Australian Shepherd Dogs have massive popularity among those looking for family companions. They are high energy dogs, very intelligent and always need entertaining. Some highlights:
Australian Shepherd Dogs are very intelligent
They are protective of their families
Australian Shepherd Dogs are famed at their ability to do canine sports
Some downsides to the Australian Shepherd Dog:
The breed really doesn’t like being left alone
They are very high energy and need to be stimulated a lot
The Australian Shepherd Dog will shed a lot all year
Any guesses where the Australian Shepherd Dogs come from? Australia? Unfortunately, you’d be wrong, as this beautiful breed originates from Northern Spain, the Basque country where it was a working dog from Basque shepherds. To make things even more confusing, the breed most certainly came to prominence in North America, on ranches, where again shepherds used the dog. It is said that the dogs came over to America on a passage via Australia from Spain, which is how they gained their name. (but no one really knows!) The breed was versatile, hardworking and clever and thus became very popular in the years after World War II. The breed was only brought into the UK in the 1980’s and even later, it took until 1993 for the American Kennel Club to recognise them as a breed. Now, the Australian Shepherd Dog breed is uses as Search and Rescue dogs, Guide Dogs for the blind and as therapy dogs in nursing homes, as well as still being occasionally used for shepherding.
Australian Shepherd Dogs are some of the most attractive dogs there are, with beautiful colourful coats and muscled physique. They have a medium wavy or straight length coat and are very well suited to all types of weather.
Depending on mal e or female, the Australian Shepherd Dog can be between 46 and 58cm tall at the withers.
Between 14 and 20kg for females and 24-30kg for males.
The Kennel Club will allow for the following colours under the registration: Blue merle, black, red merle, red, all with or without tan points. They go further to say that all of the colours should be rich and clear with white not dominating the head.
They are very alert and quick dogs and so will make it known when strangers are about, although rarely is this aggressive. They are not known for being natural watch dogs, and would not be recommended to guard dog either.
Australian Shepherd Dogs will bark when they see strangers or want attention, and some will really like to bark when young. Try to train this behaviour out of them at a young age and you will be fine.
We would not recommend the Australian Shepherd Dog to a first time owner because they have to be trained in very specific ways. That being said, they can be easily trained with the correct knowledge and handling. An Australian Shepherd Dog needs direction and an understanding of who is boss in the house, along with plenty of stimulation or they can become very hard to manage.
Aussies need a lot of stimulation and games to stay happy and healthy. They love playing with their families and are very clever so can be known to be a bit devious.
Australian Shepherds make fantastic family dogs as they are so loving.
If the Aussie grows up around other pets and cats then they will behave well. Take slight caution to introduce them slowly if you choose to socialise with other animals further down the line.
Aussie absolutely love their families and we would not recommend being left along for long periods. They can sometimes suffer badly from separation anxiety and can lead to bad behaviour including destructive behaviour as they try to entertain themselves.
You can expect your Australian Shepherd dog to live for 10-12 years.
A LOT! Australian Shepherd Dogs are really high energy and really intelligent that need lots of daily stimulation and exercise. They were bred to be working and herding dogs so it’s in their nature to look for jobs and exercise is their way of feeling they are working. There’s not really a maximum for your Australian Shepherd Dog, keep working until they are tired! However, be careful with Puppies as their bones aren’t fully formed.
The following can become hereditary for the Australian Shepherd dog, and most have DNA tests available. Consult your Vet if you are concerned.
Collie Eye Anomaly
The Australian Shepherd Dog would really not fit in if you live in an apartment. They need a good secure garden to explore, it doesn’t matter too much of the size, with the main thing being able to have regular exercise away from the home and stimulation.
We would recommend a brush once a week to keep their skin in good condition and to prevent any tangles of their long coats, and removing any dead hair. When bathing, use a dog shampoo a couple of times a year, and make sure you don’t bath too often as this can remove important oils in their coat.
Yes, a lot. This increases in the spring and autumn but is fairly stable all year around.
As a rough guide in pricing: Cost to buy: roughly £700 for a well-bred Australian Shepherd Dog puppy Other costs (Vet, Food etc): £120 per month
You can read our general buying guide here (/advice-on-buying-a-puppy/), with the most important thing being going to view your Australian Shepherd Dog Puppy, seeing it with its mother, and checking the quality of the breeder. More specifically, here is some Australian Shepherd Dog puppy buying advice:
The Australian Shepherd Dog is popular, but rare, with only a few registered breeders with the Kennel Club. You will find it difficult to find a puppy for sale, so make sure you contact the registered breeders to ask for advice.
Make sure you are wary of scams. The breed thanks to its popularity can fall to scams.
A big thank you to the following sources who helped to shape this article: