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Aussie Fun Facts

YANKEE DOODLE DANDY

While the name says Australian , the Australian Shepherd developed exclusively in the United States. The breed as we know it developed from dogs that Basque sheepherders brought with them as they immigrated from Australia in the late 1800's. These dogs developed into what many ranchers and farmers call the Great American Farm Dog .

BLUE EYES RULE

Amber

Aussies can have blue eyes! Native Americans called these Aussies "ghost-eyed ones" referring to the unusual, often blue eyes, of the Aussie and felt these dogs were sacred. It is said when Native Americans encountered pioneers heading West with these sacred dogs, they let them pass unharmed.

COAT OF MANY COLORS

Aussies come in a variety of colors: black, red, blue merle and red merle. Quite a patchwork to choose from! And like snowflakes, each one is totally unique.

REAL DOGS DON'T HAVE TAILS!

Why don't Aussies have tails? To avoid potential injuries when herding the tails are docked. This keeps tails from getting caught in gates or from getting tangled and infected from burs while herding on the open range. And when you are greeted by an Aussie, you soon understand why they have the nickname 'wiggle butt.'.

MY AUSSIE IS SMARTER THAN YOUR 5TH GRADER

Aussies are said to be one of the most intelligent breeds of dogs. They are superb herding dogs with superior intelligence and loyal family companions who would give their lives to protect their masters and his possessions.

They excel in herding, stock dog trials, agility, Frisbee, obedience, confirmation, therapy work, and search and rescue.

Aussies are energetic dogs who need to have a 'job' to do. They love to be with their families and move from room to room just to stay close. Because they are herding dogs, don't be surprised to see an Aussie 'herding' children as well as keeping watch over the family he loves. Aussies are experts at reading body language. When your Aussie warns you, pay attention. They are excellent judges of character.

RECOMMENDED READING

Hartnagle-Taylor, Jeanne, All About Aussies, The Australian Shepherd From A To Z, Alpine Publications, 1996

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Health and Genetic Information

 

IS AN AUSSIE RIGHT FOR YOU??

Ammo

Australian Shepherds: Should you own one? Can you...

•Keep your Aussie busy enough to stay out of trouble? Aussies are very intelligent and may find ways to entertain and exercise themselves if their humans don't. Barking, chewing, digging, and escaping from the yard are all possibilities. Aussies can be quite creative! Participating in organized dog sports such as agility, obedience, or flyball is a good way to keep their minds occupied and their bodies fit.

•Manage a dog that is described in its breed standard as having strong guardian instincts and as being "reserved with strangers"? An Australian Shepherd should not exhibit unprovoked aggression, but many will defend their home, property, and family against what they perceive as threats. They will not be everyone's friend.

•Handle a dog that may chase cats, livestock, cars, or the neighbors' kids if not properly trained? Some dogs may only want to play, but the desire to chase can lead to more serious problems. Aussies should never be allowed to roam loose.

•Stand having a constant companion whose sole purpose in life is to be with you everywhere you go: from room to room, upstairs and down, into the bathroom, and even the shower? Aussies are very devoted to their people and want to be with them.

•Find the time to attend one or more formal obedience classes. Learning how to teach your Aussie to behave correctly is important.

•Commit to daily exercise such as walking, running, or throwing a ball or Frisbee for an hour or more? When you come home from a long day at work and want to relax, an Aussie will be ready to play. The Aussie is not content being a couch potato and taking a few leisurely walks a day. If this is what you are looking for there are other breeds far more suited to this lifestyle. The Aussie is a breed meant for those with an active lifestyle. Daily exercise is a must for them and that includes those days when it is cold, snowy, or rainy.

•Teach your Aussie not to chase your children and nip at their heels? Although some Australian Shepherds are good with children, others can become over-stimulated by the noise and activity. •make sure that your Aussie is properly socialized? Correct, thorough socialization from a young age is crucial and may prevent future behavioral problems.

•Run a vacuum cleaner frequently? Aussies shed, sometimes copious amounts. They need regular grooming to remove mats and dead hair.

From Aussie Rescue and Placement Helpline, Inc.

Berger Picard Fun Facts

JUST LIKE FINE WINE, BERGER PICARDS ARE FRENCH

Thought to be the oldest of the French Sheepdogs, the Berger Picard was brought to northern France and the Pas de Calais during the second Celtic invasion of Gaul around 400 BC.as a shepherd, guardian, and farmer’s helper.

LIGHTS, CAMERA, ACTION!

You may have seen Berger Picards and not realized they are movie stars! Have you seen “Because of Winn Dixie,” “Daniel and the Superdogs,” or “Are We Done Yet?” Yep, these movies all star the Berger Picard!.

WE'RE BACK!

Berger Picards almost became extinct between the two World Wars. They lived in Europe, mainly northeastern France, and trench warfare in the Somme reduced the breed to near extinction. Today in France there are approximately 3500 dogs and in Germany approximately 500 of this breed. At present there are approximately 300 Berger Picards in the United States and Canada. With the advent of the Internet, the breed is making a comback. US breed lovers are importing them, helping increase thier numbers in the United States.

CALL ME BOND, JAMES BOND

Berger Picards, with their crisp coats, were reportedly used to smuggle tobacco and matches across the Franco-Belgian border. The tobacco would be put in goatskin pouches, hairy side up, and attached to the dog’s shaved back. From a distance, dogs carrying such loads would not draw attention, particularly at dusk or at night.

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