Australian Shepherd

Description Australian Shepherd

Smart, Kind, Protective
The Australian Shepherd impresses with its beautiful appearance and high intelligence. The penetrating, bright look has already melted many hearts. Although generally sociable, they are not suitable as a beginner’s dog. If you want to own a dog of this breed, you need to know what you are getting yourself into.FCI Group: Herding Dogs – Cattle Dogs

  • Size: medium
  • Weight: 16-32kg
  • Life expectancy: 13-15 years
  • Coat Type: Medium Hair
  • Colors: Merle Factor, Red Merle, Black, Red Tri, Black Tri, Blue Merle, Red

Character Australian Shepherd

The Australian Shepherd is a herding and herding dog. The breed has been recognized by the FCI since 1996 and belongs to Group 1, Section 1: German Shepherds. The name of the breed is often abbreviated as Aussie.
Aussies are of medium height and weight with an athletic, well-balanced build. Males reach a size of 51-58 cm, females 46-53 cm.

According to the breed standard, there are no exact weight limits. It should fit the general image of the dog. Therefore, many use the guide value of a maximum of 28 kg.
The head is well proportioned to match the rest of the body. The stop is clearly visible, but not very pronounced.

This means the transition from the bridge of the nose to the forehead. The eyes are almond shaped and medium sized. They are one or two-tone blue, brown, or amber.
The triangular tipped ears are slightly rounded at the top. The breed standard does not allow standing or hanging ears.

Another characteristic feature is the shortened tail, also known as the natural bobtail (NBT). In some animals it is innate. However, in some countries where it is not illegal, breeders dock the tail afterwards.
Aussies have two layers of fur. The dense undercoat keeps you warm in wind and weather.

The top coat is of medium length, smooth to slightly wavy. Permissible coat colors are the basic shades of black, red, blue merle and red merle. In addition to the basic colors, there are variants with white and copper-colored markings. This results in a total of 16 different coat markings and color options.
Australian Shepherds are loyal, alert and smart.

As herding and cattle dogs, they had to master many commands and have stamina. These character traits distinguish him to this day. They are loyal and protective of their families. Due to their powers of observation and intelligence, they are able to assess situations.
The Aussie tends to think for himself.

If he doesn’t get a consistent education , he starts making his own rules. With good upbringing, he is otherwise obedient, friendly and sociable.
Problems with other dogs or excessive aggression look nothing like him. He may show herding or herding behavior towards other animals or children. As the owner, you have to work on this with him as early as possible.

A true working dog, the Australian Shepherd is active and willing to work. It demands a lot of attention and activity. Your urge to move is high, so a leisurely walk is not enough. If you want to do justice to a dog of this breed, you should plan several hours a day for your activity. Owners of this breed need to be extra creative and active.

The intelligent Aussie needs a lot of variety as they get bored easily. If boredom becomes too great, he will look for a job without being asked. This rarely corresponds to the ideas of the owner and makes living together more difficult. Owners should teach their dog to rest at an early age. Unchecked, the thirst for action can take over and can no longer be quenched.

Diet Australian Shepherd

The Aussie is a medium-sized dog. After that, the amount of food depends. With puppies, it is important to ensure that their energy intake is balanced. They need more energy because they are still growing. If the food is too high in energy, the puppies will grow too fast.

The skeleton of puppies is not stable enough at that age, which can lead to deformities.
Several factors go into determining how much food your puppy needs. Age, activity level, current weight and target weight. You can use the weight of the parents as a guide.
The feed should contain a lot of high-quality animal proteins and few carbohydrates .

Adequate intake of vitamins and minerals is just as important. For healthy bones, make sure your intake of calcium and phosphorus is balanced.
Similar rules apply to adult Aussies. The amount of food depends on the activity level, age and weight. Particularly active dogs or working dogs may eat more carbohydrates.

The Australian Shepherd does not tend to be overweight due to its above-average urge to move. Nevertheless, you should make sure you eat a healthy, balanced diet.
The Aussie cooperates willingly. He is happy about every new trick or a training session. But of course he’s not averse to a few treats as a reward.

You’ll have to deduct this later from the main feed so as not to overfeed it.
It is easy to see whether the Australian Shepherd’s diet is right. A healthy Aussie is active, energetic, and has a silky, shiny coat. Ribs and waist can be felt with hands but not stick out too much. In addition, defecation should be normal and problem-free.


The Australian Shepherd’s medium-length coat is easy to groom. Brushing the coat thoroughly once or twice a week is sufficient. This removes dead hair, dander, dust and dirt. This keeps the coat shiny and well-groomed. The Aussie’s coat must not be clipped.

This destroys the hair structure and makes it dull.
After every walk, you need to check the fur for ticks and parasites. They can easily hide in the dense fur. Checking and cleaning eyes, ears and paws are also part of the care program.
You can carefully remove dirt that collects on the edges of the eyes.

You should examine the eye for injuries or inflammation. With tilted ears, heat and moisture do not build up as much as with floppy ears. Nevertheless, you should check your ears regularly and carefully clean the auricles.
The paws can be stressed differently, depending on the ground on which he runs more often. It is therefore important to regularly check the paws and the length of the claws.

Sharp stones, branches and thorns can injure the paws. The injuries are often superficial but can be painful.
Dogs that don’t walk much on asphalt usually don’t use their claws sufficiently. If the claws get too long, they won’t be able to put their paws down properly. This leads to misalignments and problems when walking.

It is better to leave the cutting of the claws to a professional. Because blood veins run along the claws, which could easily be injured.


Despite the name, the breed is not originally from Australia, but rather the USA. The name probably derives from the livestock they had to tend. Because in the 19th century many Australians and Europeans came to America as farmers. The Australians brought their Merino sheep with them. In the USA they were therefore called Australian Sheeps.

The farmers needed a reliable dog that could herd the cattle and guard the farm. Here are the origins of the breed. The Australian Shepherd went unnoticed for a long time and was a pure working dog. That changed in the 1950s and 60s.
Farmer Jay Sisler presented his Australian Shepherds at a rodeo show.

The looks and the amazing tricks they performed wowed the audience. Before long, many wanted to keep the remarkable breed.
Sisler’s Aussies then became famous. They got their own TV show and starred in two Disney films. This is how the Shepherd made the leap from farm to family and companion dog.

The first studbook was created in Arizona in 1957. At that time there was only one official association for this dog breed in the USA. The International Australian Shepherd Association was founded in 1966. The national and international association later merged.
The Australian Shepherd was officially recognized as a breed much later.

The Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI) only accepted them as an independent breed in 1996. The Shepherds came to Europe in the 1970s. Since then, their popularity here has grown steadily.

Australian Shepherd Accessories

To groom your Aussie, you need a sturdy brush for medium-length fur and a pair of tick tweezers. It is even more important to provide the Australian Shepherd with adequate entertainment . He not only has a high urge to move, but also needs mental challenges. The worst thing for this breed is to get bored.
Frisbee and balls are a great way to satisfy your urge to move.

Various tricks and tricks are welcome. The imagination knows no limits. Australian Shepherds enjoy working with you and face every challenge with a lot of zeal. No task or challenge seems too big for you.
So-called strategy and logic games for dogs are also a great idea.

If the weather is bad or you don’t have much time, you can keep your dog busy with these games for a short time. Of course, exercise in the fresh air cannot replace this.
You should regularly come up with new games and exercises. Your shepherd will thank you with a balanced mind and contentment. Basically, the Aussie will happily accept any form of toy or exercise equipment.

6.6Expert Score
Breed characteristics

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