Breed Information: Australian Shepherd

Breed Description: The Australian Shepherd is an attractive, long-haired breed with a bobtail and a striking coat that varies remarkably in color. This breed is built slightly longer than tall, is fast and agile and possesses great endurance and herding instincts.

Group: Herding Group

Purpose of Breed: Originally used to herd sheep

Country of Origin: Australia, 1800s

Average Size: 27-50 lbs. and 18-23 inches tall

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Color(s): Blue merle, black, red merle, or red-all with or without markings. Coats can contain tan or colored patches. According to American Kennel Club breed standards, white is acceptable except on the body between the withers and tail, on sides between elbow and back hindquarters.

Coat Type: The Aussie's weather-resistant double coat has a medium texture, straight or wavy and of medium length except for the shorter coat on the head, ears, and parts of the legs.

Grooming: this breed's coat requires minimal grooming. This breed requires standard care for eyes, ears, pads and nails.

Exercise Needs: Australian Shepherd dogs need plenty of exercise to fulfill their instinct to chase and herd. They do well in houses with fenced yards.

Temperament: The Australian Shepherd is an intelligent, affectionate, even-tempered dog that is clever and eager to learn. They may be initially reserved when meeting strangers and make excellent dogs for children.

Common Ailments: Susceptible to hip dysplasia, blindness and deafness.

Life Expectancy: Averages 12-15 years

Trivia: Despite its name, this breed was developed mainly in the USA. Its original ancestry can be traced back to the Basque region of France and Spain. The breed's popularity increased significantly with Western culture and horse-riding after WWII, when they were often features in rodeos, horse shows on TV and in the movies.

More Information: United States Australian Shepherd Association

About The Author: Ellen Brown is an environmental writer and photographer and the owner of Sustainable Media, an environmental media company that specializes in helping businesses and organizations promote eco-friendly products and services. Contact her on the web at http://www.sustainable-media.com

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August 15, 20060 found this helpful

I would have to agree, I have a 2 yr old male Aussie and he is just as smart as a whip. He gets along well with his two cats... I say his cats because they think of him as a big brother and protector. He loves having something to herd around while my husband and I are at work during the day. I will probably buy another one in the future after our son is born and we get into our own home.

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March 1, 20070 found this helpful

This, in my opoinion, is the best dog in the world.

They all have such unuique personalities and sometimes they outsmart me!

I definately recomend this sweet, hard-working dog!

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March 23, 20090 found this helpful

Hi, i just wanted to let you all know that the info above is not quite accurate. Australian Shepherds did not originally originate in Australia. Go to Wikipedia and/or any other "Australian Sheppard" website and it will clearly tell you, that they acquired their name because of its association with Basque sheepherders who came to the United States from Australia.

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March 23, 20090 found this helpful

And oh yeah, the Aussie became widely popular in 1968...not in the 1800's.

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June 28, 20090 found this helpful

We have an adopted Aussie (1 ear up and 1 ear down), and she is the most loving dog we've ever had. I am amazed at how clean she is. They really are the odorless breed. Sensitive and smart, too. I love petting her beautiful varigated coat and snuggling. The only negative things are the high register of her bark, and the 2x year shedding.

Other than that, she is perfect. Out of many breeds we've had, she is outstanding.

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August 20, 20090 found this helpful

I too am in love with this breed! I have seven adults and a new litter of 12. Yes, I am a breeder of registered animals. Started with one as a pet, got another of the opposite sex and then, suddenly, everyone wanted a pup. That was 8 years ago.

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