Dog Profiles - Description of Australian Shepherd

Australian Shepherd

Description: The Australian Shepherd is an attractive long-haired breed with a bobtail and striking, varied, coat coloration. Each dog's coat and eye color are highly variable. It is not uncommon to have a dog with one blue eye or one that is half blue and half brown. This does not affect their vision or their standings in the show ring. Australian Shepherds have strong herding and sheep guarding instincts and have been known to perform well in areas such as search and rescue. He is reserved with strangers, but is a dependable, tireless worker who is devoted to his owner. An attentive and animated dog who is strong and agile with great stamina, the Australian Shepherd will make a great family pet.

Height: 18-23 inches

Weight: 35-70 lbs.

Colors: Blue merle, black, red merle and all red with or without white markings and/or tan points.

Coat: Double coat is medium length and straight to slightly wavy.

Temperament: Active, intelligent, responsive. Most are good with children and make great family pets, but some lines have been bred to be more aggressive. Good with other pets. Good watch-dog and guard-dog.

Care and Exercise: Minimal grooming of his coat is needed and only bathe him when necessary. Special attention to his coat after an outing to remove burrs and foxtails. Daily exercise is a must to help maintain good muscle tone.

Training: Obedience training comes easy to him and he should receive this training. Learning rate: high.

Activity: High

Living Environment: Rural or semi-rural with lots of outdoor activities such as herding livestock, flyball and obedience trials.

Health Issues: Hip dysplasia, eye problems such as juvenile cataracts and deafness.

Life Span: 14-16 Years

Litter Size: 5-8

Country of Origin: USA

History: He does not come from Australian as his name suggests. He was developed in the US to work as a herding dog on ranches. It is said that in 1875 Baxque sheep herders began to migrate to the United States bringing their sheep dogs with them. At that time the breed developed into the Australian Shepherd. He was recognized by the Canadian and Mexican Kennel Clubs in 1976, and by the United Kennel Club in 1979.

Registration: ACA, AKC, KC (GB)