Can Australian Shepherds live outdoors?
Although Aussies are super outdoorsy, they are best suited to indoor living, like most companion pets. Many working Aussies even live indoors, these days. That said, as long as the conditions are safe, Australian Shepherds can sleep outside.
Dogs who sleep outdoors should have their own shelter, a comfy bed, and access to clean drinking water. They should not be able to get out into the street and should never sleep outside in temperatures above 68°F or below 45°F.
Even if your Aussie sleeps outside, no dog should live their entire life outdoors! Dogs are pack animals and are happiest when they are surrounded by their families. This applies to all sizes and types of Aussies – from Standard Australian Shepherds over Mini Aussies to the tiny Toy Australian Shepherds.
Are Aussie Shepherds hard to house train?
Australian Shepherds are a highly trainable breed, and it’s never too early to start house training. However, you do need to focus on building a bond with your pup too, as Aussies can be stubborn. So make sure you spend lots of quality time together to make them eager to please!
Aussie pups that are just weeks old tend to need to go to the toilet every hour or two, so to begin with, you should take them outside every hour, or 15 minutes after eating. This should decrease roughly by an hour per every month of their age until they are 4-6 months old, and then they should only need to go 3-5 times per day. To keep up a routine, feed and take them outside around the same times every day.
When pups do their business, remember to say the associative words that you want them to learn, and always shower them with praise and treats afterward.
Invest in some indoor pee pads for emergencies and when they do try to go potty indoors, do your best to get them outside, but don’t get angry if (and when) your pup has an accident. That said, it’s a good idea to start using negative signals during early puppyhood, like the word “no”, to mark “bad” behaviors.
However, it will not work on its own – and it will not work quickly! You must use it consistently with a non-physical, non-threatening negative association, such as ignoring your pup and crossing your arms, to let them know that you are upset. Over time, they will understand and respond to the word, but in the meantime, be patient and remember that they’re only babies!