The Australian Shepherd, a lean, tough ranch dog, is one of those “only in America” stories: a European breed perfected in California by way of Australia. Fixtures on the rodeo circuit, they are closely associated with the cowboy life.
Smart, Work-Oriented, Exuberant
AKC Breed Popularity: Ranks 16 of 193
Height: 20-23 inches (male), 18-21 inches (female)
Weight: 50-65 pounds (male), 40-55 pounds (female)
Life Expectancy: 12-15 years
Group: Herding Group
About the Australian Shepherd
The Australian Shepherd, the cowboy’s herding dog of choice, is a medium-sized worker with a keen, penetrating gaze in the eye. Aussie coats offer different looks, including merle (a mottled pattern with contrasting shades of blue or red). In all ways, they’re the picture of rugged and agile movers of stock.
Aussies exhibit an irresistible impulse to herd, anything: birds, dogs, kids. This strong work drive can make Aussies too much dog for a sedentary pet owner. Aussies are remarkably intelligent, quite capable of hoodwinking an unsuspecting novice owner. In short, this isn’t the pet for everyone. But if you’re looking for a brainy, tireless, and trainable partner for work or sport, your search might end here.
Is the Australian Shepherd the Right Breed for you?
•Moderate Maintenance: Grooming should be performed regularly to keep its fur in good shape. Little to no trimming or stripping needed.
•Moderate Shedding: Expect your Australian Shepherd to shed regularly. Be prepared to vacuum often. Brushing will reduce shedding as well as make the coat softer and cleaner.
•Moderately Easy Training: Training won’t require too much attention and effort, though it won’t be easier than other breeds. Expect results to come gradually.
•Great Watchdog Ability: An Australian Shepherd will bark and alert its owners when an intruder is present. It exhibits very protective behavior, acts fearless toward any aggressor, and will do what it takes to guard and protect its family.
•Low Adaptability: Aussies are not suited for apartment living and are best with a large yard or acreage. This breed is able to handle most types of hot and cold weather.
•Very Active: Your Aussie need daily exercise to maintain its shape. Committed and active owners will enjoy performing fitness activities with this breed.
•Good with Kids: This is a suitable breed for kids and is known to be playful, energetic, and affectionate around them.