The Australian Shepherd is an enthusiastic herding breed that requires plenty of exercise. They make good family pets but require moderate grooming.
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Finding an Australian Shepherd
- Medium, athletic build
- Black nose
- Medium coat texture
- Coat: Hair is blue merle, black, red merle, red; all with or without white markings and/or tan (copper) points
- Height: 18-23 inches
- Weight: 35-75 pounds
- Average life expectancy: 12-15 years
- Very smart, active, happy, easy going, very playful, courageous, loyal, affectionate
- Interaction with people: Excellent with children; wary of strangers unless socialized as puppies
- Interaction with animals: Good with other dogs
- Training: Easily trained
- Protection: Naturally protective; good watchdog.
- Loyal to family
- Hip and elbow dysplasia
- Ophthalmic disorders (including progressive retinal atrophy, cataracts, distichiasis, iris coloboma and Collie eye anomaly)
- Skin allergies
While the listed ailments may be common in this breed, not all members of the breed suffer from these conditions. Responsible breeders screen for orthopedic and genetic diseases.
- Not recommended for apartments
- Needs large yard
- Needs significant exercise
- Easy to groom
- Average shedder
- Brush with firm bristle brush
- In spite of the name, they're not native to Australia
- Nicknamed the "Aussie"
- Popularity exploded with Western and cowboy culture
- Originated in the 1920s in the U.S.
- Ancestors from Spain and France
- Appeared in rodeos, horse shows and on TV
- Works as ranch dogs, service dogs and in search-and-rescue