Where dreams Really Do Come True               

Great Spirit Australian Shepherds 
                                                                   Lifetime Members of ASCA ~
  Aussies Since 2007 ~ Selah!
Great Spirit Australian Shepherds is a
Licensed AKC and ASCA Registered Kennel   


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Adult & Puppy Care

  Australian Shepherd Adult and Puppy Care & Training


An Aussie with a job to do is a happy Aussie.

Consider your plans for your Aussie before choosing your new Australian shepherd.
What interests you have will help determine the best possible puppy for you.

What training will you provide?


Agility, Assistance (service) dog , Commercial farm/ranch work, Conformation, Disc Dog/Frisbee®, Disc dog, Dog hiking, Dock Jumping, Dog Surfing, Equestrian activities , Field trials or training/gun dog, Flyball , Freestyle/Dog dancing, Dock diving/Water sports, Hiking & wild country activities, Lure coursing, Obedience or Rally , Pack Hiking, Schutzhund/IPO, Search and Rescue, Stockdog/Herding Trials , Therapy Dog, Tracking, Trick dog, Weight pull/carting, Winter sports

                                     Great Activities Site http://www.dogplay.com/index.html

              AKC Agility Conformation Herding Juniors Obedience • Rally • Stockdog Therapy DogTracking

A Beginner's Guide To Companion Events 
AKC Agility - A Beginner’s Guide www.akc.org/events/agility
AKC Conformation - Dog Shows A Beginner’s Guide
AKC Herding - Getting Started  www.akc.org/events/herding
AKC - For Juniors www.akc.org/kids_juniors
AKC Obedience - A Beginner’s Guide www.akc.org/events/obedience
AKC Rally - A Beginner’s Guide www.akc.org/events/rally
ASCA Stockdog - Herding Program http://www.asca.org/programs/stockdog
AKC Therapy Dog™ Title http://www.akc.org/events/title-recognition-program/therapy/
AKC Tracking - Getting Started www.akc.org/events/tracking


"The Structure and Movement of the Australian Shepherd in Drawings" by  Victoria Mistretta Considering finding just the right Australian shepherd puppy to add to your family? Are you asking what is the meaning behind Australian Shepherd Breed Standard? A very good book to help you make an informed purchase of your new Australian Shepherd. (May be out of print.)

Nutrition - We a use measuring cups and maintain a target weight for each dog. That way we can adjust up or down as needed to maintain weights. Maintaining proper body weight is good for their overall health.  Neutered or Spayed  dogs might require a lesser amount of food to maintain weights. It can be helpful to weigh your dog once a month to help maintain their target weight.

#3 Dog is normal and ideal. Ribs and spine may be easily felt, but not seen.
There is a waist when viewed from above. Often muscular in appearance.

                                                     Black Tri Australian Shepherds

~ Great Spirit Dogs Are Fed High Quality Foods ~

Our Australian shepherd puppies are fed puppy food 3 times a day. Amounts change by growth stages. Growing puppies top daily total intake may be up to 6 cups per day.

If they are on a puppy food, at around six months we change the puppies over to adult dog food twice a day. It is now recommended by many to use a high quality premium "all life stage" dog food.

Our current brand of dog food is FROMM PUPPY GOLD up to 6 mos. and then FROMM GOLD ADULT. The dogs are doing well on Fromm kibble and seem to enjoy the taste. We had to reduce the daily amounts as listed below, because Fromm kibble may be high in calorie. FROMM kibble is available online:

We feed our dogs as follows:
Growing puppies are fed up to a top amount of around 2 cups - 3X's a day.

Our older adolescents and adult male puppies after 6mos. are doing well and are maintaining good weights: adult males 3 cups to 3 1/2 total per day.  The adult females are eating 2 cups to 2 1/2 cups total per day.  Treats and activity level may adjust amounts. The brand of food often makes a big difference in the amounts required for good health. Fromm Gold Adult kibble requires a smaller amount than some other brands to maintain weight. It may be good idea to weigh your dog once a month to see they are maintaining correct weights. Neutered and Spayed adult dogs usually require the lesser food amounts to maintain a healthy body weight.

