The Australian Shepherd originated in the western U.S in the year 1840. This dog was bred originally to herd livestock and nowadays he continues to be a working dog. His nickname is the “Aussie” and he makes a great family companion. The average height of an Australian Shepherd is 1 foot, 6 inches to 1 foot, 11 inches weighing about 40 to 65 pounds. They have a lifespan of 12 to 15 years.
The most distinguishing feature of the Australian Shepherd is the natural or docked bobtail. The eyes of this dog breed come in a variety of colors, including combinations of blue, amber, hazel and brown. Australian Shepherd’s are vigorous and athletic dogs.
The Australian Shepherd is a very intelligent and energetic dog. He loves people and socializing and is in a constant need of doing something. The high levels of energy that he has require daily exercises and he can be a great biking or jogging companion.
Considering the fact that he was originally bred to herd, don’t be amazed if he will try to herd you, your family, your friends and everything else that moves. You shouldn’t be scared about this issue because it is nothing major that cannot be fixed. With proper training you can help your Australian Shepherd to be able to control this herding instinct. Usually the Aussie is good with kids excluding the occasional nipping at their heels. They do this because they are trying to herd them into position. Other than that you shouldn’t have any major problems with this affectionate and loyal companion.
The Australian Shepherd is a very determined dog and can sometimes be highly territorial. He will always protect his family and home and are very reserved around strangers. This makes him a great guard dog that you can trust and he will never let you down. His favorite game is Frisbee and he enjoys very much swimming. Overall the Aussie can make a great family pet full of joy and energy. He will definitely make your life better and your family safer.
The Aussie is prone to various health issues. Their merle coloration carries a blind/deaf factor and the natural bobtail makes this breed prone to spinal defects. Additionally, this breed is prone to epilepsy, hip dysplasia, and cataracts.
Australian Shepherd Activity & Training:
The Australian Shepherd is a very intelligent dog breed which makes him very easy to train. Obedience training is a must if you want to get rid at least partially of his herding instinct. This is highly important if you have small children around. Being an intelligent dog he will learn new commands very easy and will definitely enjoy the training a lot.
It is important that they know who their master is or they may try to take control. The Australian Shepherd requires constant and effective direction. They are highly intelligent dogs who find repetitiveness boring.
This dog breed requires an above average amount of exercise. A daily walk is insufficient. The Australian Shepherd thrives on running, herding and actively taking part in household activities. This breed is at their best with substantial social interaction and a task to do. Australian Shepherds are not recommended for apartment living. This breed is reasonably lively indoors and best suited to a non-sedentary owner. A reasonably sized, secure yard or a rural environment will satisfy their exercise needs.
Australian Shepherd Grooming:
The coat of the Aussie is striking and diverse. The hair of this breed is straight to wavy, of moderate length and weather resistant. They have a double coat and the under coat sheds twice a year. This breed is a moderate shedder. The coat of the Aussie comes in four colors.
This dog breed requires minimal grooming. An occasional brush with a firm bristle brush will usually suffice. They are a seasonal shedder and they require more intensive grooming during these periods.
The Australian Shepherd is known to shed a fair amount of hair therefore if you want to prevent having an awful lot of hair on your couch, carpet and all around the house you should brush him as often as you can.
There are no special grooming requirements for this particular dog breed other than brushing his medium-length coat a few times a week and taking care of the coat shaping every two or three months.
Australian Shepherd History:
The Australian Shepherd was originally developed in the year 1840 in the western US. His main purpose was to herd livestock for ranchers and farmers and some of the modern day Australian Shepherds still hold that job.