Australian Shepherds are some of the most adorable dog breeds. They have pleasant personalities and are intelligent, social, and playful. But when talking about Aussies, you could say they are friskier than other breeds. This dog breed could easily spend an entire day playing. They are extremely active and need jobs to stay busy.
Why Do Australian Shepherds Need Jobs?
Owners should keep them engaged with positive and constructive activities (work). If left without exercise and stimulating activities, your Aussie could get bored. Their high energy and intelligence could translate to destructive behavior and frustrate you.
We are here to help. Below are ideas of jobs and stimulating activities you can use to engage your Australian Shepherd. These jobs will stimulate your furry buddy’s mind, and keep them physically fit, mentally sharp, and happy. But first, plan a check at the vet’s so you won’t hurt buddy.
Check With The Vet Before Giving Your Australian Shepherd Jobs
All dogs, regardless of breed, age or size, require some form of physical and mental stimulation. Unless a vet recommends otherwise, even senior, sick, and disabled dogs need physical and cognitive exercises. But any stimulation is best done under expert advice.
Before you schedule jobs for your Aussie, have a check-up at the vet. The vet will advise what would be extreme (and could hurt your furry buddy) and what would be appropriate. They will also advise what to do if your Aussie suffers from ailments like eye and hip conditions. Vets can also identify and address psychological issues and rule out other problems.
13 Jobs For Australian Shepherds
After the health check, look through the following jobs and activities. They will help to keep your furry buddy engaged and happy. Don’t forget to complement the activities with some toys to engage your Aussie.
1. Clean Up After Themselves
An energetic Aussie often leaves the house or yard in a mess after a play session. This can weigh down any dog parent. However, Aussies are intelligent, and you can teach them how to clean up the mess after playtime.
Start by doing it together, and after a few rounds, they can do it by themselves! But be patient because training might take some time. Your dog will need to learn how to recognize its toys and put them back in the correct box. It might take several days to muster for a dog as intelligent as an Aussie.
Cleaning up is an excellent choice because your Aussie will not be bored, and your home will not be so messy.
2. Toy Searching
Closely related to cleaning up their mess is toy searching. If one or more of your dog’s toys are missing, you can teach them how to seek it out and bring it to you. But you have to train them first.
Hide a few toys at different spots around the house. Walk around the house with your Aussie and encourage them to seek them out, retrieve them, and bring them to you or deposit them in a box. You have to do the same hiding spot a few times before they get it. Once they get the gist, you can turn it into a fun game and enjoy watching them go back and forth searching for their toys.
3. Cleaning Up The Yard
Australian Shepherds love to please their owners. They also learn fast. You can use these aspects and train your dog to help collect broken and fallen branches in the yard. Your Aussie can learn to collect the sticks and gather them in one spot. If you do this with your furry buddy enough times, they could develop the ability to do it without your help.
4. Ball Herding
You can simulate the shepherd instinct by teaching your dog ball herding. You’ll need several large and different-colored balls, a large basket, and an open space. When you are at the perfect spot, throw the balls at various distances in different directions. Then teach your Aussie to gather them and return them to the basket. Your Aussie will love “herding” the balls back to the basket. The job also triggers the herding instinct and keeps them on their toes.
Playing fetch is one of the most popular and fulfilling ways to help your furry buddy exercise. It also improves problem-solving skills and is an excellent bonding and fun activity. You don’t need sophisticated equipment. All you need is something Fido would love to fetch and retrieve and it could be anything. You can also train them to fetch you just about anything. From car keys to the TV remote or newspaper, your Aussie will thoroughly enjoy walking around the house to find and bring your stuff.
Australian Shepherds have pleasant personalities, and they love to frolic with kids. They are also gentle and get along with other pets. When around a group of toddlers, don’t be surprised to find your Aussie trying to herd the little ones. They would make excellent babysitting companions, and this helps to stimulate their minds and keep them on good behavior.
7. Be a Guard
Australian Shepherds love to herd as a job. But they also love their flock and they would stand fearlessly to guard the flock against any intruder. You can engage this protector instinct and “employ” your Aussie to protect your home and compound or protect young ones in a group. But be careful about the guarding instinct. Sometimes they might be overzealous and aggressive with unfamiliar people or kids.
8. Jogging Companion
If you love jogging, your Aussie could be the perfect companion. Australian Shepherds love to explore new terrain and scents, and they will have no trouble keeping up with you. Your furry buddy will enjoy running around and discovering new stuff.
Remember to keep your furry buddy on a leash unless you are at a suitable location and sure they have grasped the recall command.
9. Service Dogs
Due to their intelligence, loyalty, and herding behavior, Australian Shepherds can learn and become service dogs. You can use them as guides, help with mobility, and provide comfort and assistance. However, due to the intensity of training required for service animals, start your Aussie on a training program while still a puppy.
We’ve talked about how Aussies love to run and play. The perfect job would be a mascot. Your Aussie would enjoy dressing up and running up and down a field to the cheers of excited fans. Since they are intelligent and quickly learn instructions, you won’t have a problem directing them where to run, when to stop, and tricks to show off.
11. Truffle Hunting
Australian Shepherds are like other shepherd breeds like the Belgian Malinois. They have a keen sense of smell which places them at the top of the list in truffle hunting. When trained to search for truffles, your Aussie will find and retrieve them without trouble.
12. Pull a Cart
Back in the day in Europe, people used dogs to pull small carts and make milk deliveries. This task was assigned only to intelligent, well-trained, and loyal dogs. Your Australian Shepherd possesses these qualities and is of medium size. So, with enough training, they could do the job.
Although the practice of making milk deliveries using dogs was outdated, there is a modern sport that resembles it. Also, your Aussie can pull a small cart to make deliveries of different items.
13. Search and Rescue
Hide and seek games are excellent for the cognitive stimulation of an Aussie. They are also great for bonding with your furry buddy and simple. Just find a good hiding spot in your house, like the garage or a closet, and hide. You could also just find a blanket and hide under it. Then call out for your dog to seek. Your Aussie will enjoy looking for you and look forward to getting a treat when they finally find you at your hiding spot. See how long it takes to find you and keep changing the hiding spot.
Hide and seek could be a game but it also builds crucial skills – search and rescue. Your Australian Shepherd can learn how to put those skills into practice when needed the most. They can quickly learn and lend a paw during search and rescue operations. Their keen sense of smell, hearing, and herding instinct can come in handy when locating people and items in disaster-hit areas.
These jobs will keep your Australian Shepherd engaged, exhausted, and exhilarated. However, to achieve such (and if you want the best for your Aussie), consider partnering with a professional trainer. The right training will unleash your Australian Shepherd’s intelligence, personality, and talent. Don’t forget to play and have fun with your Aussie frequently and where possible, do it while at the job. Regular engagement in these activities will also help counter any behavior issues.
We’ve given tons of information on this blog about German Shepherds including jobs you can give German Shepherds. But we also love to talk about other shepherd breeds. Did you know that there are over 30 shepherd dog breeds? Most of them have similar characteristics.