Australian Shepherd Dog Training & Care

Known as an Aussie, the Australian shepherd dog is a type of herding dog that is being bred in the Western United States.  Their popularity began through rodeos, horse shows and Disney movies.  The Australian shepherd dog is commended for their innate versatility and trainability.  They are always obedient and keen in pleasing their owners.  They are also highly energetic and driven that is why they stand out in dog sports.  Unlike other dogs, Australian Shepherds need more physical and mental activities.  It is possible that they can acquire serious behavior problems if they become bored or even self-destructive.  Due to this energy, they would always want to have a task at hand, making them very efficient as search and rescue dogs, disaster dogs, detection dogs, guide, service, and therapy dogs.  In addition, they can be a good watchdog even for children because they love to play.  They are very even-tempered and puppy-like even if they are already adults.

The Australian shepherd dog has a medium-sized built and a strong, well-balanced, rustic body.  It is important that the whole size of the head is proportional to the body.  Along with this, the muzzle should be equal or somewhat shorter than the back of the skull.  Moreover, their teeth should be forming a scissors or level bite.  The ears of an Australian shepherd are triangle in shape but its tip is slightly rounded and their eyes are shaped as a medium-sized oval with colors brown, blue, amber or any variations of these colors.  Their coat is medium in texture and is straight to slightly wavy.  It is also weather-resistant and moderately long with an undercoat.  The colors of the coats vary from blue merle, black, red merle and solid red.  They can come either with or without white markings and copper points.  The texture of the hair varies on each part of its body.  The hairs on the head, outside the ears, front of the forelegs and below the hocks are short and smooth.  On the other hand, the hair are the back of the forelegs are somewhat feathered.  The breeches at this area are also sort of full.  Moreover, male Australian shepherd has more obvious moderate mane and frill.  As for its tail, Australian shepherd has a bobtail that is docked and straight.  Their chests are deep that its lowest point can already reach the elbow.   In addition, they have straight front legs that are perpendicular to the ground and oval feet and well-arched toes.

An Australian Shepherd dog is prone to several inherited health problems, such as problems in the back, hip, vision and hearing.  Serious health problems among Australian Shepherds are cataract and Collie eye anomaly, whereas, minor health problems of this breed include coronary heart disease, nasal solar dermatitis, Pelger-Huet syndrome and iris coloboma.  There are also other health conditions that sometimes affect the Australian Shepherd dog and these are lumbar sacral syndrome, epilepsy, progressive retinal atrophy, von Willebrand disease, distichiasis, patent ductus arteriosus, and persistent papillary membranes.

Australian Shepherd Information

Herding, search and rescue, pet therapy… You name it, the Australian Shepherd can do it! As hardworking as they are friendly, these dogs are perfect for people with high energy and have enough time to take these dogs out to play.

Despite its name, the Australian Shepherd actually originates in the United States, its name coming from the fact that the dogs that were used to breed the first ones were brought to the country from Australia. Because of their intelligence, they are favorites as working dogs, being able to do just about anything from herding to performing search-and-rescue work. While they are primarily used as working dogs, these make for great pets as well, especially if you want a breed that’s very protective and affectionate towards his or her family.

Surprisingly enough, the Australian Shepherd isn’t much of a shedder, despite its medium-length coat. Nonetheless, they will need moderate grooming in order to help them manage their dense coats.

Our 4 Paw Rating – to the suitability of Australian Shepherd for your home and lifestyle:

Size
Males are about 20 23 inches in height and weigh 50 to 65 lbs, while females are about 18 to 21 inches in height and weigh 40 to 55 lbs.

Coat Care
The coat of the Australian Shepherd can be black, red, red merle, or blue merle, with or without the white markings and/or the tan/copper points. Their coats are of moderate length, weather-resistant, and can either be short or wavy. The undercoat is usually shed twice a year. Weekly grooming using a firm bristle brush is sufficient to help the dog manage his or her fur. However, the dog will need to be groomed more frequently during shedding seasons.

Family Life
The Australian Shepherd is a good choice if you want an affectionate, smart, and protective dog. They are usually wary around strangers, although this can be avoided through training.

The Australian Shepherd may not be ideal for households that have small children and other pets, as the dogs’ herding tendencies may lead to them nipping kids and animals, which can make them afraid.

Lifestyle
These dogs are very energetic and need lots of exercise, so they may not be the ideal pet for those living in apartments or those who travel frequently and can’t spend that much time with them. If the Australian Shepherd doesn’t get enough exercise, they can be destructive. However, high-energy owners will definitely love this breed, as Australian shepherds love doing athletic activities, making them good running companions.

Health
Life expectancy of about 13 to 15 years. The Australian Shepherd is prone to hip and eye problems, seizures, von Willebrand’s disease, thyroid disease, discoid lupus erythematosus, patent ductus, arteriosis, and cleft palate. As such, they will need to have to be tested for these problems before breeding. A yearly check-up can be beneficial to make sure that your Australian Shepherd is in tip-top shape.

Exercise
Australian Shepherds need a lot of exercise in order to keep them happy. They can be indoor dogs provided they are given a lot of time playing outside.

Training
The Australian Shepherd is very smart, so they can be trained easily.