Last Updated on September 1, 2023 by Pets Feed
The Australian Shepherd (also known as the Aussie) is an average, agile and intelligent dog. Because of his energetic and hardworking nature, he is one of the best sheepdogs that exists. Therefore, it can be difficult to handle for those who do not have enough time and space. However, it is a very noble, intelligent and beautiful dog, who belonging to an active family, dynamic and very aware of the education of this dog, will be able to have with him an unrivaled best friend. The Australian Shepherd is a breed of dog well known for its abilities as a pasture dog.
In this ‘ Pets Feed ‘ breeds sheet, we will detail information about the origins of an Australian Shepherd and we will explain what are its characteristics and the habitual character of this breed.
The Australian Shepherd Dog should not be confused with the Australian Cattle Dog, two dogs with similar names but very different physical abilities.
Australian Shepherd photos
This dog is often compared to the Border Collie. They are strong and muscular. The length of their body slightly exceeds the height. Height – 51-58 cm (males) and 46-53 cm (females). The weight ranges from 25-32 kg for males and 16-25 kg for females.
- Head: Strong, fairly large, in proportion to the body. The forehead is slightly rounded or flat. There may be a small bump on the back of the head. A pronounced curve that separates the forehead and the nose.
- Muzzle: Cone-shaped, tapering from base to back of nose. Has an average length. The color of the nose leather depends on the main color:
- In blue and black mottled dogs – black;
- Marbled red and red – brown.
- Ears: Triangular in shape, of medium length, set high. The ends are slightly rounded. The ears are in a semi-erect position. When they are alert, they get up.
- Eyes: Very expressive and intelligent look. Almond-shaped eyes set moderately obliquely, neither protruding nor sunken. The color of the iris can be different: blue, amber, brown, green. Inclusions and marbling are possible. Animals marbled with blue and black have a black outline around the eyes, those marbled with red and red have brown.
- Teeth/Jaws: Strong jaws, regular scissor bite. Strong and white teeth in the quantity of 42 pcs. (20 – on the upper jaw, 22 – on the lower jaw).
- Trunk: Body. Strong, with well-developed muscles. Back broad, straight and strong. The width of the front of the case is equal to the width of the back. The deep chest has a pronounced relief. Its lowest point reaches the level of the elbow. The ribs are long and oval. The abdomen is lifted from the chest to the groin.
- Hindquarters: Strong, with well defined knees, slightly arched hocks. The angle between the femoral bone and the pelvic axis creates a perpendicular. Oval, compact feet, with arched toes, thick and elastic pads.
- Forelegs: The flat shoulder blades are close to the withers at an angle of 45°C. The humerus is the same size relative to the shoulder blade, located perpendicular to the line of the shoulder blade. Strong, straight legs with solid bones, oval feet, arched toes, elastic pads, thick skin.
- Coat: It has an average length, a moderate density. Straight and wavy hair possible. There is a short, soft undercoat, the density of which depends on the climate. The colder it is, the denser the undercoat. The head, ears, front of the forelegs, areas under the hock are covered with smooth, short hair. Woolen “trousers” are formed on the back of the forelimbs and hind limbs. Sheepdogs have a moderately developed mane and collar. In men, they are more pronounced.
- Colour: The officially recognized colors are black, red, blue merle and red merle. White areas are allowed. With age, the coat darkens. The eyes should be framed with color and pigment. There are also graphite, sable, brindle and gold colors that are not officially recognized.
- Tail: Long, straight or naturally short. At the quay, its length does not exceed 10 cm.
Character and behavior
The Aussie dog breed has an outgoing and very friendly nature, which makes it an ideal companion for humans. No matter how old you are, this pet is literally your best friend, period. No more no less. If you are an elderly person and need a companion to make your daily life easier, the Aussie breed is an excellent choice.
If you have a large family with many children, the Australian Shepherd will also fit perfectly into your daily life. They are a hardworking breed that are happy in an alliance with a human when given the opportunity to be beneficial. If there are no walks or useful functions, the dog will begin to get bored, his appetite will deteriorate. She is wonderful with children, has a high level of intelligence and fully understands the situation in the family, feels the emotional state of the owners.
