Nowadays quite widespread on the French territory, the Australian Shepherd is a very sociable and hyperactive dog which seduces more and more canine lovers thanks to its charming look and its superbly colored coat.
Where does the Australian Shepherd come from?
Contrary to what one might think about the origin of its name, this dog does not come from the land of kangaroos… but from the Basque Country!
More than a century ago, sheepdogs similar to the Aussie we know today accompanied the shepherds of this region. In order to find work, many individuals emigrated abroad with their dogs, notably to Australia, a country renowned for its sheep and wool.
Then, at the beginning of the 20th century, some shepherds went to the United States with sheep and dogs. The latter were used on farms as sheepdogs capable of herding livestock.
The Americans then attributed the name of “Australian Shepherd” in connection with its origin, even if it is not its primary origin.
The character of the Australian Shepherd
The most important characteristic of the Australian Shepherd is its liveliness. This dog needs space and imperatively needs to spend time. It therefore requires a lot of attention regarding walks which must be frequent, play or physical activities that allow him to let off steam while channeling his energy.
This breed is therefore not recommended for people who are rather homebound and is ideally suited to people of a calm nature able to temper the active nature of this dog.
If for him physical exercise is a vital need, he must also be stimulated intellectually. The Australian Shepherd is intelligent, curious and rather obedient.
Beware, its small character requires a firm but always soft education, because it is a great sensitive. Be careful not to let yourself be touched by its charming look!
Very attached to its owners, even invasive, it is often potty. It is a perfect dog for family life and gets along very well with children.
Also, this very affectionate character trait makes it very difficult for him to bear solitude.
Finally, it is a sociable dog with other animals and strangers.
The physique of the Australian Shepherd
Often praised for its advantageous physique, the Australian Shepherd is classified as a large dog.
Its size varies from 51 to 58 cm for a male and 46 to 53 cm for a female. Regarding its weight, it is between 25 to 34 kg for the male and 19 to 26 kg for the female.
Concerning its famous dress, the most common colors are blue merle (silver dress stained of black with white and fire markings), red merle (beige and brown dress with white and fire markings), black tricolor (black dress with touches of white and fire) and red tricolor (dress “brown” with white and fire spots).
All of these colors can have a bi-color variation, i.e. without white or tan markings. Also, some Australian Shepherds can have a plain coat without white or tan.
Finally, its beautiful almond-shaped eyes can be brown, blue, green or amber, identical or mint.
The Australian Shepherd in daily life
In order to fulfill his vital need for exercise and attention, the best is to share physical activities human/dog. He will find his balance perfectly in the practice of canine sports like agility, canicross, frisbee… or by accompanying you in the practice of your physical activities. He needs a lot of affection and likes company, these privileged moments with you are thus essential.
The downside is that this overflow of energy can also lead to destruction. So don’t hesitate to offer him chew toys in order to channel his chewing side and redirect him towards appropriate accessories.
For his fulfillment and the stimulation of his great intellectual abilities, obedience sessions are perfect for him. Curious and obedient, he will take great pleasure in learning from you.
Concerning its physical maintenance, these long hairs imply a regular brushing to avoid the knots. Also, these drooping ears require a particular vigilance.
Finally, as far as food is concerned, the Australian Shepherd is a greedy dog, but its excesses, if any, are quickly compensated by its physical expenditure.
Choose rich and good quality kibbles for large dogs in order to satisfy his appetite and provide him with the daily intake necessary for his great vitality.