Note: The calorie content varies by brands. Lesser brands often require more feed to meet the same nutritional needs.

*For a simple tummy upset, we remove all food, and serve plain white cooked rice for 24 hours with string cheese or Mozzarella Cheese.

Supplement ~ We supplement with a few blueberries, slice of ripe banana,  1T peanut butter:without "Xylitol" listed in the ingredients (Xylitol can cause of liver failure), yogurt, cottage cheese, green beans, sweet potatoes, carrots, rice & hamburger, frozen raw chicken parts, turkey necks, and our dogs favorite.... String Cheese or Mozzarella Cheese. All treats should be counted towards the daily caloric intake.


Interested in feeding a natural diet? What is the BARF Diet? 
BARF is an acronym for Biologically Appropriate Raw Food. It’s about feeding pets responsibly and properly to maximize health, longevity and reduce allergies and vet bills. The diet is based on human grade whole foods including raw meat, finely ground bones, official and other healthy ingredients such as fruit and vegetables.
To find out more see the link above. 

Water by Earl Mindell, R.Ph.D. totalhealth magazine  The most important nutrient you give your dog is water, so it is vital to provide access to pure, clean water at all times. Earl Mindell R.PH., PH.D. http://www.totalhealthmagazine.com/Pets/waterbyearlminde.html    

Stainless Steel Pails
For Food 1qt and Water 2 qt

These quality Stainless Steel Pails are ready to use for whatever you need. Comfortable wire handles make them easy to carry, even when full. Flat-sided Pails have an attached hook to hang flush against the wires of the kennel or crate. Heavy-gauge stainless steel, guaranteed to resist rust. A double-sided snap hook holds them securely in place. (1qt for food and 2qt for water) The spacing of the hooks need to match the crate. The hooks spaced close together work on most crates. Crate bowls wash easy with hot water and soap and a paper towel.

Home Baked Dog Cookies

 Crates for Home and Car Travel 
Dogs enjoy their crate as their private den. We reccomend if you cannot be present to watch your puppy that you crate your puppy. Puppies can quicky chew through your computer wires and find fun in ways you may not enjoy so much.    
Precision Pet deluxe 2-door  by Precision Pet
    Crates come in various sizes.
The 300 hard plastic kennel is a standard adult size for most for Aussies for car or as an
airplane approved kennel. (For Shipping: Check with your airline, before purchasing a crate.)

Great for in-home, we use a see-through wire crate. Depending on your space restrictions, at home we like an x-large 6000 48X30X33 that is truly, extra big and roomy.


The Scoop on Poop

Flexrake 67W Large Scoop and Spade Set with 36-Inch Handle

Available at Amazon $27.60 or  3 C's

Scoop and Spade Comes in designer colors, too! :)

Behrens 6106 6-Gallon Locking Lid Can 
Amazon $15.98

Using a disposable kitchen trash bag liner in the can makes disposal easy. The tight fitting lid keeps flies away.

 Training and Activity Aides
 Training and Activity Aides                         Agility Fun!                        
Item's shown above: Your dog's training treats would count toward their total daily calorie count! We break the mini treats in half. Treats made in the USA are a good consideration. A slip leash is nice for quick transfers from car to house.

I recently found a supply of dog collars at the dollar store. They also had food bowls and other durable items for $1.00 each!

Training ~ A series of expert Training Classes are so important and worthwhile for Australian Shepherds and their owners. Dogs that are fully vaccinated at around 4 months are able to begin training at a dog training facility. The socialization in a controlled environment is really beneficial, especially for your dog. Ask us for local training referrals in your area.

Below are a few of my favorites online resources in the area of training. If you have something you like in the area of training, please send it as an email link and perhaps I can make it available here to others.

How to Housebreak a Puppy: Crate Training  //www.youtube.com/watch?v=CdWR275LHio

How to Stop your Puppy from Mouthing or Biting Too Much

You might try offering a Nylabone Dura Chew from Amazon or Petco, or use a tug toy or other acceptable toy, or say NO! or Ouch! loudly and walk away, or put said dog into their crate for a short time-out. If your Australian shepherd has a soft temperament, it will not take much to help them understand what is acceptable. As a last resort, if other measures fail, you can try a spray called, "Bitter Apple". Dogs do not like the taste of the "Bitter Apple" mouth spray, and that sometimes works on more strong willed dogs

                TUG TOY   
                                    NYLABONE DURA CHEWS
(Toys should be put up away when unsupervised)
Note: Rawhide chews should be avoided.   
Rawhide chews if swallowed may cause intestinal blockages.  

