Australian Shepherd - Dog Breed Info, Temperament & Facts

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The Australian Shepherd is a highly intelligent and reliable companion, but they are also extremely active dogs who require constant mental and physical stimulation. They excel in various dog sports such as tracking, agility, flyball, tricks, and obedience. Affectionately nicknamed “Aussie,” this breed thrives in a family that can provide them with structure, training, and plenty of exercise. They have a tendency to nip at things and bark at people in an effort to herd them. However, if left alone without a job to do, they can become quite bothersome and destructive. It’s important to note that despite their name, the Aussie was actually developed in the United States as a herding dog and is not native to Australia.

If you want to learn more about Australian Shepherds, continue reading for information on their grooming needs, activity requirements, and temperament.

Ahead, we look at Australian Shepherd dog breed, its history, personality, pros and cons of owning an Australian Shepherd, characteristics, and must-see facts. We will also examine how to care for this breed and more. Prepare for a tail-wagging adventure into the world of Australian Shepherds!

Dog Breed Australian Shepherd
Size Large
Weight 35-55 lbs (average)
Height 18-21″ (average)
Location United States
Ancestry Basque Shepherd
Date of Origin 1800s
Group Livestock Herding
Life Expectancy 11-15 years
Price $600 – $800
Family Canidae
Scientific Name Canis Lupus Familiaris

📖 Breed History

This beautiful pup, known as the Australian Shepherd, actually originated in the western United States during the Gold Rush in the 1840s. They were bred to be excellent herders, specifically for sheep. Australian Shepherds are happiest when they have a job to do, such as herding or performing tricks. The name “Australian Shepherd” likely comes from their ancestors who were brought to the United States via Australia. It is believed that the Basque people from Europe settled in Australia with their sheepdogs before eventually moving to the western United States with their dogs. American herders working with sheep likely started calling them Australian Shepherds due to their previous time in Australia.

In the 1950s, Australian Shepherds gained popularity as trick dogs in rodeos and films. They were first registered with the National Stock Dog Registry, which was previously known as the International English Shepherd Registry. In 1957, the Australian Shepherd Club of America was established and quickly became the largest registry for this breed in the United States. The United States Australian Shepherd Association was also formed to gain recognition from the American Kennel Club. Finally, in 1993, the American Kennel Club recognized Australian Shepherds and began registering them and their litters. These dogs excel in various agricultural roles, such as being a ranch dog or herder. They are also well-suited for jobs like seeing-eye dogs, search-and-rescue, drug detection, and therapy work. When they are not working, they enjoy performing tricks, participating in agility, and playing with their families in the yard.

🐕 Australian Shepherd Appearance

Due to their stunning look, Australian Shepherds are frequently presented in conformation competitions. They ought to be robust, energetic, and have a somewhat longer physique. Their front and back legs have to be of similar breadth and standing straight. The almond-shaped eyes of the Aussie, which can be brown, blue, or amber, exhibit the pup’s intelligence and vigilance. They should have triangular ears that are positioned high on the head and folded over but not hanging. Red merles and reds must have a liver-colored nose, whereas blue merles and black puppies must have a black nose. The majority of these dogs have their tails docked, although they can also have their tails hang normally. The Australian has a weather-resistant double coat. The undercoat will often shed in the spring or summer. The hair is short yet thick. After each heat cycle, intact females shed. Although the outside coat should be straight, a small curl is okay.

👀 Eye Color Blue
🐽 Nose Color Black, Brown
🐕 Coat Color Black, Red, Blue

Fun Fact: Australian Shepherd dogs are a social breed. They enjoy being around people or other animals. This breed doesn’t tolerate being left alone.

🐶 Traits & Temperament of Australian Shepherd

The Australian Shepherd will attempt to assume the role of pack leader in a family home since they were raised to be domineering with cattle. When properly trained and aware of their place in the family, Aussies may make wonderful family pets. These loving puppies are devoted to their family and by nature are a bit wary of people and other animals. For the Aussie to be able to adapt to different conditions, early socialization is essential.

🤝 Are Australian Shepherds Friendly or Aggressive?

Australian Shepherd dogs are usually comfortable around other pets, but they may not be as welcoming towards strangers. They tend to be very friendly with children and enjoy their company. While they are generally average in terms of friendliness towards cats and other dogs, Australian Shepherds are considered one of the best breeds for elderly people due to their calm and gentle nature.

In summary, Australian Shepherd dogs are sociable with other pets, but may not be as open to meeting new people. They are particularly fond of children and enjoy their presence. While they are average in their interaction with cats and other dogs, they are highly recommended as companions for elderly individuals due to their calm and gentle demeanor.

This breed is known for being:

  • Active
  • Loving
  • Protective
  • Intelligent
  • Friendly
  • Affectionate
  • Good-natured

🐩 Australian Shepherd Care & Maintenance

The Australian Shepherd sheds on average and is not hypoallergenic. Using a comb and a natural bristle brush, their coat is simple to care for and groom. Simply give them a weekly brushing and combing. When brushing, look for burrs and other debris that could have gotten caught in their coat while they were outside. Only when necessary should this working dog be washed. Over-bathing can result in hair loss and dry skin. Depending on the temperature, the undercoat will shed off once or twice a year. As a result of their fluctuating hormone levels, intact females shed their undercoat following each heat cycle. Grooming will need to be done more often to get rid of the loose hair when an Aussie is shedding. The undercoat typically sheds in hairy clumps. Trimming nails is advised, however if necessary, a grinder can be used. An Australian Shepherd often requires nail care every two or three weeks. Weekly cleaning of the ears is recommended to avoid infection. Cataracts and other health issues are common in Australian Shepherds. To prevent exorbitant veterinarian care costs, get pet health insurance right now. With the help of our pet insurance comparison tool, you can quickly choose the “pawfect” plan for your pet by comparing offerings from top providers.

