Australian Shepherd Dog: History

The Australian Shepherd is a breed of dog that was originally bred in the 19th century in the United States. The breed developed primarily from herding dogs that were exported to the United States from Australia, and this is where they became popular as working dogs on ranches. The Australian Shepherd descends from shepherding dogs brought to North America in the 1500s to herd Spanish flocks.

The Carea Leonés, a mountain sheepdog that can have the eye color and merle coat seen in many contemporary Australian Shepherds, is said to have been among them. The Basque Shepherd Dog and Pyrenean Sheepdog may have also been ancestors of this breed.

The breed was popularised by Jay Lister in the mid 1900s, who was a rodeo performer and had an Australian Shepherd to perform tricks. The breed was recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC) in the 1990s.

Appearance and Breed Characteristics

Aussies are strong, athletic dogs that are built for endurance and agility. The breed standard for the Australian Shepherd calls for a dog that is medium-sized with a sturdy build. The head is proportionate to the body, with erect ears and almond-shaped eyes. The eyes can be yellow, lemon, amber, golden, brown, hazel or green. Their tails are usually long and bushy.

Coat

The Australian Shepherd is a medium-sized dog breed that is known for its striking coat. The majority of Australian Shepherds are born with black and white fur, but they can also be found with red and white, or blue and white coats (red merle, blue merle). Regardless of the color combination, all Australian Shepherds have a unique merle pattern that sets them apart from other dog breeds. The coat is dense, moderately long, double and wavy.

Size

Australian Shepherds are a medium-sized breed of dog. They typically weigh between 35 and 70 pounds, and stand 20 to 23 inches tall at the shoulder. Australian Shepherds are slightly longer than they are tall, and have a medium build. Males of the breed tend to be larger than females on average.

Australian Shepherd Dog Breed Maintenance

The Australian Shepherd is a beautiful dog breed with a thick, lush coat. While this coat may be stunning to look at, it does require some work to keep it in good condition. Here are some tips on how to care for an Australian Shepherd’s coat

Brushing

The Australian Shepherd has a double coat, made up of a soft, downy undercoat and a coarser outer coat. Both layers of the coat need to be brushed regularly to prevent matting and tangles. It’s best to brush the dog’s coat at least once a week, using a special brush for longer coats.

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Bathing

Shampooing is not typically necessary for an Australian Shepherd’s coat, unless it becomes very dirty or oily. When shampooing is needed, use a mild dog shampoo and rinse thoroughly to avoid irritating the dog’s skin. Australian Shepherds need to be bather only several times a year, and frequent bathing can strip the natural oils from their coat, leading to dryness and itching.

Grooming

In addition to regular brushing, Australian Shepherds also need to be groomed on a regular basis. This includes trimming the nails, cleaning the ears, and brushing the teeth. Grooming not only helps keep the dog’s coat and skin healthy, but it also helps to bond with the dog.

Shedding

Australian Shepherds are considerable shedders and will lose their coat twice a year. During these times, it’s important to brush the dog more frequently to help remove loose hair. Some owners also choose to use a de-shedding tool during these periods to help remove the excess hair.

Diet

There are a few things to keep in mind when it comes to feeding your Aussie. First, they need a diet that is high in protein and fat. This is because they are an active breed that needs lots of energy.

Second, they need a diet that contains moderate amounts of carbohydrates. This is because they are a working breed and need the extra energy to perform their tasks.

Finally, it is important to make sure that your Aussie has access to fresh, clean water at all times. This is especially important in hot weather or after exercise.

Food Options

When it comes to food, there are a few different options that you can choose from. You can either feed them commercial dog food or give them products that Aussies can eat. Do not feed your dog table scraps, as this can lead to obesity and other health problems. There are many brands and types of commercial dog food on the market. It is important to do your research to find food that is right for your Aussie.

How Much Food Should I Feed My Aussie?

Your Australian Shepherd will need 1.5-2.5 cups of food each day, split into two meals. Remember to adjust the amount you feed based on your dog’s activity level, age and size. The breed is prone to obesity, so be sure to monitor your dog’s weight and adjust their food intake accordingly.

