Australian Shepherds are exceptional dogs and we look for exceptional owners when placing our puppies. Our Aussies are first and foremost working stock dogs with strong herding and guardian instincts. They are not the right fit for everyone - but they are the perfect fit for the right person.
Like the ideal Australian Shepherd, the ideal Edge owner is committed, hardworking, and balanced. They are willing to invest time in training and enrichment for their dogs every day. Owners of our Aussies enjoy a variety of activities with their dogs: hiking, running, swimming, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, flyball, scentwork, obedience, dock diving, agility, and much much more - not to mention working a variety of stock. Aussies are an athletic breed with a great deal of stamina - without an outlet for their mental and physical abilities, they can become anxious, frustrated and difficult to live with.
The Australian Shepherd is a tough, independent worker with strong instincts. In their chosen line of work, they need little guidance in order to get a variety of jobs done, whether it be moving stock in and out, reuniting outliers with the rest of the herd, or guarding against predators. This gives them a reputation for being stubborn, but that stubbornness is necessary when they are up against a challenge (or a bull!) The Edge owner is equally tough, patient, fair, and kind. They honor the Australian Shepherd’s natural independence, using their natural desire to please to motivate and teach through relationship-based training. Freeloading is not in the Aussie’s nature - they are wired to work for their food, play, and favorite activities and find it deeply fulfilling.
To that end, the Australian Shepherd is a guardian dog. The ideal Aussie is reserved and neutral with strangers and has a protective nature, yet is never aggressive or fearful. It is unwise to bring an Aussie into your home merely to provide entertainment or companionship for a dog who already lives there, or to expect your Aussie to obtain these things from “dog friends”. The company of another dog may invite a good romp, but is the role of the owner to be the Australian Shepherd’s closest friend - and to provide an adequate avenue for exercise, work, and play. The Edge owner respects their dog’s reservations and never forces friendships with dogs or humans, but encourages their dog to be calm and confident around everyone they encounter.
The Australian Shepherd is not a Golden Retriever or a Labrador (although those breeds are wonderful in their own way), and those who are new to the breed should ask many questions and conduct considerable research before committing to an Aussie puppy. But the owner armed with knowledge and determination to bring out the best in their Aussie will find the experience to be an incredibly rewarding and fulfilling journey for themselves and for their new dog.