Australian Shepherd

Description

The most distinctive features of the Australian Shepherd are its combination-colored coat that usually bares an all-white chest and its bobtail. Like most shepherd dogs, its body is medium-size and extends longer than it is tall. This coupled with its strong hindquarters enables the dog to move with quickness and speed; something that is required of shepherd dogs. The head is comparable in size to the rest of its body. There is a definite stop and the eyes are shaped like almonds. The mask usually consists of the colors that make of the majority of the coat elsewhere on the body. The coat tends to be closer to the body on the head.

Temperament

Aggression in an Australian Shepherd is considered a disqualification. However, this is not a fearful dog. It is easy going and energetic, but will guard its family. It is intelligent and thus training usually produces positive results. The herding instincts may cause it to lightly bite family members. This is what it is bred to do to stubborn cattle and so it is one behavior that may prove difficult to eliminate. The good news about this behavior is that it is coupled with the dogтАЩs natural desire to protect its family. They are regarded as aloof, but enjoy interacting with family members.

Height and Weight

Height: 18-23 inchesWeight: 35-65 pounds

Health Problems

Like most dogs, the Australian Shepherd is prone to develop hip dysplasia. Although the occurrences are limited, genetic health conditions associated with Australian Shepherd include eye defects, epilepsy, heart disease, cancer, and allergies.

Ideal Living Conditions

Outdoor life, particularly working to herd livestock, is the best for the Australian Shepherd. However, a home with a very large yard for them to run in is sufficient.

Exercise

An Australian Shepherd in a working environment will obtain sufficient exercise. Types that do not reside in a working environment are in the greatest need of exercise. A vigorous walk or run, or any other intense form of exercise is best to maintain its strong body.

Life Expectancy

An average of 14 years life expectancy

Litter Size

An average of 7 puppies

Grooming

The greatest grooming concerns with the Australian Shepherd are the coat becoming matted or tangled. The best way to prevent this from happening is to brush the coat at least once a week. The coat will shed at least once during the year. More brushing is required during this time. Its toenails can become a nuisance. Trimming them is a good idea as part of the grooming plan.

Origin

Despite the implications of its name, North America is generally considered the area where the Austrian Shepherd

Group

Working

Color

The Australian Shepherd typically has a patchwork coat of blue, red, or black; sometimes with minimal patches of white or tan.