Australian Shepherd Dog Breed (Complete Guide)

Australian Shepherd Dog Overview

The Australian Shepherd is a medium-sized, boned dog lithe, nimble, and somewhat longer than tall. This breed is strong and muscular enough to labor all day without sacrificing speed or agility.

This dog’s movement is loose and easy, and he must change direction or pace quickly.

The double coat is weatherproof, with a medium texture and length that ranges from straight to wavy. The word expresses keenness, intelligence, and eagerness.

Australian Shepherd Highlights

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  • Australian Shepherds require 30 to 60 minutes of exercise every day, preferably through high-energy games such as Frisbee. They, too, require a job, like regular obedience instruction or competition in herding and agility events.
  • If they do not acquire enough exercise and mental stimulation, Australian Shepherds can be quite destructive and bark for lengthy periods of time.
  • If they see or hear something strange, Aussies will bark to warn you, and they will protect their family and home with astonishing zeal.
  • Even though Australian Shepherds have a reputation for requiring a lot of space, they may thrive in cities if given adequate stimulation and exercise. However, they are not suitable as apartment dogs. You’ll need at least a modest yard to help them expend some of their pent-up energy.
  • Width a timid or unskilled owner, this herding dog’s pushiness with sheep can carry over into the home, and he may assume the dominating role in the family. Aussies require a firm and confident owner – they’re probably not a suitable choice if you’ve never had a dog before.
  • Australian Shepherds are average shedders, and its coat requires weekly brushing to maintain it clean and prevent matting, as well as possible trimming to keep it looking tidy.
  • Aussies appreciate their family’s company and prefer to be close to their human pack. They don’t do well when left alone in the backyard for long periods of time.
  • Aussies are naturally wary of strangers, and unless they are regularly exposed to a diverse range of individuals — ideally beginning in puppyhood — they can develop a fear of strangers. Biting may occur as a result of fear and hostility. Give your Aussie plenty of opportunities to interact with friends, family, neighbors, and even outsiders to help him improve his social abilities.

Australian Shepherd  Breed Features & Ratings:

Rated base on a 5 Star Scale
ENERGY LEVEL:                                4 Star
EXERCISE REQUIREMENTS:           5 Star
PLAYFULNESS:                                  5 Star
AFFECTION LEVEL:                           4 Star
FRIENDLINESS TO DOGS:                3 Star
FRIENDLINESS TO OTHER PETS:     3 Star
FRIENDLINESS TO STRANGERS:     2 Star
WATCHFULNESS:                               4 Star
EASE OF TRAINING:                           5 Star
GROOMING REQUIREMENTS:           3 Star
HEAT SENSITIVITY:                              3 Star
VOCALITY                                             5 Star

Australian Shepherd Characteristics:

  • Dog Breed Group:  Herding Dogs
  • Height:  At the shoulder, it should be between 18 and 23 inches tall.
  • Weight:  40 to 65 pounds
  • Life Span: 12 to 15 years
  • Type: Purebred
  • AREA OF ORIGIN: United States
  • DATE OF ORIGIN: 1800s
  • OTHER NAMES:  Aussie, Little Blue Dog Temperament: Protective, Active, Affectionate
  • Activities: Herding, Guarding, Agility, Walking, Running
  • Color: xxx
  • Litter Size: 6-9 puppies, average 7
  • Puppy Prices:  average $1000 – $2000 USD

Australian Shepherd  Health:

Aussies are typically healthy dogs, and a good breeder would screen breeding stock for health issues including hip dysplasia, epilepsy, cataracts, and some types of cancer.

An Aussie’s ears should be cleaned on a regular basis to eliminate foreign matter and prevent wax accumulation, and his teeth should be brushed on a regular basis.

The National Breed Club recommends the following health tests:

  • Hip Evaluation
  • Elbow Evaluation
  • Ophthalmologist Evaluation

Australian Shepherd  Grooming:

The Australian Shepherd encompasses a medium-length water-resistant coat that keeps him warm in the rain and snow. Aussies in colder climates have a thicker undercoat than those in warmer climates.

The body is covered in straight or wavy hair, constituting a short, smooth hair on the head and ears alongside the forelegs’ front and below the heels (known as the hocks in dog terms).

Furthermore, the back of the forelegs and the britches — the pantaloon-like fur on the upper part of the hind legs — are covered in moderate feathering or a lengthier fringe of hair.

