What is the Aussie temperament like?
Aussies are like five year-old humans: their problem solving intelligence is there, their sense of right and wrong is there, but the big difference, other than the hair, is that they will eternally love you (whereas we all know that in certain times, a five year-old human will adamantly deny this.)
This is why you should do all you can to make them happy, too. Aussies are not content to sit on the other side of the room on a bed, while you watch t.v. They would rather sit on you or on the couch and watch t.v. with you. They want to do what you are doing. If you are gardening, digging out weeds, they will help.
There is a range of temperament qualities in Australian Shepherd’s – some are mellow, some are busy. Some sharp and some dull. This is a generalization of what you’re going for with the breed, but is by no means a guarantee.
Aussies are protective of their owners and their property. They are known to be barkers, and will warn intruders off, and some may bite or growl – it’s important to know what you need in your dog when selecting one and meet its relatives to see if the level of protection appropriate for you is there.
Most Aussies are reserved when meeting someone for the first time, but once they see them regularly, the Aussie will be overjoyed to see your guests. Some never warm up to those outside of their families, though. But if you’re in the inner circle? Don’t be surprised if you leave your Aussie in the yard for a minute and come back, do not be surprised to be greeted as if you were back from a sabbatical for six months.
Aussies are like furry shadows. It is this great personality that makes the Aussie a favorite working dog – they will work to please you as the sole reward. If you have food, all the better! Yet, they aren’t robots: even the best obedience trainer can tell you of their Aussies’ stunts in the ring that got them disqualified.
They do everything with a flair, and are unafraid to try new things. They are canine comedians, so if you don’t have a sense of humor, they aren’t for you. One Aussie I had stayed at home when we went out for Christmas Eve Mass. We left our dirty plates on the table since we were in such a hurry. The glasses all had a little wine left in them and the plates had a little food. The open leftovers were on the table. When we came back, the wine had been polished off, as well as the plates, but the leftovers untouched, and nothing in disarray. He was sitting at the head of the table beaming happily, obviously laughing at his little joke. You’ve got to know when to laugh along.
Aussies can smile (it looks somewhat like snarling), and sometimes they “purr” (it sounds somewhat like growling) which can lead people to think they are quite aggressive, which is only one of the funny ways they express themselves. When they greet you, they might pick up a random object and wag this way and that, twisting in to a “u” in joy. They might lay down, and stick their back legs out under them, like a fur rug. It is commonly called the “flying-frog-dog” or “puppy-rugging.”
There is no end to what makes an Aussie a fun and unusual dog.