Contrary to its name, the Australian Shepherd does not come from Australia.
The breed was developed in the United States but its origin seems to come from the Basque country.
It would have been created in the 1900's by farmers, whose goal was to obtain a dog capable of herding their livestock.
The dogs then arrived on Australian soil before continuing their way to the United States.
The French Kennel Club did not officially recognize the breed until 2007.
Character and behavior
The Australian Shepherd is a loyal dog, affectionate towards his masters. It can be very strong and is extremely active.
It is an agile and intelligent dog, which is very playful and sociable.
It is a dog with a great capacity of work which can be very versatile: it can be chosen to be a dog of shepherd, cattle, hunting or assistance.
With its enthusiasm, the Australian Shepherd requires good socialization and basic education at a very young age.
His origins and his sociability make him a dog that does not really like to be alone.
The Australian Shepherd is a medium-sized, well-proportioned dog.
Females can weigh between 19 and 26kg, while males can weigh up to 34kg for an average height at the withers of 46 to 58 cm.
Their body is slightly longer than high, they are generally muscular without being heavy.
Their semi-long coat is straight and slightly wavy so they are not affected by bad weather. The quantity of undercoat varies according to the seasons.
The official coat colors are: blue merle, black, red merle or red. The spots can be white or fawn. The white spots on the other hand must never be in majority on the coat.
The nose is black in black and blue merle dogs, it will be brown in dogs of other colors.
The eyes of the Australian Shepherd are generally almond-shaped, blue or brown.
They have a long muzzle, floppy ears and a straight tail.
The Australian Shepherd fits perfectly into a family life, as long as it can spend all its boundless energy during frequent and active outings.
In addition to physical exercise, it is necessary for the dog to have moments of mental exercise. Without sufficient mental expenditure, the dog can become unruly and develop undesirable behaviors.
If you enjoy jogging, biking, or dog sports, this is the perfect dog for you.
The breed is not known for excessive barking, but barking may occur in cases of boredom, stress or anxiety.
The Shepherd can totally cohabit with other dogs or cats, as long as he is accustomed to them young enough.
It is a dog that tolerates heat and cold thanks to its undercoat.
The Australian Shepherd does not require extensive maintenance. Outside of the seasonal shedding period (twice a year), a weekly brushing is sufficient to detangle the hair and remove dirt.
His semi-long coat makes him a dog that sheds accordingly.
In good health, it is a breed that does not cost much in care.
Like any dog, the Australian Shepherd requires a good quality and well-dosed food to allow him a good growth while avoiding the overweight.
The breed often has eye problems; retinal atrophy (which causes blindness), Collie eye abnormality (which causes visual discomfort), and juvenile cataracts (the latter can be detected through annual testing).
Polydactyly (extra fingers), syndactyly (fusion of two fingers) and deafness can also affect the breed.
Larger dogs can also be affected by hip and elbow dysplasia, as can any large or medium sized dog with rapid growth.
Some dogs may have insufficient pigmentation, which makes them sensitive to the sun.
The breed has become very popular and the Australian Shepherd has been elected favorite dog in France in 2021.
Its average life expectancy is 13 years.
This dog has a naturally short tail (10cm maximum), it can even be born without a tail, this being due to genetic selection.
The eyes of the Australian Shepherd can be walleyed and sometimes particolored (several colors in the same eye).
His little brother, called mini, of smaller size, was renamed American Shepherd.
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