Australian Shepherd Dogs are one of the most intelligent breeds in the herding dog category. They are loyal, affectionate, and intelligent dogs that make excellent family pets. Aussie Shepherds were initially bred to herd livestock on vast farms. Still, today they excel at many other jobs, including agility competitions, search and rescue missions, therapy work with disabled individuals or those who have suffered from trauma, and is a famous show dog.
History Of The Breed
Australian Shepherds have been around since the 1800s, but they were not officially recognized as a breed until 1957. The first Aussie was discovered in California and named Heeler by its owner Bill Hopson who had seen it work on his farm. The dog’s name stemmed from its tendency to nip at people’s or animals’ heels to move them along.
The breed was soon called Australian Shepherds, but other names included Shepherd Dog and Bob-Tail. The Aussie’s history is unclear until the 1940s, when it became more well known in California as a herding dog. It has not been confirmed whether they originated from Australia or their name came about because of their thick coats and ability to herd.
The exact history is a mystery, but it is clear that this breed of dogs is loyal. They are very affectionate toward their owners and strive to be close at all times. Aussies love working with people, most likely due in part because they’re brilliant animals who adapt quickly to new environments.
Where did the Aussies come from?
The Australian Shepherd is a breed that originated in the United States. Originally bred as working dogs, these animals can do many things, including herding and protecting livestock.
What dogs were bred to make Aussie Shepherds?
Aussie Shepherds are the result of mixing European herding breeds. Because these early Aussies had little or no formal training and because most people weren’t exactly sure how to breed them, the resulting puppies were rather a mongrel in appearance and working ability.
The Australian Shepherd was bred to herd sheep in the 1800s by ranchers in America.
These men were looking for a herding dog with the ability to adapt to different types of terrain. They wanted dogs that could work independently without constant directions from their handlers, and they needed them to perform under hot, dry conditions in the American West.
After World War II, there was an enormous demand for Aussies as military working dogs.
- Their intelligence, trainability, and temperament made them an ideal choice for the job. The Aussies proved invaluable police dogs in search and rescue missions during disasters like Hurricane Katrina.
- They are also excellent therapy dogs due to their gentle, confident nature, making them a great choice for working with children.
- Additionally, the Aussies have been used as narcotics and bomb detection dogs because of their strong prey drive to chase down scents and an exceptional sense of smell.
Why are they called Australian Shepherds?
These dogs were developed in the United States, and only a small percent of their genetic makeup is from Australia, so they should really be called American Shepherds.
Australian Shepherd was chosen as their name instead because those who first imported them into America saw themselves. They believed that life on this continent was just as rough and tumble as it had been in Australia, so they decided to model the Aussies after their Down Under ancestors.
Australian Shepherd Club of America
The Australian Shepherd Club of America was founded in 1957 by breeders who wanted to improve the original Smithfield dogs, which were often random mixes with other breeds. They drew up written guidelines for their breeding program, including physical appearance, temperament, and health testing requirements.
This organization works with breeders to promote and protect the integrity of purebred Aussies, including encouraging responsible breeding practices so that they can continue to thrive as a popular companion animal choice.
They work together with their breeder members to provide a national program of health testing for this dog which has become an essential part of maintaining healthy dogs within the purebred population.
This organization also holds annual national and regional specialty shows and a biennial National Specialty Club show that provides a venue for dogs from all over the US, Canada, and Mexico.
Australian Shepherd Health & Genetics Institute
The Australian Shepherd Health & Genetics Institute was formed in 2002 at the request of Aussie breeders and owners who wanted to take a proactive approach to preserve this dog’s genetics.
They offer DNA testing for two genetic diseases, including Collie Eye Anomaly (CEA), one of the most common eye problems seen in dogs, and Hereditary Cataracts (HC), a type of eye problem that can cause vision loss.
– The Aussie CHIC program also includes hip, elbow, and thyroid testing and provides guidelines on responsible breeding practices, including avoiding inbreeding to maintain the diversity within this breed’s genetic pool.
American Kennel Club
The Australian Shepherd was admitted to the American Kennel Club in 1993, making it one of only a few herding breeds that this prestigious organization recognizes.
The AKC provides information about breed standards and testing requirements for their members and access to regional events, national specialty shows, and even international competitions like the World Dog Show, held annually in Europe.
The Aussie consistently ranks as one of the most popular breeds within the AKC, making them a great choice for new dog owners looking to participate in local or national events with their dogs.
Australian Shepherd Appearance
The Australian Shepherd is best known for its beautiful blue merle coat pattern, but we can also find it solid black or red and white coloration.
They have medium-length coats which are slightly wavy around the head and shoulders while being straighter along the back legs to create an overall trim appearance.
Aussies are medium-sized dogs with long legs and an athletic build.
