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Australian Shepherd

Australian Shepherd



Australian Shepherd Dog Breed Introduction

The Australian Shepherd Dog breed may only pretend to be from Australia--the breed was actually developed in the USA. But that doesn't mean you can't trust an Australian Shepherd. The breed is known for the strong work ethic of its members. Australian Shepherd Dogs not only enjoy being active. They generally have plenty of energy and staying power to keep going strong all day.

Never one to let a responsibility slide, Australian Shepherd Dogs have strong instincts to herd and protect. In fact, they may even try to herd friends, family, and any other humans or animals that come their way. If you bring one of these animals into your family, make sure you have plenty of dog toys and outdoor space for your new friend to work out her herding instinctive drives.

Here are the characteristics of the Australian Shepherd Dog breed as determined by the American Kennel Club's published breed standard.

Australian Shepherd’s Behavior

Recommended for: house pet; given the temperament of this breed, an apartment setting is usually not the most suitable (according to Wikipedia)

The Australian Shepherd dog breed is known for the kind of no-nonsense attitude that tries to avoid a fight. Still, you might have a bit of a struggle if you have an outdoor party and the dog's herding instincts kick in. These dogs love to herd. Being a dog of endless energy, an Australian Shepherd will definitely appreciate having some outdoor space. According to Wikipedia, Australian Shepherd Dogs excel at many sports, especially herding, dog agility, frisbee, and flyball. In fact, if these dogs don't have the challenging activities they crave, they may turn on the furniture around them.

Remember that breed only provides a general clue as to any individual dog's actual behavior. Make sure to get to know dogs well before bringing them into your home.

The Australian Shepherd Dog Breed’s Physical Characteristics

  • Size: Male: 20-23 inches; Female: 18-21 inches.
  • Coat: medium-length, all-weather, medium-textured, straight to wavy fur.
  • Color: Blue merle, black, red merle, or red; all colors may come with or without white markings and/or tan (copper) points.
  • Eyes: brown, blue, amber.
  • Ears: triangular, proportionately sized.
  • Skull: proportionately sized.
  • Muzzle: as long as or slightly shorter than the back skull.
  • Nose: From the American Kennel Club's breed standard: "Blue merles and blacks have black pigmentation on the nose. Red merles and reds have liver (brown) pigmentation on the nose."
  • Tail: low hanging over the body.

Australian Shepherd Dog’s Origins and History

Here are some basic facts on the history of the Australian Shepherd Dog breed's history, according to Wikipedia.

Country/Region of Origin: United States

Original purpose: herding dog

Name: There is no indication of why the dog is called "Australian." However, the breed is a shepherd dog breed. Shepherd dog breeds have historically been used to herd sheep and often even developed by (human) shepherds themselves.

Historical notes: Australian Shepherd Dog breed is as Australian as apple pie and the Bloomin' Onion. The breed was actually developed in the United States in the nineteenth century, specifically in the pasturelands of the Old West. Various other shepherd dog breeds were interbred to create a breed that would thrive in the dry climate of Old West ranch lands. The breed's roots, like the roots of many other shepherd dog breeds, extend back thousands of years to continental Europe. The Australian Shepherd Dogs' ancestors probably ultimately originated in the Basque country.



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