Are Australian Shepherds Picky Eaters?


I am looking to adopt a dog, and I like the Australian Shepherd. They have a lot of energy like me and would make a good buddy for my many adventures. The problem I have is I don’t want a dog that is a picky eater.

Wanting to know if this dog breed is a good fit for me, I did my research and learned a lot about their background and what they eat or don’t eat.

Are Australian Shepherds Picky Eaters?

Australian Shepherds thankfully are not picky eaters, but pet parents be warned, they do have a rather large appetite that matches their activity and energy level. There is always the chance that a dog of any breed will be slightly picky, but this breed is often not.

An Australian Shepherd may end up being a picky eater if their pet parents entertain this behavior and reinforcement pickiness by offering many different foods or replacing perfectly nutritious and healthy dog food that your dog liked yesterday with something else today because they turned up their nose as it.

The Australian Shepherd is a breed that enjoys eating a lot and will likely enjoy anything that is placed in front of them that is healthy and nutritious.

Despite being a medium-sized dogs, they eat larger meals than dogs their size due to the amount of energy they expel throughout their day.

A dog of this energy and size will need about twelve hundred to fifteen hundred calories per day to maintain good health, energy, and feel content. Since the Australian Shepherd can be such a ravenous eater, it can be hard to keep this under control, which can spell issues if not held in check.

The best way to address this issue, whether or not a particular Australian Shepherd is a picky eater, is to have a regular eating schedule.

This eating schedule will keep them fed and maintaining good health without allowing them to start eating everything in sight and out of control, which can become a habit that may not make them obese now.

Still, it is possible later in life when they are a senior, and then it can be hard to modify this problem. While Australian Shepherds are not picky eaters, they may prefer certain foods that they like better than others, just like other dog breeds and humans.

Like other dogs and humans, Australian Shepherds have quirks, but they are not usually picky eater like some dogs.

Their appetite is enormous, as their energy level and, in part, is driven by that energy to keep them going throughout their days.

That being said, it can be crucial for pet parents to find a way to keep this behavior in check, so their Australian Shepherd isn’t eating them out of house and home just for the fun of it.

While they are not a picky eater, this breed or any dog for that matter could end up being pickier if their pet parents entertain such behaviors or encourage them. This can be hard for pet parents to NOT do as we want our fur babies to be happy, content, and eating well.

We might find ourselves offering different dog food and treats if they decide one day that they don’t like that brand anymore, which by the way, they have been eating for a while now.

We also might find ourselves offering table scraps or lots of people food to our Australian Shepherd when we are busy or active right beside them because it is easy and less time-consuming.

This can spell trouble for the Australian Shepherd because while they are not picky eaters, it can spoil them if you will. While this might not end up translating into a full-blown picky eater that turns up their noses at anything other than what they want, but it may make life a bit more complicated.

Will Giving My Aussie Treats Make Them A Picky Eater?

The best way to offer treats and human foods in moderation to your Australian Shepherd without turning them into a picky eater is to provide these foods in moderation. Their primary diet should be their dog food recommended by their veterinarian, and then the treats should be minimal and not often.

This can be a hard thing to do for active families with active dogs. The last thing pet parents on the go want to do is think about what they are feeding their fur baby every second of the day.

This, however, is vital, similar to portion control for you or your human children. Setting up little doggie packets or bags with special human snacks or dog treats to be offered at certain times can help keep their food in check and their pickiness under control too.

Another idea is to change things up. What this means is, don’t always offer treats or human snacks to them. If they need extra nutrition after a long afternoon of playtime and work, they can be given more dog food.

Just because you are eating human food or having a snack doesn’t mean they always need to have the same thing.

Essentially too much of the good stuff, even for your dog, can make them crave those treats and turn their nose up at the regular, plain, and sometimes bland dog food.

Australian Shepherds are not typically picky eaters, but this is a behavioral trait learned or made, not a part of a dog’s genetic background or breeding. If you don’t create the picky eater, they don’t exist.

How Do I Prevent My Australian Shepherd From Becoming A Picky Eater?

Preventing your Australian Shepherd from becoming a picky eater takes thoughtfulness on the pet parents’ part. They should begin with a set schedule for eating and add meals or snacks for energy and strength only when needed.

They should be comfortable sticking to this schedule with only the occasional bending of rules, just like what we humans would do for ourselves if we were trying to maintain health and wellness.

To prevent a picky eater, it can be good to keep them on a dog food diet. Treats and human treats can be offered in small amounts whenever a reward is needed, or a special moment occurs.

If the Australian Shepherd seems to get bored with their dog food, it can be helpful to change up flavors if this is possible or trade-up brands if this is okay with their veterinarian.

Suppose a pet parent finds themselves dealing with an Australian Shepherd that suddenly becomes picky. In that case, they should continue to offer their food as they would on any other day according to the schedule or routine.

Sometimes minor tweaks to the dog food, like adding a splash of beef gravy or something tiny, can do the trick to bring their interest back again. 

While it can be scary to think that a dog so athletic and energetic is not eating its food when it might need it, this should be taken as a matter-of-fact moment.

If the dog is truly hungry, they will eat what they have because they need it for good health and fill their belly.

This would likely be the same course of action that a parent would take with their child if they decided one day that their favorite food was no longer good enough.

Most parents take this pickiness as just a phase realizing that when their children are truly hungry, they will eat and not feeling the need to bounce around the kitchen to create masterpieces for their interest.

The same can be said for an Australian Shepherd, but it can be tough to do in reality. The hardest part of dealing with a picky eater is our own emotions about it and our fears that they will starve to death or never eat again.

In reality, this may be how it feels in that moment, but in truth, it will not be the case at all.

Again, Australian Shepherds are not typically picky eaters, but it is always possible for any dog to become one.

They are generally not picky but do tend to eat a lot. What is more likely to happen in this case is they will eat their dog food, treats, and anything else that is offered to them, no fuss, no muss.

Australian Shepherds Picky Eaters

Any dog, like human children, can be a picky eater. The Australian Shepherd is not typically a dog breed that suffers from this issue.

Still, there is always the possibility that they could become a picky eater under the right conditions.

Whether or not the Australian Shepherd is or will become a picky eater, they are energetic and lively, which requires a lot of food, so what if from time to time they like to break the rules and have a standoff so they can eat what they truly want, is that what we all do!

Ethan Tobias

Ethan joined Embora Pets in 2018 as a staff writer. Ethan is an outdoor enthusiast and loves hiking and camping with his two dogs.

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