Herding, search and rescue, pet therapy… You name it, the Australian Shepherd can do it! As hardworking as they are friendly, these dogs are perfect for people with high energy and have enough time to take these dogs out to play.
Despite its name, the Australian Shepherd actually originates in the United States, its name coming from the fact that the dogs that were used to breed the first ones were brought to the country from Australia. Because of their intelligence, they are favorites as working dogs, being able to do just about anything from herding to performing search-and-rescue work. While they are primarily used as working dogs, these make for great pets as well, especially if you want a breed that’s very protective and affectionate towards his or her family.
Surprisingly enough, the Australian Shepherd isn’t much of a shedder, despite its medium-length coat. Nonetheless, they will need moderate grooming in order to help them manage their dense coats.
Our 4 Paw Rating – to the suitability of Australian Shepherd for your home and lifestyle:
Males are about 20 23 inches in height and weigh 50 to 65 lbs, while females are about 18 to 21 inches in height and weigh 40 to 55 lbs.
The coat of the Australian Shepherd can be black, red, red merle, or blue merle, with or without the white markings and/or the tan/copper points. Their coats are of moderate length, weather-resistant, and can either be short or wavy. The undercoat is usually shed twice a year. Weekly grooming using a firm bristle brush is sufficient to help the dog manage his or her fur. However, the dog will need to be groomed more frequently during shedding seasons.
The Australian Shepherd is a good choice if you want an affectionate, smart, and protective dog. They are usually wary around strangers, although this can be avoided through training.
The Australian Shepherd may not be ideal for households that have small children and other pets, as the dogs’ herding tendencies may lead to them nipping kids and animals, which can make them afraid.
These dogs are very energetic and need lots of exercise, so they may not be the ideal pet for those living in apartments or those who travel frequently and can’t spend that much time with them. If the Australian Shepherd doesn’t get enough exercise, they can be destructive. However, high-energy owners will definitely love this breed, as Australian shepherds love doing athletic activities, making them good running companions.
Life expectancy of about 13 to 15 years. The Australian Shepherd is prone to hip and eye problems, seizures, von Willebrand’s disease, thyroid disease, discoid lupus erythematosus, patent ductus, arteriosis, and cleft palate. As such, they will need to have to be tested for these problems before breeding. A yearly check-up can be beneficial to make sure that your Australian Shepherd is in tip-top shape.
Australian Shepherds need a lot of exercise in order to keep them happy. They can be indoor dogs provided they are given a lot of time playing outside.
The Australian Shepherd is very smart, so they can be trained easily.