Do Mini Australian Shepherds Bark a Lot? What You Need to Know!
Australian Shepherds are known for their intelligence, grace, and beautiful coats, as well as for being loyal and devoted dogs. They’re used to using their keen senses to keep an eye on livestock when they are working, which is why it makes sense that the Mini Australian Shepherd shares this temperament and traits. This does, however, mean that some of them can bark a lot.
Not all Mini Australian Shepherds will bark. Some will only bark to alert or to “exclaim” for a reason, especially if they’re well-trained. However, some Mini Aussies will redirect any excess energy into being noisy, sometimes barking at anything and everything they can, which can become challenging to manage.
Why Do Mini Australian Shepherds Bark?
Mini Australian Shepherds will bark for a variety of reasons. Some reasons are more common, such as barking at strangers or unfamiliar dogs, but some barks may be related to pain, for example, rather than just wanting attention.
- Wanting attention
- Wanting to draw an owner’s attention to a specific item or person
- Unfamiliar people or dogs
- Canine cognitive decline
- Brain injury
If your Mini Australian Shepherd barks a lot for seemingly no reason (and any underlying issues have been ruled out), training can help. Still, even the most well-trained Mini Aussie will not stop barking altogether, as barking is a natural behavior for dogs, and some even bark when they’re playing or having fun. Again, this expresses their happiness (much to some owners’ chagrin).
Other reasons Mini Australian Shepherds may bark include canine cognitive decline, which can cause excessive barking at “nothing.” Hence, it’s essential to get your dog checked out at the vet if you suspect a health issue may be at play.
How Do I Stop My Australian Shepherd From Barking?
If you’ve investigated your Mini Australian Shepherd’s barking and determined there are no underlying health problems, you can help to curb their noisiness with training and targeted exercise.
Owners can redirect and channel the Mini Aussie’s boundless energy into high-intensity games and agility, as a tired dog is a quiet dog. Games like playing with a Frisbee are excellent for letting your dog run, jump, and stretch its muscles, all while bonding with you. Agility courses are also ideal for this, as they engage a dog’s brain and muscles.
Another way to lessen a Mini Australian Shepherd’s barking is to train it not to do so.
Training is relatively simple but requires lots of repetition and patience because sometimes owners reinforce barking without realizing it, especially when the dog is barking for attention.
Using a word as a command, such as “quiet!” can help to direct your dog. Gather their favorite treats and a clicker if you use one, and when they’re barking, approach them and wait for them to stop. Then, when there’s a gap in the barking (even if it’s just to pause to take a breath), click and say “quiet!” in a quiet but firm voice, immediately giving the treat.
This process lays the foundations for your training with your Aussie, and once this is done a couple of times, your dog will associate not barking with getting a treat or stopping when they hear the “quiet” command.
At What Age Do Mini Australian Shepherds Calm Down?
Usually, Mini Australian Shepherds will be fully mature at around 2 years old, which is when they can generally regulate their energy levels enough to calm themselves. However, despite cognitive development being complete at around this age, Australian Shepherds are still very active dogs and will continue to be even in old age.
Which Dog Breeds Don’t Bark?
Certain breeds are known to bark less than others, but this can’t be guaranteed. The Basenji, for example, is a hunting dog from Africa (in the Congo), which due to its unusually shaped larynx, doesn’t bark, but makes a yodeling sound. Other breeds are also known for their quietness, but no breed never barks, as barking is a natural, innate behavior in dogs that they use to express themselves.
- Saint Bernards
- Shar Peis
Mini Aussie Shepherds are known for their high energy levels and devotion to their owners, but not usually for their barking. Some Mini Aussies will bark excessively, however, if they don’t have enough energy burned off during the day or are given no opportunity to redirect it. Other reasons they may bark include if they’re around unfamiliar people and places, if they’re unwell, or if they’re left alone and suffer separation anxiety.
- How Long Can Australian Shepherds Be Left Alone?
- Are Australian Shepherds Good for First Time Owners?
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