Australian Shepherd general information

Australian Shepherd general information


These canines are medium-sized and have a low gravity.

They range in height from 18-23 inches and weigh 40 - 60 pounds. Males are often taller and heavier. Australians live 10-12 years.

A rich, medium-length coat with straight or somewhat wavy hair. Their legs are feathered and their mane is long. A blue or red merle coat with whitish and/or tan markings is common. Tails longer than 4 inches are sometimes docked.

Many ideas exist on how the Australian Shepherd was created. The Aussie's forebears likely included collie or shepherd-type dogs transported with sheep from Australia in the 1840s, hence the name. A versatile, hardworking, and clever canine was sought by breeders.

Australian Shepherd general information

Post-war popularity boomed along with a growing interest in Western-style equestrian riding. The athletic canines working with the cowboys impressed crowds at rodeos, horse events, and western movies and TV shows. Despite widespread interest, the AKC didn't recognize the breed until 1993.

Before digging into the specifics, have a look at the introduction to the Australian Shepherdcommunity by proud dog parent. When you join the group, you'll get freebies and the most up-to-date information on canines. To join, simply fill out the application at the bottom of this page.


Male Australian Shepherds stand 20 to 23 inches in height at the shoulder, females 18 to 21 inches. Males weigh 50-65 pounds, females 40-55 pounds.

You may notice commercials for dogs termed teacup, little, or mini Australian Shepherds. True Australian Shepherd owners don't acknowledge these dogs. The breed is intended to be a working dog competent of herding strong cattle for kilometers in rugged terrain or snowdrifts.


The major role in the home can be taken by Australian Shepherds bred to be forceful with animals. This makes them unsuitable for new or hesitant owners.

Australian Shepherds are, like so many herding dogs, loyal to the family but wary of outsiders. They require early socialization – exposure to a wide range of people, sights, noises, and experiences.

Socialization ensures a well-rounded Aussie puppy. Enroll him in a dog kindergarten class. Taking him to crowded parks, dog-friendly stores, and on slow strolls will help him develop social skills.


They're generally healthy, although like any breed they can get sick. Even if your Aussie doesn't develop any of these ailments, it's good to know about them.

If you're adopting a puppy, ask the breeder to show you both parents' health certifications. Dogs with health clearances have been tested and cleared of a specific condition. 

It is a heritable disorder where the femur does not fit securely into the pelvic socket. Hip dysplasia can be symptomatic or non-clinical. Some dogs have pain and lameness in their hind legs. Arthritis can occur as dogs age. 

Deafness: Deafness is widespread in this breed which can be problematic. Medication and surgery can help some forms of deafness, but deafness is usually incurable. There are several solutions available, including such vibratory collars, to making life simpler with a deaf dog. If your Aussie has hearing loss or is completely deaf, consider whether you have the tolerance, time, or capacity to care for him. Regardless of your choice, notify the breeder.

OsteochondrosisDissecans : This ortho ailment occurs as in elbows, but has also been seen in shoulders. It creates a painful stiffness of the joint, preventing elbow flexion. It can be found in puppies aged four to nine months. Overfeeding "growth formula" dog food or high-protein diets may help.

Progressive Retina Atrophy (PRA): This degenerative eye illness causes blindness by destroying photoreceptors in the retina. PRA can be detected years first before dog becomes blind. Blind dogs can live a happy and fulfilled life using their other abilities to compensate for their blindness. Just don't habitually rearrange the furnishings. Reputable Aussie breeders get their dogs' eyes examined annually and do not breed diseased dogs.

Cataracts are opacities on the eye lens that impair vision. The dog's eye(s) will be clouded. Cataracts are common in older dogs and can be removed surgically to improve vision.

Distichiasis occurs when an extra row of eyelashes (distichia) grows on the dog's oil gland and protrudes along the edges of the eyelid. This strains the eye, causing squinting or rubbing (s). Distichiasis is surgically treated by freezing the extra eyelashes and removing them. Cryoepilation is a sort of general anesthetic surgery.

Hypothyroidism occurs when the thyroid gland's hormone production is unusually low. Infertility is a modest symptom. Obesity, cognitive dullness, lethargy, drooping eyelids, low energy, and erratic heat cycles are visible indicators. In addition to losing its fur, the dog's skin becomes harsh and black. Chronic hypothyroidism requires daily medicine for the rest of the dog's life. A dog on daily thyroid medication can have a happy life.

Drug Sensitivity: Responsiveness to some medicines is widely seen in herd breeds, especially Australian Shepherds & Collies. It is caused by mutations in the MDR1 gene, which produces P-glycoprotein. This protein acts as a valve to remove toxins from the body, preventing hazardous effects. Drug Sensitivity dogs lack this gene, resulting in toxicity. In addition to Ivermectin, dogs with this mutation may be susceptible to other medicines, such as chemotherapy treatments. Severe hypersalivation might lead to coma or death. There is no real cure, but a modern gene test can detect dogs with this defective gene. All Aussies should be screened.

Cancer: Dogs, like people, can get it. There are several types of cancer, and the outcome of treatment varies. Tumors are physically removed in some cancers, chemotherapeutically treated in others, and medically managed in others.


If you have a yard, install a sturdy fence that the Australian can't dig under it or jump over. E-fences in the ground simply will not work for this Your Aussie's drive to go out there and herd anything will outweigh any fear of a little shock. But if you're willing to practice him to reject his cravings, keep him on leash.

Every day, give your Aussie a half-hour to a hourly of stimulating activities like a run, Frisbee, obedience, or agility. Since you're not interacting with the dog, puzzle toys like Buster Cubes keep your mind busy.

Australian Shepherd general information 2

Puppies don't need that much activity as adults, and you should never let them run on concrete or leap until they're a year old. In addition, it may create future joint difficulties.

It's good for herding but bad for people and other pets. Obedience classes can help control your Aussie's herding instincts while also satisfying his mental and physical needs.

Aussies react well to positive reinforcement training methods such as praising, play, and food, and are generally very happy to obey their trainer's directions. That way they can execute their work well.


1.5 to 2.5 cups high-quality dry food every day, split into two meals.

Size, age, build, digestion, and activity level all influence how much the adult dog eats. Like people, dogs are unique and require different amounts of food. A extremely active dog will obviously require more than just a fat lazy dog.

The better the pet food, the less you'll need to stir into the dog's dish.

Keep the Aussie in shape by feeding it twice a day and weighing his kibble. If you're doubtful, give it the eye and hand tests.

Look at him first. You should notice a waist. Lie on his back, fingers along his spine, fingers stretched downward. You should sense but not see the ribs without pressing hard. If you can't, eat less and exercise more.

What are the most common health problems in Australian Shepherds? 

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