The Australian Shepherd is a member of the Herding Dog Group. A medium sized dog known for his herding and guarding abilities. He is very family loyal and very intelligent. This dog needs a great deal of exercise, mental and physical. Could the Aussie be the right dog breed for you? Choosing the right breed dog is very important for you and for your dog. Here are the Australian Shepherd dog breed standards and other important information you should read prior to buying a new dog or puppy for your home.

History: Contrary to their names, the Australian Shepherds are believed to have originated in Spain. They were later brought to the United States and developed in California by an Australian. A misty confusion exists about their origin but it is presumed that this breed accompanied the livestock that was shipped to America in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. Because they were working dogs, farmers tried to make them better suited to the climatic variations by interbreeding them with the local dogs. The breeding was done mostly between native species from America as well as the English Shepherd breed.

The type of work the breed does: The Australian Shepherds like all other breeds of Shepherds are working dogs. They helped the farmers guard their livestock and cattle on vast farms. They are generally very protective in nature and serve as good guard-dogs, helping keep away unwanted or suspicious neighbors. They excel in several types of dog sports and can bring immense pride to their owner.

Physical Appearance: These dogs range in height between 18 to 23 inches and could weigh anything from 35 to 60 pounds with eight different colors combinations of red or blue merle, black and red. Distinctions of color are observed between each of these types. Their eye colors also differ and could be green, hazel, amber or even bi-colored. The tails are short bobbed or even docked with the country’s permit. Some breeders prefer to keep the tail long in order to show the breed ring on the tail. They have a double coat of fur and curled down ears.

Personality and temperament: This group of dogs is very energetic and friendly. They are very possessive about their owners and are very good at guarding the owner as well as his property. This particular trait can be particularly intimidating to children. However, in general it is very friendly with children and serves very well as family dogs. They are only too happy to show-off all the tricks they’ve mastered. They are very intelligent and quickly learn the ropes of whatever job they are entrusted with. When they do not have enough work, they get frustrated and hyper, indulging in barking and running around for no apparent reason.

Care: Australian Shepherds are very playful, fun-loving and intelligent in nature. They should preferably be kept in secured and fenced. They need a lot of daily activity to stay healthy and happy.

Living environment: The Australian Shepherd tends to have a high energy level and should be allowed to work and play. With the lack of enough activity it tends to get bored and frustrated. They love being with company especially with their owner and other people they hold close to their heart. They are also good travelers.

At a glance:

  • Breed Group: Herding Dog Group

  • Height: 18-23 inches

  • Weight: 35 – 50 pounds (male)

  • Color: Vary colored from blue, red or black merle usually with markings

  • Life Expectancy: 12-15 years

  • Average litter size: 6 – 9