Known as an Aussie, the Australian shepherd dog is a type of herding dog that is being bred in the Western United States. Their popularity began through rodeos, horse shows and Disney movies. The Australian shepherd dog is commended for their innate versatility and trainability. They are always obedient and keen in pleasing their owners. They are also highly energetic and driven that is why they stand out in dog sports. Unlike other dogs, Australian Shepherds need more physical and mental activities. It is possible that they can acquire serious behavior problems if they become bored or even self-destructive. Due to this energy, they would always want to have a task at hand, making them very efficient as search and rescue dogs, disaster dogs, detection dogs, guide, service, and therapy dogs. In addition, they can be a good watchdog even for children because they love to play. They are very even-tempered and puppy-like even if they are already adults.
The Australian shepherd dog has a medium-sized built and a strong, well-balanced, rustic body. It is important that the whole size of the head is proportional to the body. Along with this, the muzzle should be equal or somewhat shorter than the back of the skull. Moreover, their teeth should be forming a scissors or level bite. The ears of an Australian shepherd are triangle in shape but its tip is slightly rounded and their eyes are shaped as a medium-sized oval with colors brown, blue, amber or any variations of these colors. Their coat is medium in texture and is straight to slightly wavy. It is also weather-resistant and moderately long with an undercoat. The colors of the coats vary from blue merle, black, red merle and solid red. They can come either with or without white markings and copper points. The texture of the hair varies on each part of its body. The hairs on the head, outside the ears, front of the forelegs and below the hocks are short and smooth. On the other hand, the hair are the back of the forelegs are somewhat feathered. The breeches at this area are also sort of full. Moreover, male Australian shepherd has more obvious moderate mane and frill. As for its tail, Australian shepherd has a bobtail that is docked and straight. Their chests are deep that its lowest point can already reach the elbow. In addition, they have straight front legs that are perpendicular to the ground and oval feet and well-arched toes.
An Australian Shepherd dog is prone to several inherited health problems, such as problems in the back, hip, vision and hearing. Serious health problems among Australian Shepherds are cataract and Collie eye anomaly, whereas, minor health problems of this breed include coronary heart disease, nasal solar dermatitis, Pelger-Huet syndrome and iris coloboma. There are also other health conditions that sometimes affect the Australian Shepherd dog and these are lumbar sacral syndrome, epilepsy, progressive retinal atrophy, von Willebrand disease, distichiasis, patent ductus arteriosus, and persistent papillary membranes.