Australian Shepherd

Miniature Australian Shepherd.
Miniature Australian Shepherd. Photography by Kayla Bertagnolli, as captured at the 2018 Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show.

Are you the proud parent of an Australian Shepherd who’s looking to learn more or are you thinking about getting an Australian Shepherd? Learn the facts about this breed here.

Quick Facts About the Australian Shepherd

Australian Shepherd jumping after frisbee.
Australian Shepherds are perfect for outdoorsy types. Photography ©Anna-av | Getty Images.
  • Weight: 50 – 65 pounds | male
    40 – 55 pounds | female
  • Height: 20 – 23 inches | male
    18 – 21 inches | female

Australian Shepherds are vigorous, well-proportioned and rustic dogs — a little longer than tall. Their slightly domed heads and medium-length muzzles are about the same length, with almond-shaped eyes that can be blue, brown or amber. Their ears are triangular and set high, their chests are deep and their tails are straight and naturally short. They have a weather-resistant coat with a moderate texture, creating a little bit of a mane. Their hair is short and soft around the head, ears and front legs. Australian Shepherds can be found in black, blue merle, red merle, solid-red or red with white and/or tan markings. Overall, Australian Shepherds have strong, square, balanced frames.

Australian Shepherd Traits

  • Easygoing
  • Playful and puppy-like
  • Bold and loyal
  • Protective
  • Intelligent
  • Easy to train

Who Gets Along With Australian Shepherds?

  • Singles
  • Ranchers
  • Outdoorsy types
  • Families

What Are Australian Shepherds Like to Live With?

What is the Australian Shepherd temperament like? Australian Shepherds are loyal, dependable, easygoing companions. When it comes to their love of play, they never really outgrow the puppy stage. For this reason they are excellent with children — and the more active, the better. But they have a gentle nature that prevents their play from ever getting rough. They are also eager to work: Give them a job and they’ll get it done with loads of energy to spare.

Australian Shepherds can be a little standoffish at first. Given time, however, they will become comfortable with new people and come out of their shells. They have excellent guarding instincts and a strong sense of loyalty to their families. Australian Shepherds will bark when strangers approach the house, and they’ll sometimes run a few laps around the house for good measure.

What to Know About Australian Shepherds:

Like most herding breeds, Australian Shepherds have a strong work ethic. They love having a job to do. Left alone indoors for too long, they can go a little batty. For this reason, they are not really suited for apartments. Take them out to work in the field or for a long run in the woods — the activity and mental stimulation will result in a very happy Australian Shepherd.

Some Australian Shepherds retain strong working-dog genes. This makes them more eager to be in the field and less eager to hang out with the family. These dogs are more inclined to herd people and nip at heels to keep everyone moving, but with proper training these quirks can be worked out.

A healthy Australian Shepherd can live as long as 15 years. Common health issues include hip dysplasia, cataracts and hypothyroidism. Australian Shepherds don’t shed excessively and only need occasional brushing.

Australian Shepherd History

The Australian Shepherd we know today was developed mainly in the U.S. In fact, this breed has no real connection to Australia. Originating in the Basque region between Spain and France as a working dog and sheepherder, the breed drew the name “Australian Shepherd” because many of the Basque shepherds came from Australia. Australian Shepherds became more popular in the mid-twentieth century, favorites of ranchers and cowboys for their unique herding talents, but did not enter the AKC Stud Book until 1991.

Thumbnail: Photography ©chris-mueller | Getty Images.

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20 thoughts on “Australian Shepherd”

  1. Very helpful information for the Australian Shepherd Dog breed more you can find from this

  2. Thanks for the wonderful information. I found more helpful information for the Australian Shepherd from this

    1. I have a beautiful “Miniature Australian Shepherd Puppy”that is 9 weeks old.

      We call this little guy “CARL”.

      CARL is 9 weeks old.

      Carl is great with children.

      CARL is a Blue Merle Male with a full white collar and liver color marking.

      CARL is very healthy and playful.

      CARL is up to date on all of his vet needs and shots.

      CARL has a transferable microchip.

      There is a rehoming fee of 450.00 (FIRM) for CARL.