Training

As any dog owner knows, training is an important part of owning a pet. It not only helps your furry friend to behave properly, but it also strengthens the bond between you and your pup. And while some dogs can be more difficult to train than others, Australian Shepherds are actually relatively easy to work with.

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This is largely due to the fact that they are highly intelligent and very willing to please their owners. Australian Shepherds want nothing more than to make their humans happy, so they’ll work hard to learn whatever it is you’re trying to teach them.

Activity Level

Aussies are working dogs, and as such, they need a job to do. They are easily trained in obedience and excel at agility.They are very active dogs and need to be given the opportunity to burn off that energy. A good way to do this is to take them on long walks or runs, or to let them play in a large fenced-in area. Two hours of exercise per day is ideal, split into two sessions.

Australian Shepherd Common Health Problems

As with any breed of dog, there are certain health conditions to which Australian Shepherds are prone. Some of these health problems are genetic and can be passed down from parent to puppy, while others may develop later on in life.

Genetic Mutations

A genetic aberration of the MDR1 gene affects some Australian Shepherds. Dogs with the condition may be poisoned by antiparasitic medicines such as ivermectin in large doses, and other medicines.

Collie Eye

One of the most common health problems seen in Australian Shepherds is collie eye anomaly (CEA). This is a congenital disorder that affects the eyesight of affected dogs. CEA can range from mild to severe, and in some cases can lead to complete blindness.

Cataracts

Cataracts are another common problem seen in Australian Shepherds. Cataracts are changes in the lens of the eye that cause the dog to have cloudy vision. Cataracts can be surgically removed, but they will usually eventually come back.

Canine Hip Dysplasia

Hip dysplasia is another health concern for Australian Shepherds. Hip dysplasia is a condition where the hip joint does not form properly, causing pain and lameness. Hip dysplasia can be treated with surgery, but it is often a lifelong condition.

Double Merle

Double merle is another health concern that can be seen in Australian Shepherds. A double merle is a dog who has two copies of the merle gene. This can cause serious health problems, including deafness, blindness, and even death. Double merles should only be bred by experienced breeders who know how to properly care for them.

While there are some health concerns to be aware of, Australian Shepherds are generally healthy dogs that live for 11 to 13 years on average. With proper care and regular vet check-ups, your Aussie can enjoy a long and happy life.

Australian Shepherd: Personality

While each dog is an individual, there are some common personality traits that are often seen in Australian Shepherds. They are typically very devoted to their families and can make great companions. They are also highly active and need plenty of exercise, both mental and physical, to stay happy and healthy.

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Australian Shepherds are intelligent dogs that are quick to learn new things. They are eager to please and respond well to training. This breed is also known for its versatility – they can excel at a variety of different tasks, from herding livestock to working as a service dog.

Apart from them being eager to please, they also get along well with other dogs and animals. They are gentle by nature and have a calm demeanor, making them great candidates for therapy dogs and as family dogs.

For Whom?

The Australian Shepherd Dog is an intelligent, active breed that requires a great deal of physical and mental stimulation. They are not the best breed for everyone, and prospective owners should consider whether or not they can provide an Aussie with the environment and lifestyle they need to thrive.

Aussies are working dogs at heart, and need a job to do. They excel at activities such as agility, herding, and flyball, and love to have a purpose. Without a job to keep them occupied, they can become destructive or anxious. Aussies are also very active dogs, and need plenty of space to run and play. A suburban backyard is not likely to be enough for an Aussie.

Prospective owners should also be prepared for the amount of grooming an Aussie requires. They have a thick coat that sheds quite a lot, and need to be brushed several times a week to prevent mats and tangles.

Aussies are very affectionate and sociable, so if you live alone or work long hours, this is not the breed for you. They crave companionship and do not like to be left alone for long periods of time.

Overall, the Australian Shepherd Dog is a wonderful breed for active people who can provide them with plenty of exercise, stimulation, and love. If you think you can provide an Aussie with everything they need, then they just might be the perfect dog for you.

Australian Shepherd: Price for a Pup

Australian Shepherds are not the most expensive dogs to purchase. They typically cost between $800 and $1,200 from a reputable breeder. However, prices can vary depending on the quality of the dog, their lineage and whether they are show-quality or not.


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