Many times when people get an Australian shepherd it is not because they want it for a work dog. In fact, many people are now getting Australian shepherds for show dogs.
One thing to ask your self when purchasing an Australian shepherd is "which type of dog do you want to get?" By that, you will have to decide if you want your dog to be a family pet/work dog or if you want it to be a show dog. Despite what many people think, there is a difference between a show dog and a work dog. Not only are they different by looks, but also by the way they are raised.
When looking for the perfect puppy for you, you will have to make sure that it comes from the certain quality that you want. By that, there are usually two different qualities to watch for, the show/breeding quality or the pet quality. The "pet quality" puppies or dogs are those that live a long, healthy, and happy life but are less than perfect when compared to those of the breeding standard. "Show/breeding quality" puppies are those puppies that meet the standards and qualifications of a show dog. No matter what you decide, whether you get an Australian shepherd as a pet or for a show dog, not every dog will be cut out for the ring. In fact, there are many "show" dogs that do not fit the standards for being a show dog.
Once you have decided that you want a show dog, there are many things that you will have to start teaching your puppy. In fact, one of the very first things that you will want to teach it is discipline. In the end, discipline is a dog's best friend; that will tell them to stay out of trouble. However, the Australian shepherds are very easy dogs to train; therefore, they do not require a lot of discipline. In fact, when breeding Australian shepherds, they were bred to learn to take directions and to listen to their masters no matter what. Although they can make up their own minds and do whatever they want, you will still have to teach them what is right and wrong.
Another very important thing for dogs to learn, especially if they are going to be a show dog, is obedience. In fact, it is recommended that every dog should be taught obedience. Not only will obedience teach the dog to be well behaved, but it will also give people the joy of being around them. Some of the most important tasks you can train your dog to learn for being a show dog are "sit, stay, down, and come", and also to be able to walk at your side with no problems. Along with many of the basic stills, you will also have to teach your dog other dog sports as well as different tracks. Some of the dog sports that Australian shepherds excel in are Frisbee, flyball, rally obedience, tracking dog, agility, along with many other exercises and sports.
Most importantly, when choosing your Australian shepherd you will want to get it because it appeals to you; you will be the one loving it.