Despite the name, developed in the USA as a ranchers’ dog
While there are many theories as to the origin of the Australian Shepherd (Aussies), the breed as we know it today developed exclusively in the United States. The Australian Shepherd was given its name because of their association with the Basque sheepherders who came to the United States from Australia in the 1800’s. The Aussie rose rapidly in popularity with the boom of western riding after World War II, becoming known to the general public via rodeos, horse shows, movies and television. Their inherent versatility and trainability made them useful on American farms and ranches. The American stockmen continued the development of the breed, maintaining the versatility, keen intelligence, strong herding instinct and eye-catching appearance.
Read more about the history of this breed – HERE
OTHER NAMES – Aussie, Spanish Shepherds, Pastor Dogs, Bob-Tails, Blue Heelers, California Shepherds, New Mexican Shepherds
LIVING WITH THIS BREED
The Australian Shepherd (Aussies) are delightful and loyal companions and great family dogs. They love to be part of the daily hustle and bustle, and enjoy riding in the vehicle just to be with their beloved owner. As farm dogs, they diligently carry out their responsibilities, be it bringing in the stock or finding the stray one that got tangled in the bushes. They are easily trained, easily housebroken, because they are intelligent and eager to please. They are very active dogs that need a great deal of exercise on a daily basis to prevent them from becoming bored or frustrated and consequently developing destructive habits. Because of their high energy level, combined with high intelligence, Aussies need to be given a “job” to perform, be it shepherding the children, protecting the house, herding livestock or competing in dog events. Aussies want to be with their owners all the time, which is why they insist on following their owners from room to room in the house, and love nothing better than going along in the car or truck on errands. They can be highly territorial and protective of their owners’ possessions, potentially causing serious difficulties unless this behaviour is controlled with proper training.
This information is taken from kennel clubs and other reliable sources
|COUNTRY OF ORIGIN||USA|
|PURPOSE BRED FOR||Herding|
|TEMPERAMENT||Intelligent, Lively, Loyal|
|EXERCISE NEEDED||1-2 hours per day|
|HEIGHT – MALE||51-58.5 cm / 20-23 in (to shoulder)|
|HEIGHT – FEMALE||46-53 cm / 18-21 in (to shoulder)|
|COAT TYPE||Medium length|
|GROOMING NEEDS||1-2 times per week|
|LIFE EXPECTANCY||12-15 years|
DID YOU KNOW?
- Legend has it that Native Americans called these dogs “ghost eye” and thought they were sacred. These dogs do not always have blue eyes, but pale blue, “ghostly” eyes are common among the breed.
- They are one of a few dog breeds that commonly have two different colored eyes, called heterochromia. Aussies might have any combination of brown, blue, hazel, amber, or green eyes. Some Aussies even display more than one color within the same eye.
- Aussies have a one-in-five chance of being born with a naturally bobbed tail. Ranchers purposely bred Aussies that had these naturally short tails because they are safer when it comes to herding.
- Because of their high intelligence, Aussies are well suited to do a wide variety of jobs. They have been used as guide dogs, hearing dogs, drug sniffing dogs, and search and rescue dogs.
- Aussies rose to fame among the general population because of their frequent appearances in rodeos. Not only could Aussies help herd the bulls, they could also perform tricks.
LINKS TO KENNEL CLUBS
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WEBSITES ABOUT AUSTRALIAN SHEPHERDS
Here’s some websites specifically dedicated to this breed, click to view them. I am not affiliated with any of these sites, they’re just here for further information. Please note I will not advertise breeders on this site and as many websites dedicated to a specific breed are run by breeders, sometimes there’s fewer sites listed here.
- Australian Shepherd Club Of The UK
- Australian Shepherd Club Of America
- National Australian Shepherd Association
- Canadian National Australian Shepherd Association
- Australian Shepherd Lovers
- Australian Shepherd SA Rescue Organisation
- Australian Shepherd Club of Central Florida
- Aussie Rescue Placement Helpline Inc
- Gateway Australian Shepherd Club
- Buckeye Australian Shepherd Club
Thanks for reading!