Common Name: Australian Shepherd
Other Common Names: Aussie
Group: Herding Group
Origin or Range: United States
Relative Size: Average
Average Lifespan: 13 years
Aussies are gentle and kind in nature and therefore are excellent companions. Sweet tempered dogs, they get along very well with children and are very good at playing with them provided they received an early, high level of socialization. In fact, this makes the Aussies be very affectionate with all the family members, as opposed to the way they are with strangers – shy and reserved. They have excellent physical abilities, a great stamina and endurance which makes them excellent working dogs.
As adults, the Australian Shepherds usually reach a height of no more than 60 centimeters and a weight of no more than 35 kilos. The double coat can be either straight or wavy, but it’s long in both cases, with the mention that the hair on the legs and head is slightly shorter than on the rest of the body. Usually the coat color is black, red merle or blue merle and it can have at times white and tan markings or spots. The tail is bobbed and the male usually have longer coats than the females. Regarding grooming and care, the Aussies require regular exercising and weekly coat brushing.
Initially, the Australian Shepherd dogs were bred for herding and livestock protection purposes, sometime in the nineteenth century, when they also reached the United States of America. The origins of the breed are pointing to Spain. As any breed, the Australian Shepherds are exposed to some health conditions, including seizures, hip dysplasia, cleft palate thyroid, discoid lupus erythematosus, progressive retinal atrophy and von Willebrand’s disease. There is some exposure to some other conditions such as collie eye anomaly, deafness, patent ductus arteriosis and nasal solar dermatitis.
Daily exercising and good, weekly brushing are required.