With its striking eyes and unusual but pretty coat color, the Australian Shepherd can definitely stand out from other herding dogs. Take one look at Harlee the Aussieand you would understand how the breed embodies what is odd and beautiful.
Because of its distinctive looks, it is not really a surprise the Australian Shepherd is among the most popular dog breeds in the U.S. today. But is this all you should know about this breed? Learn more about the Australian Shepherd in this post.
Fun Stuff You Must Know About The Australian Shepherd
Also called Aussie, the Australian Shepherd is a medium-sized working or stock dog breed known for its intelligence and unique, multi-color coat. It is a relatively new breed, having emerged only in the late 19th century. Although the Aussie was originally developed to herd livestock, it is more popular as a smart and energetic pet these days.
The Australian Shepherd is a beautiful, medium-sized dog. Male Aussies stand between 20 to 23 inches at the withers and weigh around 50 to 65 pounds. Females, meanwhile, stand between 18 to 21 inches and weigh around 40 to 55 pounds.
This breed has these traits:
- Straight to wavy, medium-lengthed, water resistant double coat
- Longer coat on the upper part of the hind legs
- Longer featherings on the neck and chest
- Medium-sized ears
- Black or brown nose, sometimes with pink spots on merle dogs (nose color depends on the coat color
- Blue, brown, or amber eyes, which may be solid or multi-colored
Coat colors of an Aussie may be:
- Tri-color (black, with tan points and white markings)
- Red or liver (with or without tan or white markings)
- Blue merle (black patches on gray)
- Red merle (red or liver patches on cream or beige)
Some Aussies are born with short or bobbed tails. Other have longer tails and these are often docked to comply with traditional standards. Some owners today, however, choose to keep their Aussie’s tail unharmed.
What is the Australian Shepherd like?
The Australian Shepherd is a generally friendly, playful, and easygoing dog. It loves being with its family and enjoys doing athletic activities.
Because this dog is intelligent and energetic, it requires an adequate dose of physical and mental exercise daily. It can become destructive when bored or neglected. This breed thrives best in the countryside or in homes with a big, fenced yard where it can play.
The Aussie can get along with children, including other pets and animals. But it tends to chase them or nip at them, thinking they are part of its herd. It definitely needs training, starting at an early age.
Although this dog is mostly friendly, it can be shy or even aloof towards strangers. An Aussie should be exposed to people starting puppyhood to curb timidity and aggression.
Are Australian Shepherd dogs aggressive?
Australian Shepherds are typically good-natured dogs and are not considered aggressive. But they can be very protective of their families and territory. If not trained and socialized properly, their protective instincts can potentially turn into aggression. Early training and socialization are definitely important for any dog breed.
When do Australian Shepherd dogs mature?
Medium-sized dog breeds may reach their full height between 12 to 15 months and may continue to fill out in weight until they’re about 18 months old. It may take them two years to become an adult.
Dogs generally mature at different rates. Factors like the dog’s pedigree, the environment, and food can affect how fast a puppy can grow.
How are Australian Shepherds with allergies?
Like other dog breeds, the Australian Shepherd can suffer from allergies. They may be allergic to food, shampoo, mites, pollen, etc. You can tell a dog is having an allergic reaction when it is:
- scratching frequently
- constantly licking its body
- biting its paws
- loosing its hair
There are more symptoms of allergies in dogs, of course.
According to Cesar’s Way, dogs may have an allergic reaction to different food ingredients. These may be:
Are Australian Shepherd dogs hypoallergenic?
Australian Shepherds are not hypoallergenic. Aussies shed all year round and even more heavily in spring when they shed their winter coat.
No breed is completely non-allergenic. But there are breeds that have hair instead of fur. These dogs shed very minimally and are often considered hypoallergenic breeds. Because they do not shed much, it also means they do not produce as much dander, a common allergen found among dogs.
Are Australian Shepherds easy to train?
Australian Shepherds respond well to training. These dogs are intelligent, moreover, eager-to-please. They are known for learning obedience commands pretty quickly. Aussies also have the potential to excel in dog sports, moreover, become good workers. Many of them have served honorably as therapy dogs, search-and-rescue-dogs, detection dogs, and guide dogs.
How much are Australian Shepherd puppies?
Australian Shepherd puppies can cost anywhere between USD $300 to more than $2,000. Pet quality puppies with health clearances, bred by professional breeders, can cost more than $1,000. Show quality puppies, meanwhile, can cost around $2,000. Prices vary depending on the quality of the puppies’ line and the credibility of the breeder.
Health clearances do not fully guarantee that the puppy won’t get sick in the future. But the paperwork shows the breeder is particular about selling a healthy, well-bred puppy.