Australian Shepherd dog breed

The Australian Shepherd is a popular companion and family dog around the world, they are medium-sized dogs with a medium hair length on their double coat. Aussies are part of the Herding group, even though they are mostly used as pets these days, their strong herding instincts still remain. This kind-looking colorful dog is actually not originally bred in Australia, but exclusively in the United States. The Australian part of their names is because that was their ancestor’s last place of residence before settlers moved their livestock and sheepdogs to the United States in the 1800s, where the dogs were crossed into this new breed

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Australian Shepherd
Breed height

M: 50 - 58 cm / 20 - 23 in
F: 46 - 53 cm / 18 - 21 in

Breed weight

M: 22 - 29 kg / 50 - 65 lbs
F: 18 - 25 kg / 40 - 55 lbs

Breed lifespan

Healthy dogs of this breed lives
average between 12 to 15 years

Breed group

Herding: These dogs were bred to control other animals movements

Breed size
Australian Shepherds are medium dogs. Males can weigh up to 29 kg / 65 lbs and be up to 58 cm / 23 in from the ground to the shoulders
Coat size
Australian Shepherds have a medium-sized double coat that is weather resistant. The outer coat is of straight to wavy appearance
Shedding
Australian Shepherds have a medium level of shedding. They shed all year round and blow their coat during the spring and autumn
Trainability
Australian Shepherds are easy to train. They are smart dogs with a high willingness and eager to take directions from their owners
Breed health
Australian Shepherds are generally a healthy breed, as long as they come from proper bloodlines and serious reputable breeders
Socialization
Australian Shepherds are friendly dogs, but they are not very interested in people outside their own family. Neutral towards other dogs
Energy
Australian Shepherds are high-energy dogs bred to work all day long. They require at least two hours of exercise every single day
Barking
Australian Shepherds bark a lot. As they are shepherds, they may find the need to bark at pretty much everything and everyone

Australian Shepherd general information

The Australian Shepherd is a dog breed developed exclusively in the western parts of the United States. The Australian part of their name is because that’s where they had their last residence before being moved to America by settlers in the 1800s. It was not before after World War II the Australian Shepherd dog became known and popular to the general population, after appearing on horse shows, movies, television, and rodeos. Since then, the breed has remained a popular dog as both farmworkers and pets. In 1993, the Australian Shepherd was officially recognized as a breed by the American Kennel Club. The breed is one of the most versatile dog breeds, excelling at obedience, agility, and herding animals, not only sheep but cattle as well. The dog is now the 12. most popular dog in the USA, but its actual rank is hard to predict as a large proportion of them are not registered with the American Kennel Club

Breed appearance

The Australian Shepherd is a medium-sized dog that’s bordering to large. The males of this breed can weigh up to 29 kg / 65 lbs and have a height of 58 cm / 23 inches from the ground and up to the shoulders. The females are a bit smaller than the males, as with most other breeds. The Aussies are quite unique dogs appearance-wise, after looking at the pictures in this article, you should have no problems recognizing the breed if you stumble upon one when out strolling. Their coats come in a variety of colors and patterns, it’s said that no Aussies share a coat, kind of like a fingerprint. Their eyes can also be a wide array of colors, like, blue, brown, green, hazel, and amber. They often have different colored eyes too, a condition that’s called heterochromia

Breed temperament

Australian Shepherds are loving, confident, independent, and responsive dogs, among other traits. Properly trained and exercised, the Australian Shepherds are loyal, obedient, and utterly devoted companions. They are also protective of their families, one of many reasons why this breed is such a popular family dog. Even though they are primarily bred for pets, their herding instincts still remain. It is not uncommon that they will try to herd young children and other pets. As with all dog breeds, not just Japanese Akitas, socialization with humans and other dogs should start early to teach the dog how to behave when encountering strangers and other dogs. Signing up for a puppy class is the first step along the way to get a companion that behaves properly

Australian Shepherd health

Australian Shepherds are considered a healthy breed, as long as they come from reputable breeders and not puppy mills and backyard breeders. Their major health concerns are cataracts and collie eye anomaly. As with all dog breeds, they are also prone to developing certain common diseases. This can include eye problemsskin allergiesorthopedic problems, and ear infections. Regular wellness checkups at the vet should be done at least once a year to track the dog’s development and catch any potential health issues early on, which improves the chances of successful treatment. If you suspect that your dog is having issues, or have changed its behavior radically, you must contact your vet and schedule an appointment as soon as possible for a consultation. It is always better to be safe than sorry when it comes to your furry companion

Shedding and grooming

Australian Shepherds have a quite high shedding level, they shed all year round and blow their coat twice a year, during spring and autumn. These dogs have a double coat with a medium hair length that borders to long, expect lots of hair from these guys. Frequent brushing will help reduce the amount of hair floating around the home, also preventing the coat from getting tangles and mats. Keeping the dog on meat-rich dog foods also helps reduce the shedding amount and prevents dry skin. Meat is digested and absorbed quickly, promoting better overall health in your furry little buddy. If your dog is subject to excessive shedding, contact your local veterinarian and ask for guidance and hear with them if the dog should come in for a checkup

