Australian pastor

The Australian Shepherd or Australian Shepherd Dog breed is very common to be confused with the Australian Mountain Dog, due to its similar name and its similar activities. These beautiful dogs, despite their name, do not come from Australia, but that is where the breed was best known, which is why its nomenclature. In this article you will find the answer to the question What is an Australian Shepherd like? as for the history, physical characteristics and temperament and the basic care in case they decide or have an Australian Shepherd breed dog.

History and origin of the Australian Shepherd

The beginnings of this beautiful breed of Australian Shepherd, its English name Australian Shepherd, date back to the 19th century, in the Pyrenees region, as the Bernese Mountain Dog (between the current France and Spain). The shepherd families of this area migrated to Australia, taking their dogs with them. Once in Australian territory, they mixed with Collies from the region, creating an "evolution" in the breed. By the second half of the 19th century, a large number of these dogs were introduced to the United States of America (especially the California region), primarily for the care of sheep. 

In 1957 it was founded in the breed's breeders' club in the USA Its versatility has given it popularity and recognition, currently it is used for many tasks such as rescue, the help of deaf-mute people or searching for drugs.

You can carry out practically any task assigned to you, showing a lot of dedication and stubbornness. Lately, it has even gained a lot of popularity in skills contests.

General characteristics of the Australian Shepherd

The Australian Shepherd dog breed according to the FCI classifications is cataloged within Group 1: Sheepdogs and Cattle Dogs (except Swiss Cattle Dogs). Section 1: Sheepdogs. They are dogs and they are also classified as medium breed dogs, however some specimens may seem larger since they can weigh more than 30 Kilograms; weight by which it begins to be a large breed according to the FCI.

Australian Shepherd Body

The body of the Australian Shepherd is longer than it is tall, it has a slightly descending straight upper line. The tail is short by nature, although in some countries amputation is usually practiced (many countries prohibit this practice due to the possible problems it can cause). Their chest is deep and they have a belly that is slightly tucked up. As for his limbs, they are straight and firm, with an excellent angle that favors his joints. Their legs are compact and oval, they have a strong neck and a large muscle mass that is slightly rounded.

Australian Shepherd Head

Its head is robust, it has a flat skull with a slight curve. It is almost the same length as its snout. Their ears are medium in size, triangular in shape and hang to the sides. Their eyes are slanted and almond-colored in most cases, although it is also common for them to have blue-amber eyes when the specimens are blue-black. To finish describing the head area, we only need to talk about its teeth, which are scissor-shaped.

How much should an Australian Shepherd weigh?

The average weight of these dogs ranges between 16 kilograms and 25 kilograms in females and between 25 kilograms and 32 kilograms in males. However, there may be a few kilograms less or more and it will still be a correct weight for the Australian Shepherd dog breed.

How tall does an Australian Shepherd get?

Their height or height ranges between 51 centimeters and 58 centimeters in males and between 43 centimeters and 53 centimeters in females. However, the ideal height in the male of this breed is between 53 centimeters and 57 centimeters; while for the female it oscillates between 46 centimeters and 51 centimeters.

What is the coat of an Australian Shepherd like?

The Australian Shepherd's coat is waterproof and of medium length. It can be smooth and sometimes have slight undulations. The lower layer of hair is extremely dense and its thickness will vary depending on the climate in which it is found or the time of year.

Australian Shepherd colors

There are a lot of colors typical of Australian Shepherds. The most common or by which we most often identify it is the blue blackbird. But we can also see specimens of various types of brown and black, and even some red. Sometimes these dogs have some white spots.

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Temperament Australian Shepherd

The Australian Pasture breed of dogs are dogs of good temperament, they are extremely intelligent and active, but also very protective and affectionate. In this section we will divide the Australian Shepherd's temperament into two stages, about its character and how it behaves.

How is the character of the Australian Shepherd?

The Australian Shepherd has a high level of intelligence that, added to his will to learn and his sagacity, make him an incredible and unforgettable dog. It is usually constantly alert and watching although it does not usually bark much. If he barks, it is for something he considers unknown or for a danger.

How does an Australian Shepherd behave?

As for the behavior of the Australian Shepherd, it is a dog that can be easily described by its loyalty and has a greater bond with the rest with the family and the one it considers its master. It is tireless, its resistance is one of the best, which makes it an excellent dog for work and a dog that will have to dedicate a lot of time a week to exercise.

It is a sociable dog by nature and not only with humans, it also gets along well with other pets and even with other dogs. It is not essential to be raised with other animals to be able to accept them. He gets along excellently with children and may be somewhat shy when strangers come home.

As with any dog, despite how sociable it is, it still requires a socialization process to avoid being excessively reserved.

