Australian Shepherd – Crazy bundle of energy with high standards
If you’re after a family pet or leisure companion then the Australian Shepherd is not for you. This four-legged friend is a spirited workaholic who would rather be put to work on a farm than lounge around the house all day, the Australian Shepherd loves the role of keeper or ‘herder’ and if you have enough breed-relate tasks to offer, it will act as an active and loyal companion.
The American that came from Australia
The name of this dog breed actually creates a fair bit of confusion as despite being called the Australian Shepherd, the dog breed is not actually from Australia, but rather America originally. Around the turn of the 20th century, many sheep were exported from Australia to the United States. To help herd sheep, many trained herding dogs were brought over with them. These clever pooches then found many dogs that were already native to the states and bred with them. Since 1977 the Australian Shepherd has had binding breed status however wasn’t until 1996 that they were officially recognised as a breed. They have now been common in Europe since the 1970s.
Character and personality
As with most sheepdogs, the character of the Australian Shepherd is characterised by numerous virtues. They are very intelligent and incredibly alert creatures, which is common for herd directors, due to their nature they are very hard working but also demanding. If you can offer the dog appropriate tasks, for example, actually use it as a herding dog, they will feel completely comfortable and do their job conscientiously to a very high standard. If used in the wrong way they can easily slip into bad habits and become fairly docile, and perhaps bad mannered but because of their work ethic, they aim to please their owners and will try to fulfil the tasks the owner demands of them.
Upbringing and keeping of the Australian Shepherd
Due to this magnificent dog’s intelligence and enormous zeal, the demands are high on the owner. They can weigh up to 32kg and depending on gender the shoulder height can be anywhere between 46 and 58cm. When you add the wily and lively temperament that the Australian Shepherds possesses into the mix, it becomes clear quite fast that you won’t be able to keep them down for long. The right environment for these dogs, perhaps fairly obviously, is the countryside with loads of space to roam and fresh air in an abundance. Tracking games intellectually challenge the dog the most, and because of this, the hardest thing to train this dog is when to stop and relax, to balance between activity and relaxation, to achieve this you need a lot of spare time, patience and empathy.
Caring for the Australian Shepherd
The fur is fairly easy to care for, you won’t need to brush more than once a week even during molting season. The life expectancy of the Australian Shepherd is 12 to 15 years. Unfortunately, the breed is susceptible to inherited diseases and disabilities such as deafness and blindness. Pay attention to a responsible breeder when buying.
- Breed: Australian Shepherd
- Origin: United States
- Classification: Cattle and herding dogs
- Size: Male 51-58cm shoulder height. Female 46-53cm shoulder height.
- Weight: 16-32kg
- Anatomy: Medium in size and well proportioned, slightly longer than they are high.
- Eyes: Blue, amber or brown, also spotted, marble or different colours.
- Ears: Triangular tilted ears, rounded at the tip.
- Fur and colour: Half long fur with dense waterproof undercoat, basic colours of black, red, black marbled and grey background, marbled red background with light beige often combined with white and copper.
- Particularities: A total of 16 different colour variants recognised by a combination of the basic colour if necessary, markings.
- Character: Vigilant, intelligent, docile, tireless, keen to work.
- Maintenance: Brush weekly, change fur daily.