      If you have a very special loving family and would love and care for CARL and can give CARL the home he deserves please contact me (916) 461-0326

  3. Jeffrey Jannetty

    Yeah I remember excellent skills Renee and Brittany were training the Australian shepherds to learn outstanding and fantastic trick both of them knew that they trained these dogs perfectly I’m all like Renee and Brittany you’ve outdone yourselves for training the Australian shepherd dogs awesome and even brilliant definitely

  4. jeffrey jannetty

    so you owners were blowing your alarms or whistles off for your Australian shepherd dogs to get ready for the big exciting day for their job and I and the models/ladies realize that it was very/pretty clear that you know how to keep that in mind for when you noticed how to sound whistle and alarm off for their job the dogs yes because every shot for these Australian shepherd dogs count I and the models/ladies know that you owners know how to keep everything in charge and always show great skills and efforts for these pets

  5. jeffrey jannetty

    so there I and the models/ladies were teaching you owners how to help your Australian shepherd dogs herd group of sheep cows/cattle’s horses/stallions and others when we knew that we are just examples of helping your Australian shepherd dogs be great brilliant sport like dogs for in herding group because I and the models/ladies think that always carry and bring a whistle or alarm to teach your Australian shepherd dogs the meaning of becoming the bravest sport ever

  6. jeffrey jannetty

    hey just as you owners sound blow off your whistle and alarm the Australian shepherds know that this is their time to herd off the sheep cows/cattle’s horses/stallions and others I and the models/ladies realize and respect that you owners always do perfect work when they are trained nicely for some reason I and the models/ladies think that always keep it steady and straight because I and the models/ladies know that keep up the fantastic work when handling them for their job and herding and being good perfect sport dogs

  7. jeffrey jannetty

    just as you thought or think these Australian shepherd dogs could’ve pulled it off wow base hit I and the models/ladies think that these dogs/pets really know how to herd rounds of sheep cows/cattle’s horses/stallions and others I and the models/ladies think that they do quite excellent brilliant like skills for when it’s their job to get these animals herding in right away because I and the models/ladies think that you’ll do just outstanding and exciting

  8. jeffrey jannetty

    as long as Australian shepherds know the routine or deal for their herding of the sheep cows/cattle’s horses/stallions I and the models ladies realize that they can do their efforts to always keep up the perfect job and excellence for their ability to herding work I and the models ladies know that they’ll also do every single thing correct when they need something done that’s when you people would sound off your whistle

  9. jeffrey jannetty

    when these Australian shepherd dogs got the sheep and other animals cornered and rounded up I and the models/ladies think that they did an outstanding perfectly brilliant job for herding group of sheep cows/cattle’s horses/stallions and other types of herding for that job I and the ladies models think that they always do excellent when it’s their time to herd the animals around the front/backyard also to keep it very steady

  10. jeffrey jannetty

    don’t forget keep in mind that these Australian shepherd dogs will do well and exciting of retracing steps for their time with weather being gorgeous or feeling an excellent like breeze when the sun’s out and have a good batch of water ready when they need a break when fetching their toys outside this keeps them hydrated for nice breeze gorgeous weather for every training to fetch and learn to keep exercise focused on the ability that always finds with energy that has sound of lighting or thunder for that good brilliant routine

  11. jeffrey jannetty

    I and the models/ladies know that these Australian shepherd dogs will enjoy a nice breeze when the weather in very nice and gorgeous because some dogs also these Australian shepherd dogs like gorgeous weather breeze because models/ladies and I know that they still have abilities to be trained and power to learn of sport fetching because these dogs are still very clever intelligent and smart when they catch any soft like toy/object to keep them healthy for weather like others keep all straight because goes wacky and hilarious

  12. jeffrey jannetty

    I and the model/ladies also think that these Australian shepherd dogs will get perfect brilliant exercise for their routine to work treadmill or mostly play outside because I know and models/ladies realize that every requirement for these Australian shepherd dogs do take awesome brilliant like fantastic guts if they see something to jump or hop over I and the models/ladies think that they still got clever ability worth to improve others when they know it’s time to be trained that’s when these dogs know to do that straight nice exercise

  13. jeffrey jannetty

    I and the models/ladies think that these Australian shepherd dogs are the excellent perfect brilliant dog breed for your home and family why because the models/ladies and I think that they are very clever intelligent smart like dogs with the power and ability to hear or see something come or track their way when these dogs know nice outstanding training abilities models/ladies and I think that they’ll be the perfect pet for your family because all they know is to really fetch and get trained by the owner these dogs will do outstanding

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