Family: livestock, herding
Area of origin: United States
Original function: sheep herding
Average size of male: Ht: 20-23, Wt: 50-65
Average size of female: Ht: 18-21, Wt: 40-55
Other names: none
Australian Shepherd Dog Temperament
The Australian Shepherd has a great deal of stamina and is loving, bold, alert, confident, independent, smart and responsive. If he doesn't get a chance to exercise and challenge his strongly developed mental and physical activities, he is apt to become frustrated and difficult to live with. With proper exercise and training, he is a loyal, utterly devoted and obedient companion. It is reserved with strangers and has a protective nature. It may try to herd children and small animals by nipping.
Australian Shepherd Dog Care
This breed needs a good workout every day, preferably combining both physical and mental challenges. Even though he is physically able to live outside in temperate climates, he is a breed for which human contact is so vital that he is emotionally unsuited for a life in the yard. His coat needs brushing or combing one to two times weekly.
Australian Shepherd Dog Health
Major concerns: cataract, CEA
Minor concerns: CHD, nasal solar dermatitis, Pelger Huet syndrome, iris coloboma
Occasionally seen: lumbar sacral syndrome, epilepsy, PRA, vWD, distichiasis, PDA, PPM
Suggested tests: hip, eye
Life span: 12-15 years
Note: This breed is often sensitive to ivermectin; however, the dosage for heartworm preventive is considered safe. Merle-to-merle breedings result in some offspring that are homozygous merle, which is detrimental to health, commonly resulting in deafness and blindness. Natural bobtail-to-natural bobtail breedings can result in some offspring with serious spinal defects.