Australian Shepherd Dog Breed Information

No Breed Reviews

At a Glance

Male Height20 - 23 inches
Female Height18 - 21 inches
Male Weight40 - 50 pounds
Female Weight35 - 45 pounds
SizeMedium
Colors black, liver ,blue merle, and red merle with tan or white markings
HypoallergenicNo
PersonalityAdaptabable, Affectionate, Alert, Confident, Friendly, Intelligent,
Lifespan11 - 13 years

Introduction

One of the most popular breeds today, the Australian Shepherd (also referred to as the Aussie) makes a great family dog, renowned for making wonderful companions and for their stamina which makes them awesome playmates. This breed is lively, affectionate and very intelligent. A great all-around breed that has something for all of the family.

History

The breed name may suggest that it is from Australia, but the fact is that this breed was developed in the Rocky Mountains of the Western United States from lines imported from the Basque region of Spain. The Australian Sheepdog was bred to herd animals - primarily sheep at high elevations. As with all Shepherd dogs stamina and a high degree of intelligence were highly sought after traits, and this shows in the modern breed. They became popular as household pets shortly after the second world war. They are recognized by most national kennel associations although breed specifications may vary. In the recent past this breed has been further developed into a miniature and toy versions which is ideal for those with smaller apartments and yards.

Temperament

This breed can is known for its playfulness and energy. Most of these dogs do best in an active environment where they can burn off some of their energy. As intelligent dog they love to learn new tricks and strive to show them off to whoever is watching. They are one of the favored breeds for agility training. As far as strangers are concerned they can be cautious and even defensive, but make friends quickly once they sense that there is no danger.


Coat

The coat of the Australian Shepherd is usually described as having a medium-length that is curly or wavy. Their coat is water-resistant. In the spring the coat is somewhat shorter and less dense after shedding.

Do Aussies do well in Apartments?

These dogs do suprisingly well in apartments as they have a patient disposition, however as with most Sheep Dogs they will require exercise to keep them in shape. This breed also loves to have it intelligence tested. If you are limited in space you may want to consider a mini or toy Aussie as they have a similar disposition to their full sized relatives.

Barking

Usually none unless left alone for long periods as they do require some attention.

Do Aussies Get Along With Children & Other Pets?

These dogs are usually great with kids and other pets if socialized correctly. The Aussie make a great best friend for any rambunctious teenager.

Exercising a Australian Shepherd Dog

As an active type breed this dog needs to regularly exercised. They excel at catch, fetch and frisbee, so the more sedentary owner should have no problem keep the dog healthy provided he has enough energy to throw the ball about.

How to Groom a Australian Shepherd Dog

To maintain a healthy and clean coat the Aussie should be brushed weekly. The fur can be prone to matting so a speciality brush is sometimes required. During the shedding period in early spring it might be best to brush the dog daily until the excess hair is removed. A bath every few months also works well - it is suggested you use a mild shhampoo.

Aussie and Shedding

This breed does shed, mostly in the spring to get rid of the winter coat. Shedding is usually light throughout the rest of the year.

Aussie Health Problems?

Vision problems are common, and epilepsy are common concerns. In merle-to-merle breeding, the puppies that have inherited two copies of the merle gene have an increased risk of being born blind or deaf. Hip dysplasia can occur in these dogs but is not common.

Are Aussies Intelligent?

This is a highly intelligent dog that loves to test any new knowledge it acquires, and have the mental capacity to quickly surmount and obstacle put in their way.

Australian Shepherd Dog

The Aussie is quick to learn, but has an independent thinking mind. That streak of independence can sometimes be a hinderence in training - but was obviously an asset when they were herding livestock at a distance from their master. When training these dogs it is important to keep them interested, they love to think. Make sure they are pleased as provide plenty of one on one attention.