Australian Shepherd vs Shetland Sheepdog

Breed Snapshot

Life Expectancy:
12 to 15 years
Size:

Medium

Maintenance Level:

High

Shed Level:

High

Best For

The Australian Shepherd is best for high-energy families with older kids and teens in homes where there is plenty of room to run. They need an experienced pet parent who has the time for training...

The Australian Shepherd is best for high-energy families with older kids and teens in homes where there is plenty of room to run. They need an experienced pet parent who has the time for training and teaching an Aussie a few over-the-top tricks.

Australian Shepherd Temperament

Because herding sheep and cattle is in their blood, the Australian Shepherd dog is always looking for a herd to round up, which may include your children or your unsuspecting neighbors on a bike ride. For this reason, it’s important to train your Aussie early so they understand app...

Because herding sheep and cattle is in their blood, the Australian Shepherd dog is always looking for a herd to round up, which may include your children or your unsuspecting neighbors on a bike ride. For this reason, it’s important to train your Aussie early so they understand appropriate behaviors and your expectations. Aussies are known for their speed, so keep that in mind before letting your untrained pup off-leash.

While your Aussie’s up-for-anything personality might make you think they are incredibly social, they tend to be more cautious around strangers at first. Start your Australian Shepherd puppy’s training and socialization early to help them get used to new environments and the people they may encounter.

Aussies are super-smart, so don’t be surprised if you get locked in a battle of wits with your pup. Cultivate their natural curiosity by implementing daily training sessions that engage their mind and their bodies. They do want to please you, so consider your daily training sessions as a way to deepen your bond.

Did we mention the Australian Shepherd dog has a lot of energy? It’s one of their best-known characteristics! So, just about any game you invent will be enthusiastically enjoyed by your pup. Aussies adore fetch and can be quite impressive with their skills. They have a well-deserved reputation as canine disc champions, so take a Frisbee with you to the park, and onlookers will be amazed at what your Aussie can do.

Bottom line: Aussies dislike downtime (except when they’re sleeping!), so have plenty of activities in mind and toys at home, including interactive chew toys, discs and balls to keep them loving their “work.”

Australian Shepherd Traits

Friendliness
Exercise Needs
Health Issues
Barking Tendencies
Grooming Needs
Shedding Level
Training Needs
Good With Kids
Good With Cats
Good As A Service Dog
Good For Apartments & Small Homes
Biting Tendencies
Energy Level
Good With Other Dogs
Playfulness
Sensitive to Cold Weather
Sensitive to Warm Weather
Good For First Time Pet Parents

Breed Snapshot

Life Expectancy:
12 to 14 years
Size:

Small

Maintenance Level:

Medium

Shed Level:

High

Best For

The Shetland Sheepdog breed is a great choice for first-time pet parents. Shelties are affectionate and thrive with a yard to run around in, but their herding instincts mean they can be very vocal, and...

The Shetland Sheepdog breed is a great choice for first-time pet parents. Shelties are affectionate and thrive with a yard to run around in, but their herding instincts mean they can be very vocal, and bark to get everyone to fall in line. They are typically kid- and pet-friendly, but shy around strangers.

Shetland Sheepdog Temperament

The Sheltie dog is an affectionate, loving friend who just wants to play and make you happy. With a low prey drive, they’re great around cats or other pets, and they can be great with kids, especially their family’s young children. (Although you might catch them occasionally try...

The Sheltie dog is an affectionate, loving friend who just wants to play and make you happy. With a low prey drive, they’re great around cats or other pets, and they can be great with kids, especially their family’s young children. (Although you might catch them occasionally trying to affectionately “herd” the littles!) Some Shelties are less tolerant of strangers’ children, but this really varies from dog to dog.

Shelties can be cautious or shy around strangers, and a Sheltie who isn’t well-socialized as a puppy might nip or even bite at strangers if they feel overwhelmed, so early training is important. Remember that each dog is an individual. Some Shelties will be very tolerant and almost never nip at anyone. They do also have a tendency to sound the bark alarm to alert their family to anything that may be amiss, whether that’s an approaching stranger to the door or a rogue truck rolling down the street.

Shelties love to play and are quite intelligent, and the more time they have to burn off their high energy levels, the better. They love to have a home with yards or large spaces of land where they can run and play, but they can be just as happy in a smaller home too, as long as you take them on a walk or two every day.

Shetland Sheepdog Traits

Friendliness
Exercise Needs
Health Issues
Barking Tendencies
Grooming Needs
Shedding Level
Training Needs
Good With Kids
Good With Cats
Good As A Service Dog
Good For Apartments & Small Homes
Biting Tendencies
Energy Level
Good With Other Dogs
Playfulness
Sensitive to Cold Weather
Sensitive to Warm Weather
Good For First Time Pet Parents
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