You might assume that the Australian Shepherd hails from Australia. However, this breed of dogs is actually from Western United States. The Australian Shepherd was originally bred for herding on the American frontier. Since they were developed to work and herd livestock, this dog doesn't like being idle. So, does that mean you cannot adopt it as a companion dog? You sure can!
Australian Shepherds love to spring around with children. Along with being hard working, they are also loyal and easy going. Their diligent and gregarious attitude makes them a great herding dog, family pet, and police dog. If you want to bring the Aussie Shepherd home, it is best to learn their personality traits and care requirements, so you can provide your pup with a healthy environment to develop in.
Key specifications of an Australian Shepherd dog breed
As someone who wants to adopt a dog from this breed, you should know certain details such as an Australian Shepherd’s lifespan, weight, height, and coat.
18 to 30 kgs
25 to 32 inches
12 to 15 years
Medium-length, straight or wavy
Physical appearance of Australian Shepherd dogs
Australian Shepherds are mid-sized working dogs with a strong build. They have straight or slightly wavy fur. While Australian Shepherds come in multiple colors, almost all of them have a white tint on their coat–either on their chest, neck, collar, muzzle, legs, or underparts. Along with hints of white, this dog breed features different shades on its coat. In fact, you can also find tri-colored dogs from this breed too. Let us further explore Australian Shepherd coat colors:
- Blue merle
- Red merle
- Blue merle and tan
- Black and tan
Now that you know you can get an Australian Shepherd dog in multiple colors, here are a few features you must look out for to identify a purebred pup or dog:
- Mane around the neck
- Featherings around their legs
- Folded ears
Australian Shepherd personality traits
The ancestors of this breed spent hours in the fields herding sheep and cattle; hence, this dog is energetic and lively in nature. The hard-working quality still runs in their blood, so don’t be surprised if you see them herding children. If you have children at home, ensure that you introduce your kids properly or the dog might start chasing the little ones. Once they start gelling in with your kids, an Australian Shepherd will become their best playmate. However, do note that this dog is protective of its people and territory. So, if it sees a stranger approaching, it will bark and alert you.
Do Australian Shepherds need training?
Australian Shepherds thrive on training sessions. Since they were bred to work in the field, they love having their mind stimulated. They are naturally inclined towards herding, so if you plan on adopting an Aussie as a pet, you might have to train it accordingly… or it might start nipping and chasing kids, other pets, and strangers. It is not your dog’s mistake; it is simply doing what it is bred to do. However, early training will help you inculcate self-control in your fur baby. And here’s good news: Australian Shepherds are intelligent and easy to train. So, if you put in an effort to train your Australian Shepherd puppy as soon as it comes home, it will learn to control its urge to herd. You can use dog treats to reward your fur baby when they respond with the correct behavior.
How to care for an Australian Shepherd?
Want to adopt an Australian Shepherd puppy or dog? Here are a few important guidelines on things you need to know about this breed.
Australian Shepherds are generally healthy. However, it is imperative to take good care of your pup well to help it grow into a healthy dog. Check your dog’s ears regularly to remove any foreign substance. Moreover, look out for symptoms of diseases that are common amongst this breed. Cataract, Collie eye defect, hip and elbow dysplasia, hypothyroidism, epilepsy, and cancer are a few health conditions you must watch out for.
Since dogs of this breed have a medium-length coat, you will have to brush their fur at least once a week. You might have to go an extra mile during the shedding season and clean up their dead strands. Fortunately, your Australian Shepherd won’t need frequent baths. Thanks to their water-repellent coats, you just need to bathe them once in two or three months. That’s it! However, if your pooch rolls in mud in the backyard, you might have to bathe it as soon as possible. Do not forget to cut your dog’s nails regularly. This is an active breed of dog that loves walking and running. So, ensure that your Australian Shepherd can run, walk, and jump without any pain.
Since this dog was bred to work and herd, it is highly energetic. As a house pet, it doesn’t have any chores to do, meaning all its energy gets bottled up. An Australian Shepherd requires a minimum of two hours of walking daily. In fact, the more, the better. These dogs also love their exercise routine even more when their pet parents accompany them. Indulge your furry pal in activities like fetch and tug of war.
Proteins forms an important part of your dog’s diet as it ensures that your fur baby has healthy muscles. Along with proteins, your Australian Shepherd also needs good fats, vitamins, healthy carbs, and minerals to lead a fit life. Make sure that you go for dog food that offers complete and balanced nutrition. You can also slip in a few dog treats occasionally too when your furry pal has been a good boy or girl.
A brief history of Australian Shepherd dog breed
The first Australian Shepherd dog was bred in the late 1800s for herding. Aussies originated from Europe and were bred in California. There are multiple theories around the dog breeds used to develop Australian Shepherd. Considering the name, it is believed that this breed was developed using Collie and another herding dog from Australia. These dogs used to work alongside their pet parents in ranches, fields, and farms. While these dogs were originally created to help their owners, people from all walks of life have adopted them as family pets. Demi Moore, Bruce Willis, Steven Spielberg, Steven Jobs, and Mel Gibson are a few celebrities known to have adopted an Australian Shepherd.