Australian Shepherds can experience gastrointestinal issues for a myriad of reasons, but fortunately many of these issues can be alleviated at home with a few natural remedies or supplements.
Umbilical hernia is the most common gastrointestinal issue I Aussies. Inflammatory bowel disease and megaesophagus are occasionally seen. Megaesophagus may be caused by other health conditions.
Aussies are generally healthy dogs, and a responsible breeder will test breeding stock for health concerns such as hip dysplasia, epilepsy, cataracts and certain forms of cancer. An Aussie's ears should be checked regularly to remove foreign matter and avoid a buildup of wax, and his teeth should be brushed regularly.
Bloat is very rare in Aussies but it does occasionally happen.
Australian Shepherds can be highly sensitive to food allergies and intolerances; their symptoms can include continuous ear infections, vomiting, loose stools, and inflamed red skin, hair loss, and many other symptoms.
They are generally healthy with a life expectancy of 12-15 years. Common health conditions include hip and elbow dysplasia, multidrug resistance mutation (MDR1), ocular conditions, epilepsy, and various cancers.
Cut down on processed and fatty foods, and drink less alcohol. Drink plenty of water and take any medicines as directed by your doctor. Don't overeat, and try to eat more slowly. Eating regularly will help to prevent digestive problems.
The breed is considered highly intelligent and easy to train. Aussies are known for being especially eager to please their owners. True to their herding instincts, Aussies are very protective of their families and territory and will let you know if strangers approach, but they are not considered aggressive.
Most Australian Shepherds should begin calming down at two years of age. At this point, they're considered mature dogs who can better regulate their energy. That said, not all Aussies will tone it down at this age. It may take them reaching seniority for their energy to drop off.
Australian Shepherds are devoted, loyal and gentle dogs. Most are reserved with strangers, but they do love people and thrive on the company of their families. They get along with other dogs but will often try to herd them – a behaviour which is often unpopular with cats.
A foreign object in the gastrointestinal tract, bacterial or viral infections, hormone disorders such as pancreatitis, kidney disease, or diabetes amongst others can cause serious vomiting. This will not resolve on its own and requires immediate veterinary attention. If vomiting continues, go to the vet.
Aussies are very sociable dogs. They can feel lonely when they're left alone often and are prone to suffering from separation anxiety. This is when dogs feel an overwhelming sense of anxiety over being apart from their owners.
Australian Shepherds are especially prone to hearing, eye, and vision problems, including Collie Eye Anomaly (which can be prevented through good breeding practices) and cataracts. Cataracts may occur at any stage of life and present themselves as a cloudiness in the eye.
Being left alone for too long may cause the intelligent, energetic Australian Shepherd to create her own fun—often through destructive behaviors or barking. While an Aussie may be left home alone for four to six hours at a time, crate training may be necessary for the dog's safety.
Keep in mind the average Australian Shepherd tends to bark a lot, making it a little more challenging to get him to stop barking unless you give him the 'speak' command or there is a situation in which he needs to bark to alert you.
It might be as simple as eating too much too fast, or you could have a food intolerance or other condition that causes gas and digestive contents to build up. Your menstrual cycle is another common cause of temporary bloating. Sometimes a bloated stomach can indicate a more serious medical condition.
Dogs that have double or water-repellant coats, like Australian Shepherds, Siberian Huskies, Akitas, Labrador Retrievers, and Newfoundlands, may only need baths every few months. Bathing them more often than necessary can cause dry skin.
They, like some other animals, have their one chosen person, which is probably you if your dog sits on you all the time. When the Australian Shepherd chooses their person, they begin to exhibit loyalty towards you, even to an extreme degree.
While Australian Shepherds can be very affectionate, loving, and cuddly dogs with their family members, they may not act the same way at all with someone they don't know. This dog will enjoy snuggling with the people he trusts.