Dog Breeds

Australian shepherd. Aussie

Australian Shepherd is a medium-sized quadruped currently kept as a companion dog and dog sports. Very active and energetic, he needs classes and a lot of movement. He is intelligent, but in inexperienced hands, he can cause a lot of problems.


Australian Shepherd is an active, intelligent dog with a cheerful disposition. Despite his great willingness to cooperate with man, he is not recommended as a breed for beginner doggie. An improperly run Aussie can create a lot of trouble both at home and on walks.

Australian shepherd

Among Australian Shepherds two lines can be distinguished – utility and exhibition. Utility dogs are characterized by a strong grazing and guarding instinct, but they are not as elegant in appearance – their task is primarily to work with farm animals. Show pooches are characterized by lush, shiny fur and a more massive build. However, even they have not lost their original instincts and huge amounts of energy. That is why even Aussie from the show line is not suitable for a couch. Lack of sufficient movement and mental activity will most likely cause reactivity and even aggression. Uncharged energy can also make this pooch collapse car, hunt cyclists or rush and pinch-running children.

Regardless of the line, properly managed Australians are quite calm at home and can usually be excellent companions for children. They also get along well with other dogs and domestic animals. They are distrustful of strangers, but they usually don’t show aggression. They can, however, be barking.


Initially, Aussie was bred as a sheepdog, but today in their homeland, mainly cattle graze. They must, therefore, be tougher than dogs working with sheep. Their mode of operation is typical for continental shepherds and different from border collie and kelpie – they work in an upright position, close to the animals, sometimes helping themselves with a bark or a bite in the crotch or nose.

Australian shepherd

Aussie is an active, intelligent dog, with a great desire to work and cooperate with people. As a versatile animal and highly susceptible to training, it works well in various fields: pastoralism, sports obedience, agility and rescue.

Australian shepherd. Training and education

Australian Shepherd should be raised using positive methods. In addition to basic obedience training, it is worth subscribing to the regular training of one of the dog sports with this dog breed. Aussies do not require strong motivation with fancy delicacies or toys that are constantly changing. They usually work with people in exchange for a short play with a jerk or small rewards.

Australian shepherd

Some Aussies may show territorial instinct and defend the house against guests or other dogs. Therefore, from a young age, they should be properly socialized and safely exposed to various situations.

Who is this race for?

The Australian Shepherd is a fairly easy dog ​​to set up for a trained dog. However, it is not suitable for everyone. An inexperienced caregiver can feel the hard way what problems can cause unmet, high need for activity. Like many herding dogs, improperly run Aussie can be reactive and barking. This breed is also not recommended for the elderly or busy and overworked people – the guardian of the Aussie must have a lot of time, which he will devote to a quadruped.

Advantages and disadvantages

Australian Shepherd – what is it like? Learn its pros and cons!


  • sometimes distrustful
  • requires careful socialization
  • can be reactive and barking
  • requires a huge dose of movement and attachment


  • susceptible to training
  • very attached to a man
  • you can play sports with him
  • a good companion for older children


Australian Shepherds are generally healthy and resistant. However, there are genetic disorders in the breed. The most common of these are hereditary cataracts, which can occur at any age, while collie eye anomaly (CEA) is much less common. Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA) also occurs sporadically. In addition to eye diseases, hip and elbow dysplasia, epilepsy, autoimmune diseases and cancers also occur in this breed. Extremely active Aussies are also susceptible to injuries resulting from excessive strain on the paws and joints.

Australian shepherd

In addition, every third Aussie has a mutation in the MDR1 gene, which is responsible for crossing some blood-brain barrier by some chemicals, including ivermectin. So be careful with the administration of some preparations and medicines, because the improper selection of medications can lead to a dog’s death. This mutation can be detected by genetic testing.


