Australian Shepherds are fantastic dogs to have. They are friendly, get along very well with people and other pets and have huge vitality. However, all of this comes at a cost. Owners have to comply with some requirements. One of them is space.
Australian Shepherds are dogs that require a lot of space. What I recommend you to have is a medium-sized house with a yard. They are incredibly outdoorsy and will struggle to live long periods of time inside a closed space.
Make sure you meet the conditions before getting an Australian Shepherd. If you already are an owner, check if you’re doing everything right. I prepared this article to help you provide a good quality of life for your Australian Shepherd. So, keep reading!
Why Do Australian Shepherds Need a Lot of Space?
Before knowing the exact amount of space your Aussie requires, it is crucial to know the reasons behind it.
As I mentioned before, dogs from this breed are outdoorsy. Think about a sporty dog, one that is constantly agitated and always wants to play. Got the image? Well, that’s an Australian Shepherd.
As their name suggests, Aussies were born to herd. Originally, their role was to help farmers herding livestock. As time passed, they became more familiar dogs and nowadays, they are very common pets. However, their instinct remained. They still love to live outside life.
As you can imagine, pets with these characteristics don’t enjoy to remain indoors. Since your Aussie wasn’t even supposed to live like that, if you don’t give him enough space, this will worsen the situation even more.
Australian Shepherds Don’t Have Good Adaptability
One of the biggest downsides of Australian Shepherds is the fact that they don’t adapt well to many situations. Once bred to live and work on the farm, Australian Shepherds struggle to the modern living style. This includes not only the space they need but also a lot of other factors.
I hope you don’t or will never take your Aussie to live in an apartment, for example. Even in regular houses, he may suffer. Imagine how he would feel living in an even tinier space. If you are currently living like that, try to change it.
There are some positive aspects as well. For example, Australian Shepherds can live well in urban areas. But again, they need plenty of space to play and run in this setting. That’s why you should always bring your friend to exercise in the park or any other open area.
How Much Space Is Enough for Australian Shepherds?
The answer to the main question of this article varies. It will always mainly depend on your dog. Generalizing the answer makes everything easier, but you need to evaluate your Aussie individually.
The ideal scenario for your furry friend will always be similar to his origins. Living in those huge countryside mansions with miles of green space to play would be a fairy tale for him (and I think for you as well!).
However, I suppose that almost no one reading this article has conditions to live like that.
What I recommend you to have is a medium-sized house with a yard. There is not a specific size to determine what is good or not. You are the one who should judge what is sufficient for your friend.
Also, consider his level of activity. If he is extremely agitated, he will require a bigger place. On the other hand, if he is calmer than the average, you might be able to stick with smaller spaces.
Your house should have a yard. If it doesn’t have this feature, your dog will feel like he is living in an apartment, which is terrible. Aussies always need to have contact with open spaces, even if it is not the assigned time to walk around the city.
Australian Shepherds in the Yard
Another important thing you need to have in mind is how to manage your yard. The first question owners generally ask is how big it should be. Fortunately, a huge yard is not required.
The key funny moment for him should always be outdoor activities. Your houses’ yard is just to relieve stress while it isn’t time to go outside. However, it remains to be an essential feature he requires.
The next thing is the setup. First, make sure you install a safety fence so your dog can’t dig behind it or leap over. Also, note that underground electric fencing will not work for Australian Shepherds.
Their desire to go outside and herd is very strong. Therefore he will not be concerned about getting a shock and will follow his instinct.
Letting your Australian Shepherd plays outside alone can be extremely good as well. However, you need to act gingerly, and leaving him outdoors for long periods of time will be harmful to him. That’s because he is still very dependent on your presence.
If he stays out for several hours without a company, he will feel sad. If you leave him alone, strictly control the time. After a few hours, you should bring him inside again.
The only moment you can leave your Australian Shepherd alone for a long time is during his sleep. He will not miss you while sleeping by himself outside.
You should ensure that you’re providing him with adequate conditions to rest. Let him sleep in a basket or a doghouse, depending on the climate, but never on the floor. When it rains, bring him inside.
Do Australian Shepherds Fight for Space With Other Pets?
Dogs are protective animals and are known for always trying to establish their territory. Sometimes, they may fight for it or dispute mating. This can happen regardless of their behavior towards humans.
Fortunately, Australian Shepherds are known for being extremely dog-friendly. They can easily adapt to living in a place with multiple dogs. Generally, they don’t fight if you provide them with appropriate space. They would rather play and try to establish a friendship.
The best time to get another Aussie if you already have one is when he is still a puppy. Anything from 11 to 12 months old is the perfect timing.
Make sure you meet the requirements before letting your Aussie live with more dogs. Take into consideration the space they will need. To summarize, judge your home and see if you feel it adequate for multiple dogs.
Although Australian Shepherds have a good relationship between them and other breeds as well, they may be a bit more aggressive with other pets.
Remember that you are dealing with a herding dog. There are some reports of Aussies trying to herd other animals in the household.
Having them living with cats, for example, isn’t a good idea. Dogs are already famous for having clashes with these felines. A herding dog, on top of that, may cause even more troubles.
If you can’t avoid this scenario, however, you still have an option. Training your Aussie can be useful to prevent this kind of attitude. Australian Shepherds always want to see their owners happy, so your friend will do his best to obey you.
Choosing the Right Crate Size for Your Australian Shepherd
Australian Shepherds are medium-sized dogs and don’t require lots of physical space. The adequate size for a crate for your friend will depend on his size.
An average Aussie has a body length of between 28 to 36 inches. However, this measure may increase when he sits, depending on the way he does it.
A male Australian Shepherd can grow up to between 20 to 23 inches tall. Nevertheless, females are a bit smaller. They are expected to hit heights between 18 to 21 inches when fully grown up.
Based on that, you can think about buying a crate. Consider your dog’s size and choose what you find better for him. The minimum comfortable dimensions are roughly 36 x 24 x 30 inches. If your Aussie is male, this size should be a little bigger.
I recommend you buy a slightly larger cage. That’s for the dog’s comfort. It’s better to provide him with a little bit more rather than letting him with a lack of space. On top of that, remember Aussies are very active. They will be pleased to have a bit of free space to move.
Although Australian Shepherds aren’t large dogs, they require a great area to live comfortably. Your dog can easily live in a regular-sized house with a yard. Smaller spaces are not suitable and should be avoided.
If you have more than one Aussie at home, socializing won’t be a big issue. But avoid letting other pets, such as cats, live with your dog.
Before buying a cage, check your furry friend’s size to buy the correct one. If possible, get a slightly larger size to maximize his comfort. Providing your Aussie with adequate spaces will make his life extremely happy!
People Also Ask
What if I already live in an apartment with my Australian Shepherd?
He must not be delighted with this situation. However, if he can survive without many problems living like that and you don’t have an option, stick with this lifestyle.
Are adjustable cages good for my Australian Shepherd?
Yes, they’re perfect! Adjustable cages can be bought when he is still a puppy and can follow him until adulthood. If you have this option, definitely buy one of them.
My name is John Carter and I absolutely love pets, especially cats and dogs. I’ve got a Bachelor of Science degree in Animal Behaviour and Welfare and have several years’ experience working in animal shelters and rescues. My passion for animals started at a very young age as I grow up on a farm with several horses, cows, cats, chickens, and dogs on our property.