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Australian Shepherd

Australian-Shepherd

A Highly Intelligent Herding Dog

Bold, confident, independent

Australian Shepherds are smart, protective, and very responsive medium-sized dogs. This loyal and obedient breed is a bit reserved with strangers but is very protective and an excellent watchdog. Aussies make great companions for singles, families, ranchers, and those who enjoy the outdoors. As herding dogs, they may try to herd children and other animals when playing. Daily exercise will help them remain calm and content.

Understanding their unique needs will help keep them healthy and create a strong bond between the two of you. Explore this page to learn more about the breed’s history, health concerns, characteristics, and care needs.

Breed Details

Height:18-23 in. Weight:35-70 lb Lifespan:12-15 years

Size
3

1=small 5=large

Grooming requirements
3

1 = little grooming - 5 = much grooming

Energy level
4

1 = low energy - 5 = high energy

Ease of training
5

1 = difficult - 5 = easy

Affection toward owners
4

1 = independent - 5 = very affectionate

Friendliness toward strangers
2

1 = shy - 5 = very friendly

Routine care: They are very smart dogs with lots of energy, so keep their mind and body active, or they'll get bored. That's when the naughty stuff starts.

Grooming: Very easy to groom, just run a brush through their coat once in a while. Their weather resistant coat needs its natural oils, so don't over-bathe them.

Dental: Australian Shepherds generally have good teeth, and you can keep them perfect by brushing them at least twice a week!

Ear Care: Clean their ears weekly, even as a puppy. Don’t worry—your veterinarian can show you how!

Give Australian Shepherds a problem and they will solve it. They are smart and energetic hard workers.

Positive Traits:

  • Highly intelligent, playful, and energetic
  • Agile, sturdy, and muscular
  • An excellent companion, family, or working dog
  • Above average intelligence and train-ability when positive reinforcement training methods are used
  •  Adaptable to a wide variety of living conditions

Negative Traits:

  • Has a tendency to herd, including small children
  • Coat requires regular brushing and grooming
  • Suspicious of strangers

Whether you are considering adding a new Australian Shepherd to your family or you already have one as a companion, it is important for you to know about the genetically linked diseases known to occur more often in this breed. Of course not every Australian Shepherd will have these problems, but research shows your pal is more at risk than other breeds. 

By exploring the health concerns specific to the Australian Shepherd you will become a knowledgeable and confident pet parent. Be sure to speak with your veterinarian about breed risks every time you visit and educate yourself on the most important signs to watch for at home. They are counting on you to be their health expert.

Some health issues an Australian Shepherd may encounter:

The Australian Shepherd was developed in California during the 1900's. Aussies excel at watching large herds, and can work for as long as you ask. They are highly intelligent and trainable and are well-suited as guide dogs, exercise companions or as the family pet. They also excel at agility and obedience sports. They are loyal, good with children, and have sound temperaments. Aussies are best suited for families with an active lifestyle and a large fenced yard. They need plenty of exercise and mental stimulation to prevent boredom. They can weigh between 35 and 70 pounds and have a life span of 12-13 years.

Consult with a veterinarian if your Australian Shepherd shows signs of the following:

  • Lethargy, drooling, or abnormal behavior following drug administration

  • General reluctance to run or play

  • Increasing hip pain at less than a year old

  • Swollen lymph nodes or glands, unexplained weight loss

  • Pale gums, labored breathing, weakness, or sudden collapse

  • Any abnormal shaking, trembling, or excessive involuntary tremors

  • Blinking, redness, pain or itchiness around the eyes

  • Cloudiness to eye lens

  • Increased blinking, extra tears and squinting

  • Small blood vessels extending onto the clear cornea


  • Care

    Routine care: They are very smart dogs with lots of energy, so keep their mind and body active, or they'll get bored. That's when the naughty stuff starts.

    Grooming: Very easy to groom, just run a brush through their coat once in a while. Their weather resistant coat needs its natural oils, so don't over-bathe them.

    Dental: Australian Shepherds generally have good teeth, and you can keep them perfect by brushing them at least twice a week!

    Ear Care: Clean their ears weekly, even as a puppy. Don’t worry—your veterinarian can show you how!

  • Characteristics

    Give Australian Shepherds a problem and they will solve it. They are smart and energetic hard workers.

    Positive Traits:

    • Highly intelligent, playful, and energetic
    • Agile, sturdy, and muscular
    • An excellent companion, family, or working dog
    • Above average intelligence and train-ability when positive reinforcement training methods are used
    •  Adaptable to a wide variety of living conditions

    Negative Traits:

    • Has a tendency to herd, including small children
    • Coat requires regular brushing and grooming
    • Suspicious of strangers
  • Health Concerns

    Whether you are considering adding a new Australian Shepherd to your family or you already have one as a companion, it is important for you to know about the genetically linked diseases known to occur more often in this breed. Of course not every Australian Shepherd will have these problems, but research shows your pal is more at risk than other breeds. 

    By exploring the health concerns specific to the Australian Shepherd you will become a knowledgeable and confident pet parent. Be sure to speak with your veterinarian about breed risks every time you visit and educate yourself on the most important signs to watch for at home. They are counting on you to be their health expert.

    Some health issues an Australian Shepherd may encounter:

  • History

    The Australian Shepherd was developed in California during the 1900's. Aussies excel at watching large herds, and can work for as long as you ask. They are highly intelligent and trainable and are well-suited as guide dogs, exercise companions or as the family pet. They also excel at agility and obedience sports. They are loyal, good with children, and have sound temperaments. Aussies are best suited for families with an active lifestyle and a large fenced yard. They need plenty of exercise and mental stimulation to prevent boredom. They can weigh between 35 and 70 pounds and have a life span of 12-13 years.

  • Watch Out For

    Consult with a veterinarian if your Australian Shepherd shows signs of the following:

    • Lethargy, drooling, or abnormal behavior following drug administration

    • General reluctance to run or play

    • Increasing hip pain at less than a year old

    • Swollen lymph nodes or glands, unexplained weight loss

    • Pale gums, labored breathing, weakness, or sudden collapse

    • Any abnormal shaking, trembling, or excessive involuntary tremors

    • Blinking, redness, pain or itchiness around the eyes

    • Cloudiness to eye lens

    • Increased blinking, extra tears and squinting

    • Small blood vessels extending onto the clear cornea


Australian Shepherd Discussions

Share your thoughts and experiences, ask questions, or just show your love for the Australian Shepherd breed here!

Select Another Breed

To view the sources for the information listed on this page, see our Dog Breed Guide Reference page.

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