Australian Shepherds – also known as Aussies, is a medium sized, robust, well-balanced, rustic dog. Australian Shepherds are easy-going, and believe–it- or- not they remain puppy-like even in their adult years! Aussies are courageous so they make good watchdog for the home. They also love to play that’s why they are excellent even for active children. Australian Shepherds are highly intelligent and easy to train.
Did you know that Australian Shepherds or Aussies are not really Australians at all! They were most likely developed in the Pyrenees Mountains somewhere between Spain and France, and refined in the United States of America. Australian Shepherds can be generally found in Texas, Colorado, Oregon, Oklahoma and California. They work as herding dogs in ranches. Experts think that Australian Shepherds are a cross between the Spanish dogs and Collie Stocks.
Australian Shepherds usually stands about 20 to 23 inches in height and weighs about 50 to 65 pounds for the males and 18 to 21 inches in height and 40 to 55 pounds in weight for the females or bitches. Australian Shepherds have weather resistant coats of medium texture, straight to slightly wavy with undercoats of moderate length. The hairs on the head, outside of the ears, front of the forelegs s and below the hocks of Aussies are short and smooth. The ears are set high at the side of the head, triangular and slightly rounded at the tip. The tail of an Australian Shepherds are straight, some are natural bobtail while those born with longer tails are docked so as not to exceed four inches. Male dogs have a more pronounced mane and frills than the females.
The color of the coats of Australian Shepherds include black, blue or red merle, solid red with or without white markings and/or tan(copper) points. They are of medium texture, straight to wavy, weather resistant and of medium length. There should be feathering on the back of the legs, also on the mane and frill around the neck. The Aussie’s coats are easy to groom and requires little attention. Grooming can be done by brushing occasionally with a firm bristle brush and you can bathe them only when it is necessary. Eye colors include brown, blue, amber or any variation including flecks or marbling,
These energetic working dogs need plenty of vigorous exercise to stay mentally and physically fit. If under exercised, this breed can become restless and destructive. They are very intelligent and crave a good challenge. That is why this type of dog is not recommended for apartment life. They are at their best in large yards, and better yet, to let them do some real work.
Australian Shepherds usually live for 12 to 15 years. Cataract is a major health concern for the Aussies, while occasionally some develops epilepsy. Some puppies born from merle/merle crosses are prone blind/deaf factor, while crosses of natural bobtail-to-natural bobtail can produce offspring with serious spinal defects. So hip and eye tests are suggested to those interested in owning an Aussie.