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Australian Shepherd

Australian Shepherd - Encyclopedia of Dog Breeds

Australian Shepherd : Encyclopedia of Dog Breeds; Australian Shepherd Ratings: - Ease of Training: 9 /10 - Intelligence: 9 /10 - Shedding: 8 /10 - Watchdog: 6 /10 - Guard Dog: 2 /10 - Popularity: 8 /10 - Size: 5 /10 - Agility: 8 /10 - Good with Kids: 10 /10 Australian Shepherd Attributes: Life Expectancy: 12-15 ... Australian Shepherd


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Australian Shepherd

Australian Shepherd

Australian Shepherd

Australian Shepherd Ratings:

- Ease of Training: 9/10
- Intelligence: 9/10
- Shedding: 8/10
- Watchdog: 6/10
- Guard Dog: 2/10
- Popularity: 8/10
- Size: 5/10
- Agility: 8/10
- Good with Kids: 10/10

Australian Shepherd Attributes:

Life Expectancy: 12-15 years
Litter Size: 6 - 9 puppies - Average is about 7
Group: Livestock/Herding; The Herding Group.
Recognized By: CKC, FCI, AKC, UKC, ANKC, NKC, NZKC, APRI, ACR
Color: Blue merle, red merle, black, and red. Each of these colors may also have tan points on the eyebrows, cheeks, and/or legs; thus also creating a black tri and red tri color variations.
Hair Length: Medium
Size: Medium
Shedding: Moderate Shed
Male Height: 20-23 inches at the withers
Male Weight: 50-65 pounds
Female Height: 18-21 inches at the withers
Female Weight: 40-55 pounds
Living Area:
Not recommended for living in the city. They need a large fenced in yard and open country.
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Complete information about Australian Shepherd Breed:


Overview :

Sometimes referred to as "ghost eye", the eyes can either be green, hazel, amber, brown, or blue. They may also have bi-colored eyes (each eye is a different color), split eyes (eye is half-green, half-brown), or merled eyes (one color is mixed in and swirled with another); any of these colors are accepted. The eyes should be expressive, almond-shaped, and well-defined. Their eye rim color is vital in avoiding flying hooves, as it absorbs sunlight and reflects the suns' rays away from the eyes; black and liver rims are best. Blue merles, blacks, and black-tri colored dogs will usually have black noses, while the red merles, reds, and red-tri colored dogs, will have liver noses. Merles are allowed small pink spots on their nose, but must not make up more than 25%. The skull ranges from flat to slightly domed shaped with a well-defined stop. The length and width should be equal, with the overall size in proportion to the rest of the body. The ears should be triangular in shape, and rounded at the tip; they should be long enough for the tips to reach the inside corner of the eye. Teeth are to meet in either a scissors or level bite. The tail can either be straight, docked, or naturally bobbed; it should be no more than 4 inches long. Since tails are docked anyways, they are not necessarily breed for, which can result in having puppies born with wide varieties of tail length. Breeders will usually dock tails at 2-3 days of age. The shoulders are well laid back, long, and flat, and lay fairly close to the withers. The neck is slightly arched of medium length, well set into the shoulders in proportioned to the body. The chest is long and deep, with well-sprung ribs that help increase lung capacity. The topline is flat and level. The front legs should be strong, straight, and oval-shaped. Removal of dewclaws on the front legs are optional, but must be removed from the rear legs; this is done between 2-3 days of age as well. The feet are oval shaped, compact, with well-arched toes; the pads should be black or liver.

Australian Shepherd History :

The Australian Shepherd was developed in the 19th and earlier 20th centuries, in western North America. It is unclear to where the name "Australian" came from, other than the only dogs coming from Australia were merle in color. European settlers immigrating to the United States brought over many herding breeds to take care of the livestock. Breeds thought to be used in the makeup of the breed include the: English Shepherd, Dorset Blue Shag, Cumberland Sheepdog, Scottish Collie, Glenwherry Collie, Bouvier des Flandres, and the Welsh Sheepdog. It is believed that most of the dogs that contributed to the breed came from Great Britain and Scotland. It wasn't until later on, that shepherds began to breed dogs that excelled in watching the flock and weathered well in the area; other than at random. Those that worked well in hot and cold climates, as well as being tough enough to work cattle unaccustomed to dogs, were used for breeding. After World War II, they were used regularly in Western movies, television shows, and in rodeos. They soon became a popular addition to farms and ranches.

