Despite the fact that the name of the breed literally is Australian Shepherd, in fact, the breed originated in America. The breed is named like this because the ancestors of Australian Shepherds were brought from Australia – the Scottish Border Collies. In the US, they were crossed with some other breeds, including natural breeding – through free crossing between neighbors’ dogs.
The Australian Shepherd breed was introduced to America around the 1840s and was widely used in the western states as a sheepdog to help with livestock in the developed open spaces. American farmers and settlers greatly appreciated them for their amazing intelligence, great devotion, and excellent endurance. Thanks to these qualities, Australian Shepherds could endure all the difficulties of life in semi-wild conditions and provide farmers with the necessary support.
During the Second World War, the population declined significantly, as Australian Shepherds were often used by the US Army for various purposes, usually in rescue and courier missions. However, then breeders quickly restored the normal population of this useful and good-natured breed.
The Australian Shepherd has long fur. The muzzle is elongated and the breed’s head is oval in shape, ears are medium length, triangular, hanging on the sides of the head, but sometimes it’s barely noticeable because of the breed’s coat. The chest is round and voluminous, the limbs are shorter than average and the physique is strong and muscular. Its tail is long and fluffy.
The Australian Shepherd breed has an open and very friendly nature, making it an ideal companion for humans. It doesn’t matter how old you are – this breed will literally be your best friend. Period. No more, no less. If you are an older person and need a companion to make your daily life easier, the Australian Shepherd is a great choice.
If you have a large family with many children, this breed will also fit perfectly into your daily life. This is a hardworking breed that is happy to be in the company of humans. If there are no walks or other ways of occupation, the dog will start to get bored, and its appetite will deteriorate. This breed is wonderful with children, has a high level of intelligence and perfectly understands the situation in the family, feels the emotional state of its owners.
This allows the dog to literally guess your desires, as well as defuse the tension that appears from time to time in any family. The Australian Shepherd has a high level of energy. This means that this breed needs a daily walk for at least an hour, and if possible, even longer. Do not even dream that you can avoid walks in winter – regardless of the time of the year, the Australian Shepherd must realize its energy potential, otherwise, it will negatively affect the character of the dog.
These pets are well suited for life in a house with a garden – the ability to be outside in fresh air, and have a certain level of activity throughout the day, as well as the breed, has a fairly thick coat, which allows the dog to feel warm even on winter days.
Australian Shepherds are much friendlier dogs, including in relation to strangers. They perceive other animals fairly well, and they treat children well, which is facilitated by the innate instinct of a shepherd dog, which watches over its herd and is ready to give its life for it. As a watchman who is capable of raising the alarm and will stop intruders, the Australian Shepherd can be used very well. This breed is a great companion for a person of any age and marital status.
It is easy to train and educate an Australian Shepherd dog – this is because of their innate intelligence as well as instinctive desire to please their owner. In addition, the dog needs activities designed not only for the body, but also for the mind, and training provides just that.
These dogs can be taught even the most complex commands, given the correct training. It can easily act as a service dog or as a companion for a person with disabilities – you can quite easily teach it commands that will greatly simplify the life of the owner.
The dog can bring a phone, slippers, and open doors given they are equipped with a special lock, can serve various objects, and be used as a guide dog. In the process of training, it is enough to maintain patience, a sense of humor, sincerity, and kindness, and your four-legged friend will definitely reciprocate.
The Australian Shepherd has a thick coat that needs to be brushed 2- 3 times a week. You need to trim the claws three times a month, you need to bathe the dog once every two weeks or more, if necessary. The eyes should be cleaned daily, and the ears should be cleaned three times a week.
Like any other breed, the Australian Shepherd is prone to certain diseases, which include:
- Hip dysplasia – a hereditary disease;
- Elbow dysplasia is also a hereditary disease that is common for large-breed dogs;
- Epilepsy – can be inherited;
- Deafness is quite common in this breed
- Progressive retinal atrophy;
- Collie eye anomaly is an inherited condition that can lead to blindness in some dogs. This usually occurs by 2 years of age and is diagnosed by a veterinary ophthalmologist. Even though there is no cure for this anomaly, blind dogs can get along very well using their other senses;
- Sensitivity to certain types of pain medication is common in herding breeds. The Australian Shepherd and Collies are no exception.