There is long, abundant hair on the neck and chest, which is especially thick and full in males.

Australian Shepherds are available in a variety of hues, including blue merle, red merle, red, tri-color (white, black, and tan), and black.

A merle coat is characterized by a patchwork of dark blotches against a lighter backdrop; thus, a blue merle dog encompasses black patches on gray, on the other hand, a red merle dog has red patches on beige. Merles tend to darken with age.

If you’re wondering if Australian Shepherds shed, the answer is yes. The breed sheds all year, but more profusely in the spring as he sheds his winter coat.

Brush the Aussie’s coat once a week, or more frequently during shedding season, to prevent matting. To untangle the coat before brushing, spray it with a diluted dog hair conditioner.

Subsequently, using a slicker brush, stroke in the direction of hair growth,  ensure to reach down to the skin and not just over the top of the coat. An undercoat rake can also be used to remove extra hair.

If you constantly brush him, your Aussie should only require a bath when he’s dirty, which should only be a few times a year. To prevent drying out his skin and coat, use a dog shampoo.

To avoid unpleasant splintering, keep your nails trimmed on a regular basis.  Dog’s nails are too long if you sense them clicking on the floor.

Australian Shepherd  Exercise:

The Aussie, a high-energy, athletic dog, requires a lot of exercise on a regular basis.

He should have a spacious, fenced-in yard to roam around at a minimum of an hour or two per day. Aussies developed strong bonds with their owners and enjoyed accompanying them on long walks or much better with climbs.

When an Aussie’s puppyhood is over, and his skeletal structure is completely established, he can make an excellent jogging buddy.

The ideal option is to give the Aussie a task, whether it’s herding livestock, shepherding kids, or in canine events like obedience, herding, agility trials, or dock diving.

Australian Shepherd  Training:

The Aussie is responsive to instruction and learns rapidly due to its high intellectual capacity. Give your Aussie the thorough training he requires to succeed. The Aussie is incredibly obedient when adequately trained.

Keep in mind that this breed’s primary concentration is on work. Dog sports and other activities that the Aussie excels at include Frisbee, agility, and obedience competition.

Most Aussies want to have a “job”: they excel at herding and regular farm/ranch work, but they are also adept in support, search and rescue, and pet therapy.

Overall, the Aussie is a knowledgeable and devoted friend who is affectionate and attached to its owner. The breed is highly attentive and sensitive to the sights and sounds around it.

When people approach their territory, they will bark as a warning to safeguard their land. However, they prefer to be with their humans rather than secluded in a yard.

Because Aussies are reticent around new individuals, proper socialization is essential; without socialization, they can develop shyness or defensiveness.

Australian Shepherd  Food and  Nutrition:

An Australian shepherd should be given two meals each day, containing up to 1.25 cups of dry dog food. The amount will be different depending on the size, level of physical activity, age, as well as other parameters of your dog.

Always give attention to your pet’s weight and handle any signs of obesity. Consult your veterinarian about your dog’s nutritional requirements to receive appropriate advice.

Australian Shepherd  Temperament and Personality:

The Australian Shepherd is a lovable, bold, alert, confident, independent, intelligent, and responsive dog with a lot of stamina.

They are prone to being frustrated and difficult to live with if they do not have the opportunity to exercise and challenge their fully advanced mental and physical activities.

With adequate exercise and instruction, this dog becomes a devoted, loyal, and obedient friend.

The Aussie is reserved around strangers and protective. By nipping, this breed may attempt to herd youngsters and small animals.

Australian Shepherds, who were bred to be forceful with livestock, may and will take the dominating role in the home if you don’t provide them solid and confident leadership.

As a result, they are an unsuitable choice for first-time or timid owners. Australian Shepherds, like many herding dogs, are naturally loyal to their family but wary of outsiders.

When they are young, they require early socialization, including exposure to a wide range of people, sights, noises, and experiences.

Australian Shepherd  Care/Upkeep:

If your home has a yard, ensure that it has a safe fence that your Aussie cannot dig under or leap over.

This breed will not benefit from underground electronic fencing: Your Aussie’s urge to go out and herd something will outweigh any concerns he has about receiving a minor shock.

