These are its main characteristics:
- Height: 55 - 70 cm.
- Weight: 25 - 45 kg.
- Life expectancy: 12 - 14 years.
- Ideal for: Sports, houses, grazing, hiking....
This is the origin of the Australian Shepherd Dog
The Australian shepherd, in fact, has less to do with Australia than the potato omelette! In fact, this breed of dog is of Spanish origin and was developed in the USA.
Why, then, is he called Australian? At the beginning of the 19th century, some Basque emigrants, hoping to raise their sheep, travelled to Australia with their shepherd dogs. But soon afterwards they moved back to the USA. There, then, the American settlers began to refer to these dogs as Australian shepherds, because they came from there and thought they were Australian.
In fact, over time, the Australian shepherd became the favorite of many American herders because of its great physical qualities and work skills. Even today it is still a very popular shepherd, both in the United States and in many European countries.
Physical characteristics of the Australian shepherd
Australian Shepherd Dogs are medium sized, with a longer body than tall and powerful musculature. It has very stylish and beautiful lines, with a wide chest and a slightly tucked-up belly.
The head of the Australian shepherd is somewhat small, but well proportioned with its body. The color of the nose varies according to the color of the hair: it is black in black dogs and blackbird and liver color in red dogs. Their eyes are almond-shaped and they can also vary in color, from blue to brown, passing through amber; some even have these colors combined. The ears of the Australian shepherd dog are tall, triangular and medium.
The Australian Shepherd breed standard accepts the natural tail, which is either long or amputated. Fortunately, the cruel practice of tail docking is outlawed in many countries.
The coat of the Australian shepherd is of medium length and may be straight or wavy. They have a double coat of hair and the interior can vary according to the climatic conditions in which the animal is found. There are four accepted colors: blackbird blue, blackbird red, red and black, as well as combinations of these on a white base.
Character of the Australian Shepherd Dog
Australian shepherd dogs have a very stable temperament and a strong predisposition for grazing and surveillance. His sense of curiosity is immense, as is his intelligence.
His nature as a guardian is not incompatible with a charming personality. The Australian Shepherd Dog is kind and loving, as well as very loyal. Although they are not aggressive, they are shy and reserved with strangers. To prevent this from leading to a real problem of fear and aggression, it is essential to teach the dog to socialize as a puppy.
Due to its great intelligence, the Australian shepherd can be trained with great ease. However, he is very active, so it is often difficult to train him to do quiet activities; in contrast, it gives very good results in dog sports. It is very important to maintain the physical and mental stimulation of this dog.
If educated as such and given the necessary dose of exercise, the Australian shepherd is also an excellent pet.
Care needs an Australian Shepherd dog
The hair of this shepherd dog is easy to care for, just a couple of weekly brushes and the occasional bath are enough. It is important to note that the Australian shepherd loses a lot of hair.
The demand for exercise and companionship from Australian shepherd is very high. They have a great energy that needs to be channeled through stimulation. As we said, canine sport is an excellent option to consider for this dog. This way, your physical health will be great.
In addition, they are not dogs that should be left alone or isolated from the family for too long. The Australian Shepherd will enjoy playing and exercising in the garden or field, but also spending time with his family indoors. Should not sleep out in the open. Nor should we buy an Australian shepherd if we live in a flat, as the lack of space could cause him anxiety resulting in destructive or aggressive behavior.
Training an Australian Shepherd
The training and education of this dog are very important for his behavior to be appropriate, beyond the standard training of any other dog. The Australian Shepherd Shepherd, once he has learned the basic rules of behaviour, needs to go further with advanced training; combined with dog sports he will give excellent results.
The Health of the Australian Shepherd Dog
It's a pity, but like other dogs, the Australian shepherd is prone to some hereditary diseases. Some of these are:
- Cataracts and other eye problems
- Hip dysplasia
- Truffle dermatitis (watch out for the sun!)
- Pelger-Huët syndrome
- Lumbosacral Syndrome
- Von Willebrand's disease
- Dysthichiasis and patent ductus arteriosus.
In addition, some crosses of these dogs give blind and/or deaf offspring.
Regular veterinary check-ups and a healthy lifestyle are very important to prevent these and other ailments. So your Australian shepherd can enjoy a full life. Also, never forget the necessary vaccinations and parasites.