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Meet the Australian Shepherd

High Doggy I.Q.

Top Working Dog

Best Fur Friend

Looking for a highly trainable, super smart dog who is eager to please and loves to be put to work? Then you may just be the human for me! Whether it’s rounding up cattle or the kids for breakfast, learning wag-worthy tricks or how to be the best guide dog ever, I’m happiest when I have a job to do. It’s probably why I’m so into sports, and can fetch a flyball like it’s my job. And that’s not all!

I’m a loyal, loving family dog, who with a little training, can be a great playmate for kids and other pets (it may take me a hot sec with that feline that’s all RAWR! though). Just one thing! As a herding dog, I need lots of exercise and play to live my best life – bored Aussies can get a little bit naughty. But if you put in the work, I promise to make you happy every day that you did.

About Me

Personality

  • Intelligent
  • Loyal
  • Energetic

Group

  • Herding

Origin

  • United States

Life Span

  • 12-15 Years

AKC Breed Popularity

Height Range

  • 18-23 Inches

Weight Range

  • 40-65 Pounds

Coat Details

Type
    • Straight to Wavy
Features
    • Double Coat, Weather Resistant
Colors
  • Black, Red, Blue Merle or Red Merle +/- White Markings and/or Tan Points

Hypoallergenic

  • No

Cost to Buy

  • $400-$1,500

Lifetime Care Cost

pumpkin

Get the pet insurance all the Aussies are wagging about.

Fetch My Free Quote

My Many Looks

Black Tri

Blue Merle

Red Tri

Red Merle

My Breed Characteristics

Training Ability
Intelligence
Exercise Needs
Health Issues
Affection Level
Grooming Effort
Pet-Friendly
Shedding
Kid-Friendly
Barking

Furbulous Fact

Did you know that it’s common for Australian Shepherds to have two different colored eyes AKA a condition called heterochromia? Yep, we’re one of only a few breeds to claim this pawesome feature as our own. Possible eye color combos vary, and may include blue, brown, amber, hazel, and green!

As I Grow Up

As you can see, we Aussies age pretty gracefully. Here are a few key milestones in my growth & development to be aware of as I grow up from a pupper to an adult and senior!

Puppy4 Months

I’m ready for socialization classes & obedience training! (Just make sure I’ve had all my vaccines first, pawlease)!

Adult1.5 Years

I’m officially an adult AKA “mentally mature,” with the brainpower to outsmart many animals, including my human.

Senior9-10 Years

I’m over 60 in human years! Help me stay at the top of my game by scheduling vet check-ups every 6 months.

History of My Breed

Contrary to popular belief, my ancestors did not come from Australia. They actually came from the Pyrenees Mountains on the border of France and Spain AKA Basque country. Known as Pyrenean Shepherds, they were the prized herding dogs of the Basque sheepherders that lived there. In the 1800’s, these sheepherders got word that in the faraway land of Australia, there were pawsome pasturelands for cattle grazing to be claimed. Seizing the opportunity, they sailed across the ocean with their precious canine cargo. In Australia, these Pyrenean Shepherds were crossbred with fine British herding stock, like Border Collies and Collies. After the Basque sheepherders grew their flocks, they got wind of even greener pastures across the Pacific in California! Once again, they set sail for a new world with their canine companions.

California ranchers took a liking to the Basques’ herding dogs, and called them “Australian Shepherds,” falsely assuming they had originated in the land from which they came. Over the years, the Americans perfected the breed – and voilà, you have today’s Australian Shepherd. While Aussies continued to work on farms and ranches throughout the American West, they became super popular during America’s Cowboy culture boom in the 1950’s where they found new jobs in rodeos, horse shows – even starring in Hollywood movies! And in 1993, the Australian Shepherd was finally welcomed into the prestigious AKC Herding Group.

It didn’t take long for Americans to fall in love with our playful personality and fondness for snuggling (even if we do snore)! We’re also presidential pups! Both Gerald Ford and Warren G. Harding had boston terriers in the White House. To top it off, we’re also the mascot of Boston University and the official dog of Massachusetts.

Pawesome Pups to Parent

In addition to purebred Aussies like me, there are tons of pawfectly sweet mixed-breed Aussies that are looking to find their furever homes. You can learn where to find your next pet below!

Texas Heeler

Australian Shepherd
Australian Cattle Dog

Find One Near You

Border Aussie

Australian Shepherd
Border Collie

Find One Near You

Aussiedoodle

Australian Shepherd
Poodle

Find One Near You
1

Consider getting a DNA test for your new pet.

Talk to your vet about whether they recommend getting a DNA Test to check for potential hereditary conditions and breed-specific health issues. For example, the DNA test would check for a multidrug resistance gene mutation (MDR1) that causes many Aussies to have severe reactions to common medications (in addition to other things).

2

Get key health screenings your vet recommends.

