September is Pain Awareness MonthSeptember 13, 2023
Breed Specific: The Australian Cattle Dog is also known as the HeelerOctober 11, 2023
Aussies are always seeking to herd – their people and children, other pets, your chickens or ducks – no one is exempt!
Personality: Aussies exhibit an irresistible impulse to herd anything: birds, dogs, kids, cats and more! This strong drive to work and their zest for life can make these dogs too much for a sedentary pet owner. Aussies are remarkably intelligent and capable of hoodwinking an unsuspecting novice owner.
Height and Weight:
Males: Height: 20-23 inches Weight: 50-65 pounds
Females: Height: 18-21 inches Weight: 40-55 pounds
Feeding/Treats/Weight: Discuss a diet for your Aussie with your veterinarian. Treats can be an important aid in training, but giving too many can lead to obesity.
Grooming: In general,weekly brushing session will keep the Aussie’s waterproof, double-layer coat looking its best. During shedding season though, more work will be required. During this period, an undercoat rake can be used every two or three days to remove the abundant dead hair, followed by clean-up with a wire brush. They require only the occasional bath. As with all breeds, Aussies’ nails should be trimmed regularly.
Exercise: This high-energy athletic dog needs a lot of daily exercise and makes a great running partner once fully grown. At a minimum, he should have a large, fenced-in yard in which to run for at least an hour or two daily. Aussies love to accompany their owners on long walks or, better yet, hikes. Give an Aussie a job, whether herding livestock, shepherding children or competing in obedience, herding or agility trials, and you’ll have a happy dog!
Training: Socialization and obedience training are a must for Aussie puppies. One of the most frequent reason Aussies end up as rescues is that owners couldn’t constructively channel their boundless energy through training. They can be overprotective of their owners’ property and can become destructive if left alone for too long. Fortunately, their loyalty and intelligence make them very easy to train.
Thank you to the AKC’s Aussie webpage, for much of this information.
Over the Australian Shepherd’s 12-15 expected years, you and your vet will create a health evaluation plan to catch any conditions that may arise.
- Eye problems
- Dental disease
- Gene mutations affecting how drugs are metabolized (MDR1)
- Ear issues
- Hip and elbow issues
Pikes Peak Vet has the goal of healthy longevity for your Aussie.
Wellness Exams and Vaccinations
- Every 6-12 months as advised by your veterinarian until age 6, full physical exams including routine bloodwork
- Pets age faster than us and tend to hide symptoms. At age 6, we recommend routine exams and bloodwork every 6 months to catch anything unexpected before it gets too firm a hold.
Other Exams and Screenings
- Hip and elbow x-rays
- Eye exams
- Ear exams for infections and hearing loss
- MDR1 testing at Washington State University
- Routine dentistry as needed
Reach out for more information by phone or text at 719-475-1747, or through our Pikes Peak Vet app!