You can save between hundreds and thousands of dollars adopting an Australian Shepherd from a rescue organization or shelter.
However, you should take a deeper look into this breed’s temperament before you truly decide whether you want to pay the Australian Shepherd price.
There may be some things about this breed that cause you to second-guess yourself, which is always better to know in advance before you buy.
The Australian Shepherd, Up Close
A breed’s history can influence whether you want to bring home one of their offspring.
Take, for instance, the Australian Shepherd. He originated in Europe, then traveled to Australia, and finally landed here.
However, today, in spite of his name, we consider the Australian Shepherd an American breed.
In fact, Australian Shepherds are intertwined in the development of what we know today as the American West.
He’s a John Wayne kind of a dog in that he’s rugged and hardworking, thanks to his ancestors.
If you need a rugged and hardworking dog, then he may just be the perfect match for you.
Australian Shepherd Temperament and Personality
You may feel more inclined to pay a higher Australian Shepherd price if his temperament is exactly what you’ve been looking for in a dog.
That’s why it’s so important to know ahead of time what you’re getting yourself into before it’s too late.
He Loves Hard Work
The Australian Shepherd has a history of working as a rugged ranch dog, making him an original cowboy companion.
In fact, many “Aussies” still act as working dogs today!
This, however, means that he has a natural tendency to herd.
Nothing is off-limits for some Aussies to herd, including kids and small pets – as well as cars, buses and bicycles. So, you really need to keep an eye on him.
He also has a fair amount of energy, so you’ll need to challenge him in the ways he needs challenging to tire him out every day.
This breed is crazy-intelligent, focused, and driven.
In fact, the Aussie is one of the most intelligent dog breeds in the world.
Some Aussie owners have reported feeling like their dogs actually read their minds – that’s how smart they are.
He may have a sense of what you’re going to do before you even do.
There’s a downside to this, though, and that’s that he can become extremely bored very easily.
You must challenge him both mentally and physically on the daily to keep him happy.
You know those dog bowls that challenge the dog to find the treat? The inventors of those bowls probably made them with the Aussie in mind.
Because he’s so protective, the Aussie makes for an excellent watchdog.
Not only will he protect his flock of sheep, but he’ll also protect his family with the same level of fervor.
He’s Decent with Kids
The Aussie is good with kids, but you have to help him along.
Toddlers and small children may feel afraid of the Aussie because they won’t understand his tendency to herd.
Older kids and teenagers, however, can run around and play with him, and they can tire each other out!
Teach your older children that he has no intention of hurting them – he’s just trying to round them up!
He Hates When You Leave Him Alone
Like many other breeds out there, the Aussie can develop separation anxiety if you leave him alone for too long.
Exercise is often helpful in this regard. If you tire him out before you have to leave, he’ll deplete his extra energy and sleep while you’re away.
You may need to consult with your vet for medication (an added expense) to help him cope if you need to leave the house for a couple of hours.
You can’t enjoy a full-day shopping spree when you live with an Aussie, unfortunately.
He’s Okay with Cats
While Aussies usually adapt well to a multi-dog household, it’s cats that may require some training for him to accept.
You must train your Aussie to understand that he should not herd or chase your cat(s).
Remember to use positive reinforcement when he does well. Praise or minimal treats are fine.
You should also provide your cat(s) with a safe space, somewhere the dog can’t do, when the Aussie forgets his manners.
Your cat needs to feel secure when he uses the litter box or while he’s eating.
You should also install tall perches, like cat towers, in your home to give your cat a sanctuary where he can hide if circumstances call for it.
Australian Shepherd Size
A breed’s size can certainly be off-putting if you’re looking for, say, a small dog, but the breed you are interested in is actually much larger.
The Australian Shepherd is actually a medium-sized, stocky dog. He grows to a maximum height of between 18 and 23 inches tall, and between 40 and 65 lbs.
If this size doesn’t quite match what you’re looking for in a dog, then it’s good to know this ahead of time before you research potential breeders.
Australian Shepherd Price – How Much Do Australian Shepherds Cost?
The Australian Shepherd average price tends to range from $600 to $1,000.
And, of course, the Australian Shepherd purebred price will always fall on the higher end of that range.
The same goes for the Australian Shepherd whose parents are show dogs. This can significantly increase the cost of the Australian Shepherd because he comes from good stock.
The Australian Shepherd is the 17th most popular dog breed in the U.S., according to the American Kennel Club (AKC).
Demand is important to know when shopping for a dog because you can usually tell where a dog’s price will fall.
For instance, if everyone’s clamoring for an Australian Shepherd, then demand goes up – and so does the price.
Australian Shepherd Rescue and Adoption
Rescuing a dog can be a great way to save a couple of bucks while also helping an animal in need.
The Aussie Rescue and Placement Hotline is a great place to start.
Adoption prices are usually between $75 and $150 when adopting from a shelter.
Shelters usually consider this cost a “donation,” and they put it toward giving their animals proper veterinary care and housing.
Rescue organizations tend to do more for a particular breed, so their costs are usually higher.
For instance, you may pay a “donation” of $300 or more through a rescue organization to support the work they do to secure their animals.
This can include fostering animals as well, which they often do to get them used to living with a family in their home.
This makes the transition much easier than their coming straight from a shelter and us expecting them to lead a normal life.
Australian Shepherd Cost of Ownership
When you decide to take on the responsibility of owning a dog, there are several things you’re signing up for all at once. These include the dog’s grooming and training needs, as well as vet visits.
Some dogs need more help than others, which is why you can’t know for sure how much to budget until you research a breed further.
Here are some costs to expect with your ownership of an Australian Shepherd.
Health Care Expenses
Health care expenses can bankrupt a pet owner if you haven’t prepared for them in advance.
For the Australian Shepherd in particular, here are some of the issues you need to be aware of:
- Cancers (especially Hemangiosarcoma and Lymphoma)
- Drug Sensitivity
- Eye Issues (Cataracts)
- Hip and Elbow Dysplasia
- Thyroid Disease
As you can see, some of these issues are easy enough to manage and require little if any treatment.
Other issues, like cancer – especially if you opt for surgery or long-term medication – can cost you if you’re not prepared.
Something else you might want to look into is pet insurance. While this is an extra cost you’ll have to budget for every month, it can still save your wallet in the event of an unplanned health emergency.
Helpful Dog Health Resource:
Training can become difficult with certain breeds, and you’ll need a middleman to step in and facilitate the training.
Sometimes, all it takes is a different voice or style of training to finally get through to even the most stubborn of dogs.
However, while every dog is different, you shouldn’t have a problem training the Australian Shepherd.
This breed is highly motivated and easy to train, so long as you don’t invoke harsh scolding or yelling.
Helpful Dog Training Resource:
Another area wherein you can go broke in owning a dog is grooming.
The Australian Shepherd coat requires a lot of it. Frequent brushing and daily combing are necessary to free his fur of mats and knots.
If you are unable to keep up with the care he requires, you may need to hire some help.
Further, either you or the groomer will need to give him a professional haircut every six months to keep him looking neat and trim.