Australian Shepherd Puppies

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Intelligent, Even-Tempered, and Protective Australian Shepherds

This lean ranch dog is renowned for being the cowboy's herding dog of choice. They have an irresistible urge to herd, and their intelligence has made them a staple in the rodeo circuit. Despite the name, Australian Shepherds were originally bred in California when ranchers admired the herding dogs of Basque, and assumed they were of Australian descent. Their loyalty and intelligence makes them one of the most sought after breeds in the world.

Australian Shepherd At a Glance

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Australian Shepherd At a Glance

  • Size: 18"-23", 40-65 lbs.
  • Lifespan: 12-15 years
  • Energy Level: high
  • Coat: Thick and wavy
  • Shedding: moderate
  • Hypoallergenic: No
  • Dog Group: Herding
  • Common Nicknames: Aussie

Australian Shepherd Breed Guide

Learn More About Australian Shepherds

  • Temperament

    Australian Shepherds are intelligent, even-tempered, and naturally protective. They are eager to please and highly trainable, but require early, consistent training. This breed is highly energetic, so they require lots of exercise and will quickly become bored and destructive if not allowed room to run. Australian Shepherds are great with children, but tend to be wary of strangers due to their protective nature. That said, socialization when young is essential, or else the breed may become standoffish during adulthood. All in all, whether herding cattle on a ranch or protecting a family and their home, the versatile Australian Shepherd is adored by many as a wonderful companion and loyal friend.

  • Health

    They are sturdy dogs, but are known to experience health conditions like nasal dermatitis, hip dysplasia, and epilepsy. Regular screenings at the vet are important, and their nails should be clipped regularly.

  • Activity Level

    Australian Shepherds are high energy and athletic, and need heavy exercise everyday to thrive. They should have a large yard to run around in for a few hours a day, and they also love accompanying their beloved owners on hikes and runs. They are at their best when they are given a task, whether that be herding animals, children, or competing in dog skill competitions.

  • Grooming

    The Australian Shepherd's double coat is fairly easy to maintain with a bristle brush or comb. Brushing them a few times a week keeps their coat healthy and prevents their long hair from matting or tangling. They should only be bathed when it is absolutely necessary because over bathing can cause skin dryness or hair loss.

  • Shedding

    They are average shedders throughout the year, but their undercoat will blow twice a year causing heavy shedding.

  • Appearance

    Their coats are moderate in length and coarseness, and vary in color but usually include a mottled pattern with various shades of blue or red. Their lithe and agile frame is solid with muscle, and their tails are are either docked or naturally bobbed.

  • History

    Despite what the breed name suggests, the Australian Shepherd did not originate in Australia. Rather, it was bred in the United States by Basque shepherds who emigrated to America after settling in Australia for a short period of time during the 1800s. The breed was (and still is) known for its ability to be a great farm and ranch dog, herder, and tracker. While it came to the country much earlier, it wasn't until the 1950s that Australian Shepherds became more widely known in America. They gained popularity after being featured in movies and in rodeos. The Aussie was officially recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC) in 1993, and is very popular today for its versatility and excellent herding abilities.