Australian Shepherds are tough working dogs that are regulars on the rodeo circuit and extremely well suited to the cowboy lifestyle. This breed has an irresistible urge to herd – whether it is dogs, sheep, birds, or kids. However, Aussies also make excellent family and household pets, given their smart and exuberant nature. Nonetheless, Australian Shepherds need active families and individuals to keep up with their boundless energy. This breed is reasonably affectionate with family but retains a streak of independence. Australian Shepherd dogs do exceptionally well with young children and get along reasonably well with other dogs.
In terms of average size, an Australian Shepherd dog is 18-23 inches in height and 40-65 pounds in weight on average. An Aussie lives for 12-15 years. Standard colors in Australian Shepherd dogs include black, red, blue merle, and red merle with white markings, tan points, or a combination of the two.
You will need to keep up with grooming your Aussie’s waterproof double-layer coat to keep it healthy and glossy. Weekly brushings are typically all they need, except during shedding season when you need to brush the undercoat every 2-3 days to remove loose, dead hair. Because Australian Shepherd dogs love to get busy outdoors, they tend to get dirty and will need occasional baths.
As mentioned, this is an athletic, energetic breed that loves being active. It’s ideal if you have a large fenced in yard where your Aussie can run around. You will need to work in a fairly large amount of exercise every day to keep your dog happy and healthy. Australian Shepherd dogs make excellent hiking and running companions for active individuals. They also do well in canine events like dock diving, herding, obedience, and agility trials.
If you don’t start training your Aussie early during puppyhood, you can end up with an overactive and unhappy adult dog – this is the most common reason these dogs end up in rescue centers. They have tireless energy and can become destructive if it is not used up in a constructive and positive manner.