|Sensitivity to strangers|
|Affection for family|
|Suitable for first-time owners|
|Ease of grooming|
The Australian Shepherd is the sheepdog by excellence: It is a dog that loves to help humans and make great companions.
The Australian Shepherd, also known as the Aussie, originated in northern Spain. Basque emigrants introduced this breed to Australia and then to the United States, where it has been bred since the beginning of the 19th century.
This dog is docile and attached to the whole family; it loves to help and live with humans. It does not need special care and can live both indoors and outdoors, although it can be a little energetic.
It is a great sheepdog, but it is also a good drug-sniffing dog, a search-and-rescue dog, and an excellent guide dog for the blind. Although the Australian Shepherd can be affected by genetic diseases, it is a very strong and resistant dog. Its ideal owner would be someone who has an active life and likes to be outdoors or in the countryside.
It is an ideal family dog. The Aussie loves children and follows them everywhere, spending all kinds of adventures with them and having a lot of fun. It does not play easily with other dogs. If it is a male Australian Shepherd, it tends to assume a leading role towards other males.
Australian Shepherd: Origins
The Australian Shepherd, also known as Aussie, is a sheepdog whose origins date back to early 19th century North America. It was precisely in those years that the Basque Shepherd and the Smithfield dog arrived in the United States, where these two dog breeds were crossed to originate this breed.
Australian Shepherd: Characteristics
Aussies come in several colors:
- Black or black tricolor
- Blue merle
- Red merle or red tricolor
Some specimens may have white markings. They have a medium-length coat which may be straight or wavy. A moderate mane may be present, especially in males. In the past, tails longer than 10 centimeters were docked.
The Australian Shepherd is a docile dog that loves to be in contact with humans. It is an excellent sheepdog, but its intelligence, agility, and training potential also make it ideal for sports. The Aussie is a good friend of humans, to whom he is loyal. It is ideal for families.
When in a good mood, the Aussie makes a smile-like grimace, showing its teeth and lifting the corners of its lips. This attitude should not be interpreted as a growl. This is a peaceful breed that does not like to get into trouble with other dogs. It is always looking for its owner’s company, and it loves to be where its human friend is.
Australian Shepherd: LifeStyle
The Australian Sheepdog, like other sheepdogs, is rustic and resistant. These characteristics and its thick and abundant coat make it possible for it to live outdoors. However, by creating a very close bond with its owner, the Australian Shepherd will prefer to live indoors together with its family.
Suppose it is introduced into the domestic environment. In that case, it is likely to lose hair due to its undercoat’s natural adaptation to the conditions to which it is becoming accustomed. We should also pay close attention to its strong vitality, which could lead the Aussie to destroy more than one ornament or piece of furniture if we do not give it the physical relief it needs to burn off all its energy.
Australian Shepherd: Some Recommendations
A minimum of physical activity is always advised, including the possibility of running long distances in the countryside. Due to its intelligence, the Australian Shepherd has a strong play attitude, and it will enjoy learning new activities. Its smooth coat should be brushed regularly, especially during the moulting period.
Obviously, the Australian Shepherd is used for herding and controlling livestock. However, the intelligence, vivacity, and docility of this breed are qualities that enable it to perform other types of work. The Aussie can be an excellent guide dog for the blind and an excellent search-and-rescuer dog, as well as a drug-sniffing dog.
The Australian Shepherd also appears in many American movies and television shows as a classic “family dog” because its docile and affectionate character makes it an excellent companion dog for children and teenagers, as long as they love the outdoors. It is a high-energy dog. This is why it needs physical relief and, therefore, the attribute of couch potato would not fit it.
Australian Shepherd: Health
The Australian Shepherd is a tough dog, but it has rather “weak” genetics or blood, so we have to pay attention to hereditary diseases, such as hip dysplasia, eye diseases (in particular, cataracts), and epilepsy, which can usually appear after the dog reaches the age of three years.
The Australian Shepherd of the merle variation (dogs with patches or spots of a different color than the coat’s distributed throughout the body), both red and blue, carries a defective gene that, if two Aussies of this variety cross with each other (known as double merle), this would cause serious health problems in the litter, like embryonic death or birth of dogs with serious pathologies, such as deafness, sensitivity to solar radiation and serious eye problems, including blindness and lack of vision.
Australian Shepherd: Relationship With Its Owner
The Australian Shepherd’s ideal owner is someone who has an outdoor space or is an outdoor lover. As the Australian Shepherd is a dog that loves to be active and suffers if it lacks exercise, its owner must be an active person.
The Aussie also loves children, and it can follow them everywhere throughout the day, with an affection that makes it perfect as a family dog. It is also widely used as a guide dog for the blind due to its intelligence in learning and the great affection it shows to its owner.
Australian Shepherd: Relationship With Children
The Australian Shepherd is a child-friendly dog, as it is loving and intelligent, making it easy to train. It will be a great playmate. The Aussie Shepherd loves children and tends to protect them, just as it would do with its puppies.
The protective nature of the Aussie derives from its origin as a sheepdog. Being a dog that loves company, the Australian Shepherd will be the ideal playmate for children who get bored easily: it will be attached to them at every moment.
Australian Shepherd: Relationship With Other Dogs
The Australian Shepherd does not tend to fight. While the male has a more peaceful temperament, the female is more cautious and does not trust other dogs.
If a male Aussie lives with another male dog, it will tend to play the leading role. Thus, it is better that “meetings with other dogs” be supervised and controlled by the owner, although the Australian Shepherd is unlikely to bite.
Australian Shepherd: Puppies and Price
There are registered and specialized Australian Shepherd breeders in Australia and the United States. You may also find them in Canada, England, Ireland, Scotland, New Zealand, South Africa and India, where the Australian Shepherd is becoming increasingly popular. As for the price, it can vary. You may pay for an Australian Shepherd puppy between 600 and 1000 dollars, about 500-900 English pounds.
When it comes to coat color inheritance, black is predominant, while red is not so common. Even blue merle, a mutation of black, is predominant. The Australian Shepherd must be trained by asking for its cooperation and not by imposing orders.
Australian Shepherd: Breeders and Puppies For Sale
It is essential that you buy a dog from a reliable breeder so that you can be sure that your puppy has been:
- Bred for good health and temperament;
- Well-selected (this means that its parents were chosen without genetic diseases);
- Properly socialized, so that it is not too fearful or too aggressive;
- Vaccinated and well-groomed.
If you adopt a puppy, the reliable breeder will provide you with a veterinary certificate that states that the animal has been dewormed and is completely healthy.
You can always ask for the pedigree, which is essential: it allows you to check the dog’s breed’s purity. An animal with a pedigree has certain characteristics of its breed that differentiate it from the rest.
Now that we have clarified all the most important aspects, you can go in search of your new 4-legged friend, who is surely waiting for you.
You may be interested in reading another article related to other dog breeds such as:
- Samoyed Dog
- Belgian Shepherd
- Afghan Hound
- Dogo Argentino
- English Cocker Spaniel
- Border Collie
- English Setter