Australian Shepherd The “Aussie"
The Australian Shepherd is an intelligent working dog with strong herding and guarding instincts. A loyal companion that has the stamina to work all day. The Aussie is medium sized, well balanced, slightly longer than tall, with a variety of colors and markings. Aussies are attentive, animated, agile, solid and muscular without being stocky. The coat is of medium length, smooth in texture so dirt doesn’t stick to it. The tail is generally natural bobbed or docked. As a working breed on farms and ranches, their tails are docked to avoid injury and to identify them as working dogs.
FULL BREED STANDARD
Height: 20-23 inches (male), 18-21 inches (female)
Weight: 50-65 pounds (male), 40-55 pounds (female)
Life Expectancy: 12-15 years
Group: Herding Group, entered in AKC in 1993
Standard Colors: Black, Blue Merle, Red, Red Merle
Standard Markings: White
Markings, Tan Points
Aussies exhibit an irresistible impulse to herd everything: birds, dogs, kids. Their strong work drive can be overwhelming for the average pet owner. Aussies are remarkably intelligent, and often quite capable of fooling and training an unsuspecting novice owner. These dogs need a job to do, they are not going to be a “couch potato”. In short, this isn’t the pet for just anyone. If you’re looking for a smart, tireless, and trainable partner for work or sport, this is the dog for you.
The Australian Shepherd breed began with the European breed, Pyrenean Shepherd, ancestor of our modern Aussie. This breed traveled through Australia, breeding with Australia’s British imports, Collies and Border Collies, and others. Landing in California where they were perfected into a lean and tough ranch dog. The Aussie's popularity boomed with Western culture and horse-riding after WWII when they were often featured in rodeos, horse shows, movies, and TV.
Shepherds are still happily herding in the American West. While others of this
extremely versatile breed enjoy working as therapy dogs, drug detectors,
service dogs, and search-and-rescue dogs. Many Aussies and their owners are currently
enjoying such interactive sports as Dock Diving and agility trials.