Facts About Australian Shepherds
Australian Shepherd Size and Grooming Needs
Australian Shepherds are becoming a very popular breed of dog in America. People are beginning to notice their intelligence and loyalty. Aussies are working dogs and need about 30 minutes a day of hard exercise. After proper exercise they are perfectly content to hang around the house; however, without proper exercise, they can be very destructive. If you are willing to provide your dog with proper exercise every day and are looking for a smart, loyal dog, then an Australian Shepherd may be a good fit for you and your family.
Aussies are medium-sized dogs weighing anywhere from 40–70 pounds, with males weighing more than females on average. They live for 12–15 years on average. Because of their long coat, they do need some grooming. A simple brush a day should do, although some people prefer to shave their Aussie's long coat during the summer for shedding issues and to keep their dog cool. If you keep in Aussie indoors it is important to realize that vacuuming and sweeping will become part of your daily routine due to shedding!
Quick Breed Overview
Lifespan: 13 to 15 years
Weight: 35 to 70 pounds, males weigh more than females
Height: 18 to 21 inches tall
Coat colors: Black, Red Merle, Red tricolor, Merle, Red, Black tricolor, Blue Merle
Facts About Australian Shepherds
- Aussies come in four standard colors: blue merle, red merle, red, and black.
- Australian shepherds did not originate in Australia. They were originally bred in America and they got their name from their working relationships with herders who came from Australia.
- Most are medium-sized, however, there are miniature and teacup varieties.
- Australian shepherds need a job to do, even if it is getting the paper every day. Aussies are bred to herd, and if you don't give yours a job to do they will find one on their own. Inadequate mental stimulation and exercise cause destructive behavior and misbehaving.
- Australian shepherds love to be close to their family members. They will follow you everywhere, room to room, outside, and even to the bathroom. Having one can be like having a shadow, especially if you are your Aussie's "favorite person."
- Aussies are very agile. They excel in pet sports such as Frisbee, agility, and fly ball.
- They have a medium coat and may have either straight or wavy hair.
- Aussies can have either brown or blue eyes; it is not uncommon to see one with two different eye colors.
- The AKC officially added Australian shepherds to their list of recognized breeds in 1991.
- Australian shepherds are very shy, apprehensive dogs. Because of this, it is important to socialize your Aussie as a puppy and to expose them to as many people and situations as possible.
- The gene responsible for the signature merle coloration of some Australian shepherds' coats also carries a blind/deaf component. Because of this, it is paramount to obtain a puppy from a reputable breeder.
- Australian shepherds are extremely intelligent dogs and need to be trained from puppy-hood to curtail any mischievous behaviors before they begin to form.
- Litters usually range from six to nine puppies. The average number of puppies in a litter is seven.
- Australian Shepherd's are the 18th most popular dog breed according to the AKC. This ranking makes them more popular than dogs such as Pomeranians and Chihuahuas.
- Like other herding breeds the Australian Shepherd has strong instincts to bark although this can be overcome with proper training.
- Australian Shepherds coat can be either straight or wavy.
- While Aussies do well with other pets they may chase and nip them due to their herding instincts.
- With Australian Shepherds being such a popular dog breed reputable breeders are easy to locate in most areas. Due to the Australian Shepherds popularity if you purchase a dog from a breeder you will pay anywhere from $300 to $600 for a puppy.