For the same reason, keep him on a leash unless you want to train him to reject his urges. Your Aussie needs 30 minutes to an hour of exciting activity every day, encompassing a run, a Frisbee game, or agility exercises.

When you have a busy day, and you cannot play with your dog, puzzle toys like Buster Cubes are a terrific way to keep your active mind occupied.

When it comes to humans and other pets, the Aussie behavior of nipping and chasing is good for herding sheep but lousy manners. Obedience classes can help you control your Aussie’s herding tendencies while also satisfying his desire for mental stimulation and work.

Aussies respond well to positive reinforcement training methods — rewards such as praise, play, and food — and are usually willing to obey their trainer’s orders. They simply want to know who is in control so that they can perform well for them.

Australian Shepherd Relationship with Children and Other Pets

Australian Shepherds are herding dogs, and many believe children to be part of their “flock,” you’ll need to teach your Aussie that chasing and nipping at children in order to herd them is not permitted.

Aussies make fantastic companions for families with children once they grasp this lesson.

Constantly teach youngsters how to approach and touch dogs, and always supervise interactions between dogs and small children to avoid biting or ear or tail pulling on either party’s side.

Teach your youngster to never approach a dog eating or sleeping or trying to take the dog’s food. No dog, no matter how nice, should be left alone with a youngster.

They can coexist with other pets, though they may try to herd them. This might not go down well, especially with cats.

Keep an eye on your Aussie while other pets are present until he realizes they aren’t part of his flock.

Australian Shepherd  Names 

RankBoy NamesGirl Names
01RockyLucy
02MaxLola
03BearMolly
04BuddyLulu
05TuckerZoey
06RockyMaggie
07OliverRoxy
08DukeChloe
09MarleyLuna
10OliverStella

All About Australian Shepherd 

Despite their name, the Australian Shepherd dog breed originated in the western United States, not Australia, around the time of the Gold Rush in the 1840s. Originally bred to herd, they remain a working dog at heart.

The Aussie, as they’re nicknamed, are happiest when they have a job to do.

They can be wonderful family companions if their intelligence and energy are channeled into dog sports or activities.

Australian Shepherd  History:

Despite his name, this breed is of American origin. The Australian Shepherd was created to herd livestock for ranchers and farmers in the western United States, and some modern-day Aussies still do so.

There are countless theories as to which breeds contributed to the development of the Australian Shepherd.

The Aussie’s predecessors are likely to have included collie and shepherd-type dogs imported with sheep shipments from Australia around the 1840s, hence the name.

Breeders worked hard to improve their herding ability and produce flexible, hardworking, and intelligent dogs.

The breed experienced a popularity surge in the post-World War II years, coinciding with a resurgent interest in Western-style equestrian riding. DeMM

The Australian Shepherd is still the same attractive, lively, and intelligent dog that proved valuable to ranchers and farmers in the ancient West. Many people adore him, and he likes his existence as a family pet, guardian, and herding dog.

Where to Adopt Australian Shepherd 

The Australian Shepherd Club in the United States is a fantastic place to look for more information on the breed as well as breeder recommendations.

Its website lists affiliate clubs in the United States, Belgium, and Scandinavia.

More Dog Breeds and Further Research:

If you wish to be an Australian shepherd owner, you need first to do your homework.

To learn more, talk to your veterinarian, other Aussie owners, trustworthy breeders, and rescue organizations.

If you’re looking for similar breeds, examine the benefits and downsides of these:

Australian Shepherd Fun Facts:

  • They are not actually Australian.
  • They gained popularity from rodeos. 
  • They’ve had many names. 
  • Native Americans considered them sacred. 
  • They often have two different colored eyes. 
  • Many have naturally short tails. 
  • Aussies are serious shedders.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

What’s the deal with Australian Shepherds staring at you?

When it’s time for dinner, Aussies can tell the time and stare you down. Aussies are highly energetic and agile, and they require something to keep them busy; else, they may come up with something on their own that you may not enjoy as much!

Is it bad to trim the hair of an Australian Shepherd?

While an Australian Shepherd’s body hair can be clipped, it is rarely essential unless the dog’s coat or skin is harmed somehow. Aussies should have at least an inch of hair to protect their skin and avoid diseases like sunburn.

How can I get my pet  Australian Shepherd to quit shedding?

Brushing is the single most critical thing you can do for your Aussie’s coat health.

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