Australian Shepherd Dogs are one of the most popular dog breeds in Australia. They have been bred since the 1920’s and they were first used as guard dogs during World War II. Since then, these dogs have become very popular with families all over the world. The breed was developed from a working type of dog called “Dingo” which originated in New Guinea and later migrated to Australia where it became extinct after being hunted to extinction by native tribes. The Australian Shepherd Dog is a medium sized dog weighing between 20 – 25 pounds (9 – 12 kg). Their coat is a light brown color with white markings. They have short legs and long limbs. They usually stand at around 18 inches tall (45 cm) but some are taller than others. They tend to be friendly and affectionate towards humans and other animals, however they do not like children or other pets. They are intelligent and loyal.
The Australian Shepherd Dog is known for their loyalty, obedience, and good temperment. These traits make them excellent guard dogs and family companions.
They are also very athletic and strong-willed so they can easily handle heavy loads such as furniture or even large dogs. They do however require a lot of energy and will get bored if not given enough exercise. They need to be taken on long walks or jogs every day. Without this, they may start to display undesirable behaviours such as loud barking, chewing, digging, or constant licking. Due to their herding heritage they also have a high prey-drive and it is very difficult to train them not to chase after small animals, even if they have no intention of hurting them.
They are very easy to train due to their intelligence and willingness to please their owners. They learn new commands very quickly, although they can be very strong-willed and will resist orders they don’t agree with.
Owners need to display confident leadership or the dog will not listen. Their hearing is more sensitive than most dog breeds so they will hear a command only if it is given loud enough. Owners should be careful not to raise their voice too much as this may frighten the dog. They should also be given praise after they comply with a command. These dogs have a long life-span of about 14 years and there are very few health problems associated with this breed.
The Australian Shepherd is a herding dog and enjoys tackling tasks which involve controlling other animals or objects. They make excellent sheep or cattle herders due to their protective instinct, however they can be independent thinkers and will try to take charge of the herd.
Owners should be careful when around smaller animals such as cats as these dogs have a natural instinct to hunt. Owners need to decide if they want their dog to have this instinct or not because if it is not trained out it may end up chasing and possibly killing the cat or other small pets.
The Australian Shepherd is an active breed and does best with owners who enjoy the outdoors. They love to play games and are very easy to train.
They can easily jump over fences so an enclosed yard is not ideal. Owners should spend time with their dog to ensure it does not get bored. These dogs do not do well in apartments or small spaces due to their high energy level. Without proper exercise they may display behavioural problems such as chewing furniture, howling, barking excessively, or tearing up blankets. When left alone for long periods of time these dogs can become destructive or depressed.
The Australian Shepherd is a very good breed for owners who like to be physically active. They can keep up with long distance runners and are not easily tired.
These dogs excel at dog sports such as flyball, agility, and herding. They need a lot of exercise and without it may start to display undesirable behaviours such as shredding furniture or barking excessively. Owners should not leave them home alone for extensive periods of time without caring for these needs first.
Australian Shepherd are not recommended for first time dog owners because of their high energy level and need for attention. They also require a lot of grooming and may shed a lot.
These dogs do not do well if they are left alone for long periods of time, as they can become destructive or depressed.
The Australian Shepherd is a good family dog because they are very kind and gentle towards children. As long as the children are taught how to treat the dog, it will respond in kind.
It is important that the children do not tease or hit the dog, as this can lead to defensive bites. These dogs get along well with other pets if they are raised with them from a young age.
The breed originated in the United States and was originally used for herding sheep and cattle. John D.
Sheppard is credited with developing the modern Australian Shepherd and it is believed that he used a combination of breeds such as the Border Collie, Dorset, and Lincoln Long Haired Sheepdogs to achieve his goals. These dogs are very energetic and active and require a lot of attention.
The Australian Shepherd is a medium-sized breed of dog developed in the United States. It has a sturdy and balanced body that is just a little longer than it is tall.
The head of these dogs is shaped like an equilateral triangle with a clearly defined stop and a squared muzzle. The nose should be black and the teeth should form a scissors bite. The dark eyes are oval in shape and set towards the front of the face. The ears are shaped like pendants and hang down the side of the head. These dogs have strong necks that merge smoothly into their shoulders. The chest of these dogs is as wide as it is long and the tail is typically docked. The forelegs should be straight. Their backs are slightly arched and their hind legs are well muscled. The feet are small and cat-like with thick pads that allow them to dig burrows to sleep in.
The Australian Shepherd’s coat can be any combination of red, black, and white. The minimum is that it must have black and white coloring with some red.
These dogs should not be completely black, nor completely red. The underbelly, panting, and ears should be white, while the face may be any combination of black and red. Their coat is soft to the touch and does not usually need to be trimmed or groomed.
The average Australian Shepherd stands between 17 and 24 inches tall at the shoulder and weighs between 30 and 50 pounds. The ears of these dogs should hang down to between the nose and the eyes when pulled forward.
The preferred height is 21 inches but they can go as low as 17 and as high as 24 inches. They can weigh between 40 and 70 pounds but they should never be less than 40 or more than 70 pounds.
The average Australian Shepherd lives between 12 and 15 years.
The average litter size is 5 puppies, though this number may increase if the female has previously given birth to larger litters. The gestation period lasts between 62 and 65 days and puppies are usually born in the morning.
The average cost of raising a puppy until it is 8 weeks old is $500. The average cost of raising a puppy until it is 8 to 12 weeks old is $800.
Puppies typically earn their money back by being sold for $950 when they are older.
The Australian Shepherd was originally bred in the United States specifically for herding livestock and are still used for this purpose today. They are also used as guide dogs for the blind, search and rescue dogs, and in films.
A very intelligent breed, they are also used as therapy dogs for the elderly and people with mental illnesses. These dogs crave human interaction and need a lot of exercise, so they should not be left alone for long periods of time.
Because of their tendency to bark at strangers, they also do not make good guard dogs and owners have to be willing to train them. These dogs can develop psychological issues if they are not given enough to do.
When this breed is kept busy it is extremely self-confident, friendly to both people and other animals, and very easy to train.
Like most dogs, the Australian Shepherd is prone to a variety of health issues. They are prone to developing cataracts and solar dermatitis, which is a sunburn of the skin.
They are also susceptible to hip dysplasia, ear infections, and skin allergies. The Australian Shepherd has a maximum lifespan of 15 years.
Sources & references used in this article:
Ivermectin and piperazine toxicoses in dogs and cats by RA Lovell – Veterinary Clinics of North America: Small Animal …, 1990 – Elsevier
… to thrive and life-threatening complications due to inherited selective cobalamin malabsorption effectively managed in a juvenile Australian shepherd dog by AJ Gold, MA Scott, JC Fyfe – The Canadian Veterinary Journal, 2015 – ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
Mutation in HSF4 is associated with hereditary cataract in the Australian Shepherd by CS Mellersh, B McLaughlin, S Ahonen… – Veterinary …, 2009 – Wiley Online Library
A retrospective evaluation of congenital ocular defects in Australian Shepherd dogs in Australia by KA Munyard, CR Sherry, L Sherry – Veterinary ophthalmology, 2007 – Wiley Online Library
Acute gastroesophageal intussusception in a juvenile Australian shepherd dog: endoscopic treatment and long-term follow-up by S Shibly, S Karl, KM Hittmair… – BMC veterinary …, 2014 – bmcvetres.biomedcentral.com