The Australian Shepherd (nicknamed the “Aussie”) is a herding breed of dog with quite a confusing name. They feature blue merle, red merle, black and red or a variety of other coat colors as well as either blue or brown eyes. Their high level of versatility, intelligence and trainability make the Australian Shepherd a popular dog breed for herding, movie and television roles, guide dogs for the blind, therapy work, search and rescue or as companions in active households.
Origins Of The Australian Shepherd
Despite their name, the Australian Shepherd is actually thought to have originated in the Pyrenees Mountains between Spain and France and acquired their name due to their initial arrival in the United States with a boatload of Australian sheep in the 1800s. Their actual history is largely unknown, but they are thought to be a result of cross-breeding some now-extinct dogs with British herding dogs and the Carea Leones from Spain.
Average Size Of The Australian Shepherd
Australian Shepherds are classified as a medium-sized breed. The suggested standard size for the Australian Shepherd male is 20-23 inches tall from paw to shoulder and a weight of 50-65 pounds, whereas the recommended size for female Australian Shepherds is 18-21 inches tall from paw to shoulder with a weight of 40-55 pounds.
Temperament Of The Australian Shepherd
The Australian Shepherd is recognized for their bold, alert and confident personality. They are occasionally shy around people they don’t know, which can make them fairly unsuitable as a guard dog.
The Australian Shepherd is also accepted to be highly intelligent – though only ranks equal 42nd compared to other dogs when taking into account their capacity to learn obedience commands.
They are also well-known to be great with kids who they may often try to herd without proper training – which makes them quite suitable as a family pet. The Australian Shepherd is usually compatible with other animals such as other dogs and pets once properly socialized.
Living Requirements Of The Australian Shepherd
The Australian Shepherd is happiest with a large yard to provide them with enough space, and they are largely unsuitable for living in an apartment.
Health & Life Expectancy Of The Australian Shepherd
In the vein of a lot of medium-sized dog breeds, the Australian Shepherd is normally longer-lived possessing a life expectancy of 12-14 years. The greatest health concerns for Australian Shepherds are generally identified to be cataracts and Collie Eye Anomaly (CEA). They are also vulnerable to conditions that include autoimmune disorders, hip dysplasia, epilepsy, eye defects like Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA) and sensitivity to ivermectin in heartworm medication.
Exercise Needs Of The Australian Shepherd
The Australian Shepherd enjoys pastimes such as agility, flyball, obedience, tracking and herding. They have a high level of energy and require daily exercise in the shape of long walks, runs or other physical challenges to put a stop to destructive behavior and excessive barking.