(Best dogs in the world!))
Jack (above) and Penny, the red merle on first page, were both wonderful rescue dogs. Jack was from NorCal Aussie Rescue and he went to the Rainbow Bridge in September of 2014. He was a good dog and we think we gave him a good life.
Penny was special to me... and we lost her in 2022. I don't think there will ever be another dog that I bond with like I did with Penny... I still feel the pain.
Peyton (black-tri) on the cover is also a rescue Aussie who came to us with some personality and trust issues which we've helped him mitigate
Australian Shepherd rescue dogs are wonderful workmates and awesome companions when matched to their owners needs and abilities to provide the proper home for them.
The Aussie is a herding breed, which means they have prey drive to a varying degree. Many may want to herd your children, your neighbor’s children, bicycles, the ducks, squirrels or dogs at the dog park, cars or passing joggers. This can include nipping at heels, hands or faces and in some cases could evolve into biting if not corrected through training. Even adults sometimes need to be herded in an Aussie’s mind. This herding instinct can also mean chasing cats, or other animals and subsequently harm them. Cars and bicycles are also ‘fair game’ for the chase, which can lead to dogs on the road and being hit. Because this instinct can sometimes overwhelm them, a fenced yard and obedience training can go a long way toward keeping them safe.
The Aussie is often a highly energetic dog. They require regular exercise, which usually isn’t satisfied with walks on a leash. Aussies usually need off-leash running exercise, including Frisbee or ball playing on a regular basis. Agility is another outlet. Some Aussies have a more laid back temperament and become couch potatoes and would be fine with just frequent walks on leash around the neighborhood. For this reason it is important to select a dog with the temperament and energy level that will fit your lifestyle.
The Aussie is an extremely intelligent dog and you must put the time and effort into training your dog or they may train themselves and more than likely you will not like what they learn. Things such as teaching themselves to raid the trash, tear up personal property, or if all else fails, they will check out the neighborhood. Sometimes it can result in running after wild life or livestock, which can result in a death sentence at the shelter. On the positive side they usually train quickly and want to please.
The Aussie temperament can vary greatly. There are lines of Aussies which are bred to work livestock. These dogs often have a more intense prey drive, are busier, often smaller in stature and may have sharper temperaments. They need work, activity, exercise and full time jobs. Other lines are more on the mellow side having been bred more for companions rather than ranch helpers. They can be less driven, more laid back and less in need of a full time busy job.
The most important thing to realize about the Aussie is that they are usually very people oriented. They want to be with you at all times. They don’t want to be left in the barn while you are back at the house. Chaining an Aussie can cause great frustration and often develops into behavioral problems. They don’t want to be locked in the backyard while they could be lying at your feet. Be cautious, diligent, realistic and HONEST about the type of personality and temperament that will fit into your household. If you are choosing an adult discuss in length with the rescue volunteer, owner or shelter worker your hopes and limitations.
NorCal Aussie Rescue is a California State nonprofit public benefit corporation. Our Federal Tax ID number: # 26-0076953. We rescue, evaluate and then place wonderful Australian Shepherds in just the right new home. We do not adopt out of state, and adopters must be over 25 years of age.
Aussies can be moderately active to extremely active, needy or independent, child-friendly or child-intolerant. Most of our Aussies are strays and we cannot be assured they are good with children, so we will not adopt our dogs to families with children under twelve years old.
Please make sure you view our Shelter Listings as well as the Related Links because there are many nice dogs in shelters that have very limited time. Choosing the best possible home for each individual dog is a very time consuming task - please be patient! If you are interested in adopting one of our Aussies, please fill out an Adoption Application. If you've submitted an application, please be patient...we receive 20-30 applications per day. Thank you!