The Australian Shepherd dog breed actually originated in the United States.
The American-born dog breed was specifically created to be helpers for farmers and ranchers by herding livestock.
The ancestors of the Australian Shepherd are rumored to be a shepherd-like dog breed, including the Collie.
The ancestors are thought to be transported to the United States during the 1840’s from Australia, which is most likely the reason the breed is named Australian Shepherds.
Once the ancestors arrived in America breeders recognized the keen herding ability and cross-bred the best working dogs until they created the intelligent hardworking Australian Shepherd.
This amazing dog breed still helps ranchers and farmers with their herding abilities and has become an excellent family dog.
Australian Shepherd 101
Australian Shepherds are sweet sensitive dogs that are affectionate with family.
They are specifically great with children of any age since they bond closely with them and often become a child’s playmate and best friend.
They are highly intelligent and easy to train which comes in handy when you are trying to keep a clean house around children.
The Aussie Shepherd has a high energy level that keeps him going all day long.
He loves to run, play and do tasks for his owner.
If you need anything to be herded, this dog will get the job done.
Dog owners of Australian Shepherds need to provide plenty of opportunities for this dog to exercise.
This means as a pet parent you will need to take this dog for plenty of walks and allow him to run around in the yard until he feels tired.
This dog breed has a cute playful personality and needs to be mentally and physically busy.
Providing this dog with plenty of attention as well as toys is essential to his well being.
If you have other dogs in the house an Australian Shepherd will get along with them very well.
They are social and enjoy the company of other dogs.
This outgoing personality also makes this dog breed a popular playmate at the dog park.
Whether you live in cold or hot weather, this dog breed has the capability to adapt to both extremes and anything in between.
Australian Shepherds belong to the herding dog breed group.
An adult dog can grow to 1 foot, 11 inches tall when measured from the shoulder to the ground.
They can weight between 40 and 65 pounds.
This dog breeds life expectancy is 15 years.
This dog breed was developed to be dominant in order to be pushy with their duties herding livestock.
They often take the dominant role or leader of the pack role in the household.
As a pet parent to this amazing dog breed, you need to be a confident leader in order to maintain balance in the household.
Otherwise, this breed will rule the house and it could be chaotic.
If you plan to be a first-time dog owner to an Australian Shepherd it’s wise to involve a professional dog trainer, in the beginning, to be sure you maintain the leadership role with the dog.
As a pet parent, you will be rewarded with this dog’s natural ability to be loyal to his family.
However, early socialization is needed to help him overcome his shyness around human strangers.
Training in socialization is recommended from puppyhood or from the moment he enters your house.
Australian Shepherds are strong healthy dogs and generally maintain good health throughout their lifetime.
Sometimes less than ethical breeding can result in some dogs experiencing health issues on rare occasions.
The health issues that can occur is elbow dysplasia, hip dysplasia, epilepsy, deafness, osteochondrosis dissecans, progressive retinal atrophy, cataracts, collie eye anomaly, distichiasis, cancer, and allergies.
All Australian Shepherds will not experience these health issues.
On the rare occasion that an illness occurs, it’s usually treatable under the supervision of a veterinarian.
As a pet parent to this dog breed, you are responsible for providing him with the best life possible.
This includes a safe environment, grooming, healthy diet, plenty of water and exercise.
Generally, adult dogs require about 2 ½ cups of dry dog food per day (for more information on food read our post on the best Australian Shepherd dog food).
It’s best to divide this amount in half and offer it to your dog in two separate meals.
This dog breed has long hair that can become tangled easily.
Daily or weekly brushing is required depending on your dog’s activity level (make sure you get a good dog brush for your Australian Shepherd).
The beautiful and multi-colored long hair also gets dirty and can absorb the stickiest substances.
It’s best to remove debris such as small twigs that get caught in the hair and wash the coat to remove stickiness from tree sap and other substances that have a similar texture. Sometimes you will need a good set of clippers specifically made for an Australian Shepherd.
For more details on grooming check out our post on Australian Shepherd hair care.
Your Aussie Shepherd is going to work hard to please you and your family.
His high energy level is going to keep him busy which will result in much-needed rest.
Providing your dog with a comfortable dog bed for him to call his own is essential to his overall well being.
He needs to know he has a trusty comfortable spot in the house where he can go to and relax anytime he needs or wants.
This dog breed is incredibly happy and playful.
This means you will need to provide plenty of toys for him to play and stay occupied.
Australian Shepherds need lots of exercises because they were bred to herd livestock.
They have the desire to run and herd in their DNA.
As a domesticated dog, he will require daily walks and the opportunity to run around in the yard or at a dog park.
It’s essential for this dog breed to release energy daily to avoid anxiety.
As a pet parent, you might find it tiresome keeping up with an Australian Shepherd.
You can find inventive ways to provide exercise such as turning the water sprinklers on in the yard and allowing your dog to run around and cool off in them on hot summer days.
Australian Shepherds enjoy jumping and running through the water as well as attempting to catch the water in their mouth.
This activity provides plenty of exercises as well as keeps the dog cool and clean.
Is an Australian Shepherd the right dog for me?
Australian Shepherds are energetic, sweet, loyal dogs that enjoy being in control.
They have a natural ability to herd animals and sometimes you might be surprised how he naturally brings children of more than 3 together to play in the same area without them realizing it.
This talented dog is a perfect playmate for children and an excellent best friend as they both grow up together.
As a dog owner, you will need to be loving, kind, patient and strong.
This dog breed needs guidance and the leader of the pack needs to be confident to rule the house.
You will be in charge of creating a schedule and routine for your dog to eat, play, exercise and sleep as well as maintain a firm stand about acceptable behavior and training.
Overall, Australian Shepherds are kind, sweet, loyal, playful, energetic dogs that will be a great addition to the family.