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Australian Shepherd

Breed summary


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


Health


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.


Nutrition


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.


Training


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.

Exercise


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.


Fun Fact


They Are Not Australian, they came from Spain and developed in the United States.

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