danny had to do was add shampoo, and voila', a clean dog!
Do Aussies need a special diet?
No. All dogs should be fed a premium diet. Dog foods sold in chain stores aren't premium, despite their claims. A quality kibble doesn't have corn, and preferably no grain at all. The first ingredient should be a meat meal, i.e., chicken meal. Canned food is more nutritious than kibble, because it isn't baked. And don't believe the propaganda, table scraps are just fine. What did people feed their dogs for thousands of years?
I've heard Aussies are smart, but are they easy to train?
Yes! They're very eager to please. But if you don't train them, they'll train you. And while all dogs should be trained using only positive methods, this is especially important for Aussies, because they're a sensitive breed. All it takes is a slightly stern voice to stop them from doing something. Far better to lavish praise for what you do want to see, and they'll do everything within their power to please you.