The straight to slightly wavy fur is of medium texture and moderate length, with an undercoat that varies in substance depending on the climate.
Colors of the Australian Shepherd are blue merle; red merle; solid black; and solid red. They may include white markings and/or tan points.
The Australian Shepherd is smart and friendly - a winning combination of intelligence, ability and personality. Most Aussies, especially those from working lines, are type A personalities, with "get it done now" attitudes. They are courageous, tireless and can be pushy or bossy without proper leadership from their owner.
Aussies have a century-old heritage as working dogs and are not happy just sitting around the house all day. They are full-time working dogs who need an owner committed to giving them the stimulation they need. Ideally, they do best on farms or rural areas with lots of room for them to run and work.
The Aussie works with enthusiasm and style, whether it be tending to livestock, running an agility course, doing competitive obedience, or making someone's day as a therapy dog.
The versatile Australian Shepherd cannot survive without physical and mental exercise. He needs a meaningful job and a purpose toward which to direct his energy; there are many occupations that he will find suitable, including family babysitter.
The Aussie is an active, working dog who needs a high-quality, nutritious diet.
With a can-do attitude - and aptitude - there is almost nothing an Aussie can't be taught to do, as long as his instruction is positive, inspiring and purposeful.
Aussies are the quintessential ranch and farm dogs, and with proper socialization, can get along with just about any animal. They bond with their owners but tend to be aloof with strangers. They love children but may have a tendency to try to herd them.
The average life span of the Australian Shepherd is 12 to 15 years. Breed health concerns include cataracts; Collie eye anomaly (CEA); epilepsy; hip dysplasia; mange; patent ductus arteriosis (PDA); and persistent pupillary membrane (PPM).
The Aussie's double coat needs consistent care to keep shedding under control and to keep him looking his best. Regular brushing with a pin brush for the long hair, a slicker brush for removing mats and dead hair and a stripping comb for removing the undercoat are recommended.
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