They have almond-shaped eyes, blue, amber, or brown in color, and erect triangular ears set high on the head. Australian Shepherds have strong necks leading into well-muscled front shoulders, deep chests, and straight backs, taper to slim but sturdy rear legs.
Australian shepherd size and weight
Australian Shepherds are around the same height as other medium-sized dogs, standing between 18-23 inches tall at their shoulders.
They generally weigh somewhere in the range of 35 to 60 pounds, depending on their sex and build. The Australian Shepherd is an athletic dog breed with a strong prey drive, so they need sufficient exercise and mental stimulation.
Australian shepherd colors
Australian Shepherds can be found in various colors, including black, blue merle, red, or tan with white markings.
What is the rarest Australian Shepherd color?
The rarest Australian Shepherd color is the blue merle, followed by red and then black.
Red Aussies can also be born with white markings to create tri-colored dogs called red merles or, in some cases, “red carriers.”
Are Tri-Color Australian Shepherds rare?
Tri-colored or red merle Australian Shepherds are rarer than the blue merles, but they’re still not exceptionally uncommon.
Are Tri-Color Aussies healthier?
Some people believe that tri-color dogs like the tri-color Australian Shepherd are more likely to be born with health problems due to their white markings, covering the dog’s entire body.
However, this is not true, and there are no genetic diseases associated with white markings, making them more likely to have health problems than a solid-colored Australian Shepherd.
Miniature Australian Shepherds are recognized as a separate breed.
Australian Shepherd Health
Australian Shepherds are generally healthy dogs, but they can be vulnerable to some health conditions that are specific to this dog breed.
Genetic health problems
These include Collie Eye Anomaly (CEA), one of the most common eye problems seen in dogs, and Hereditary Cataracts (HC), a type of eye problem that can cause vision loss.
Australian Shepherds are also susceptible to hip and elbow dysplasia caused when the round ball of bone that makes up either joint fails to fit snugly into its socket, causing pain and lameness in the leg.
Australian Shepherds affected by epilepsy may suffer from seizures, typically starting between six months and three years.
Australian Shepherds can also be born with a heart condition known as pulmonic stenosis, caused by an obstruction in the blood flow through the organ.
Subvalvular aortic stenosis (SAS) – another congenital heart disease that causes turbulent blood flow and extra noise during the dog’s heartbeat – and inherited deafness, a condition seen in dogs and humans.
Australian Shepherds can also be born with a condition known as hypothyroidism, caused by low levels of thyroxine.
Affected dogs may suffer from weight gain, hair loss, and skin problems, among other issues, due to the lack of this essential hormone produced by their thyroid gland.
Australian Shepherds can suffer from a specific type of inherited deafness.
This congenital disorder is called progressive hereditary hearing loss, which makes it more difficult for affected dogs to detect sounds over time, and they may eventually become completely deaf.
How to keep your Aussie Shepherd Healthy
Australian Shepherds are generally healthy dogs, but that doesn’t mean they don’t need to be properly cared for.
Maintaining a proper diet, providing enough exercise, and taking them for regular check-ups at the vet are just ways owners can help their Aussies stay fit and well.
The Australian Shepherd needs a moderate to a large amount of exercise.
They enjoy running, playing, and swimming, but they also have a powerful prey drive, so they can become distracted when chasing after other animals, including cats, rabbits, or squirrels.
This breed is not recommended for apartment living if your family does not have a backyard or you do not take them for long walks each day.
Australian Shepherd Temperament and Personality
The Australian Shepherd is known for its intelligence and loyalty, making them an ideal family member.
They are very loyal and affectionate towards their family but can be wary of strangers at first. However, once they bond with someone, they will become that person’s lifelong companion. This dog breed also needs lots of human interaction to ensure it stays happy and healthy.
Openness to strangers
Australian Shepherd Dogs are very affectionate with their families, but they generally do not socialize well with other dogs or strangers.
Australian Shepherd Puppies should be socialized early to facilitate a more outgoing personality and lessen shyness around strangers. It is necessary to train them on how to behave with children. Australian Shepherd Dogs make excellent family companions, as they are generally well-behaved and obedient to their owners. They can be a little stubborn at times which could cause the owner some difficulty training them, especially when it comes to obedience. Australian shepherd dogs need an environment not crowded with other animals or small children, as Australian shepherd dogs can be aggressive towards them.
Australian Shepherd puppies are a lot of fun, and they have a unique personalities. Their intelligence makes them quick learners, so training should not be difficult if done with persistence and patience from the owner’s end. Proper socialization will lead to well-rounded Australian Shepherd Dogs. Aussies are one of the most intelligent dog breeds. They can be trained to do many tricks and tasks, which makes them excellent working dogs. Australian Shepherd puppies are extremely athletic, active, and agile; they enjoy playing games that involve running around or climbing on things like trees.