Breed barking level

Australian Shepherds bark a lot, as it’s in their nature. They will bark at pretty much everything and everyone. If they want something from you, they bark, if someone comes to your house, they bark. And the list goes on and on and on. Common reasons for dogs barking are protection, alerting, being bored, fear, seeking attention, separation anxiety, or just saying hello. You can read more about barking at this guide from WebMD Pets: Understanding why dogs bark. All dog breeds can be trained to reduce barking, another thing that should be focused on learning from an early age. There are plenty of online resources where you can learn how to reduce barking, like YouTube, online courses, and websites. You might also want to shop for books that address this issue too

Australian Shepherd training

Australian Shepherds are intelligent dogs that are easy to train. They are eager to please and follow orders from their owners. They do require firm and consistent training, which may be a challenge for inexperienced dog owners. The Australian Shepherds responds well to reward-based training, giving it praise and treats when successfully completing its command. This encourages the dog to continue completing their tasks to the owner’s preferments. They will also need to have their daily physical and mental exercise needs satisfied for them to be attentive during training sessions. The first step on the road is signing up for a puppy class, here you will learn the basics about dog care and training. You can also watch dog training videos from professional trainers, attend online dog training courses, or maybe get yourself a dog training book

Exercise requirements

Australian Shepherds are high-energy dogs that require a lot of exercise every day throughout their lives to remain healthy and happy. They should have at least two hours of exercise daily, as well as mental stimulation in the form of games and training. Australian Shepherds that don’t get enough exercise can become frustrated and difficult to live with. If you live an active lifestyle with lots of outdoor activities, like hiking, running, and biking, this breed will make an excellent companion. Preferably, this breed should live in houses with lots of space to roam around and a yard where they can run freely. Australian Shepherds can adapt to live in apartments as long as their daily exercise needs are met. Their barking can be a problem regarding the neighbors though

Caring for dogs

Grooming is not the only maintenance your dog requires throughout its life. Complete examinations at the vet should be done at least once a year for adult dogs. Puppies should come in every 3 or 4 weeks until they are around four months old. Contact your vet and they will set you up with schedules.
Trimming the claws should be done whenever they touch the ground when the dog is standing up, or make it a frequent routine to keep them short
Brushing the teeth should be done on a daily basis to prevent gum diseases. Chew bones and toys will also help strengthen your dog’s teeth and gums
Cleaning the ears to prevent ear infections is also another important part of the dog’s routine maintenance. You can have your vet show you how to do it

Socializing dogs

No matter what kind of dog breed you have, socializing it from an early age is the most important thing you can do in order to get a well-behaving buddy that reacts to the world around it in a healthy way. Until your puppy is around 16 weeks old, it should encounter different kinds of people, situations, and locations, learning that the world is a wonderful place to live. Puppies have a short developmental window in which their experiences will form their future selves. Puppies should however not be forced into situations they might feel uncomfortable with, as bad experiences may imprint and stay with the dog for the rest of the life. You can watch free videos from professional dog trainers on how to socialize your new puppy and learn how to do so the correct way

Australian Shepherds on Instagram

Here are some pictures of the Australian Shepherd on Instagram. See even more photos of them by exploring #AustralianShepherd or using Google Image Search

Video of the Australian Shepherd

Here is a video of the Australian Shepherd dog from Animal Insider on YouTube, covering the most important features wrapped up into this 9-minute long video

Frequently asked questions

Are Australian Shepherds good family dogs?

Australian Shepherds are great family dogs. They are loving, devoted, and protective of their families. Young children should be taught to treat the dog nicely to avoid upsetting and making the dog aggressive, playtime should also be monitored for the safety of both parties

Are Australian Shepherds hypoallergenic?

There are no dogs that are hypoallergenic, some breeds can however cause fewer allergic reactions than other breeds. The proteins that dogs produce are what causes the allergic reactions. These proteins are found in the hair, saliva, dander, and urine. Some individuals may have an irritant response to the actual dog hair, the solution for that is getting a dog with a low level of shedding. You can continue reading about allergies and reactions at HealthLine

Do Australian Shepherds shed much?

Australian Shepherds shed a lot. They are well known for their large amount of shedding, all year round. They also blow their coat twice a year. Regular brushing and grooming will help reduce the amount of lose and dead hair

Are Australian Shepherds intelligent?

Yes. Australian Shepherds are very intelligent dogs that can be trained to do just about anything. They are eager to please and follow commands from their owners

Are Australian Shepherds good for apartments?

Australian Shepherds are not the best candidate for apartment living due to their high energy levels. Long daily walks and much playtime to wear it out is required for apartment living

Can Australian Shepherds be left alone?

Australian Shepherds do not handle being alone very for long periods of time, due to their strong bond with their owners

Are Australian Shepherds aggressive?

Australian Shepherds are not aggressive dogs. They are affectionate and good of nature. When it comes to strangers and other dogs, they have more of a neutral feeling towards them

References and resources

You can absorb more knowledge about this dog breed from the resources below. Websites, books, and social media sites where you can ask dog owners questions

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