How to Leash train A Puppy  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SXxi9BGH0Ss 

A Well Trained And Socialized Dog Makes For A Happy Owner

After your dog has completed their puppy vaccinations, you will want to explore opportunities to make use of a puppy training class. Visit a training facility in your area and ask about a STAR Puppy class and then perhaps Canine Good Citizenship, CGC. These classes are designed to help you socialize your new pet. Australian shepherds need a job to do and a good training class can provide you both with a positive experience.  You will find these classes to be the building blocks for other enjoyable activities such as Agility, Obedience or Rally.

Canine Good Citizenship CGC is now recognized as a title by the American Kennel Club. Your pet may earn the title CGC to wear after their name. Example: Great Spirit's Call Me Maybe, CGC. Many insurance companies are recognizing the value of a well trained and socialized dog. Check with your agent to see if they reward clients with better rates who own dogs that have earned their Canine Good Citizenship, CGC

Who's In Charge Here

A lesson in becoming alpha

This article was written by Vicki DeGruy                               

Dog Parks~Some Thoughts To Consider First! More reports of serious injuries and death have occurred at dog parks. Due to dangerous issues of lack of pack structure, poorly managed dogs, and disease, Great Spirit does not recommend dog parks. It may be better to find a play group you can trust.

Free Leerburg Training Articles on just about every subject 
Ed Fralwy of Leerburg Kennels is a dog trainer and breeder of German Shepherds. Leerburg Kennels is also one of the top German Shepherd breeding facilities in America.
Topical articles written by Ed Fralwy of Leerburg

How To Housebreak Your Puppy

DVD's by Ed Fralwy of Leerburg come in a variety of topics and each one has been excellent!!!
We have watched the Leeburg DVD's as a family, discussed what was shown, and then we tried together to put the ideas shown into practice.

Below are a couple Leerburg DVD's ...

DVD Video ~ "Your Puppy 8 Weeks to 8 Months" DVD by Ed Fralwy of Leerburg


                                           Good Reminder!


DVD Video ~ "Basic Dog Obedience" DVD by Ed Fralwy of Leerburg

Spruce Up That Back Yard ~ Creative ideas for yard enclosures by Ed Fralwy of Leerburg

Ed Fralwy, says
I get a lot of emails in which people talk about problems with their dogs that occur when they are not home. My answer is that they need to keep their dog in a dog crate, a fenced yard, or a dog kennel when they are gone. If the dog is in an enclosure it cannot hurt anything.

Good Online Dog Training Classes
Looking for something that won't cost an arm and a leg? Training that can be done inside. Any good foundation (agility/rally/obedience) tricks or just something fun?
Most resources below are found on both Facebook and by Google of their name. These were recommend, I will look them over, and let you know the ones most valuable.

Fenzi Dog Sport Academy - Most liked of all training, You can get a lot out of signing up for the bronze level, where all you do is audit the class. http://www.fenzidogsportacademy.com

Jeff Gellman of Solid Gold K-9 Training
out of Rhode Island. Jeff's goal was to make it so that no one needed to hire him. http://solidgoldk9training.com

Moira Hanley-Cornell
- The Professional Dog on Facebook has some cool heeling/agility classes! http://www.theprofessionaldog.com

Do More With Your Dog - Online and on Facebook http://domorewithyourdog.com

The Collared Scholar Company
- Her challenges are reported to be fun. Lot's of tips on engagement. Facebook - //www.facebook.com/87376079857/posts/10156386508219858/

Show Dog Prep Schoo
l - Lots of fun stuff here! http://www.showdogprepschool.com

Bad Dog Agility - Online and on Facebook http://www.baddogagility.com

Grooming Australian Shepherds
Bathing is usual every 1 to 4 weeks or as needed

Grooming Basics Step-By-Step
Slides showing basic grooming steps by SeaLevel Aussies.