A typical Australian Shepherd has no appetite problems. Dogs of this breed should be fed high-quality dry or wet food for active dogs. Aussie can easily handle bones, so you can feed them properly supplemented with diet. In the case of dogs that do not participate in dog sports or training, special care should be taken to avoid obesity.

Australian shepherd


The care of an Australian Shepherd is not complicated. Just brush it once a week, and more often during the molting period. The dog of this breed does not require frequent bathing, because its fur does not collect dirt. Only soft hair behind the ears should be checked after each wetting, as it easily felts.

Claws, ears and eyes are also noteworthy, which, if necessary, should undergo appropriate care treatments.


The Australian Shepherd should be walked out in comfortable guard straps or a wide collar and on a standard leash or cord with a minimum length of 3 meters. At home, provide him with a comfortable place to sleep – in the form of a large den or kennel cage. A physiological muzzle will be most suitable for an Australian.

Despite the inconspicuous appearance, the Aussie can be real destroyers. That is why it is worth equipping the pooch with durable, possibly indestructible toys. A brush with long pins, a scraper and claw cutters will also be useful for care.

Australian shepherd. History

Contrary to the name, the Australian Shepherd was formed in the western United States. Settlers coming to America from the 17th century brought sheep with them – and where there were sheep, shepherds were needed there. There were inevitable crosswords between them. As a result, a specific type of shepherd dog developed in each region adapted to its conditions. In the 18th and 19th centuries, the Basques emigrated to America and Australia, taking, among others, the Pyrenean Shepherds.

Australian shepherd

The name “Australian Shepherd” appeared at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries, when merino flocks began to be brought to the United States from Australia. The sheep were accompanied by Basque shepherds and their dogs. The popularity of Australian Shepherds grew after World War II along with the fashion for western riding style. Americans met them through rodeo shows and television programs.

Jay Sisler, the talented dog trainer who performed with them at rodeo shows in the 1950s and 1960s, served his best to promote the breed. His pupils (several Australian Shepherds and a greyhound) were able to balance on thin boards, jump rope and climb ladders. His Shorty and Stub starred in two Disney films: “Stub, the Best Cowdog in the West” and “Run, Appaloosa, Run” (Run, Appaloosa, run). Shorty is the ancestor of most modern “Australians.”

In 1957, the Australian Shepherd Club of America (ASCA) was founded in Arizona, and in 1966 the International Australian Shepherd Association (IASA) was founded, which from the 70s began to keep a register of dogs. In 1980, ASCA absorbed IASA registers and became the only club of the race.

Many ASCA members objected to the American Kennel Club (AKC) recognition of the breed for fear of losing the working dog’s instincts. The Aussie Owners Group, therefore, founded the United States Australian Shepherd Association (USASA) seeking their recognition by the AKC, which occurred in 1993. Three years later, the Australian Shepherd was initially recognized by the International Kennel Club (FCI), and in 2007 the breed gained the right to interchampion. Today, most Aussie in the United States have dual registration: AKC and ASCA.

Australian Shepherds are very popular in their homeland and their popularity in the world is constantly growing.


Australian Shepherd (American type) – Group I FCI, Section 1, Model No. 342

  • Country of origin: United States
  • Character: active, intelligent dog, willing to cooperate with people, alert; some individuals keep a distance from strangers, others are open; towards foreign dogs usually not conflicting
  • Size: at the withers dogs 51-58 cm, bitches 46-53 cm
  • Weight: dogs 20-30 kg, bitches 15-25 kg
  • Coat: semi-long, two-layer, straight or slightly wavy, resistant to weather conditions; medium-hard coat hair; the amount of undercoat depends on the climate
  • Color: black, chocolate, blue-marbled (blue merle) or chocolate-marbled (red merle) – all may be accompanied by tanning and white markings
  • Lifespan: approx. 14 years
  • Weather resistance: quite high

Interesting facts

 This suggests that this is an American variation of the Australian Shepherd Kelpie. Meanwhile, they are two separate and unlike each other races!

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