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Australian Shepherds are one of the most popular breeds in America and are great for families. Curious about what makes them so unique? Please read below for facts about their history, health, size, and more!
Australian Shepherd Dog Breeds
The Australian Shepherd Dog is a beautiful and intelligent breed. They are said to have originated in Northern California at the end of the 19th century; however, their history was poorly documented.
They were first known as Alaskan Shepherds and later became known as American Shepherds until the 1960s when they received their current name.
Depending on where you live, they are commonly called
- Blue Merle Shepherds
- Red Merle Shepherds
- California Red Shepherds.
The breed was developed in the United States, not Australia. The breed was developed by ranchers who wanted an intelligent and versatile working dog that could herd sheep and cattle. They named the breed “Australian” because they thought the dogs looked like the Australian Kelpies they had seen in photographs, but they weren’t actually from Australia.
The Australian Sheperd’s intelligence, versatility, and good nature helped make them popular competitors in dog sports. They’re highly trainable dogs who love to learn new things, and they’re also tireless workers.
Their need for mental stimulation and physical exercise can be as high as their desire to please their humans, so they need people committed to both training and spending time with them.
Aussies can weigh anywhere from 40-65 pounds, and they have a life expectancy of 13-15 years. Their coat can be black, red, or white with various markings, and it is usually double-coated.
Australian Shepherds are medium-sized dogs, but there are smaller versions of this breed, the mini Australian Shepherd. These small Aussies are growing in popularity. Regardless of the size, these dogs are very loyal family dogs, and they need the training to be around other pets and strangers.
Australian Shepherds were bred to travel in long horse-drawn covered wagons and herd cattle on America’s western frontier. They also tend to bark a lot, as they are vigilant dogs that will warn you of any dangers that may be approaching.
Is Australian Shepherd a Good Family Dog?
The Australian Shepherd is a good family dog, but there are some important things to consider before adopting one.
Australian Shepherds have an average lifespan of 12-13 years and are most comfortable when their owners can spend a lot of time with them. If you’re not home for the majority of the day, it’s probably best to adopt a different breed.
Australian Shepherds are so intelligent they can learn over 50 commands and work at a level equal to some primates.
But with their intelligence comes a breed that requires attention and stimulation, or they’ll become bored, anxious, and destructive in the home. They need mental and physical exercise, so you’ll have to make sure you’re ready to give your new pup routine training and playtime.
Australian Shepherds bond closely with their people, but they don’t always get along with other pets in the house. If you already have any other dogs or cats, you’ll want to introduce them slowly and carefully to ensure everyone gets along.
Australian Shepherds have a knack for learning tricks and other behaviors—a fun hobby for both you and your Aussie—so try teaching him something new every day if you can.
Because they are so active, they need to have a large amount of space where they can run and play. They do not like to be alone for long periods and so need to be in homes with at least one other dog or pet in the house.
If you’re prepared for daily training sessions, plenty of playtimes outside, and lots of loving from your new canine companion, an Australian Shepherd might be a great fit for your family!
Do Australian Shepherd Shed a Lot?
Australian Shepherds are considered “heavy shedders” and do shed quite a bit. They are not hypoallergenic dogs, so if you have allergies, check out hypoallergenic dog breeds.
Grooming your Australian Shepherd can help reduce the amount of shedding. Regular brushing helps remove dead hair from the coat before it has a chance to fall out on its own. A good grooming session can reduce the amount of shed hair by up to 90%.
Bathing your pet regularly is another essential part of grooming and can help reduce shedding. The baths help loosen dirt, debris, and even dead fur in the coat that would otherwise fall out or be shed later.
How Smart are Australian Shepherds?
Australian Shepherds have a high level of intelligence.
- They are considered the 42nd smartest dog breed. Although that’s not exceptional, it is better than most dog breeds.
- They possess above-average working intelligence. They excel in herding.
- Australian Shepherds possess the extraordinary ability to learn things by themselves. Aussies are capable of learning new commands only after 15-25 repetitions. They also obey a command on the first attempt 75% of the time.
Aussies are free-spirited dogs, and they have different motivators. Yes, you can hardly call them the most biddable breed, but this doesn’t mean they’re disobedient or unfaithful.
Obedience training can be a bit of a challenge with Aussies, but as long as they’re interested in the task, you won’t have any problems with getting them to obey you. The best way to train them is to turn their training into a game.
How Much is an Australian Shepherd Dog?
The price of an Australian Shepherd dog will depend on various factors, including the quality of the breed, where you get it from, and what comes with the purchase.
A good-quality Australian Shepherd puppy will be somewhere between $300 and $700. This price range can vary depending on where you are in the country—if you are in an area with a high demand for Australian Shepherds or if there are no breeders in your area, you may pay more to get your dog.
You should also be aware that some breeders will charge more if they have already begun training your new puppy. Depending on what kind of training they provide, this could add several hundred dollars to the cost of your puppy.
It’s important to note that buying a purebred Australian Shepherd puppy is not the only way to get one—depending on where you live, and you may be able to adopt one for less than $100 (the ASPCA has some in my area for just $20!). You can also consider rescuing an adult dog from a shelter or rescue organization.
The Australian Shepherd is a hardy, intelligent dog that requires exercise and room to run. Overall, they are a happy, friendly breed known for their loyalty and devotion to their owners both in work and play.
Their intelligence makes them easy to train, but they require consistent training. If you want a dog that loves to be on the go that will challenge you mentally and physically, then the Australian Shepherd may be the breed for you.