The Australian shepherd is loved for a number of reasons. This intelligent, hardworking breed is as at home on the range as he is with being a family pet.
They’re athletic while at the same time being very graceful and love to be in a home full of activity that challenges him.
They usually excel in canine sports like agility, field trials or flyball. If you are looking for a couch potatoe – then look elsewhere because this breed wants a job and they like to stay busy.
With a name like the Australian shepherd you would think this dog originated from Australia. But the actual origin is not certain. Many, however, believe the ancestors of Australian Shepherds were from Germany or from Spain (the Basque Region of the Pyrenees Mountains).
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After World War II, western style horseback riding surged into the forefront and the Aussie gained in popularity in the U.S. Yet, this breed was not recognized by the American Kennel Club until 1993.
Australian Shepherd – Appearance
This dog is a little bit longer than he is tall standing at as much as 23 inches tall for a male and 21 inches tall for a female. Males can weigh anywhere between 50 and 65 pounds and a female slightly less than that at 40 to 55 pounds.
Their coats are medium long and they have a number of possibilities for eye color that range from dark brown to yellow to blue, green or even amber.
Australian Shepherd – Personality
The Aussie has the perfect personality for canine sports. They love to take charge of a situation which has made them such a great candidate as a herding dog all these years. But you don’t have to give him a flock of sheep to keep him busy.
Find a local flyball club and you will keep your Australian shepherd very happy. Alternatively, Aussies love agility challenges and will excel in these areas.
He loves sticking close to his humans but can be standoffish with strangers. A way to get around this issue is to socialize your Aussie puppy early, taking her to shopping malls, parks and even visiting friends and family.
Without early socialization, your Australian shepherd could become fearful of strangers which could lead to aggression and biting.
Every purebred dog can inherit genetic health issues from their parents. One way to get around this is to make sure you always get a puppy from a reputable breeder.
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Ask for health clearance certificates on the puppies and the parents and visit the puppies on a day when you can see them interact with each other and mom and dad.
They can be stubborn and independent but if you train them early starting with puppyhood in a kindergarten class, they will excel.
Agility is also a great place to practice training.
Aussie coats come in a variety of colors including blue merle, red merle and tricolor. You will want to brush her coat every week and possibly more than that when she is shedding. Unless she’s a dirty, she shouldn’t need to have a bath more than a couple of times a year.
Keep her teeth cleaned and her nails trimmed.
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