Australian Shepherd | Dog Breed Guide

Australian Shepherd | Dog Breed Guide

by Scritch

Australian Shepherds, better known as Aussies, are a very active breed. They are whip smart, need tons of space to run around, and are the happiest when they have a job. Aussies are talkative, make for enthusiastic watchdogs, and are incredibly affectionate with the people they know and love. They make perfect pets on the farm where they can feel useful and have plenty of space to roam. 

Weight - Male: 55-70 pounds; Female: 35-55 pounds

Height - Male: 20-33 inches; Female: 18-21 inches

Life Expectancy: 13-15 years 

Group: Herding group

Temperament: affectionate, happy-go-lucky, protective, intelligent, active 

Energy Level:

Ease of Training:

Grooming Requirements:

History and Personality

Although they are known as Australian Shepherds, the famous Aussies may have actually originated in Basque, between Spain and France. Why the Australian moniker? They looked a lot like sheep herding dogs brought over from Australia, so the name just stuck. 

Aussies are long-haired, medium sized dogs. They come in a spectrum of colors, from merle, to black, to red tri-color. They can be tan and blue merle. They often have bright blue eyes. 

Australian Shepherds are loving companions to the people they love and trust. They are affectionate and playful. As puppies, they have a tendency to be destructive. They need a lot of attention and consistent training. As adults, they are very responsible, but there’s a catch: Aussies need a job to do. They are eerily bright and excel at obedience training and other activities that allow them to use their brains. 

Aussies have boatloads of energy and need a lot of outdoor space to release it. They make excellent farm dogs, and if you have farm animals that need herding, Aussies are more than happy to get the job done. They don’t do well in cramped apartments, or in families where they will spend the majority of the day inside. They will get bored and become very destructive. 

Not only are Aussies great working dogs, they are enthusiastic watchdogs. If you’re looking for a quiet companion, look elsewhere. Aussies are chatty and always in the mood to let you know their opinion, or if someone or something is coming. 

As far as children go, Aussies are very playful, however, they take their role as a herder very seriously and assume small children are just part of the flock. It’s important to train your Aussie immediately to not nip at the kids’ ankles. 

Grooming

Aussies are working dogs, and therefore only need to be bathed every couple of months. They need semi-regular nail clipping, too. 

Energy Level

Aussies come packed with energy and are not for everyone. They need vigorous exercise on a daily basis. They respond well to obedience training and agility exercises. It’s important for them to exercise their brains, too, by teaching them new tricks and giving them a role in the household. 

Health Concerns

  • Hip Dysplasia 
  • Eye Conditions
  • Epilepsy

Like many working and herding breeds, Aussies are generally healthy dogs. Keep up with your dog’s annual vet checks to make sure they are healthy or catch any signs of a health condition.