Australian Shepherd Training and Temperament
Australian Shepherds are very intelligent, eager to please and easy to train. They make excellent pets for active children. They get bored easily and need lots of exercise.
As with all dogs, Australian Shepherd training should be started as a puppy. To prevent behavioral problems later in life, training should follow a recognized training regime.
Either enroll in a certified local dog training school or read this.
A medium sized collie type herding dog. Eyes may be brown or blue or sometimes one of each.
The History Of The Australian Shepherd
The Australian Shepherd originated in United States during the 1800's.
Despite the misleading name, the Australian Shepherd is not Australian but was developed entirely in the U.S. as a herding dog on ranches.
Possibly the name was came from one of the dog's ancestors. The breed's principal ancestors were probably Spanish dogs used by Basque shepherds working herds of Merino sheep in the USA.
Description Of The Australian Shepherd
The breed has a bobtail which is either natural or docked. The ears hang close to the head and are not altered.
Height to the shoulder on dogs is 20 - 23 inches, with bitches a little shorter at around 18 - 21 inches.
Dogs weigh around 50 - 65 pounds and bitches 40 - 55 pounds.
This is a tough, medium-sized dog. The ears are set on high at the side of the head, triangular and slightly rounded at the tip.
The coat is medium in texture and straight to slightly wavy. It is weather resistant of medium length with an undercoat. The amount of undercoat changes according to the climate. The coat is short and smooth on the head, outside of the ears, front of forelegs and below the hocks. The backs of forelegs are moderately feathered and breeches are moderately full. There is a moderate mane and frill, which is more pronounced in dogs than bitches.
Four colors are permissible: blue merle / black / red merle and all red. All colors can be with or without white markings and / or tan points.
White markings are not allowed on the body between the withers and the tail, or on the sides between the elbows or the back of the hindquarters. A white collar is permitted.
Coat & Grooming
The coat needs little attention and is easy to groom . Just brush occasionally with a firm bristle brush and bathe only when necessary. This breed is an average shedder.
Life Expectancy and Health
The average life span for a Australian Shepherd is around 12-15 years.
The gene which produces the beautiful merle coat color carries a blind/deaf possibility. This occurs only in merle to merle crosses. Be sure to check the hearing on merle puppies.
Natural bobtail to natural bobtail breeding may result in puppies with spinal defects.
Other reported health issues are: cataracts, CEA, CHD, nasal solar dermatitis, Pelger – Huet syndrome, iris coloboma.
Please read our page on health problems by clicking here.
Preferred Environment and Exercise Requirements
This breed is not suitable for life in an apartment . They will do best with a large yard or even bigger.
This energetic working dog needs plenty of vigorous exercise to stay in condition.
For More Information on the Australian Shepherd
To get more information, check out the Australian Shepherd web site:
There may also be rescue dogs available. Check for details on:
A prime candidate for obedience competition and they make great Frisbee dogs!
:: Australian Shepherd Training ::