The Australian Shepherd breed is known for being extraordinarily hardworking and friendly. They learn quickly and love to play. The dogs also have a reputation for being kind and loyal.
What else are you looking for in a perfect pet?
Of course, when choosing this dog, there are a few important nuances to keep in mind.
Keep reading to learn more about Australian Shepherds.
These dogs are widely known as Aussies. As you can understand from the name, an Australian Shepherd was first bred to herd sheep or even cattle.
This breed was created for work on farms, which is why it is ideally suited to life in the countryside. Due to their original mission, the dogs are hardy. They can run for about 40 miles per day, despite their relatively small size.
And, despite the name, the dogs don’t come from Australia. According to official information, the bred started in the 19th century on American ranches.
Australian Shepherd health issues
In general, Aussies are quite healthy. There are a few breed-relevant health issues; however, that future owners should bear in mind.
First of all, Australian Shepherds are known to acquire epilepsy more than any other breed. Unfortunately, epilepsy is difficult to diagnose, and treatments can cause side effects.
The dogs also commonly suffer vision problems and puppies with two copies of the merle gene have higher risks of being deaf or blind.
Aussies have double coats, which makes them water-resistant. The hair is medium in length and curly or wavy. The bred sheds, so, be prepared to clean up a lot of hair and brush your dog often. While some experts say you can get by with weekly brushing, daily brushing will help remove loose hair and reduce your amount of clean up work.
The dogs need baths every four to six weeks, depending on their activity level. Be cautious about bathing too much to avoid drying out your dog’s skin. You also need to check and clean your dog’s ears weekly and brush your dog’s teeth daily. Trim their nails every four to six weeks.
Australian Shepherd breed characteristics
According to the ASCA (Australian Shepherd Club of America), the average size for a female is between 18 to 22 inches high, while males are slightly taller and can reach 19 to 23 inches. The average weight is 35 to 70 pounds.
The range of color in this breed is diverse. Puppies can be born in a variety of colors and have different patterns of spots and markings. The most recognized colors are the following: red, black, and merle (it can be blue or red/liver). Many dogs may have different combinations of white or copper marks on various parts of their bodies.
Aussies’ range of eye colors is also diverse. As a rule, they have blue or brown eyes in different shades of these two colors. However, these dogs are often heterochromatic, which means that they may have two different colored eyes.
As for their tails, most Aussies are born with long tails, although some dogs happen to have a naturally-bobbed tail instead.
The average life expectancy for medium-sized dogs is between 11 to 13 years. Most Aussies tend to live a bit longer. Their average lifespan is between 12 to 15 years.
Aussies have a reputation for being highly energetic, which is why they are known to require a great deal of attention, exercise, and space. These dogs enjoy mental and physical activity in any form. Thus, they are often good learners. They don’t typically adapt well to living in an apartment.
These dogs are brilliant and playful. They are loving, kind, devoted, and very rewarding and loyal if treated well. However, they may also be cautious, guarding, and reserved since their initial mission was to work on the ranch. Thus, Aussies may become highly protective of their property and bark warnings in a reaction to suspicious activity. They are not inclined toward obsessive barking.
These dogs tend to form intense bonds with selected people. When they are devoted to their owners, they have a strong desire to stay with him all the time. As for children, Aussies get along the best with kids of eight years and older. This doesn’t mean that they don’t like kids.
On the contrary, most are very friendly to children. Sometimes, however, they may be too hyperactive for kids and can inadvertently knock them over. Untrained or improperly trained Aussies also may nip at the heels or feet of kids in an attempt to control or herd them.
Australian Shepherds are intelligent and thus, highly trainable. They love being around people.
With proper training, socialization, and care, the dogs will become thoughtful, intelligent companions.
This breed also is very versatile. If trained well, it can perform different jobs. This is the main reason why many people choose this breed to work with livestock.
Teaching Australian Shepherds tricks is easy since they are fast learners. Also, it is essential for the dog’s wellbeing since training keeps them focused and happy.
Aussies make the best companions for active people because of their high energy levels. They require a minimum 30-60 minutes of exercise and two to three hours of play and attention in order to vent their natural energy.
If you are too busy or inactive, an Australian Shepherd may not be the right option for you. When these dogs don’t get enough attention, play, and exercise to vent their energy, they may get bored and even become destructive!
Since it is a very thoughtful breed, they can quickly come up with their games that often include lots of running at top speeds and thus, turning the house upside down.
Where to get an Aussie?
If you have decided that Australian Shepherd is the right dog for you, you can either buy a puppy from a breeder or get a dog from a rescue. In the first case, we recommend seeking responsible and reliable breeders.
Getting an Aussie from a rescue also is a brilliant idea. Don’t know where to start? We have collected some options to consider including Australian Shepherd Rescue Midwest, PetFinder, Australian Shepherd Rescue, and New Spirit 4 Aussie Rescue.
So, how can you know for sure if Aussie is the right dog for you? Take the time to analyze your available time and energy.
Although they may seem hyperactive and cause lots of trouble if bored, Australian Shepherds are extremely kind, loving, and bond tightly to their owners. Thus, they are perfect life companions who will protect and reward the people who treat them right.
Also, these smart dogs learn quickly and are fun to play with. Thus, if you are ready to give lots of your love and attention to a new friend, an Australian Shepherd will be the right choice!
Rachel Tomlin is an American journalist and blogger. Since her student years, Rachel has been published in various newspapers and journals of the different sphere and subject matters. Each new topic of her up-to-date article is attentively researched and investigated. From politics to current tendencies of college, papers-everything is correctly described in all the materials of hers. Moreover, Rachel’s blog is trendy among not only youth but also among government and other layers of society. Rachel is currently working at essayservice.com,