Are Australian Shepherds Good with young children?
Yes, as long as they were properly socialized during their puppy years. They love children and enjoy playing outside. They will be friendly with children as long as they are properly socialized during their puppy years. Since Australian Shepherds love to play outdoors, they need to interact with other animals daily; playing fetch or taking walks would make your dog feel at ease with other animals.
Australian Shepherds were initially bred as herding dogs and do best in an active home environment where they can stay busy throughout the day; Australian shepherds are happier when having a job to do, whether it’s learning new tricks or playing fetch daily. Due to their high energy level, Australian Shepherds are not recommended for homes with toddlers as they may knock them over accidentally.
Playfulness Level of Australian Shepherds
Due to their high energy level, Australian shepherds’ playfulness levels are high. They love to run, climb and jump when they are excited; this may cause them to knock over toddlers or young children by accident, so Australian shepherds owners need to maintain control of their dog at all times.
Australian Shepherds were initially bred as herding dogs, so it is in their nature to herd other animals; Australian shepherds need to interact with other pets daily to feel less anxious.
Our Australian Shepherd Affectionate with family?
Australian shepherds are very affectionate with their family and will cuddle up next to you as much as possible. Australian Shepherds love children, but because they play a lot outside, they need to interact with other animals daily; this may cause accidents by knocking over toddlers or young children by accident, so Australian shepherds owners need to maintain control of their dogs at all times.
Australian shepherds are happier when having a job to do, whether it’s learning new tricks or playing fetch daily.
An Australian Shepherd can be content in almost any environment if they are given frequent opportunities to exercise and access the outdoors for playtime.
Australian Shepherd Training Tips
Australian shepherds need to be trained and socialized with different people, places, and animals at a young age; this is the best way to become accustomed to new environments. Australian Shepherds generally do well in an environment with few distractions as they tend to get distracted easily. Stick with positive reinforcement techniques such as lots of praise, gentle touches, and tasty treats.
Australian Shepherds are brilliant dogs that respond well to training when using positive reinforcement to be taught new tricks or simple obedience commands. Australian shepherds are also quick learners, which makes it easier for them to learn during their early puppy years, so stick with basic instructions until your dog is ready to learn more.
Australian Shepherds are intelligent, so they usually do well with obedience training. The Australian shepherd dog breed is very human-oriented and wants to be close to its owner at all times. They often become extremely distressed if left alone for long periods of time or tied up outside where they cannot see their owners.
Australian Shepherd dogs can learn a wide variety of commands. They are brilliant and can often learn a new command after only five repetitions, making them easily trainable. Australian shepherd dogs need to be trained with kindness but firmness as they are sensitive temperamentally.
Australian Shepherd dogs have an instinct to herd, so training should emphasize this trait by herding or shaping the dog into a sheepdog. However, Australian shepherd dogs are not considered highly intelligent because they get bored with repetitive commands and tend to look for variety in their responses rather than following the command precisely each time it is given.
Australian shepherd dogs are good at dog sports. They were originally bred to herd sheep, so it is in their blood! Even if you don’t have any sheep of your own, these dogs will be happy to have a job and get out some energy. To really see what Australian shepherds can do, find an agility course near you or watch some videos online. You won’t be disappointed!
Australian Shepherd Grooming
Australian shepherd dogs also need to be groomed. They have a double coat that needs weekly brushing or more, depending on how much they shed! You should brush your Australian Shepherd every day during shedding season and once a week the rest of the year. Bathing isn’t necessary very often, but you will want to use only a damp cloth on your body and gentle shampoo for the face when it is time.
Do Australian Shepherds need haircuts?
Australian shepherd dogs don’t need haircuts, and in fact, they shouldn’t have them. Their coats help protect them from sunburn during the summer, so you should never shave your Australian Shepherd!
You can brush them out in the spring and fall when they shed, but you should never shave your Australian Shepherd.
Australian shepherd coat stages
Australian shepherd dogs have a double coat that is made up of two layers. The under layer consists of short, smooth fur to help air circulate through their body and provide insulation during the winter months. This undercoat will shed out before spring rolls around, so you only need to worry about brushing your Australian Shepherd once or twice a week at this time. The top layer of their coat is made up of longer fur that will protect them during the summer. It’s thicker than the underlayer and helps insulate your Australian Shepherd in between brushings for more warmth when it gets cold out.
Australian shepherd grooming tips
Start with a pin or slicker brush to get all the tangles out when brushing your Australian shepherd. Then, it would help if you used a comb to go through it all one more time before finishing up with the undercoat rake or wide tooth metal comb that helps release any leftover fur from their coat.
You will need to buy several tools for grooming your Australian Shepherd, including:
- Pin brush – This has pins on both ends of the brush and smoothing out their coat.