Australian Shepherd Temperament and Character :

The Australian Shepherd is a highly intelligent, active dog. Though somewhat shy around strangers, they are good natured and delightful companions. Because of their love for play, they make great family dogs, always wanting to be in the midst of their family. They are great with children, though some may try to herd them by nipping at their heels; this can be prevented with proper training. These loyal companions are eager to please and never want to leave your side; the term "Velcro dog" comes to mind. They form powerful bonds with their people, which can sometimes lead them to be very protective and territorial of their families' possessions. Courageous, yet affectionate, this breed is highly versatile in adapting to whatever their family asks of them. Dogs of strong working lines may be more reserved, protective and territorial than ones bred for a family-oriented environment.

Australian Shepherd Health Care :

The Australian Shepherd dog is prone to minor health issues such as iris coloboma, nasal solar dermatitis, hypothyroidism, Pelger-Huet syndrome, canine hip dysplasia (CHD), and Collie Eye Anomaly (CEA). It is also susceptible to cataract, progressive retinal atrophy (PRA), lumbar sacral syndrome, Persistent Pupillary Membrane (PPM), distichiasis, von Willebrand's Disease (vWD), epilepsy, and patent duct arteriosus (PDA). To identify some of these issues early, a veterinarian may recommend eye, hip, and thyroid exams for the dog, as well as DNA tests to confirm CEA.

Australian Shepherd Grooming :

The Australian Shepherd is an average to heavy shedder. One should plan on vacuuming often, as even after a thorough brushing more loose hair will fall off. Weekly brushing with a slicker brush, followed by a series of comb-outs, is best; start with a coarse comb and then moving on to the medium comb. A shedding rake is also recommended, as it will remove all of the dead hair in the undercoat, making it easier to comb through. If mats are found on the dog, shaving is not recommended, as it can leave them vulnerable to sunburn and possibly scarring; pin brushes work great for removal of mats. Pay close attention to the feathering on the front and back legs, as well as behind the ears, as these are where most mats are found. A thorough brushing is recommended every 6-8 weeks. Most Australian Shepherd owners find there is a process that works well in giving the coat a good, complete brush through. Begin by brushing with the grain of the hair, in small section to be sure the undercoat is being reached; then against the grain with a pin brush. Finally, work the coat back to its original place. Do not bathe too often, is it removals the natural oils in the coat, and can leave them with dry skin. Brushing and dematting should be done before bathing. After bathing, you will want to blow dry them until completely dry. Left with a damp coat can create skin problems. Keeping at least a foot away on medium heat, and using a pin brush, will hurry up the process. Finish up with another comb-out.

Australian Shepherd Training :

The key to a well-balanced Australian Shepherd is through training and socialization. Providing enough socialization should include exposure to people and animals, as well as areas with varying levels of distractions. The breed can become very suspicious around unusual people, due to the fact that they are very territorial and protective of their family. Australian Shepherds were bred to work livestock on daily basis. Because not everyone has a flock of sheep in their backyard, this breed requires a "job". Whether it is given toys focused on mind-stimulation, being engaged in play, or focused on training, this breed needs something to do. This breed is very intelligent, and learns very quickly. They excel at, and enjoy agility, rally, flyball, frisbee, and obedience. A lot of time, attention, and training is needed to handle such a strong-minded breed. Attending training classes is a must for owners and their Australian Shepherd, especially in their first year.

Australian Shepherd Activity and Exercise :

Australian Shepherds require a great deal of vigorous exercise, and athletic activities to keep them satisfied. Daily walks are a must to give them the opportunity to vent their energy as well as mental stimulation. Getting involved in agility, herding, rally, or obedience are perfect outlets for all that energy. They are not intended to be a house pet; They require a job to perform. When they become bored, they get out of hand, destroy things (by chewing), and endlessly bark. They demand constant attention and want to be by your side no matter what. Working lines may also be too energetic to be a suitable pet; they are more at home in wide open country working with livestock. One of the most common reasons Australian Shepherds are brought to shelters, is because their owners had no idea on how much energy they have and were not willing to help channel that energy through exercise.

Australian Shepherd Photos:

Australian Shepherd breed Photo
Australian Shepherd breed Photos

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Complete information about Australian Shepherd Breed

Australian Shepherd

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