Australian Shepherd

Group 5: Working
Height:
Male: 51 – 58.5 cm
Female: 45.5 – 53.5 cm

Energy Level:  High
Original Function: Station/stock dog
Lifespan: 10  – 15 yrs

Recommended for: Active people & families.

Australian Shepherd

About This Breed

Despite the misleading name the Australian Shepherd was developed entirely in the US, to work on ranches as herding dogs. It is believed the name was given because of their association with the Basque sheepherders who came to the United States from Australia in the 1800’s. The American stockmen continued the development of the breed, maintaining the versatility, keen intelligence, strong herding instinct and eye-catching appearance.

The Aussie, as it is known, is a very active dog that needs a great deal of exercise on a daily basis to prevent him from become bored or frustrated and developing destructive habits. They need to be given a “job” to perform, be it shepherding the children, protecting the house, herding livestock or training and/or competing in dog events, such as agility, obedience or fly-ball to name a few.

They are extremely intelligent, easily trained and very responsive, they seem to know exactly what is required of them.

General Characteristics

Appearance: Well balanced, slightly longer than tall of medium size and bone, with colouring that offers variety and individuality.

He is attentive and animated, lithe and agile, solid and muscular without cloddiness. He has a coat of moderate length and coarseness. Natural bobbed tail or natural long tail.

Temperament: Intelligent, active dog with an even disposition, he is good natured, seldom quarrelsome.

Characteristics: Intelligent working dog of strong herding and guarding instincts. He is a loyal companion and has the stamina to work all day.

Colour: Blue merle, black, red merle, red – all with or without white markings and/or tan (copper) points, with no order of preference. 

Coat: Hair is of medium texture, straight to wavy, weather resistant and of medium length. The undercoat varies in quantity with variations in climate. Hair is short and smooth on the head, ears, front of forelegs and below the hock joints. Backs of forelegs and britches are moderately feathered. There is a moderate mane and frill, more pronounced in males than in females.

Grooming: Their coat is not that hard to maintain, a brush and a bath when necessary.

Exercise: They are a very energetic working dog and need plenty of exercise to keep them fit and their mind occupied.

Health- They are a hardy breed, although some can suffer from hip dysplasia and eye problems.