Description: The Australian Shepherd is a well-traveled breed: it originally came to Australia from Spain and Andorra. The Basque herders left the area to seek their fortunes in Australia where land was plentiful and appropriate for sheep ranching. The herders took their dogs with them where they continued to prove their excellence as a herding dog for all types of livestock.
The breed came to the United States when Americans heard of the quality of wool of the Australian sheep and began to buy them; imports were often accompanied by the smart, little blue dog. The tail of the Australian Shepherd is short: the pups are either born with naturally bobbed tails, or breeders dock them shortly after birth, although many fanciers no longer agree with this practice. As can be expected, this naturally, hard-working dog needs plenty of exercise.
Height: The height for an Australian Shepherd is between 20 – 23″ (50.8 – 58.4cm)
Weight: The weight for an Australian Shepherd is between 35 – 70 lbs (15.6 – 31.2 kg)
Coat Type: The Australian Shepherd’s coat is of medium-length and requires minimal grooming. Colors include black, red, blue merle or red merle and may have white or tan markings.
Temperament: The Australian Shepherd is intelligent and protective; it is capable of herding and guarding all types of livestock. The Australian Shepherd is also a loyal and faithful family pet.
Health Problems: There are several eye problems which can affect Australian Shepherds which are genetic and appear to be related to merle breeding, problems such as Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA) which leads to blindness, Collie Eye Anomaly (CEA). Since these problems can be detected early, CERF certification should be done.
AKC: Group 7 – Herding Dogs
CKC: Group 7 – Herding Dogs
KC: Non-Sporting – Working Group
FCI: Not recognized
ANKC: Group 5 – Working Dogs