Dog Breed Profile Of The Month - Australian Shepherd
Breed type: Sheepdog, herding
Height: 50.8 – 58.4 cm
Weight: Males 23 – 29 kg Females 14 – 20 kg
The Australian Shepherd's name is deceiving as the breed doesn’t actually come from Australia, but the USA. They were bred around the time of the Gold Rush in the 1840s. The main reason for breeding Australian Shepherds was so that they could help with herding livestock.
Some Shepherds in the West of America still herd cattle for ranchers and farmers today. Due to their origins they tend to have very powerful herding and guarding instincts.
They are a very attractive breed with a gorgeous coat. They come in lots of different colour combinations including white, black and blue and red merle. They have a medium length, double coat that is water resistant.
Their coat needs regular grooming to prevent it from getting matted and to keep the fur in good condition.
Many people are attracted by the stunning appearance of this lovely looking breed, but don’t let their good looks fool you. They are not for the faint hearted as they need a lot of attention, exercise and require a firm, confident owner.
Australian Shepherds need very active owners who are willing to give them the exercise they need. Do not get one if your family isn’t very active. They are a very high energy breed that needs a huge amount of exercise. Shepherd’s get bored easily and need constant need mental stimulation, more than most other dogs. They must have something to keep them occupied and respond really well if they are given a job to do.
They can make great family dogs if they are given enough activities to stimulate them. If you can keep them busy for most of the day they will be happy coming home to a loving family. They benefit from taking part in dog sports such as agility and flyball.
They are usually good with kids and people although they can be wary of strangers. Australian Shepherds are kind natured, extremely smart, affectionate and very protective. They make good guard dogs and are very loyal.