Versatile, loyal, friendly, awake, social, and lively shepherd dog.
The Australian Shepherd was initially used to herd and guard sheep and is still used as shepherds in many places. Despite its name, the breed derived from the USA, before eventually making it to the rest of the world.
Versatile, loyal, friendly, affectionate, alert, social and lively are all words that describe us.
We were made to be working dogs, but our loveable personalities make us outstanding family dogs too.
"Aussies" often achieve good results in dog championships, such as agility and obedience.
We always stay close to our owners, to the extent where we have been nicknamed «the velcro dog».
It's evident Australian Shepherds are watchdogs, as we always alert our owners when people approach. However, we are not whining dogs that bark at everything and everyone. "Aussie's" rarely behave aggressively or nervous.
Although the aforementioned characteristics are all positive, it should be noted that we can be demanding. We are dogs with strong instincts and personalities, who require consistent lifelong training. We think ahead and often take a lot of initiative in solving tasks. Which is something our owners should be aware of and learn to control to their advantage.
The Norwegian Kennel Club notes that, compared to the US and Nordic countries, we are bred for different purposes. This means there are considerable differences between both our appearance and personalities.
Which makes it essential to do research and talk to different breeders about what dogs they aim to make.
High activity level
Like most shepherd dogs, we love both physical and mental challenges. We need a lot of varied exercises, and we love long walks in nature. With the right training, we also thrive through challenges such as agility or obedience.
Australian Shepherd, the watchdog
As a rule, we "Aussies" will bark only when something special is happening. For example when strangers come, or when we discover something unordinary, such as other animals. The exception is if we do not get enough stimuli - then we can become restless and bark a lot.
The best medicine against unwanted barking is to give us enough physical and mental stimuli.
Nevertheless, we were made to alert our owners if we spot something suspicious. Be prepared for some sporadic barking either way.
The Australian Shepherd is an overall healthy breed. Some conditions can still affect us. Examples of this are eye diseases and hip dysplasia. Epilepsy can occur in rare cases.
Life expectancy: 10-13 years.
We do not require much grooming. Brush occasionally, as needed. During seasonal changes, we shed more than usual.