In addition to yearly check-ups, vaccines and parasite prevention, ask your vet if your pet needs specific health screenings. For Australian Shepherds, this would likely include X-rays to screen for hip dysplasia and elbow dysplasia, along with a puppy eye exam (and regular eye exams moving forward) where a vet ophthalmologist would look at their overall eye health & development and check for signs of common genetic eye conditions, such as Distichia, Collie Eye Anomaly (CEA), and Cataracts.

3

Plan on AT LEAST 1-2 hours of exercise a day.

Aussies are a highly active, athletic breed that need a nutritious, well-balanced diet and plenty of physical activity to stay happy, healthy, and well-adjusted. A cooped-up Aussie can quickly turn into a bored, destructive Aussie. While it’s ideal to have a fenced-in yard where your pup can run and play, Aussies also do well with long walks, runs and hikes with their humans. They also LOVE task-driven sports, like flyball and agility training!

1

Don’t wait too long to socialize your pup.

Aussies are loyal and protective of their humans and turf, but can be weary and territorial around strangers if not properly socialized. As your pup is building up immunity during their initial vaccination series, you can start acclimating them to the outside world. At 16 weeks, your puppy will be vaccinated and ready to fully venture out. Whether you go to puppy classes, friends’ houses, or on walks down new streets, the more comfortable they are with new people, pets and places early on, the better they’ll adjust to them in the future.

2

Teach your Aussie how to control their impulses.

Aussies have a natural impulse to herd and may try to herd kids, other pets – even you! While you can’t change their urges, you can work on impulse control to help them direct their behaviors appropriately. For example, if your dog likes to jump up and grab the toy out of your hand or bolt out the door as soon as you open it, teach them to “sit” and “stay” until you queue them to take the toy or go outside, then reward them with treats and praise. Aussies are eager to please and excel with positive reinforcement.

3

Make sure you exercise your pup’s mind, too!

While physical activity is key to keeping energetic Aussies happy and well-behaved, so is mental stimulation. As smart working dogs, they’re happiest when they have a problem to solve or job to do. Keep them thinking with basic training, puzzle toys, and brain games. Finally, find a sport to do together that channels their herding instincts and challenges their mind, like flyball, treibball, disc dog, or agility training!

Why Get Dog Insurance? from Pumpkin®

While Australian Shepherds are a generally healthy breed, unexpected ruh-rohs can happen to any dog at any age. If your pup gets hurt or sick, pet insurance can help you say ‘yes’ to the best care, even when it’s costly. When it comes to shopping for your breed, you’ll want to choose an insurance like Pumpkin that covers hereditary conditions Aussies are prone to developing, and that can be costly to treat. While a reputable breeder will conduct genetic testing on your pup’s parents to help minimize the chances of passing down hereditary conditions – they can’t always be avoided. Let’s look at some common ones, and how Pumpkin Insurance could help cover the cost of care!

Hip Dysplasia

An orthopedic condition where the ball and socket of the hip joint don’t develop or work properly, leading to joint deterioration, pain, lameness, and/or arthritis. While mild cases can be managed with prescription meds and physical therapy, severe ones may require costly hip replacement surgery.

  • Pumpkin Pays Back*
  • $1,350-$6,300

Cataracts

Aussies are prone to many genetic eye conditions, including cataracts. These opacities that form on the lens of the eye can show up as early as age 2, or more commonly in aging adults. Depending on the rate of progression, vision impairment may be mild, or severe and call for costly surgery.

  • Pumpkin Pays Back*
  • $2,340-$3,420

Epilepsy

A neurological disorder, which can be genetic or acquired, that causes recurring seizures. Depending on the type, severity and frequency of the seizures, Anti-Epileptic Drugs may be prescribed to manage the condition. However, they can be expensive and cause side effects.

  • Pumpkin Pays Back*
  • $450-$5,400

Lymphoma

One of the most common cancers, this cancer of the white blood cells usually starts in the lymph nodes, spleen, or bone marrow. Common signs include tiredness, appetite & weight loss, and swelling of the face & legs. While potentially fatal, some forms of Lymphoma respond very well to chemo.

  • Pumpkin Pays Back*
  • $3,150-$4,050

*Sample shows 90% reimbursement of covered vet bill assuming $250 annual deductible has been met.

About Me

Personality

  • Intelligent
  • Loyal
  • Energetic

Group

  • Herding

Origin

  • United States

Life Span

  • 12-15 Years

AKC Breed Popularity

Height Range

  • 18-23 Inches

Weight Range

  • 40-65 Pounds

Coat Details

Type
    • Straight to Wavy
Features
    • Double Coat, Weather Resistant
Colors
  • Black, Red, Blue Merle or Red Merle +/- White Markings and/or Tan Points

Hypoallergenic

  • No

Cost to Buy

  • $400-$1,500

Lifetime Care Cost

pumpkin

Get the pet insurance all the Aussies are wagging about.

Fetch My Free Quote

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