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Australian Shepherd

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The Australian shepherd is, in spite of the name, an American dog breed. It is an excellent shepherd, which stays puppy-like all of its life. It will, however, make an excellent guard dog. They are good with children because they love to play. In addition it is very good at agility and obedience training.

Character and behaviour
The Australian Shepherd is a brave and energetic dog. It is suitable work dogs and family dogs given that it is utmost loyal and will do all it can to please their owner. The Australian Shepherds do not thrive on being indoor all day, but requires plenty of exercise and training. It is important to socialise the dog early on since it may develop unwanted behaviour towards other animals and people. In the work as a shepherd the Australian Shepherd is aggressive, but towards people it is nice and loving.

The Australian Shepherd is an intelligent dog breed, which becomes very attached to its owner. This behaviour makes the dog easy to train and it is recommended that clicker training and gentle methods are applied.

History of the breed
The Australian Shepherd originates from the USA and not Australia as the name implies. This confusion is caused by the fact that it was Australian immigrants, originating from Europe, who brought their shepherd dogs to the USA. The breed was then crossed with American shepherd dogs and probably also the Collie. In 1996 the Australian Shepherd was internationally recognised.

The Australian Shepherds are versatile dogs and they have been used for many different purposes e.g. police dog, narcotics, guard dog and hunting dog.

Appearance, grooming and health
The Australian Shepherd is a medium sized, robust, and strong dog. It has features, which resemble the Border collie. The eyes are oval and may have many colour combinations. The ears are set high, v-shaped, and hanging down. The coat is available in many different colours, medium long, slightly wavy, and water resistant. The coat requires minimal grooming. Merely a thorough brush through now and then is required. The Australian Shepherd is an average shedder.

The Australian Shepherd is 20-23 inches and weighs 50-65 pounds.

The Australian Shepherds with the merle colour combination suffer from a genetic disorder, which may cause blindness or deafness. In addition, they may suffer form other genetic diseases e.g. eye problems or hypersensitiveness

What you should know about the breed:

  • Lively and energetic work dog.
  • Not suitable for apartment living.
  • The breed is called ‘Aussie’ in everyday speech.
  • Two different variations are available: a working breed and a family oriented breed.
  • May have two different eye colours.
  • Requires a lot of exercise.

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