Is there really any difference in the temperment and attitudes between Aussies and Shelties? Cause I think that the Aussies have more of a drive to do things. But, the Shelties are a little more hyper. I love both breeds though.
Hi, I have owned both. I see a hugh difference in the breeds. I now breed mini aussie, they are just like the bigger guys. My opinion is that unless you find someone who is working there shelties, you are not going to get one that knows how to herd. Pet people have been breeding the working attitude out of them for years. I have found that I cant stand the shy personality of the shelties I see today. Aussies have way more drive, and I feel are more energentic. Both have the willing to please and very easily trained. But it depends on what you are looking for. Aussies dont always make the best family pet, and are not for everyone. Shelties make excellent pets. I love my aussies, and can not imagine my life without them. And of corse, you can get a shy aussie, and you can get a sheltie with excellent drive and herding skills. I just feel that the aussies are definatly way more of a working dog. Just my opinion.
i've never owned shelties, but have aussies. In my opinion, austrailian shepherds have intense personalities- in all facets. They love hard and they work hard :) They need to feel useful and need a "task". They are very sweet dogs, but can be quick to aggression if they feel that their space or a loved one is in danger.
Indifference turns clarity into denial. ~Quan Tracy Cherry
Even though I'm basically a poodle person, I have always admired Aussies. I've never seen an aggressive one, and I've met quite a few. I've taken training classes with Aussies, watched them in obedience trials and met loads of them in parks. They are uniformly friendly and outgoing.
Maybe it's only the Missouri Australian Shepherds, but I think that aggressive and protective are not qualities that I have ever seen or ever heard of.
I show and raise Shelties and my Dad has an Aussie and I also have a friend who shows and raises Aussies...
They are VERY different breeds. And when I am comparing them, I'm talking about well bred dogs from sound lines... not BYB or Puppymill bred dogs. In both breeds, BYB or Puppymill bred dogs are VERY VERY different than what you find from a good, reputable breeder. (Illusion - I think, unfortunately, you've encountered WAY too many badly bred Shelties...) Shelties should also not be hyper. They should have a drive to work... but adult Shelties should know the difference between play time/work time and "couch time" and respect that. They are an eager to please breed. Most of my dogs would rather be on the couch or napping at my feet. We have play time and they can fetch a ball for an hour if I stay out and throw it... but when we come in, they know the difference. Unfortunately, badly bred Shelties tend to be neurotic, shy, barky, and hyper. These are all very undesireable traits for the breed and a GOOD breed doesn't use dogs that have these traits in their program. BYB's and Puppymills think they are part of the breed - which is why the badly bred dogs act like this.
From my understanding of the Aussie breed... They are more high energy - which is due to them being a bigger dog as much as anything else. They also tend to be more "clownish" and silly. They too can and should be "reserved" (not shy... a bit stuck up). Most herding breeds are supposed to be a little reserved because they are supposed to focus on their "owner" so that if they are working they don't get distracted. Aussies also tend to be escape artists and can be a little more "aggressive" (not in the "I'm going to bite someone" sense - more meaning, if they decide they want to do something, want a toy, are going to round up that cow... they have a deeper drive to complete the task, where a Sheltie can be talked out of what it's thinking about). They are also very devoted dogs who can and do get upset if separated from people for long periods of time. They NEED people (which is true of Shelties as well - but I've found more so with Aussies). Aussies do not make good pets for people who just want a dog to walk around the block and snuggle on the couch with. They need an activity daily in order to keep them happy (frisbee, agility, herding, hunting, something...). Shelties are better at finding something to keep themselves entertained (a toy, or they can come up with their own games :).
Both like to bark some (as they use their voices to herd).
Well bred Shelties should still have good herding drive. I've placed a lot of puppies in homes where they either help work sheep or compete in herding trials. Many of the dogs in my lines have herding titles. I agree that the "pet only" breeders out there right now have managed to breed out any herding instinct in their dogs - but that's largely because they have been breeding shy, neurotic, hyper dogs... A focused, confident, stable Sheltie should be a sound herding dog.
Shelties should NOT be "shy". They should be "reserved" - which when you encounter one should come off as if the dog is a little stuck up - not shy. They shouldn't shy away from new people or things. They should look at you like "I'll decide when I'm ready to make friends with you".
I get a little bit annoyed by the reputation my breed is starting to aquire - and it's only because of bad breeding practices unfortunately. Most of the tags that get put on Shelties are actually breed faults... The problem is, when you're breeding doesn't know the breed standard, doesn't show their dogs, and doesn't communicate or interact with others in the breed who are knowledgeable, they breed "in a vaccuum" and start to convince themselves that their dogs are correct when they aren't.
Not only do badly bred Shelties not ACT like Shelties should... they also are starting to look like two different breeds... my avitar is my Stormy who is the boy I'm currently campaigning for his Championship. He is a really gorgeous example of the breed physically... he could use a bit more "stop" but his head and expression are exquisite and his body is to die for (really exceptional angles, and he moves like a dream). That's what a Sheltie SHOULD look like. Unfortunately... none of the ones you see from BYB's and Puppymills, in pet stores, or heck, even in catalogues anymore look remotely like a well bred Sheltie.
I don't really know that much about aussies but I can contest to shelties, or at least my sheltie at home (w my parents). Butch (my sheltie) is a WONDERFUL dog. He has never been asked to actively herd but that instinct is there. He herds me to my mom when she calls me lol. He's not high strung at all and is a great pet. He was also very easy to train and learned sit, shake, down, and rollover in just one night!
I love both breeds but, I love the Shelties so much more. Shelties are my breed. Illusionminis, you are so right about the shy shelties, we got lucky with Stanny he is so out going and loves people, he was like that since a pup. But, the shy Shelties that I see are usually the females more thtan the males. I really don't know why though.
I breed, own, and show/train aussies. I can tell you that no dog is a like and what is being said here can be true but isnt always.
I have a vary of temperaments and personalities to all my dogs. My one acts like a golden, she is outgoing, happy, has a lot of drive, friendly, and really a fun dog. My one boy is VERY laid back, lazy, lacks drive, is slightly reserved, and is kind of like a lap dog. My other boy has energy with a "turn off" switch where he can be also very laid back. He is friendly, but doesnt openly go up to strangers, and he has tons of drive. I have owned a male that was nutty and hyper and a female that was as dumb as a pile of rocks and lazy. I have bred a male that is laid back but outgoing and friendly and then another that is happy and outgoing but kind of lazy and then another that is bouncy but slightly reserved. They all vary.
I have never owned a sheltie, though my mother adores them. They can be similar and different. I have a siberian husky that acts like an aussie and an aussie that acts like a golden and a mutt that hates attention and acts like a person. (yeah he is a strange one...)
"Don't allow yourself to be "dubbed" by senior breeders." - Gwen Hayes