The Australian Shepherd dog breed as we know him today is considered a US dog breed. His ancestors came from Europe, relocated to Australia, then found their way to California. So if the Australian Shepherd dog breed came from Europe, why is he considered to have origins in the United States? And why is he called an Australian Shepherd? He is probably considered a US dog breed because his breed was perfected in the US. And he is probably considered an Australian Shepherd because that is what the people in California called his predecessors. The dogs which originally came to California from Europe and Australia were mixed breeds, possibly Kelpie and/or Scottish Border Collie mix. And they were probably also mixed with yet other breeds which later gave us the standard breed which we call Australian Shepherd.
As a result of the mix of various herding breeds across the world, the Australian Shepherd dog breed is a hardy breed with exceptional herding skills. He can withstand the hot temperatures of Australia as easily as the colder weather of Europe. His herding skills are diverse – sheep, cattle, you name it, he can herd it. The Australian Shepherd dog breed is also good at hunting and tracking. He is very intelligent and easy to train so he has also been used as a messenger dog in World War II, to perform tricks at rodeos and on film, and for search and rescue.
The Australian Shepherd dog breed never tires. The high energy of the Australian Shepherd dog breed makes him great at herding and other skills, but sometimes not so great at being a house dog. If he does not get enough exercise and mental stimulation, he can develop bad behaviors such as getting into things, chewing, jumping the fence, and running off. If you plan on getting an Australian Shepherd dog breed, be prepared to provide him with a very active lifestyle. He is highly energetic and playful so play with him plenty and give him some stimulating dog toys such as a Buster Food Cube. Also take him on some strenuous walks or runs every day.
While the Australian Shepherd dog breed can be independent in nature, he is affectionate and eager to please. He can get along well with other pets but he may try to herd smaller pets. He is both gentle and patient with children, but he may also be inclined to herd small children. He is bold, alert, and wary of strangers so the Australian Shepherd is a natural watchdog.
The Australian Shepherd dog breed can be interesting in color. He can be black or red with white, and sometimes have tan markings. Or he can be blue merle (pictured above) or red merle, also with white and possible tan markings. His eyes can be brown, amber, or blue, or flecked with any combination of those colors. He has short hair around his face, ears, and front feet but the rest of his coat is medium in length, either straight or wavy. His top coat is water resistant and his undercoat is thick. This double coat requires brushing at least twice weekly.
The Australian Shepherd dog breed stands about 18-23 inches high and can weigh 40-65 pounds. He has triangular ears set high on the head and folded forward or to the side. And the tail of an Australian Shepherd dog breed is either docked or naturally bobbed. He has broad feet which are oval in shape. His muzzle and head are equal and moderate in length. And he has a straight and level back.
If you are considering purchasing an Australian Shepherd dog breed, be sure to research the breeder thoroughly. The Australian Shepherd dog breed is prone to a number of hereditary diseases which are more common in dogs bred by irresponsible breeders. Common hereditary diseases of the Australian Shepherd dog breed include cataracts, collie eye anomaly, nasal solar dermatitis, Pelger-Huet syndrome, hip dysplasia, and ivermectin sensitivity. Many of these diseases can be and should be tested for by the breeder.
The Australian Shepherd dog breed is perfect for a family with an active lifestyle. He can be a great playmate for your older children, would love to go running or follow you on your bicycle, loves to play fetch, enjoys learning new tricks, and just loves to be loved. To find the perfect dog for your family, research for a good breeder, visit an animal shelter, or contact an Australian Sheepdog rescue group.