This You Tube video does not show pants or ears, but it is very good.
You Tube -"Grooming An Australian Shepherd" Posted by Erin Keechak

This You Tube video is a bit longer, but does show pants, tail and ears grooming.

You Tube "Grooming Your Australian Shepherd" Posted by Blue Note Aussies

An Online Facebook Class is Available For The Serious Grooming Student.
Moria Hanley-Cornell has set up a Facebook Grooming 1 (Basic) Grooming 2 (Beyond Basic to Awesome)
The classes contain videos on how to make your Aussie look their best. Moria shows the "must have" tools and products. I like how Moria demonstrates how to make individual and each different Aussie look their best.
The cost is $150 for both classes. PayPal the cost to Gulfstreamaussie@aol.com
Once you have paid for the classes send Moria Hanley-Cornell a Facebook friend request and she will add you.
After you pay the classes are yours to enjoy and re-visit as many times as you wish.
(First, check with Moria Hanley-Cornell on Facebook message that class is currently offered, and the cost remains the same $150 for both grooming classes.)

Need to Know How To Set Ears?                         
EARS: Goes without saying, breeders will want to select sires
 and dams for correct Australian shepherd ear set.
 if your puppy is showing signs of needing ear training here are
 two possible solutions shown below.
"Lincoln" has his tops down to cool his head!!!
"Taping" and Training Your Puppy's Ears
Might your puppy be best served by taping ears. Speak to your breeder. This You Tube video may help you get started.     
You Tube - "Setting Your Australian Shepherd's Ears" Posted by kingsferryaussies

"Glue Method" of Training Your Puppy's Ears
Might your puppy be best served by gluing ears. Speak to your breeder.
Shut-Eye Cement is made for use on animals. A small amount is used, and the ears are set in place for a puppy who is teething. After the age of teething the ears are considered "set" in place and most likely will not change.

Shown below are some of our favorite collection of grooming products and tools.

Pantene Ice Shine Shampoo and Conditioner from Walmart are both good choices for keeping your Australian Shepherd clean. We also especially, like using Quadruped Yucca Shampoo 16 oz and Christensen Pro-Line Pro-Gro Conditioner 16 oz, both products are available online. For occasional use on the white parts of our dog's coat, we like to use an enzymatic shampoo, "Crystal White". A regular hand held dryer works well or shown in the photo is Chris Christensen - Kool Dry Dog Dryer, Variable Speed, Very Quiet and comes in many colors: http://www.showdogstore.com/kool-dry-dog-dryer.aspx  For the show home, Kool Dry is nice to own, especially if you are washing and drying more than one or two dogs... For how often to bathe a dog, it just depends on the season, ie. mud or show dog season, changes how often we bathe our dogs. Grooming at home is easier to maintain if done more frequently and again varies with seasons. (See "How To" You Tube grooming videos above.) Shampoos can be completed as often as once a week to up to every four weeks.

Quadruped Shampoo & Christensen Pro-Line Pro-Gro Conditioner
are favorites. They are both extra nice and gentle
on coat leaving your dog looking and smelling their best.

16oz Quadruped Yucca Tearless Shampoo 16 oz $12.70 / Gallon $40.50

16 oz Christensen Pro-Line Pro-grow Conditioner 16 oz $20 / Gallon $89.00

P.S.I. HEAVY DUTY COAT RAKE product #808 $20.00 3 C's

CLEANER and YOUR DOG Comfortable
and looking their best. Coat Rake:
Available at 3 C's


Chris Christensen Long Pin Slicker Brush, Large Coral Amazon $69.95
After using the heavy duty coat rake (above) this pin slicker comb removes the left over undercoat to leave a coat that is fresh and shiny. (A bit pricey, but so very nice to own.)

Care of Teeth - Regular Teeth Brushing  Can Be Completed At Bath Time.
Breed standard calls for a full compliment of "strong, white teeth".
Poultry Flavor toothpaste is a favorite! Just as
with us, canine digestion begins in the mouth. Regular care of the teeth promotes good health, and goes along with bathing and grooming routines.

