The Australian Shepherds Dog Breed are actually a crossbreed of several different breeds including the Hungarian sheepdog, Border collie, and German shepherd. The Australian shepherd Dog is called such because, in the late 19th century, they were associated with Basque shepherds who traveled from Australia to the US.
A theory of the breed’s origin is that it began when the Basque people in Europe settled in Australia and brought their sheepdogs with them. The shepherds then relocated to the western part of the United States, bringing their dogs and sheep. American shepherds called these dogs Australian Shepherds because they were from Australia.
The Australian outback and western America are areas where sheepherders have used dogs for centuries. These areas are too rugged for many other breeds, but Basques dogs thrived in these conditions. The breed was bred with other herding dogs to create the ideal dog to work in these harsh environments. They became popular in Australia and New Zealand during the 1950s.
The Basque region of Spain and France is a mountainous area that was difficult to farm, so people who lived there needed a herding dog that could work in the mountains. They crossed their dogs with many other breeds until they got a dog that worked well in this environment. This breed remained mostly unknown until the 1950s when it became popular as a pet in western countries.
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The Australian Shepherds Dog is a medium-sized dog that is about 18 to 23 inches in height and weighs from about 18 to 27 kilograms. Males are generally taller and heavier than females. Aussies have a straight or slightly wavy coat that ranges from medium to long in length. They have feathers on the back of the legs and a generous mane around the neck. Coat colors vary; they might be blue or red merle, red or black tricolor, all with white markings. Most Aussies have naturally short tails. The Australian Shepherd is a balanced dog with strong legs. The breed has a long back and bushy tail.
They are slightly taller than they are long. This breed has a muscular body with a coat that can vary in color, work all day without losing its energy. The double coat is weather-resistant, with an outer coat of medium texture and length. This breed’s undercoat has a fine texture and can be wavy or straight. The hair on the ears should not exceed 1/2 inch (13 mm) in length. The tail should be well-rounded and set high, but not carried over the back.
The Australian Shepherds Dog is a high-energy, intelligent dog that needs exercise and training. If they don’t get a chance to exercise and challenge their mental and physical activities, they are apt to become frustrated and difficult to live with. With proper exercise and training, this dog is a loyal, great companion. Aussies are known for their herding instincts. They are very protective of their families and territory, often letting you know if strangers approach. The Aussie is reserved with strangers but becomes trusting of those it knows. This breed has an independent nature and may try to herd children or other animals by biting at their heels.
Training and Caring
The Australian Shepherd needs a lot of exercises every day. He should have access to a large, fenced-in yard where he can run for at least an hour or two. The Aussie loves to be with his owner and will accompany him on long walks. Australian Shepherds shed a lot of hair throughout the year, and they need to be brushed regularly. This breed sheds heavily twice a year, but all of the time needs some brushing. However, many Aussies have short coats that are easier to care for than others who have lots of feathering.
Australian shepherds are generally healthy dogs but are prone to health issues such as hip dysplasia, epilepsy, cataracts, and certain forms of cancer. A dog’s ears should be checked regularly to remove debris and prevent wax buildup. The average life span is between 12–15 years.