Surprise! The Australian Shepherd is actually an American breed. These dogs were originally used on ranches in the American West and got their name from the Australian sheepherders who bred them. Aussies are perhaps best known for their pale blue eyes, their stamina and their loyalty to their families. If you have an active lifestyle, then the Australian Shepherd may be the right dog for you.
Male: 45- 55 lbs. Female: 30- 45 lbs.
The Australian Shepherd may be a medium-sized dog, but he needs plenty of room to run. Aussies are highly active dogs who can get into trouble if they’re not given enough exercise. They need a long walk or jog every day as well as some sort of mental activity, like playing fetch or learning Frisbee tricks. These dogs do best in homes with large yards and they are not recommended as apartment dogs.
Be prepared to spend lots of quality time with your vacuum. Australian Shepherds are heavy shedders and some dog parents will need to vacuum a few times a week. Fortunately, you can cut down on shedding by frequently brushing the Aussie to get rid of loose hair.
Barking and Volume:
The Australian Shepherd is a relatively quiet breed.
This breed is easy to train and eager to please, but they need firm and confident leadership. Due to their assertive personalities, Aussies will assume the “alpha dog” role in your family if not properly trained. You will definitely want to sign up for a puppy class to establish your position as the pack leader. If you are soft spoken and unassertive, you may want to look into another breed.
Health Factors: Major health concerns include cataracts and hip dysplasia. Additionally, Aussies with merle coloring carry a gene for blindness and deafness. If you are interested in a merle-colored puppy, make sure to check his sight and hearing before your purchase. *A responsible breeder can help minimize the risk of genetic disorders.
Grooming: Although their coats may look high maintenance, the Aussie only requires at-home grooming.
Training: With their intelligence and eagerness to please, a basic puppy class is sufficient.
Despite their thick double coats, the Australian Shepherd only requires a weekly brushing with a firm bristle brush. Owners may want to use a shedding rake to remove loose hair in the undercoat. Bathe only when necessary, but remember to blow-dry the coat completely. If the coat isn’t dried properly, the Aussie’s skin can become irritated.
With their playful and easy-going personalities, the Aussie is a fantastic companion for children. They’re especially good with kids who are active. However, these Shepherds will need to be trained to quell their herding instincts which can result in a habit to nip at a child’s heels.
12 to 15 years.
Friendliness: Towards Animals
If you have other pets, you needn’t worry about introducing an Aussie into your household. This breed gets along well with other animals, and is generally not dog-aggressive.
Friendliness: Towards People
Loving and loyal, Australian Shepherds form deep bonds with their families. They enjoy playing and spending time with the people they love. This breed tends to be cautious around strangers. Aussie puppies require socialization to make them less wary of people outside of their pack.
BE PREPARED FOR: Plenty of long walks and jogs and plenty of love and affection.