Since time immemorial, dogs are generally regarded as man’s best friend. As man’s bestie, asides from being pets, dogs tend to protect their owners and watch over their belongings among other tasks they perform. Dog owners, on the other hand, provide food, shelter, and basic health needs thus making the relationship between humans and animals mutually beneficial. Let’s understand Are Australian Shepherds Good for College Students?
Dogs are known to be intelligent. Australian Shepherds rank No.3 on the world ranking list of smartest dogs. According to the Canadian National Australian Shepherd Association (CNASA), the Australian Shepherd (or Aussie) is a versatile breed that can do a lot, they can compete in conformation, take part in service work, participate in search and rescue, and can win hearts as a cherished family companion. They can also assume one of the most important roles any dog can ever take on-be an essential instrument in stress therapy!
Australian Shepherds are Good for College Students
College students are faced with several stress-related activities ranging from research-related assignments to on-the-spot ‘class work’, among other study-related responsibilities. According to the American Institute of Stress (AIS):
• Stress was ranked fourth by 5.9% of university clinicians as one of the primary mental health issues among college students for the academic year 2018 – 2019. Anxiety is first at 23.5%.
• 61% of college students seek counseling for anxiety, depression, etc.
AIS suggested that therapy dogs are a great stress relief for many college students. Australian Shepherd is one of the top options on the therapy dogs list. In view of this, asides from the established general and specific pros of owning a dog identified earlier, the consecutive paragraphs will justify the need for Australian Shepherds among students.
Advantages of Owning an Australian Shepherd as a Student
Australian Shepherds are also known as Californian Shepherd, Pastor Dog, Bob Tail, or Spanish Shepherd dog. They are very friendly and always high-spirited.
As confirmed by several studies and research journals, Aussies are very intelligent. With great empathic abilities, they often form intense bonds with their owners and can naturally meet the therapeutic needs of their possessors- especially students! The following are possible advantages of owning an Australian Shepherd dog as a student:
• Aussies can serve as walk companions for students which can prevent loneliness and depression.
• Aussies can serve as an inexpensive means of dog therapy for its student owner. • They can also foster security by preventing their owners from bullies and other dangers. • Australian Shepherd can serve as a subject of discourse leading to research topics and discoveries useful to the school and the society at large.
• Students who are Aussie owners can create a group to discuss their discoveries and personal experiences which can make them forces to be reckoned with in the vet space. • The association of Student Dog Owners (SDOs) can also organize periodic game shows which can relieve general stress among students.
Guidelines for Student Dog Owners (SDOs)
Several rules are established by pet-accommodating school authorities or governments to check and control the activities of students and their pets. Although, adhering to these obligations may not be comfortable for SDOs, however, the gratifying privilege of owning a therapist, a companion, and a protector, justifies the efforts invested in observing the guidelines. Just in case you fret about taking your Aussie to your college, you can make enquires to know if your companion can accompany you to school.
Rules and regulations for SDOs are peculiar to territories. For example, some colleges require payment for registration of your dog, vaccination, and restriction of movement (there are certain areas you cannot take your dog to), among others. Therefore, if you own or intend to own an Australian Shepherd as a student, you are encouraged to look out for all related guidelines and discuss with intending and existing SDOs to learn from their ideas and experiences. Notwithstanding, if you plan to take your Aussie to school, here are a few general ideas:
• Take the dog for a test to verify its conformity to environmentally safe practices. • Prevent the dog from accessing public places like lecture halls etc.
• Do not use your dog as a bully or any intentional form of harassment against anyone. • Make sure your dog is well trained to follow your orders, so you can always keep it under control.
• Never let the feeding of your dog or any other activity related constitute a nuisance to the college environment
Health Guide for Student Dog Owners
Aussies generally have a few health challenges which they may encounter. As a responsible SDO in college, you need to be observant. As Aussies are extremely smart, they can easily communicate with you when going through some health challenges either by whimpering or reacting differently to instructions. SDOs are encouraged to observe the following:
• Get a qualified vet doctor to periodically check on your dog.
• Take note of periodic vaccination and set reminders to avoid missing vaccination dates. • Feed your dog appropriately, don’t overfeed nor underfeed.
• Be responsible, never abandon your dog.
• Study and understand your Aussie so you can call the attention of your doctor in case you suspect any health challenges.
A study carried out on the effects of dogs on students showed that direct interaction with a dog does have at least some benefits for college students. Therefore, this study and other shreds of evidence that surrounds us both on social media and other traditional platforms justify Australian Shepherds as appropriate pets, companions, and most especially therapy dogs for college students. This article promotes and supports a pet-friendly environment for students globally.
Looking at the confines and purpose of the study, a number of concepts that could have been discussed are left hanging such as the etymology of Australian Shepherd dogs from the US as opposed to the suspected Australian origin, the major peculiarities of the breed, among other topics. However, this is an eyeopener to the reasons, requirements, and possible guidelines for college students who are intending or existing Australian Shepherd dog owners.