Australian Shepherd dogs have a moderate level of shedding, which is a normal part of their hair growth cycle. To minimize the amount of hair that is shed, it is important to regularly brush their fur. The shedding of hair can vary depending on the dog’s overall health and the specific breed they belong to. In terms of bathing, Australian Shepherds typically need to be bathed every 6-8 weeks.

🍖 Food: We recommend 2.5 cups daily, costing you about $1.20 – $1.40 daily, or roughly $34.00 – $45.00 a month.

🐾 Exercise: Australian Shepherd dogs need a lot of exercises. Long walks should be on a daily schedule. If you live an active life, this breed can be a good choice for you.

This dog breed requires to be walked for roughly 14 miles per week, which equates to about 90 minutes of physical activity daily. This consistent moderate exercise regimen will help maintain their physical wellness and significantly contribute to their mental stimulation. Consciously setting aside this time for your furry friend can dramatically enhance their life quality, helping them stay energetic, healthy, and mentally alert.

Did you know: Australian Shepherd dogs are high-energy dogs. An active lifestyle makes them happy.

❤️‍🩹 Australian Shepherd Health & Issues

Some of the major concerns for Australian Shepherd Dog Breed can be:

  • Cataract
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy
  • Hip Dysplasia
  • CEA
  • Von Willebrand’s Disease

While minor concerns include:

  • Distichiasis
  • Deafness
  • OCD
  • Nasal Solar Dermatitis
  • Patent Ductus Arteriosus

🤧 Important: Is Australian Shepherd hypoallergenic? No.

Bonus: Check out cool, creative, and funny names for Australian Shepherd.

⚡ Australian Shepherd Dog Breed Facts

What makes the Australian Shepherd a great choice for families with young children?
The Australian Shepherd is a great choice for families with young children because they are smart, loyal, and protective. They will form a strong bond with the children and will be watchful over them, making them an excellent companion and guardian.

Is the Australian Shepherd breed considered a suitable breed for apartment living?
The Australian Shepherd breed is not considered suitable for apartment living. They are highly active and need plenty of space to run and exercise. Without adequate space, they can become bored and exhibit destructive behavior.

How much exercise does a Australian Shepherd require compared to other breeds?
Australian Shepherds require a significant amount of exercise compared to many other breeds. They are energetic and need daily physical and mental stimulation, such as long walks, playing fetch, or participating in dog sports. Without enough exercise, they can become restless and exhibit behavioral issues.

Is the Australian Shepherd breed known for being good with other pets?
The Australian Shepherd breed can be good with other pets, especially if they are properly socialized from a young age. However, their herding instincts may cause them to try to herd other pets, which can be annoying or stressful for the other animals. Supervision and training are necessary to ensure harmonious interactions between the Australian Shepherd and other pets.

What are other low-maintenance dog breeds similar to the Australian Shepherd?
Some low-maintenance dog breeds similar to the Australian Shepherd include the Border Collie, Shetland Sheepdog, and the Welsh Corgi. These breeds share some similarities in terms of intelligence and energy levels but may have slightly different grooming needs.

What are the common health issues that Australian Shepherds are prone to?
Australian Shepherds are prone to several common health issues, including hip dysplasia, epilepsy, cataracts, and certain genetic disorders. Regular veterinary check-ups and a proper diet and exercise regimen can help prevent or manage these health concerns.

Are Australian Shepherds known to be easy to train compared to other breeds?
Australian Shepherds are generally known to be highly trainable due to their intelligence and eagerness to please. They excel in obedience training and can quickly learn new commands and tricks. However, consistency, positive reinforcement, and early socialization are key to their successful training.

Are Australian Shepherds more prone to separation anxiety compared to other breeds?
Australian Shepherds can be prone to separation anxiety, particularly if they are not given enough mental and physical stimulation. They form strong bonds with their families and can become anxious and destructive when left alone for long periods. Proper training, exercise, and providing them with mental stimulation can help alleviate this issue.

Are there any dog breeds similar to the Australian Shepherd that are suitable for people with allergies?
Some dog breeds similar to the Australian Shepherd that are suitable for people with allergies include the Poodle, Portuguese Water Dog, and the Bichon Frise. These breeds have hypoallergenic coats that produce fewer allergens, making them a better choice for individuals with allergies.

What sizes of dogs similar to the Australian Shepherd are best for individuals or families with limited space?
For individuals or families with limited space, smaller-sized dogs similar to the Australian Shepherd, such as the Miniature Australian Shepherd or the Miniature American Shepherd, may be a better fit. These smaller versions still retain many of the Australian Shepherd’s traits but require less space for exercise.

Is the Australian Shepherd breed known to be good with children with special needs?
The Australian Shepherd breed can be good with children with special needs, but it is essential to ensure proper training and supervision. Their loyal and protective nature can make them gentle and attentive companions for children with special needs.

How does the grooming and shedding needs of the Australian Shepherd?
Compared to some other breeds, the Australian Shepherd has moderate grooming needs. They have a medium-length double coat that requires regular brushing to prevent matting and shedding. They shed moderately throughout the year and more heavily during shedding seasons, so regular grooming is necessary to keep their coat in good condition.


We use reliable and publicly available data and resources such as AKC and American Canine Registry to ensure that Australian Shepherd dog breed information is accurate and up to date. If you spot an error, please don’t hesitate to bring it to our attention.

Max Kozinskiy
Max Kozinskiy
Max Kozinskiy is a seasoned writer and an enthusiast of dog breed expertise. Having dedicated over 5 years to studying the intricacies of different dog breeds and their unique characteristics. His profound insights and love for our four-legged friends have made him an invaluable part of our DogsInsights.com team.

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