Care for an Australian Shepherd

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Australian Shepherds are highly intelligent, loyal dogs that make great companion pets. Caring properly for your Australian Shepherd will help your dog lead a happy, healthy life.

Australian Shepherds are a naturally active breed and need to be exercised regularly. As part of your dog's care you should take it on walks, play with it regularly and let it have a chance to run each day. An Australian Shepherd will be better behaved if exercise is part of its daily care.

Care for an Australian Shepherd includes grooming on a regular basis. Australian Shepherds have a thick coat of medium to long fur which needs particular care. Beginning a grooming routine with your Australian Shepherd as a puppy is not only a good way to get it used to this type of care but also a good way to spend time with your dog. Brush your dog's fur at least once a week to keep the under coat from becoming matted. Carefully brush or comb behind your Australian Shepherd's ears because the fur there becomes long and can matte easily. After brushing, use a comb with both fine and coarse teeth to catch any fur that was left behind. Try to make each grooming session short and reward your Australian Shepherd with a treat at the end for good behavior.

An occasional bath may be necessary for your Australian Shepherd but does not have to be a part of its regular care.

Australian Shepherds have natural oil on their outer coat to make it waterproof and too much bathing can strip this oil away. Always brush your Australian Shepherd before bathing to ensure matting does not occur.As part of your dog's grooming you should trim its nails or have them done professionally. You should also brush your Australian Shepherd's teeth at least twice a week with a toothbrush and toothpaste made especially for dog care.

Australian Shepherds do have some genetically transmitted disorders that owners should be aware of and watch for. These include hip dysplasia, a condition in which the bones of the hip joint do not form properly, eye defects, epilepsy, heart disease, thyroid dysfunction, cancer and elbow dysplasia. Question the breeder before bringing a puppy home to make sure these conditions are not included in the puppy's heritage. Puppies should also not participate in strenuous exercise or training before the age of one year to ensure bone plates grow properly.

Caring properly for your Australian Shepherd will ensure you have many happy years with this extraordinary companion pet.


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