Australian Shepherd

Other names: Aussie, Little Blue Dog

This magnificent dog is very intelligent, elegant and proud looking. The Australian Shepherd is very cheerful and energetic. It has an effervescent personality, is active and a good player. It can be an excellent pet as well as a working dog. The Australian Shepherd is just as happy working as it is exercising. It is very close to its owners and dislikes solitude.

Height
46 to 58 cm
Weight
19 to 34 kg
Life expectancy
10 to 15 years
Hair loss
Moderate
Need for exercise
Very high

Quick overview of the Australian Shepherd

Appearance

  • Robust, muscular and supple
  • Proud looking
  • Well proportioned
  • Well adapted for sports enthusiasts

Temperament

  • Very sharp
  • Sociable and very tolerant
  • Adapts well to family life
  • Courageous and loyal

Health

It is frequent to encounter a few hereditary problems such as hip and elbow dysplasia and many eye problems.

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Australian Shepherd's appearance

Australian Shepherd

The Australian Shepherd is very proud looking

Very agile, it can change directions instantaneously. It is well proportioned and is slightly longer than it is high. This breed is also robust, muscular and supple. Attentive, it offers excellent liveliness.

Height: Between 51 and 58 cm (20 to 23 inches) for the male.
Between 46 and 53 cm (18 to 21 inches) for the female.
Weight: Between 25 and 34 kg (55 à 75 pounds) for the male.
Between 19 and 26 kg (42 à 57 pounds) for the female.
Color: The color standard of the German Shepherd can be found in 16 colors. Four of them are very popular: black tricolor (black coat with some white and copper), blue merle (silver patches with some white and copper), red tricolour (brown with some white and copper) and red merle (golden spots with white and copper). The other indexed colors are the following: bicolor (4 coats without white), bicolor (4 coats without copper), self black (4 coats without white and copper).
Hair: Its robe is smooth and is very weather resistant. Its hair, straight to wavy, is medium length. Its hair is short on its head, ears, the front of its forelimbs and under the hocks.
Morphology: The tail is naturally short or is docked short at birth (certain countries no longer authorise docking of the tail). Its head is well proportioned with respect to the rest of the body. The nose can be of different colors. Its eyes are brown, blue, amber or a combination of these colors.

The australian shepherd, according to the FCI breeds nomenclature, belongs to group 1, section 1 and is #342.

Temperament of the Australian Shepherd

The Australian Shepherd sticks to its owner like glue - it requires lots of attention on a daily basis.
Very sharp and well adapted for sports enthusiasts, the Australian Shepherd is renowned for its great speed. It has all the qualities required to be an excellent herd keeper whether it be for bovine animals, sheep or feathered animals.

Other functions for this breed are for use in canicross, cavage and search and rescue.

Very sociable and tolerant, this dog easily adapts to family life. It is very endearing and loves company.

Its courage, agility, loyalty, devotion and balance make the Australian Shepherd an excellent dog for families with children.

It loves to do work and does it with enthusiasm and by displaying a proud attitude.

The Australian Shepherd hates solitude and follows its owners everywhere in the house. It likes to lick humans very frequently.

Australian Shepherd

Characteristics of the Australian Shepherd

Does this dog fit your lifestyle?

Every dog breed has these characteristics. However, the temperament of a dog can vary from one individual to the next among the same breed.

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Life in an apartment 1 /5
Good first dog 2 /5
Tolerates solitude 2 /5
Tolerates cold temperatures 4 /5
Tolerates hot weather 4 /5
Affectionate 5 /5
Friendly with children 4 /5
Friendly with strangers 3 /5
Friendly with other animals 5 /5
Hair loss 3 /5
Drooling level 1 /5
Easy to care for 1 /5
Robust health 2 /5
Easy to train 5 /5
Intelligent 5 /5
Tendency to bark 4 /5
Tendency to nibble 4 /5
Protective 4 /5
Instinct to hunt 4 /5
Adventurous spirit 5 /5
Energy level 5 /5
Level of intensity 4 /5
Need for exercise 5 /5
Playful 5 /5

Characteristics are evaluated on a scale from 1 to 5
where 5 signifies that the characteristic is very present for this breed.

Adopting a Australian Shepherd

Do you breed Australian Shepherds or know a good breeder?

Help us recommend breeders that are conscientious and respectful of the breed for people wanting to adopt a Australian Shepherd in your region.

Finding a good breeder to adopt from is not always easy. Classified ads are often the haven of puppy mills. This is why, in addition to our research and verifications, we also consider the personal experiences of our users with the breeders listed here.

Pictures of the Australian Shepherd

Tips about the Australian Shepherd

Points to consider before adopting a Australian Shepherd

  • To be happy, it requires lots of physical exercise. This breed should therefore not be considered for adoption by sedentary people. It is the ideal companion for cross-country skiing, mountain biking, horseback riding and running. It can easily travel many kilometres per week.

    Physical or mental inactivity is detrimental to the health of Australian Shepherds. Everyday and preferably a few times per day, this dog needs physical and mental activity. People living in an apartment should strongly consider adopting a different breed that will be better suited to their situation. The Australian Shepherd requires large areas of open space.

  • The Australian Shepherd dislikes solitude. In fact, it simply does not tolerate it. This breed should not be placed in a cage and let alone because it will be very unhappy. You must be present in its life and avoid being away from home frequently.

    In addition, please note that the Australian Shepherd is not meant for adoption by rookie owners and you should have extensive experience with dogs. Although it is a very intelligent dog and relatively easy to train, you will need to spend many hours with it.

Health of the Australian Shepherd

The Australian Shepherd may encounter hereditary problems

Hip and elbow dysplasia are potential problems for this breed. Generally, breeders perform tests in order to eliminate potential risks caused by these diseases during reproduction. Creatures affected by these diseases are withdrawn from consideration for breeding.

Eye defects such as pink eye (conjunctivitis), cataracts, watery eyes are very common for this breed. It is also common for this dog to suffer from epilepsy problems.

In the case of the Australian Shepherd, it is preferable not to mate two merle-colored parents. At the homozygous state, the "merle" gene is recessive. It can lead to the birth of puppies with health problems such as deafness and/or blindness.

Caring for this dog

The Aussie coat is "self-cleaning" so bathing is not necessary on a regular basis. Regular bathing would actually damage its fur. Regular brushing once or twice a week will suffice. During shedding season (spring and fall), daily brushing is recommended. This way you will prevent the formation of knots and eliminate lots of dead hair. When brushing, pay special attention to areas where knots are likely to form (behind the ears, behind the legs and its britches.

Also do not forget to clean its ears regularly in order to prevent the accumulation of wax. In addition, its teeth should be brushed 2-3 times per week to avoid the build-up of tartar. Further, when you start hearing your dog’s nails touching the floor, it is time to trim them.

History of the Australian Shepherd

Notwithstanding its name, this breed originated in Basque country

Known by the name of Australian Shepherd in the language of Shakespeare, this breed has been officially recognized since June 2007.
This breed is actually a native of Basque Country. It is as a consequence of shepherds emigrating to Australia that this breed took on its name. Later, shepherds continued to emigrate but this time to the United States. Because this dog was coming from Australia, Americans gave it the name of "Australian Shepherd dog".

Nowadays, Australian Shepherds are frequently used in the United States to herd sheep. Thanks to its docile nature and versatility, this dog is very precious for farmers and ranchers.

American breeders continue to develop this dog. Their total devotion to their family and owners result in them being excellent herding dogs. The reputation of this magnificent breed is already greatly established in America.

This breed was popularized in the United States through horse races, rodeos, television shows and cinema.