Despite as their name suggests, the Australian Shepherd, or Aussie, did not actually originate in Australia. This breed is known for their vast amount of energy. Just when you think they’ve had enough, the Aussie is ready for more. Australian Shepherds are smart, loyal, and family-oriented. Keep reading to learn more about this bundle of energy.

Australian Shepherd Breed Guide:

Breed Origin

As previously said, the Australian Shepherd does not actually hail from Australia. The Australian Shepherd is a descendent of the Pyrenean shepherd, a breed of dog used to aid in farming along the border of France and Spain by the indigenous Basque people. In the early 1800s, many Basques migrated to East Australia along with their dogs for cattle ranching. There they cross-bred the Pyrenean with the Border Collie. Eventually the Basques brought their dogs to California. Californian ranchers were taken with this breed because of their energy and physique. They mistakenly thought that this breed originated in Australia, and thus the name Australian Shepherd was born. There is many speculation on the origin of the Australian Shepherd, with some believing the breed was truly bred after they arrived in California. One thing is for certain, the Mini Aussie, a small version of the Australian Shepherd, was first bred in California in the 1960s to be livestock herders.

 

Physical Characteristics

Australian Shepherds are a medium sized dog. They range from 18-23 inches in height and 40-60 pounds in weight. Aussies have medium length thick fur that come in blue merle, red merle, black, and red. Tan and white spotting is also included in their fur color. Most Aussies have brown eyes, but it’s also possible for them to have blue eyes or even heterochromatic eyes. Another characteristic of the Australian Shepherd is their triangle-shaped ears that hang forward and flop when they move.

 

Temperament

Aussies are very friendly and love being in the company of others, they love being social with people and other dogs alike. As their breeding history suggests, they are natural born herders so you might find your Aussie herding other animals or even people in your home. They have a lot of energy and love to play hard. As with most working breeds, the Australian Shepherd is highly intelligent. You can see it in the way they stare at you, carefully taking everything in and waiting for your command. Aussies tend to suffer from separation anxiety if they are away from their loved ones for too long, so keep your lifestyle in mind if you choose to adopt one.

 

Tips For Raising An Australian Shepherd

Training

Because of their high intelligence, it’s recommended to train your Australian Shepherd as early on as possible, and continue training throughout their life. Especially for new owners, intelligent breeds can be too much to handle if not trained properly. Firmness, consistency, and positive reinforcement is key when training any dog.

Grooming

Aussies have a thick water-proof double coat, so weekly brushings are recommended. They shed their undercoat in the Winter and Spring; you should brush every couple of days during this time to prevent hair buildup in your home. Frequent baths are also recommended for Aussies as their coat tends to get dirty from playing.

Health

Aussies can be prone to ear infections, so their ears should be checked and cleaned regularly. This breed is also prone to hip dysplasia and epilepsy.

Written by Vincent M.

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