The Australian Shepherd
Vital Stats of Australian Shepherds
The following are vital stats of Australian Shepherds:
- Dog breed group: Herding
- Height: 18 to 23 inches at the shoulder
- Weight: 35 to 65 pounds
- Lifespan: 12 to 16 years
Physical Characteristics of Australian Shepherds
This dog breed has a muscular body and an athletic appearance. It has a medium=sized body, which is a bit longer than it is tall. Therefore, it is capable of moving very quickly. The Australian Shepherd can also change speeds and direction effortless and in a graceful manner.
Not only is the Australian Shepherd courageous, confident and responsive, this breed has tremendous stamina. Be aware, as this breed is common to nip at small animals or children.
Australian Shepherds have a weather-proof double coat of medium texture. The outer coat can be found in a variety of colors, and is either straight or wavy.
Care of Australian Shepherds
If you have a yard, make sure you also have a secure fence so that you’re Aussie can’t dig under or jump over. Underground electronic fencing will not work for this breed. This is because he has a desire to go out and herd something and will overcome any concern he might have about getting a mild shock. For this same reason, make sure to walk your Australian Shepherd on a leash unless you are willing to train him to resist his urges.
This breeds need a half hour to an hour of stimulating activity every day. This include such as run, a Frisbee game or obedience or agility exercises. When you are not playing with your dog, puzzle toys are a great way to keep that active mind occupied.
Health of Australian Shepherds
Aussies are typically healthy breeds. However, similar to all breeds, they are prone to certain health conditions. This may include the following;
- Hip dysplasia
- Elbow dysplasia
- Osteochondrosis Dissecans (OCD)
- Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA)
- Collie Eye Anomaly (CEA)
- Persistent Pupillary Membranes (PPM)
- Drug sensitivity
- Detached retina
History of Australian Shepherds
The Australian Shepherd is, in fact, not Australian at all. According to a popular theory, the Basques herders who emigrated to Australia in the 19th century brought their sheep and their sheepdogs, some of which were Australian Shepherd dogs, with them. Others believe the guardian breed, which is known for its versatility, originates from Turkey more than 5,000 years ago.
However, what is certain is that the Australian Shepherd Club of America was established in 1957. This breed soon adapted themselves to the harsh conditions of the United States; some were even featured in film or used as trick dogs in rodeos. In 1993, the American Kennel Club formally recognized the breed.
For more information on the Australian Shepherd or other dog breeds, don’t hesitate to contact us here at All Pets Veterinary Medical Center with the link below!