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Australian Shepherd Info

Australian Shepherd Breed Information

Learn all about Australian Shepherds at Petstew.com. If you’re interested in adopting or buying a Australian Shepherd, or just a dog lover, you should research all details including the Australian Shepherd breed temperament, coat, colors, shedding, health, grooming requirements, and more.
Australian Shepherd Picture
Origin: United States Male Height: 21-23" Female Height: 18-21"
Size: Large Male Weight: 50-65 lbs Female Weight: 40-55 lbs
Lifespan: 11-15 years Litter Size: 6-9 pups Hair Length: Medium

Official Australian Shepherd Description

No that’s not a type-o, the Australian Shepherd actually originated in the United States. The name comes from the association the breed developed with the Basque sheepherders emigrating from Australia to the U.S. back in the 19th century. American farmers used the breed for their strong herding and guardian instincts, they preserved all the positive traits we see in the breed to this day. Australian Shepherds are a very athletic breed; they excel at activities like agility challenged, flyball, and Frisbee. It’s because of this that we’ve seen the Australian Shepherd appear in movies like Run Appaloosa Run and Stub: The Greatest Cowdog in the West. Miniature Australian Shepherds and Toy Australian Shepherds are now starting to become fairly common, however breed clubs are still not commonly registering the miniature or especially the toy breeds yet.

Breed Characteristics

Group Herding Drooler
Size Large(or Medium) Guard Dog
Yard Needs Large Yard Easy to Train
Kid Friendly
Active Indoors
Apartment Friendly
Exercise Demands
Stranger Friendly
Pet Friendly
Brushing Requirements
Tolerates Cold
Tolerates Heat

Breed Overview

The Australian Shepherd is a Large dog breed, with a starting weight of 40 lbs for females, and can reach 65 lbs for males. It is officially part of the Herding group and recognized by the APRI, ASCA, CKC, DRA, NKC, NZKC, UKC, ACR, AKC. Some critical information for potential owners. The Australian Shepherd breed has a typical lifespan of 11 to 15 years, Medium hair, and an average price of around $478. Breeders interested in the Australian Shepherd should know that the average litter size is between 6 to 9 puppies.

Australian Shepherd Temperament

Australians Shepherds are very intelligent, instinct driven dogs. They love to have jobs and challenging jobs at that. They form strong bonds with their owners, are very loyal, and tend to make good family dogs. Their intelligence and motivation to please their owner makes training simple. Be sure to keep your dog well exercised; otherwise it may use its intelligence and excess energy in devious ways. Australian Shepherds are a versatile breed, with jobs ranging from herding out on the farm, to sniffing through rubble in search and rescue operations. Aussies love to spend time with their owners, so if you’re not prepared to have your dog follow you around, or if you can’t dedicate time everyday to exercise the dog, consider seeking alternate breeds.

Australian Shepherd Living Area

The Australian Shepherd comes from a herding background, so it is used to wide open spaces. It’s recommended they have consistent access to a large yard. The breed is active indoors, so be sure they get plenty of exercise of face the consequences. Apartment living is generally not appropriate for this breed, but if you live an active lifestyle which has a spot for your Aussie, a moderate sized yard should suffice.

Health Problems

Australian Shepherds have been known to have health issues. Problems with their eyes, bladder, back and hips, pancreas, and thyroid gland are all common. Epilepsy is not uncommon amongst the breed. Other common issues include respiratory problems and dermatological problems. The most common health concerns involving the Aussies eyes are epiphora, conjunctivitis, red eye, and cataracts. Hip and Elbow Dysplasia are very common with the breed. Know that the same gene which causes the merle color has also been known to cause deafness and or blindness amongst pups when mixed with another merle gene. Check your potential puppy’s hearing and sight before purchase. It is highly recommended you have potential parents checked before breeding to prevent bad genes from spreading. Also, research your breeder; only buy from reputable breeders who perform health tests on both the parents and pups.

Australian Shepherd Coat

Australian Shepherds have a straight, sometimes slightly wavy, medium length coats. They have an undercoat which is weather resistant, but tends to change a lot based on season. The working line of this pup tends to have a shorter coat, while the show line has longer, fuller hair. The Australian Shepherds coat is neither coarse nor soft in texture, and tends to be feathered on the backs of the legs.

Grooming Your Australian Shepherd

Grooming the Australian Shepherd is no major feat. Occasional brushing and a bathe-as-necessary routine will suffice. When brushing use a firm bristle brush, the coat does not require much attention aside from this. Watch for mats forming behind the ears, and if necessary spray down lightly with diluted dog conditioner to untangle any knots. Nails should be trimmed if they are not worn down naturally by exercise. If you can hear the nails hitting against the floor when your Aussie runs, then they need to be trimmed.

Australian Shepherd Dog Colors

The Aussie comes in multiple different colors, none of which score higher than the other. Blue merle, red merle, black, red, red with white or tan markings are all acceptable by breed standards.

"Merle is a color combination in dogs’ coats. It is a solid base color (usually red/brown or black) with lighter blue/gray or reddish patches, which gives a mottled or uneven speckled effect" - Wikipedia

Recognized By


Famous People Who Own Australian Shepherds

Sally Field, Steve Jobs, Demi Moore / Bruce Willis, Jack Perkins, Tim Robbins, Susan Sarandon, Flip Wilson

How Others Rated the Australian Shepherd

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