Will My Aussiedoodle Be Overly Alert and Watchful?

Probably not!


With an Aussiedoodle, you're not likely to see the on-alert and safeguarding traits of a purebred Australian Shepherd. The cuddly, affectionate poodle genes round that out nicely in an Aussiedoodle.


Your dog's personality, their bond to you, and how comfortable they'll be with other people and situations throughout their life, have everything to do with how you approach your Aussiedoodle's first 16 weeks of life. Different settings and people they're exposed to will affect how they learn and trust their environment and others. The first 16 weeks of life is when they have the greatest capacity to learn social skills. The Aussiedoodle pups I breed are still with me and their littermates for at least the first eight weeks of that. I advocate keeping dogs out of parks and other public places until they've had their three sets of shots. I am a small family breeder, and all my females live with my husband and me, so from the time the puppies are born, I am involved in every aspect of the pups' lives. Each one has hands-on handling and therapy daily to help them adapt to sound, motion, and touch.

This time of "imprinting" (their first eight weeks of life while still with me, plus the following eight weeks when they're in your home) at the beginning of your puppy's life sets them up to be hospitable to guests who enter your home, to other dogs, and the great wide world in general.

I've seen the flip side when purchasing a dog from a breeder who did not socialize and work with the pups. It took me years to get this dog not to be afraid of its own shadow. A good dog is a forever dog, and I want to set my pups and their future people up for success, so socialization is a crucial component of their early lives, starting when they're still with me.

When you take them home, build on that foundation by touching their feet, mouth, and ears, making vet visits more comfortable. Once they've had the three rounds of initial shots, expose them to various animals, people, and other "unusual" things and noises like household appliances, the TV and radio, talking and laughing, and kids playing. When socializing them with people, have them around folks of different shapes, sizes, and ethnicities, wearing hats and coats and such.


I've had my puppies' families in the past ask me what they can do to make their Aussiedoodle "their dog." One way I recommend creating that strong bond is to tie a leash around your waist and have your puppy walk everywhere with you around the house for the imprinting period (until they reach 16 weeks of age).

Getting the pups used to situations and people outside the home is also very important for creating an adaptable, friendly, well-adjusted dog. I was reminded of this in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic. With business closures and stay-at-home orders, I couldn't socialize the new dogs I got that year as much as usual, and I have ultimately noticed that my own 2020 pups don't do as well with other people as my older dogs do. Eventually, my husband tried venturing out to Home Depot with one of my 2020 dogs for some socializing, and just the automatic sliding door was enough to put her over the edge. While in quarantine, she hadn't been well-socialized or exposed to various machinery.


Heed my advice—showing them places and people outside your home is so important. Be intentional about doing it as often as you can. When you do decide to start venturing out with your puppy, ease them into it. Broadening their horizons is a delicate balance, as exposing them to too much too fast can overwhelm them. Don't force them to go up to people or accept petting when they don't want to. Go easy on them. If you do venture out to, say, a dog-friendly store, you might try giving treats to the people there to give to your puppy to get them comfortable with approaching strangers. It's critical at this time to show your puppy they can trust you, that you won't force them into situations that are just too much for them.

And your reactions are so significant. It's tough not to comfort your puppy when they seem frightened by doing things like petting them or talking to them with puppy-baby-talk. But doing so actually encourages their fear. Tough or counterintuitive as it may be, ignore their fear, act normal, and show them that there's nothing to be afraid of.


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