Also Know as:

Aussie, Little Blue Dog.



Origin: United States

Type: Pure Breed

Height: 18 to 23 inches

Weight: 40 to 65 pounds

Life Expectancy: 12 to 15 years


Aussies are naturally energetic dogs, they require lots of exercising and always need a job to do. They were used to herd livestock in the past and the same instinct runs in them even to this present day. They love being involved in some form of mental activity, whether learning a new trick or competing in some form of sporting activity, their attention is always razor-sharp. Even with their hyperactive nature, they are known to be very faithful dogs, very sweet, affectionate, and surprisingly good with children. Although their hyperactive nature may cause them to nip at a kid or family member, this is done because of their protective nature. They are known to be good watchdogs. Not a noisy dog by nature, you will hear them bark more as a warning to a perceived stranger or intruder to the pack or family. They are highly intelligent dogs, and this characteristic makes them easy to train. They naturally love to play, this also means that they can get bored very easily and if they feel neglected, can involve themselves in activities which you are likely not to approve of like digging or destruction of property in their bid to be engaged.

Having said all this, the Australian Shepherd will do well only in a situation where his pack or household is very invested in terms of time to his or her day to day activities. If you cannot do this, it is always better to look for a breed that will suit your daily tempo.


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There is a noticeable difference in height and weight between the male and female Aussie. The male is about 20 to 23 inches in height and 50 to 65 pounds in weight, while the female is 18 to 21 inches in height and 40 to 55 pounds in weight.

They also come in different colors: black, blue merle, red and red merle. All these colors can occur with or without white markings, tan points, or both. When they occur with white markings or tans, they are usually called tricolor dogs.

Their tails can be a bit confusing, the norm is for Aussies to have short bobbed or docked tails. This can occur naturally or be done by their breeders in countries where this is allowed. That being said, you can still get Aussies with full long tails.



The Australian Shepherd as a dog does not have stringent requirements in terms of feeding, any high-quality dog food whether prepared at home or manufactured commercially will do wonders for the dog. The watchword as with every dog food is high quality. A cup of dry food per meal, twice a day should suffice. Treats are also a welcome addition for these dogs, but be on the watch out for weight issues and ration their meals accordingly. Also make sure to have clean, fresh water available to them at all times. A normal active Australian Shepherd would drink lots of water. You can always discuss with your vet doctor to address any challenges you may have, especially if you are preparing the food at home and need some clarifications on what you are doing.
Although the Australian shepherd has lots of hair, they are known to shed them moderately. Usually not more than twice yearly (one in the spring and the other in the fall season). Having that in mind, grooming an Aussie should not be daunting. Remember, we said the Aussie sheds their hair moderately, which means they still shed their hair and need it to be brushed regularly. It is also advisable to reduce the frequency of bathing for example, once a month or anytime they get dirty. This is not the standard but should serve as a guide. Use the bathing period to give them a complete grooming package. That includes but is not limited to warm baths, shampooing, and blow-drying. Active Aussies always tend to wear down their nails, but still, it won't cost you anything to always check up on them. Aside from all these, you can keep their ears clean and maintain a regular dental routine to help in their overall wellness.
Australian Shepherds are loads of fun to train. They are intelligent and quickly catch on to new tricks and commands being taught. But even with this advantage, it is always better to have them socialized early. Also doing obedience training for them as puppies can help to rein them in more properly. This is because the Australian Shepherd has limitless energy and are territorial by nature. Getting to control these two aspects of them early enough will give you a dog that is well mannered and ready to learn any other activity you see fit. Want a dog that can perform outstandingly well in games and sport, agility competitions, herding, etc.? The Aussie is the dog for you. If circumstances brought an Aussie to you at a later stage in his or her life. All you need to do is to allocate time daily to bring them up to standard. Their intelligence would carry them along in ways that would delight you.
The Australian Shepherd breeds are known for their high energy and athletism therefore requiring rigorous exercising. Having a fenced-in yard or an area where the Aussie can run around for an hour or two daily is enough to keep them fit and sane. If you are one who likes to run daily, take long walks around your neighborhood, bike, or even go for a hike, then the Aussie is a perfect companion for you. This need for exercising gets more obvious as they leave the puppy stage. To get the most out of your Aussie, give them some sort of job like shepherding kids or herding livestock. These jobs keep them mentally active and physically okay. Remember that our Aussies like a challenge so any sort of adventure or travel is very welcome to them. It's worth mentioning that if they are not exercised properly they end up being restless, annoying, and worse still destructive.
The main health concern with Australian Shepherd is that of inheriting the merle gene from both parents which would make them prone to ear and eye problems. Apart from this, there is no other major health problem with these dogs. Having said that, a responsible Dog breeder that follows the standards set by kennel clubs is not likely to have this problem. Having said that, you should schedule a checkup for your Assie (if you haven't already done so) for the conditions below and be on the watch out for any signs of these as they grow. The conditions are Cataracts, Epilepsy, and Hip Dysplasia.


The Australian Shepherd as is fondly called strangely does not originate from Australia. The breed as is known and loved today originated from California, United States. Even at that, the Australian Shepherd has an interesting story.

In the Mid-1700s European farmers returning from the American region by sea came to settle in the borderlands between Spain and France. Here they engaged in their farming practice and produced a herding dog called the Pyrenean Shepherd which was the predecessor to the modern Aussie.

A century later, Australian immigrants coming to Europe because of the vast pastureland available for cattle ranching came to settle around this region, their they came to love and adopt these dogs from the native Basques in the region to help them herd and protect their cattle.

As time went on, the Basque native because of interactions with the Australian, fell in love with the way the dogs were used as watchdogs, herders, and faithful companions. They also started migrating east towards the Australian continent seeking lands of their own for farming fortune and prosperity, by now the dogs were already tagged Australian Shepherd dogs due to how the Australian migrants used them.

During this migration and settlement in Australia, the Aussie came to be more refined as they were crossbred with the Collies and Border Collies in these regions. After building up a form in these areas, some of the Basques decided to leave Australia to go to America all in the search for greener pastures.

In America, the ranchers in California came to admire and desire the Aussies due to their abilities as herding dogs. By then the name Australian Shepherd dogs had stuck to them. The ranchers adopted them and used them well as herding dogs, so much that Aussies became part of their cowboy culture. Even to date, the Australian Shepherd is used in the western parts of America for herding purposes. But due to their intelligence and versatile nature you will find them being used as service dogs, search and rescue dogs, drug detector dogs, and even more so as therapy dogs.

In the 1950’s there popularity shot up significantly when Disney used them in the film “Run Appaloosa Run” and they also started featuring as performing dogs in Rodeo. It wasn’t until 1993 that the Australian Shepherd was recognized as a herding dog by the American Kennel Club.