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Australian Shepherd

The Canine Chronicles Directory

Australian Shepherd

The Australian Shepherd is a medium-size working dog that is a true herder. The coat is straight to slightly wavy. The tail is naturally or surgically docked so that it is no more than four inches. The ears are long, frame the face, and are round at the bottom. Eyes can be many different colors including blue, green, brown and amber. They may have one eye that is a different color from the other or eyes that are bi-colored or merle. There is a moderate mane that is more pronounced in the male than in the female. They have a strong, deep chest and stand squarely on all fours. Rear dewclaws are generally removed.

Temperament The Australian Shepherd is intelligent, active and protective, a combination of qualities which requires a dominant owner. They love to play and are affectionate and loyal. Aussies are excellent companions for children and are devoted friends. Though they are aggressive while at work, they are very gentle with their human counterparts. This active breed can become easily bored if not actively engaged and may become destructive if left alone. Will sometimes nip at human's heels in an attempt to herd them. They can be reserved with strangers and are not normally dog aggressive.
Height, Weight Male Height: 20-23" ; Weight: 50-65 lbs.
Female Height: 18-21" ; Weight: 40-55 lbs.
Health Problems Australian Shepherd with merle eyes may have the gene that causes blindness and deafness. Puppies with these eyes should have their hearing checked at an early age. Some Aussies are prone to cataracts, spinal defects, hip dysplasia and dermatitis.
Living Conditions The Aussie should not live in an apartment and does best with a very large yard and with work to do.
Exercise This breed needs plenty of exercise and activities to stay in shape. Without enough exercise, they can become bored and destructive.
Life Expectancy About 12-15 years
Grooming This breed is easy to groom with brushing and occasional wet or dry shampoos. They shed their coats once or twice per year. It is an average shedder.
Origin The Australian Shepherd's name can be deceiving since the canines were bred right here in America. Aussie ancestors include the Berger de Pyrenees, the Smithfield, the Collie and the Border Collie. The Australian Shepherd is well known and is in high demand on American farms and ranches. The breed has been a fixture around horse people for many years. It has also had success in tracking, narcotics detection, search and rescue and as hearing dogs for the deaf.
Group Herding