Australian Shepherd




In Australia, there is a breed of dog that looks like a sheep. It's called the Australian shepard.


The Aussie's ancestors were English herding dogs brought to Australia with the first settlers in 1788. These early settlers needed a versatile dog who could herd working stock under adverse conditions ranging from scorching heat to freezing snow. While some say these dogs are descended from Scottish collies or even Roman drover dogs, no evidence exists to support this claim .


Herding instincts were key when they came to the U.S. with settlers in the 1800s where they began their rise as America's favorite breed of dog due to their intelligence, energy, alertness and ability to work stock. They are the fifth most popular breed in Australia due to their intelligence, energy, alertness and ability to work stock.



Kangaroo Dog With US troops arriving in Australia during WWII, many soldiers fell in love with the Aussies. The first Australian Shepherd was brought into America in 1955 by American soldier Frank Rosborough . These dogs became known as "Aussies" around 1960 when the name was officially changed from their original moniker of "Australian Shepherds". This is also when people began breeding them for looks rather than temperament or working abilities which has lead to a major health concern for this breed today. Their unique appearance makes them a top competitor at dog shows across North America where they continue to be a very popular breed despite their high price tags.


Aussies are a medium-sized dog with a height between 19" - 22" and weight is 45-75 lbs for females and 50-85 lbs for males . They have a slight resemblance to Border Collies but they're actually quite distinct from one another in both appearance and temperament. The Aussie has a broad head, small ears which are half prick or fully dropped, almond shaped eyes, black nose and lips with teeth closing in a scissors bite. Coat colors include red merle, blue merle (a mix of black & grey), red & white, solid white with tan points on their muzzles, chests and lower legs. Their long double coat may be smooth or slightly wavy and can be flat or slightly curly at the ends .

It has black and tan colored fur with pointed ears. The Australian shepard's body is muscular and this helps them when they are herding sheep or following scents. They also have a keen sense of smell which will help them in these missions. Their tails are long and usually curl up towards their back when happy or contented. Their bodies are longer than most dogs, but not as long as Greyhounds.



In terms of personality, the Australian shepherd is very gentle around children and adults when raised from puppyhood. If not properly socialized with other animals however, problems may occur.


The Australian shepherd can live anywhere from 10-15 years on average. Dogs that are more domesticated tend to live longer because they won't run away or try to escape if given the opportunity. Working dogs by nature need stimulation and attention which is why you'll see the shorter lifespan for this breed compared with other breeds meant to be household pets or companion animals.


Some common health problems seen with Australian shepherds include hip dysplasia, allergies, epilepsy and autoimmune thyroiditis...only if it's bad does an Aussie get Addison's disease which is an adrenal gland problem.



The Australian shepherd typically has litters of 5-8 puppies. They don't have a breeding season because their reproductive cycle is year-round, but there may be a slight fall off in the number of births during winter months. Females stop reproducing after about four years old and males stop once they reach seven years old.


Aussies as not many people call them, are very intelligent which makes the training process easier for both dog and human. This is why they're often used as service dogs or therapy dogs because they tend to be very loyal and eager to please those that love them.

They are also used as therapy animals to help treat children with autism or other mental problems because of their gentle nature. They're very good listeners and their size makes them non-threatening.


This breed is not recognized by the AKC however, they are recognized by the NSDR (National Stock Dog Registry) and APRI (American Pet Registry Inc.).


You can see Australian shepherds at most pet stores or through rescue groups. Just remember these dogs need human interaction so if you work long hours every day, this might not be the best choice for you. Also if you live in an apartment with no yard space, that's not good either because shepherds were bred to roam vast areas of land herding sheep so they may get destructive when inside all day getting bored.


Most importantly just remember what breeds go into making this type of dog and that should help give you a glimpse as to the temperament, personality and other types of information you'd like to know about them.


Genetic Mix: 35% Rough Collie, 50% Australian Koolie, 15% Heeler and Border Collie.


Breed Characteristics : Active, Alert, Protective, Devoted, Intelligent Ideal Human


Companion:

• Someone who keeps active lifestyle

• An active family that enjoys playing outdoors

• Retired individuals who love to spend time with their dog

• Experienced dog handlers looking for a high-energy companion.


Aussies must have regular opportunities to vent their energy by running, training or any other type of physical activity. They will do best when they are able to run free in an open area where they can play games like fetch, Frisbee or chase (without disturbing the neighbors). If they don't get this outdoor time, they may become destructive inside the home due to excess energy.



This breed has an uncanny ability to sense its owner's feelings; for this reason it does not respond well to harsh treatment or scolding (which will only cause the dog to fear the person it loves). The Aussie's intelligence enables it to understand what you want, and it will try its best to do the task at hand. However, this breed is an independent thinker, so strong leadership must be provided at all times.


These breeds do best when there is someone home most of the time to spend lots of time training and playing with them or when placed in a family situation where people are around most of the time for these intelligent dogs that want nothing more than companionship, affection and approval from their humans. Individuals who work long hours or live in apartments may find it difficult to provide enough attention for these breeds leading up to their adulthood.


Throughout history the Aussie has been recognized by many names including New South Wales Heeler, Blue Heeler (no blue merle color allowed until 1944), Queensland Heeler, Red Heeler (originally called Biddy Early) and Hooper Bay Cave Dog. The Australian National Kennel Council only recognized the breed as the Australian Shepherd in 1991. In March 2013, a study found that Aussies have more diverse DNA than any other breed of dog! Some people believe the Aussie is a mix between Huskies and Collies which isn't entirely true but they do share similar herding instincts.


In April 2012, a kennel club survey under the American Kennel Club reported that out of 101,981 dogs registered as an Australian Shepherd, 2,877 were registered as Miniature Australian Shepherds . By June 2014, there were 1,831 Miniature Australian Shepherds registered with the AKC according to their website , so it's safe to say this particular mix may be gaining popularity fast!



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