Dog Behavior

Australian Shepherd Puppy Training: The Surprising Truth About When to Start

Australian Shepherds, with their bright eyes, intelligence, and boundless energy, are a captivating breed that’s become popular among dog lovers worldwide. Their sharp minds and eagerness to please make them fantastic companions. Yet, this same energy and intelligence mean that early and effective training is crucial. This article will guide Australian Shepherd owners on when to start training, potential behavioral issues from a lack of early training, and the benefits of using online dog training resources.

The Ideal Time to Begin Training for an Australian Shepherd Puppy

With any dog, beginning training early is the key. But with a breed as dynamic as the Australian Shepherd, this becomes especially vital:

  • Socialization (8-12 weeks): As soon as your Australian Shepherd puppy has had its initial vaccinations, typically around 8 weeks old, it’s time to start socialization. Introduce them to various environments, people, other pets, and a range of noises. This exposure will make them adaptable and help prevent nervous or anxious behaviors.
  • Basic Commands (3-6 months): By the age of 3 months, your Australian Shepherd puppy’s cognitive abilities are ready to absorb simple commands like “sit,” “stay,” and “come.” Their eagerness to please and high intelligence make this stage a joy for many owners.
  • Advanced Training (6-12 months): As they grow, it’s time to introduce more complex tasks. Australian Shepherds, being a herding breed, will also benefit from agility training or other mentally stimulating activities during this period.

Behavioral Issues from Delayed Training of an Australian Shepherd Puppy

Neglecting to train an Australian Shepherd early on can lead to a host of behavioral problems, mainly because of their inherent intelligence and energy:

  1. Excessive Herding: Naturally, Australian Shepherds have a herding instinct. Without proper direction, they might attempt to herd other animals, children, or even adults, which can involve nipping at heels or running around them.
  2. Hyperactivity and Destructiveness: If not provided with adequate physical and mental stimulation, they may turn to chewing, digging, or other destructive behaviors out of boredom.
  3. Separation Anxiety: Australian Shepherds form strong bonds with their families. Without early training on being alone, they can develop separation anxiety, leading to whining, barking, or destruction when left by themselves.
  4. Aggression or Shyness: Without proper early socialization, Australian Shepherds can become either overly aggressive or excessively shy, especially around strangers or unfamiliar situations.
  5. Stubbornness: If an Australian Shepherd thinks it’s in charge, it can display a stubborn streak, making future training more challenging.

 Advantages of Online Dog Training for Australian Shepherd Puppy Owners

In today’s digital age, online dog training platforms have become an invaluable resource. For Australian Shepherd owners, there are distinct advantages:

  1. Adaptability: Every Australian Shepherd is unique, and online courses often offer various methods to teach a single command or behavior. This flexibility allows owners to find the most effective training method tailored to their individual dog’s learning style.
  2. Access to Expertise: Reputable online training platforms often feature advice, videos, and courses from seasoned dog trainers. For breeds as specialized as the Australian Shepherd, this expert input can be a game-changer.

In addition, many online dog training resources have community forums. These spaces allow Australian Shepherd owners to share experiences, ask questions, and get advice from other owners who’ve faced similar challenges. Given the unique quirks and needs of the Australian Shepherd, such community insights can be incredibly beneficial.

The Only 2 Online Puppy Training Courses We Recommend

1. SpiritDog’s Ultimate Puppy Bundle (BEST BUDGET FRIENDLY OPTION)

This comprehensive online puppy training program, designed by experienced trainer Steffi Trott, aims to help dog owners raise a well-behaved, social, and friendly puppy. The course provides lifetime access to over 70 lessons, including videos and an exclusive eBook, with a focus on critical behaviors like biting, potty training, and chewing. Participants can learn at their own pace from home, with the ability to ask unlimited questions to professional trainers. The program promises noticeable improvements in puppy behavior with just 10 minutes of practice per day. It comes with a 60-day money-back guarantee, lifetime personal support, and seven bonus mini-courses covering specific issues like hyperactivity and separation anxiety.

2. K9 Training Institute’s “Dog Masterclass” (BEST OVERALL)

In addition to basic puppy training, this more comprehensive training class tackles any behavior problem you might face with your dog. It’s made in a very easy-to-follow video format.


Training an Australian Shepherd is a commitment that requires patience, consistency, and knowledge. However, the rewards—a loyal, intelligent, and well-behaved companion—are well worth the effort. By starting early, recognizing potential behavioral pitfalls, and leveraging the power of online resources, Australian Shepherd owners can ensure that their pup grows into a well-rounded and delightful adult dog. Whether you’re teaching basic commands, advanced tricks, or just looking to understand your dog better, remember that every moment spent training is a step towards a stronger bond with your furry friend.

The iHeartDogs Ask a Vet tool gives you access to verified veterinarians 24/7. Get professional help for your pup and feed shelter dogs now.

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