- Sicker brush – This has fine metal bristles on one end that you will use to smooth down any mats or tangles in your Australian shepherd’s fur. You can also use this type of brush for de-shedding if you pull a lot more than usual.
- Undercoat rake – This metal comb has teeth that are wide and close together to help release excess fur from your Australian shepherd’s body.
- A steel brush has tightly packed bristles of varying lengths on one side for gentle grooming, while the other is used with a stripping motion to remove dead or loose hair.
- Wire pin brush – This has metal bristles on one side and pins on the other. It’s great for finishing off your Australian shepherd after you’ve used a slicker or undercoat rake to get all of the loose furs out.
- Ear cleaners – Make sure that you check your Australian Shepherd’s ears weekly for dirt, debris, or a bad smell that could indicate an infection. It would help to clean them with a dog ear cleaner and cotton balls once every week to eliminate any dirt in their ears.
- Metal comb – This will help you smooth out tangles when your Australian shepherd’s coat sheds the most during springtime.
- A toothbrush – Make sure to brush your Australian shepherd’s teeth once a week for good oral health.
- Dog shedding blade – This is a great tool that will help you get out any loose or dead fur from their coat without hurting them in the process.
- Dog Nail Clippers – These are different than human nail clippers, and we should use special tools to file and smooth out their nails, so they don’t get snagged on anything.
- Dog shampoo – Buy a gentle shampoo for your Australian shepherd’s coat that won’t irritate their skin or cause dryness. You will only need to bathe them once every month or two, but if you want to use a dry shampoo between baths, you should use it only on the areas where your Australian shepherd gets dirty.
Choosing an Australian Shepherd breeder
When looking for an Australian shepherd puppy breeder, make sure to find one with a clean facility, and all of their dogs are in good health. You should be able to visit the location where your puppy is being bred at least once before they are born so that when they get older, you will know what kind of environment it came from.
Ensure that the breeder you choose has a clean and sanitary facility with all of their breeding dogs in good health.
Ask to see where your puppy was born and meet its parents so that later on, when they become an adult dog, you’ll know what kind of environment it came from.
You should also find Australian shepherd breeders that provide a health guarantee and keep you updated on their puppy’s progress.
They shouldn’t sell any of their puppies younger than eight weeks old because Australian Shepherds need time with their mother before you can introduce them to new people or other pets in your home.
The ideal environment for an Australian Shepherd
Australian Shepherds are very active dogs that need plenty of mental stimulation every day to keep themselves happy and healthy. It would be best if you had a lot of time at home so that your Australian shepherd doesn’t get bored while you’re away or develop behavioral problems because they don’t have enough activity in their life.
- An ideal environment for an Australian Shepherd is one where you have a lot of time at home, and their mental stimulation needs are met.
- They should also be in an environment with other people or pets to get used to being around others when they’re young. If not, your Australian shepherd can develop behavioral problems because they don’t have enough activity in their life.
- This breed is also very active and needs many exercises, so they should have access to your yard or somewhere where you can take them on walks every day. If not, this will lead to weight gain, resulting in health problems down the line.
While many breeds make great pets for first-time dog owners, the Australian Shepherd is a great choice if you want an intelligent and active breed that will always be at your side. They’re very loyal to their family and love being on adventures with them everywhere they go. While many breeds make great pets for first-time dog owners, the Australian Shepherd is a good option because it’s an intelligent and active breed that will always be by your side.
They’re also very loyal to their family and love adventures with them everywhere they go.
Mental Stimulation Needs
Please make sure you give this breed a lot of mental stimulation every day, as well as exercise, so they don’t get bored or develop behavioral problems when you’re not around. These dogs are also very active and need a lot of physical activity every day, so make sure they have access to your yard or somewhere where you can take them on walks.
Australian Shepherds are very active dogs that need plenty of exercise every day, so they don’t get bored or develop behavioral problems when you’re not around.
Australian shepherds have a lot of energy and should be taken on long walks daily and given opportunities for mental stimulation to keep them happy and healthy.
They’re also smart and need lots of mental stimulation every day, so they don’t get bored or develop behavioral problems when you’re not around.
If this breed doesn’t have enough mental and physical activity in their life, it can lead to obesity, resulting in health complications down the line.
Their intelligence level makes them a great breed to have around the house, whether you’re home or not. This breed loves being on adventures with their family everywhere they go and are a very loyal dogs that will always be at your side.
Aussies are a great choice for active people who enjoy the outdoors. They’re intelligent and obedient, which makes them easy to train. Owners should be aware that their dogs will need plenty of exercises because these breeds like to run around and play fetch games with their owners or other pets in the home. If you want to learn more about Australian Shepherds—or if you’re considering adding one to your family—check out our blog posts below!