Australian Shepherd

Narrated from: Dog Breeds


More well-known as the Aussie, The Australian Shepherd is a well-balanced, active, robust dog that can fit in almost anywhere. All you need to do is find creative ways to keep him busy. His coat should be double, with a straight to wavy topcoat and a thick undercoat. His eyes are oval and can range in color from brown to blue, and even amber. His ears are half-pricked with just the tips hanging over. He is full of expression and very spunky. He can be seen in an array of coat colors as well. He can be solid red, red merle, copper, tan or the more popular blue merle. When he walks away from you he appears to have britches on. 

The Australian Shepherd is an easy going breed and he behaves puppy-like throughout his life. He is very courageous and he makes an excellent watchdog. They love to play and if they are well socialized as puppies they are great with humans and animals alike. They are great for active children. He is a loyal and loving companion and he is affectionate, lively and very attentive. His attentiveness and intelligence makes him an easy student. Their intelligence needs to be stimulated through both physical and mental tasks and games. If he is allowed to become bored he will develop behavioral problems. If he is not properly socialized and trained he will become a nervous dog with lots of pent up frustration. He will nip at the heels of his human pack in an attempt to put them in a group, as he was originally bred to be a herding dog. He needs to learn early from a dominant strong willed trainer that his human pack is not to be herded. If he is well trained he will not be an aggressive dog and will make many friends. He does seem to have a sort of sixth sense about protecting his human pack. 

The Australian Shepherd is normally between 18 and 23 inches tall at the shoulder with the males being tallest. They can range in weight from 40 pounds for females to as much as 65 pounds for a male. They do come with some health concerns. Almost any merle colored dog is more susceptible to being blind or deaf. They lean towards cataracts later in life and epilepsy seems to plague the breed. They can also be very sensitive to certain medicines that are perfectly fine to give to other dogs. If they are lucky enough to skip the higher than normal risks of these illnesses they can enjoy a long lifespan of as many as 15 years. 

The Australian Shepherd is not recommended for apartment life. Make sure you can provide him with plenty of activity, and a large yard is best. These are very energetic dogs and will need an active owner. They are best off with a job or a sport they can actively participate in such as being your jogging partner, catching a Frisbee or doing agility courses. You must make sure they have plenty of mental and physical exercise before you bring them home. They are very intelligent and they need to be challenged. They are used in search and rescue work, they work very well with children and they have been used in police work. They love to please. 

The Australian Shepherd is a groomer’s dream with minimal coat care required. He will be an average shedder and will need to be brushed out with a firm bristle brush at least once each week. Bathe him only when absolutely necessary so you do not damage his weather resistant outer coat. 

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