How to train an Australian Shepherd?

As for the training of the Australian Shepherd, being an intelligent and willing breed it is not difficult to train and train. They are usually characterized by quick but precise learning of a great variety of activities and a greater dynamism than most dogs. If his master does not propose an activity or a game, the Australian Shepherd will look for it on his own and will not consider how convenient this activity is.

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First steps of the Australian Shepherd

The big question from first-time users of an Australian Shepherd is: What are the first steps like? Do they adapt quickly to the home? How do I teach them to relieve themselves in the right place?

Well, let's answer them all. The first thing to keep in mind is that whether you obtain a recently weaned puppy or adopt an adult specimen, it will take time to adapt and it is impossible to know how much. But it will be much faster for the dog, if you and your family give love and patience. It is essential to avoid negative challenges, as these can influence the character and sensitivity of the animal.

Fortunately, this breed is characterized by being very intelligent and learning fast, so it is very likely that the adaptation will last a few weeks. Always try to make the orders clear and, if possible, give him some kind of reward (a greeting, a toy, a canine treat). As for how to teach him to relieve himself, we recommend using canine training towels, which are very useful and help our pet learn faster. We leave you the following note: canine training towels, in which we explain how they work step by step.

Cleanliness Australian Shepherd

The Australian Shepherd requires greater care than many breeds due to its abundant amount of hair. With a weekly brushing it should be enough to keep its coat in optimal condition, although in shedding periods it is recommended to do two and up to three weekly brushings. These brushings will ensure that there are no hairs all over the house. It is also good to bear in mind that a warm bath every two or three months is very good, especially during the molting season.

How to train or train an Australian Shepherd?

As for the exercise of an Australian Shepherd, as we have said previously, it is a dog that has a high energy level. Therefore, it is a dog that is ideal for sporty families who go out for a bike ride, go for a run or do other outdoor activities for a good period of time.

These shepherds will not settle for 2 or 3 daily outings of 15 minutes, in this aspect they demand a lot of time or, failing that, a home with a park and even animal company so that they can run, play, jump and burn energy.

Recommended diet for an Australian Shepherd

One of the most common questions when having a dog of this beautiful breed is how much does an Australian Shepherd eat? What to feed him? How many times a day?. So here in a brief summary we will answer these three important questions.

It is recommended that the Australian Shepherd be fed about 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 cups of dry quality feed or dog food twice a day. The amount of what you eat will depend on the size of the dog, its age and how much activity it performs. So if he is a puppy, he will eat more, because he must expend all the energy that this dog has. Added to this, giving him a good quality of dog food is important, as it will give him more nutrients and carbohydrates so that he has more energy still, he is a healthier dog and with an incredible coat. Therefore, quality is extremely important, and it will make a difference in your life, regardless of the smell you may have in your mouth from poor quality food.

We recommend that you measure the food that is given to this breed of dog; In case there is food left over, it is important to remove it from your reach immediately, as this will avoid eating too much and thus overweight the dog.

In any case, it is always recommended that you approach your trusted veterinarian and the one who will take care of your dog's health. He will tell you exactly how healthy and weight he is, how much your dog should eat based on his age, weight, size and physical activity.

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Health and frequent illnesses Australian Shepherd

Although it is a fairly healthy and healthy breed, it has some hereditary eye diseases, such as CEA (Collie Eye Anomaly) or cataracts. Also some specimens of these dogs have presented other diseases such as hip dysplasia, epilepsy or inactive thyroid glands. 

The most advisable thing is that before any symptom or complication, illness or difficulty in taking any action, take it to the vet; Beyond this, for the Australian Shepherd to have a good quality of life, it is necessary to take it at least once a year to the animal health specialist to avoid any type of problems or take the necessary measures in time.

How long does an Australian Shepherd live?

As we said before, the Australian Shepherd dog breed enjoys good health and excellent quality of life, which is why it is considered a long-lived breed of dog, since its life expectancy ranges between 13 and 15 years of age. This amount of years does not depend only on going to the vet once a year as we recommend, to avoid any type of problems or diseases; It also depends on the exercise that the dog performs and a good diet or diet to follow.

Uses of the Australian Shepherd breed

As for the canine sports that this breed can do, being so versatile and intelligent there are many. From agility sports to sports related to catching objects in flight and obedience.

Curiosities of the Australian Shepherd breed

A curious fact about this breed is that many believe that its name derives from Australia. The reality is that his country of origin is the United States.

The color of their fur is also unusual, which helps many of their owners to spot them at great distances. Recently, to adapt the breed to a more "domestic" environment, a miniature version, called the "Mini-Aussie", has been created which presents the same characteristics, but in a more suitable size for urban life.

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