Australian Shepherd


Brief History
Despite its name, the Australian Shepherd was actually developed in America, and there is much debate just where his forebears originated. They were used to work sheep, then cattle, developing a reputation as a top working dog. Introduced into Australia in in the early 1990’s, the Australian Shepherd has become a popular breed in all facets of dog activities.

Average Life Span
When considering a dog, please realise that you are taking it on for its lifetime.

The average life span is 12 to 15 years.

Active, intelligent, with a good disposition and strong herding and guarding instincts. May be reserved with strangers but should never be fearful or aggressive. They should be well socialised as puppies to ensure a happy, well-adjusted adult.

General Breed Description
A medium sized breed, with attractive colouring, the Australian Shepherd with his double coat is certainly an eyecatcher. Acceptable colours are blue merle, black, red merle and red – all usually with white markings. Eyes can be brown, blue, amber or any combination of these. They may be born with a very short tail referred to as a ‘natural bob’, or any length for that matter.

Coat and Care Requirements
The Australian Shepherd’s double coat needs weekly maintenance of brushing and combing, but more attention when dropping or shedding coat.

Height: Males 51 to 58.5cms (20 to 23ins), Females: 45.5 to 53.5cms (18 to 21ins).

All breeds have individual health issues. When speaking to breeders it is recommended you enquire about breed’s health and what health testing the breeder does. The Australian Shepherd is generally a healthy breed, however health conditions do occur occasionally. These may include Hereditary Cataracts and Multi Drug Resistance (MDR1).

The Australian Shepherd is most suitable for people wishing for a highly trainable dog. They enjoy Dog Sports and are quick learners. They are also wonderful family dogs if kept active and busy. As with any breed, they should never be left unsupervised with children. A large backyard is not necessary, but daily exercise is recommended.

In Conclusion
Now you know a little more about this breed. If you have decided this is the dog for you and wish to investigate further, please contact the Breed Club or Dogs Victoria. They will be able to give you information about available puppies and also suggest dog events where you can see the breed and speak to breeders. In this way you will gain a better perspective of the breed and its needs. With any breed of dog, it is important to research and determine suitability for your lifestyle before committing to a puppy which will be a part of your family for many years to come.

Whilst many breeds are recommended for families, it is imperative that when children are with dogs they are supervised at all times. Basic obedience training is a vital part of dog ownership.

Dogs Victoria is about the responsible ownership of all dogs and in particular the preservation of pure breeds.

Link to Dogs Australia Breed Standard