Man's Best Friend

So we all know my fear of big dogs.  Tyler used to have Blue - but when we moved in together, bringing Blue into the townhome was just not realistic, or fair to Blue.  He was a BIG dog. When he stood on his hind legs, him and I were shoulder to shoulder.  And there were only 5-10 lbs seperating us.  Eeek.  I still don't really love dogs. But I know that its really important to Tyler that we get a dog one day, so I've been trying to come to terms with the fact then when we do have a home with a yard, that getting a dog will be the first thing on our to-do list.

A friend of mine on Facebook had been posting some pictures of her new puppy, Brody.  Well, this puppy is STUNNING.  I found myself going to her page just to check out how her dog was growing.  I don't really know much about dogs or dogs breeds, so I messaged her to inquire about her beautiful dog.  Here's a screenshot of this pretty pup:

Gorgeous, right?  She told me he was an Australian Shepherd and that he was the best. dog. ever.  So I was intrigued and started researching them, and this is what I've found out:
  1. They are one of the smartest breeds out there. They are easily trainable and are often the top performers in obedience school. I read an article that one lady had taught her Aussie his ABC's.  What does that mean, you ask? She would put out wooden block letters, and for example, she would say "B", and the dog would put his paw on the "B" block.  Ridiculous, right?
  2. They are super loyal and aim to please their owners.  They LOVE their owners.  All pets do, right?  Well Aussies REALLY loves their owners.  That is one of the reasons they are super trainable, and they don't really have any behavior issues as long as you interact with it the way you're supposed to.
  3. They are bred for herding - which means they have a TON of energy and endurance, and NEED a "job".  They require a few hours of exercise a day, whether its running, playing frisbee, or playing catch at the park. If they don't get regular activity, they may try to "herd" other pets (aka Max) or children (watch out kiddos!!!) by nipping at heels.  This also means they are a lot of work to get all that energy out. If you don't give them "jobs" they can be destructive.
  4. They are medium dogs - females are 40-50 lbs and males are 50-60 lbs.  Half the size of Blue, and perfect size for Nikki. :)
  5. They need to be socialized.  They love their owners but tend to be a little shy around strangers, so its best to socialize them while they are young and get them used to different sights and sounds - think dog park, restaurants (that allow dogs, of course) running trails, etc., anywhere they can go to meet other people and animals
  6. They come in a few colors - tri colored, blue merle (Brody above is blue merle), red merle, and red.
  7. The Australian Shepherd Club of America (ASCA) will not recognize the dog as an Aussie if his tail has not been docked, so they don't have tails!
  8. When people have their first Aussie, they never get any other breed of dog because they love Aussies so much.
Tyler had been wanting a lab (everyone has a lab!) so I told him about Aussies.  He started doing a little research too, and was pretty intrigued.  Luckily there are several breeders in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, so we decided to call a few to see if we could come interact with some dogs.  So on Saturday (ready to get out of our furniture-less house) we drove over 200 miles to go see two breeders.  And we were sold.  Oh my goodness, these dogs are so great.  The way they look at their owners, you can just tell they love them SO MUCH.  Not to mention they are all gorgeous animals.  Some have blue eyes, some, even have an eye that is half blue and half brown - so unique!  Tyler really wants a dog that is going to be his best bud that he can run with and play with and wrestle with. We definitely liked one breeder over the other, and we're meeting with a third one next Sunday.  Here are some pics of some Aussies I found around the Internet so you can see how pretty they are!:

But don't worry about all this puppy talk. This furry fellow is still my main man:

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