The Australian Shepherd is traditionally a medium-sized, intelligent working dog of strong herding and guarding instincts. This breed is a loyal companion and has the stamina to work all day. They are well-balanced, slightly longer than tall, of medium size and bone, with a variation of colors. In addition, they are solid and muscular without cloudiness, very much attentive and animated, lite, and agile. Their coat is of moderate length and coarseness with a docked or naturally bobbed tail.
Country of Origin: USA
AKC Breed Popularity: Ranks 15 of 196
AKC Classification: Herding Group
UKC Classification: Herding Dog
Exercise Requirements: >40 minutes/day
Height: Female: 20 inches; Male: 22 inches
Weight: Female: 40-55 lbs; Male: 50-65 lbs
Physical traits: Medium-sized, Solid, Tall
Coat: Length: Medium
Characteristics: Double coat, straight
Colors: Black, red, blue merle, red merle, all with or without tan, and with or without white
Overall Grooming Needs: Moderate
Personality traits/Temperament: Smart, Work-Oriented, Exuberant
Energy Level: Very energetic
Tendency to Drool: Moderate
Tendency to Snore: Low
Tendency to Bark: Moderate
Tendency to Dig: Low
Social/Attention Needs: High
Australian Shepherds are healthy dogs. Their life expectancy is 12 to 15 years. Their ears need to be checked regularly to remove foreign matter and avoid a build-up of wax. Some dental and periodontal diseases may develop if their teeth didn’t brush regularly. A responsible breeder will test certain health concerns like hip dysplasia, epilepsy, cataracts, and certain forms of cancer.
The Australian Shepherd needs high-quality dog food, whether manufactured commercially or home-prepared with your veterinarian’s supervision and approval. Any diet should be appropriate according to the dog’s stage (puppy, adult, or senior). Add a high quality multivitamin to complete the nutritional circle. Some dogs are prone to getting overweight, which needs to be checked. Treats can be an important aid in training, but giving too many can cause obesity. Check with your vet if you have any concerns about your dog’s weight or diet.
Australian shepherds are highly motivated by treats and praise. They are highly intelligent dogs. This will work to your advantage when training them. Early socialization and obedience training are both musts. Aussies bond strongly to their families and can be territorial and overprotective. They can become destructive if left without companionship for long periods.
Like other herding breeds, these dogs excel at many dog sports, especially herding, dog agility, frisbee, and flyball. Aussies that exhibit basic herding instincts can be trained to compete in ASCA stock dog trials or AKC herding events. A high-energy, athletic dog, the Aussie needs a great deal of exercise on a daily basis. At minimum, they should have a large, fenced-in yard to run around in for at least an hour or two daily. Use paw balm to protect their feet.
They Are Not Australian, they came from Spain and developed in the United States.