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Home Dog Breed Directory Australian Shepherd
Australian Shepherd


Australian Shepherd dogs are medium sized, intelligent and highly energetic versatile dogs. In fact, their levels of energy and endurance do not seem to fade away even after working the whole day. These dogs are generally aloof with strangers. Under proper supervision, they tend to be quite gentle with kids. These active dogs do well with active owners.
Contrary to its name, the Australian Shepherd dog breed was actually developed in the United States. The breed was originally developed for herding purposes. But, nowadays, these working dogs are also used for dog sports, detection work, search and rescue work and so on. They are highly affectionate and serve as excellent therapy dogs too.
 

Physical Appearance

These agile dogs have well balanced and athletic bodies. They have triangular and high set ears that are rounded at the tips. The medium sized eyes can be blue, brown, amber or any other combination. There is moderate feathering on the backs of the forelegs.

Australian Shepherds are characterized by natural or docked bobtails. The AKC breed standard maintains that Australian Shepherd tails should not be lengthy than four inches. The males tend to have more characteristic manes and frills as compared to their female counterparts.

Color: The common coat colors are blue, blue merle, red, red merle and black. There could be white or tan colored markings as well.
Height: On an average, Australian Shepherd dogs can be 20 to 23 inches in height. The females are generally 18 to 21 inches in height.
Weight: A weight of 50 to 65 pounds is considered healthy for these dogs. Female Australian Shepherds, on the other hand, are usually 40 to 55 pounds in weight.
 

Health Problems

Australian Shepherd breed dogs are susceptible to spinal irregularities and defects due to their natural bobtails. They are also prone to eye problems like Collie Eye Anomaly, Hereditary Cataract, Progressive Retinal Atrophy, Glaucoma etc.

Moreover, breeding between two merle dogs may give rise to genetic problems resulting in blindness or deafness. Health issues like nasal solar dermatitis, epilepsy, hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, dislocation of kneecaps, circulatory disorders, bladder problems, thyroid disorders and heart problems are also quite common in this breed.

Life Expectancy: The average lifespan of an Australian Shepherd dog is generally 12 to 15 years.

 

Grooming Requirements

The moderate sized, weather resistant double hair coat of an Australian Shepherd is quite easy to groom. The hair coat can be straight or slightly wavy. It should be brushed at least once or twice in a week’s time. The grooming requirements of these average shedders tend to increase during the shedding seasons.

Australian Shepherd can be bathed occasionally only when needed. Their eyes should be cleaned on a daily basis. Ears should also be checked and cleaned regularly, at least on a weekly basis. Their nails should be trimmed once in every two weeks.
 

Temperament

Australian Shepherd dogs are loyal, active, playful, hard working, obedient, alert, responsive, easy going and cheerful in temperament. Under normal circumstances, they are neither overly timid nor aggressive. These keen learners with high trainability tend to learn quickly.

They do not like to be left alone without any purpose. Instead, they are happiest when involved in some activity or the other with a sense of purpose. Australian Shepherd breed dogs are fairly active indoors and can come up with inventive games to engage themselves.

With proper training and early socialization in hand, they get along well with other pets in the house too. These protective dogs can be safely entrusted with watchdog duties as well.
 

Key Points

These highly energetic dogs need plenty of physical exercise, or else they tend to exhibit destructive behavior. Simple daily walks are usually not sufficient for them. They should be given plenty of opportunity to run as well, in order to use the energy in a constructive manner. Plus, mental stimulation is also essential.

Consequently, they are not generally recommended for apartment situation unless there is access to a large yard and sufficient physical as well as mental stimulation. Australian Shepherd dogs crave human attention and companionship and their delightfully amusing activities tend to fetch them the desired results without fail.
 
 

 

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