Australian Shepherd dog Dog Breed
- General Appearance:
- The Australian Shepherd has a striking and varied coat. It is of moderate length, straight to wavy, and weather resistant. The under coat is shed twice a year; with moderate shedding between these periods. The coat comes in four accepted colors: black, blue merle, red, and red merle. A variety of white and tan markings may appear on the face, chest, front, and rear legs. These medium sized dogs are slightly longer than they are tall. They are solid and muscular. They are often compared to the Border Collie. Their gait demonstrates the agility and stamina that a sheepdog would need. Each dog's coat and eye color are highly variable, it is not uncommon to have a dog with one blue eye or one that is half blue and half brown. This does not affect their vision or their standings in the show ring.
- Other Names:Aussies
- Country Of Origin:USA
- Dog Group Kennel Club:Pastoral
- blue merle, black, red merle, or red, all with or without white markings and/or tan points
- Australian Shepherds are intelligent, delightful, and loyal. They are highly energetic and thrive on being given something to do. The Aussie has a high degree of intensity and a "no-quit" attitude. Their herding instinct may be problematic or annoying to their family, as this breed will often attempt to perform this task on everyone or anything that moves. Aussies are reserved and cautious with strangers until the Aussie decides about them. It is also good for them to get used to children, other dogs and pets at an early age if one wants relations to go smoothly. They have high problem solving abilities, and are very obedient when trained. They actually enjoy obedience classes. Australian Shepherds are strong and enthusiastic dogs.
- Agile, smooth, free and easy, with good forward reach. Fore-and hindlegs move straight and parallel but may converge at speed.
- Care and training:
- The Australian Shepherd requires minimal grooming. An occasional brushing with a firm bristle brush will suffice. It is important to do more in depth grooming when they are going through their seasonal shedding. Bathing should only be done when absolutely necessary.
Australian Shepherds are easy to train. They benefit from early socialization and very basic obedience. It is important that they know who the master is or they will attempt to take control. The Australian Shepherd requires firm, fair, consistent, and effective direction. Their high intelligence and keen learning ability make repetitive training boring. It is also a breed that must be trained, as it needs something to occupy its mind. Aussies were bred to work and without a purpose in life they become bored and can develop destructive behaviours.
- Overall Exercise:
- 80 - 100 minutes per day.
Long walks are essential but are still not enough. Roadwork and free running are both needed for the good of the dog. This dog will work well in obedience, agility, fly ball or herding, all areas where he will do himself and his trainer proud.
- Feeding Requirements:
- This breed does like its food and can become overweight if it does not get enough exercise.
- Personal Protection:High
- Suitability As Guard Dog:Medium
- Level of Aggression:Medium
- Compatibility With Other Animals:Low
- Suitability for Children:Medium
- Often Docked?Yes
- Average Litter Size:5-8
- Life Expectancy (yrs):14-16
- Health issues:
- Hip dysplasia, eye problems such as juvenile cataracts, PRA (Progressive Retinal Atrophy) and Collie eye anomaly and deafness.
- Australian Shepherds are not, in fact, Australian at all! They are believed to have been brought to America by the Basque shepherds in 1875 from Spain and France who, on their routes, stopped by Australia and picked up good herding dogs on their way to America. The Australian Shepherd arrived in the United States by the late 19th century where the dogs’ qualities became recognized by local ranchers, who used the dogs to work cattle, sheep and other livestock. The breed is well-believed to have come from the Berger des Pyréneés, as well as Smithfield, Collie and Border Collie.