Many choose a dental scalar to keep the teeth tater free and "strong and white". There are many types of dental scalars available online at Amazon.

Another method for keeping "strong, white teeth" is to add raw turkey necks, chewy heart and lung meat to the diet. Raw hard knuckle bones can fracture teeth and caution is advised. Cooked bones are not recommended.

Good To know ~ Medical Information
Australian Shepherds are sensitive to certain drugs.

~ Dr. Jean Dodds

Minimal Vaccination Protocol - Give your pet health and a long life.
Do consider not over vaccinating your pet.

Australian Shepherd Drug Reactions ~MDR1

Australian shepherds may have life threatening reactions to certain drugs and routine medications. Know which drugs to avoid and have a plan to protect your pet.
It is good to know your dog's MDR1 status score and remind your veterinarian at each visit if medications or vaccinations are suggested. Buster alert links: vcpl.vetmed.wsu.edu/ and busteralert.org/mdr1-info/

"Rabies" is a harsh vaccination and it may be best if given separately from other procedures  or vaccinations by one month. Your dog may require a Benadryl Tablet before having the the Rabies vaccination...especially if they are MDR1 M1/M1 (mutant.mutant) Best to ask your veterinarian before having the rabies vaccination if a Benadryl tablet is recommended. A rabies 3 year shot can be given in many states in the United States following the one year shot, only if you have your paper record proof of a "prior one year" rabies shot.

Keep your paperwork from the one year rabies to show eligibility for the 3 year rabies. Your Pup Binder is a good place to store vet paperwork.

A Titer Test from your veterinarian for immunity to rabies, may be all that is required, in place of the repeated rabies vaccination. 

Ask your veterinarian if a Benadryl Tablet would be helpful before the rabies vaccination.

Benedryl is available at most drug stores.
Your Veterinarian can advise you on dose amounts.
(Our dogs have enjoyed a sugary and icy cut-up Popsicle after their rabies shot.)

Worming Medicine Panacure C is best or
Nemix Tabs has been recognized as safe for Australian shepherds. As always check with your veterinarian.

Panacur C - (fenbendazole) We have used a twice yearly worming schedule for our adults. A "float test" at your veterinarian can determine if worming is necessary.
For our adults we may choose every 6 month, or as needed. A current weight is used to determine the package dose. Panicur C 4 gram granular packet treats 40lbs (2 gram treats 20lbs, 1 gram pk for puppies 10 lbs) Panacur C is a broad spectrum Canine dewormer and has been considered safe by many for Australian shepherds. Panacur C is for  the treatment and control of Roundworms, Hookworms, Whip-worms, and Tapeworms. Safe for use in puppies 6 weeks or older and adult dogs, including pregnant bitches. Package directions state Panacur C granule packets are mixed into a teaspoon of cottage cheese or yogurt once daily, per 3 days in a row. http://www.vetmedicines.com/panacurc4gram.aspx

Nemix Tabs for large dogs
each tablet treats 50lbs Nemix is another worming product that is considered safe for Australian shepherds. Treats the removal of roundworms and hookworms in dogs, and considered safe for Australian shepherds. Tablet may be given easily inside a piece of string cheese.

Neutering or Spaying Your Companion Pet

The Question Of Neutering and at What Age: Currently, many believe neutering or spaying should take place after maturity of the growth plates. Great Spirit Aussies does not support early neutering or spaying for future health reasons. Our own dogs are neutered or spayed after one year of age. They need the intact hormones for proper growth and development. Fot this reason it is our preference that neutering or spaying occur after 8 mos, and hopefully, closer to one year.

Cost of Owning a Dog ~
It is wise advice to purchase a "well made puppy"  from a breeder who has completed health checks on the parents of your puppy; and whose reason for breeding is to gain something to keep for themselves from the litter, and who will stand by their dog with a return clause written into the contract. 

Since there are many ways and products available for canine care, we have shown you only one way, ours! If you have additional favorites that might be included on this page...please email me at 

It is understood, Great Spirit Aussies makes no endorsements of any of the products shown. This is for your information only. Always seek the advise of your veterinarian.


Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for the evidence of things not seen.
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