Despite its name, this breed, also known as an Aussie, did not originate in Australia. They got their name because of their association with Basque sheep-herders who come to the United States from Australia. The Aussie is prized as a working dog, often excelling as a search and rescue dog, as well as a disaster dog, detection dog, and a guide dog. They are also sought after as family pets. The Aussie is a medium sized, well-balanced dog. The large ears are set high on the head and are triangular in shape. The overall appearance of the Aussie is similar to the Border Collie. The coat is of moderate length and is straight and smooth.
The Australian Shepherd is loyal and affectionate towards its owners and those it knows. It can be wary of strangers and may display cautious or guarding behaviour when in the presence of unfamiliar people. It is highly intelligent and easy to train. The Aussie is eager to please and loves to play. If neglected, the Australian Shepherd can make its own fun, which may result in destructive behaviour. If socialized from a young age, the Aussie can bond well with children and other pets and dogs. The breed should show no signs of aggression. They crave human companionship at all times.
Height: Dogs 20-23 inches (52-58cm) Bitches 18-21 inches (46-53cm)
Weight: Dogs 50-65 pounds (25-29kg) Bitches 40-55 pounds (18-25kg)
Like many pure-breeds, this dog can be prone to hip dysplasia. Other than that, the Australian Shepherd is also prone to eye diseases such as coloboma and microopthalmia. Cataracts can also be an issue. The breed can also suffer from spinal defects.
Like the Border Collie, this breed is not recommended for apartment life. Although they are moderately active indoors, they do need a sizeable yard or garden to run around in.
Very energetic, with high stamina, these dogs require plenty of daily exercise. A long and brisk walk should be the minimum amount of exercise this dog gets. To keep it happiest, and in the best physical and mental condition, this breed should ideally have a job to do. Without exercise, the Australian Shepherd can become destructive.
About 12-15 years
6 - 9 puppies. On average the Australian Shepherd will have around 7 puppies.
The coat of the Australian Shepherd is relatively easy to maintain. It suffers only from average shedding and can be kept in great condition with occasional brushing and bathing.
Herding, AKC Herding
ASCA, UKC, NKC, AKC, NZKC, CKC, APRI, ACR, DRA