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You are here: myPetSmart.com > Breeds > Australian Shepherd

Australian Shepherd

Origin: U.S.A.

AKC Group: Herding

Height: 18 inches (Male)

Weight: 40 pounds (Male)

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Male height: 
18 inches
Male weight: 
40 pounds
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 written history of the breed proudly proclaims, "Made in America by Americans!" It's a fact that the Australian Shepherd is not an Australian breed at all but rather was developed in the United States by cattle - and sheepherders who lived in the western states. Basque shepherds who settled on the west coast had small dogs with bobtails, and these came to represent shepherding in the United States the way Border Collies did in Britain. The exact origin of the Australian Shepherd is not known, but what is known is that this talented dog was soon adept at not only herding and guarding livestock but also at almost anything a farm family could ask of him. He is still the breed of choice for many ranchers.

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.
At home: 
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 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).
Fun fact: 

Prior to the 1930s, Australian Shepherds were known by various names, including Spanish Shepherds, Pastor Dogs, Bob-Tails, Blues, Heelers, New Mexican Shepherds and California Shepherds.

Grooming blurb: 
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.
This document has been published with the intent to provide accurate and authoritative information in regard to the subject matter within. While every reasonable precaution has been taken in preparation of this document, the author and publisher expressly disclaim responsibility for any errors, omissions, or adverse effects arising from the use or application of the information contained herein. The techniques and suggestions are used at the reader's discretion.