With the children
With other animals
Australian Shepherd dogs, like other herding breeds, can develop juvenile cataracts. The most common diseases from which the breed suffers are:
- Hip dysplasia;
- Autoimmune diseases;
- Optic nerve dystrophy;
- Oncological diseases;
It is necessary to take care of the Australian Shepherd in daily format, the coat, skin and teeth of the animal require special attention:
- Grooming – 1 to 2 times per week, if there is no moult. When the season for changing the undercoat approaches, it will need to be combed daily to prevent tangles from forming.
- Bathing with shampoo for long-haired breeds – no more than twice a month, so as not to disturb the microflora of the skin.
- For the summer, it is advisable to stock up on products against fleas and ticks, especially when you live in the suburbs. Suitable in the form of sprays, drops and tablets.
- Monthly brushing is strongly recommended. Due to the characteristics of the bite, Australian Shepherd dogs constantly form tartar, which will only be removed in the doctor’s office.
- During its expansion in the United States, the Australian Shepherd became popular by doing acrobatics in the rodeos because of its capacity for the spectacle and its sympathy.
- Although its official name is Australian Shepherd, in Anglo-Saxon countries, they are known as aussies, an affectionate nickname, easy to pronounce and remember.
- These dogs have a very high energy and very oriented towards the pasture. If they do not meet their needs, they will tend to graze the children or even the adults with whom they live, behavior which can be very annoying if it is not corrected.
- The Australian Shepherd will alert you with barks to warn you if he sees or hears something suspicious, and will protect your family and your home with surprising ferocity.
- Although this sheepdog has a reputation for needing open space, it does well in cities if it is given enough stimulation and exercise. However, he is not a good apartment dog. He will want at least a small patio to help him release some of his high energy.
- The breed needs a firm and secure owner: the Australian Shepherd is probably not a good option if you have never had a dog.
- The Australian Shepherd is, by nature, distant from people he does not know, and unless he is regularly exposed to many different people, ideally if he starts this as a puppy. This can lead to reduced fear and aggression.
- The Australian Shepherd has many names: Australian, American Shepherd, Wigglebutt, Rodeo Dog, California Shepherd, Short Tail, Velcro Dog, New Mexico Shepherd, Spanish Shepherd, North American Australian Shepherd, Shepherd Dog, Aussie.
History of the breed
Despite the fact that the name of the breed is “Australian Shepherd”, the home of these dogs is America. This type of animal cannot be called ancient, its formation began and ended in the twentieth century. Although the breeds, whose blood flows in the veins of Australian Shepherds, trace their history back to ancient times. Modern Aussies have achieved excellence in shepherd’s work, and have also established themselves as winning rodeos.
Many breeds have participated in the creation of the Australian Shepherd Dog. Let’s understand the most important ancestors of the Aussies in more detail:
In the nineteenth century, their Pyrenean shepherds arrived in America with the Basque shepherds. The first ancestors of the Australian Shepherd Dogs appeared from them and the local shepherd dogs.
In the middle of the nineteenth century, Old German Shepherds appeared in Australia (New South Wales). These herding dogs, originally from Germany, were marbled gray-black in color, had a thick coat and were called tigers or tigers. The offspring of tigers and local herding dogs came to the United States and contributed to the formation of the Aussie breed.
Another breed of herding dogs, the Australian coolies, contributed to the emergence of the Australian Shepherd. The coat color of modern Aussies resembles that of a coolie.
In the early twentieth century, American breeders came to grips with a new breed called the Australian Shepherd. The process involved crossing coolies, tigers and Pyrenees with collies and Bernese Mountain Dogs. As a result, the Aussie breed was bred. These hardworking, hardy animals have become some of the best herding dogs.
In 1977 the breed standard was approved. By this time, a club of amateurs of Australian Shepherds was organized and more than two dozen nurseries engaged in breeding purebred representatives of this species.