Australian Shepherd

Home > Dog Breeds > Australian Shepherd
35-55 lbs
United States
Aussie, Spanish Shepherd, Pastor Dog, Bob-Tail

The Australian Shepherd is a very smart and loyal companion, but he is also a very active dog who needs to be kept occupied. The Australian Shepherd is excellent at dog sports such as herding trials, tracking, agility, flyball, tricks, and obedience. The Aussie, as they are commonly called, requires a family that is willing to provide structure, training and plenty of exercise. He will herd animals, people, and objects by nipping at them and barking. The Aussie can become very obnoxious and destructive if left alone without a job to do. The Australian Shepherd is actually not from Australia but rather was developed in the United States as a herding dog.

livestock herding
Date of Origin
basque shepherd

Australian Shepherd Health

Average Size
Height: 20-23 inches Weight: 55-70 lbs
Height: 18-21 inches Weight: 35-55 lbs
Major Concerns
  • Cataract
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy
  • Hip Dysplasia
  • CEA
  • Von Willebrand's Disease
Minor Concerns
  • Distichiasis
  • Deafness
  • OCD
  • Nasal Solar Dermatitis
  • Patent Ductus Arteriosus
Occasional Tests
  • Eye
  • Hip
  • Blood
  • Hearing

Australian Shepherd Breed History

The Australian Shepherd originated not in Australia as the name suggests, but rather in the western United States during the Gold Rush in the 1840s. The Aussie was bred to herd livestock, particularly sheep. He is the happiest when he has a job to perform such as herding or performing tricks. The name, Australian Shepherd, most likely comes from their ancestors who likely came to the United States by way of Australia. It is claimed that the Basque people from Europe settled with their sheepdogs in Australia. These people then moved, with their sheepdogs, to the western United States. American herders working sheep herds probably began calling the dogs Australian Shepherds because of their previous residence in Australia. In the 1950s the Australian Shepherd was a trick-dog in rodeos and films. This increased the breed’s popularity. Aussies were first registered with the National Stock Dog Registry, formerly the International English Shepherd Registry. In 1957, the Australian Shepherd Club of America was formed and quickly became the largest Australian Shepherd registry within the United States. The United States Australian Shepherd Association was formed to try to gain recognition by the American Kennel Club. In 1993, the American Kennel Club finally recognized the Australian Shepherd and began registering dogs and litters. The Aussie can be used as a working ranch dog, herding the livestock. He can also be a guide dog for the blind and/or hearing impaired. He has been used as a search and rescue dog, a drug detecting dog and a therapy dog. He also enjoys performing tricks and doing agility as well as playing with his family in the yard.

Australian Shepherd Breed Appearance

The Australian Shepherd should have a slightly longer body and should be active, agile and sturdy. His front legs and hind legs should be equal in width and standing square. The Aussie has almond shaped eyes that can be brown, blue or amber and are intelligent and alert. His ears should be triangular and set high on the head, ears should be folded over but not hanging. Blue merles and black must have a black nose but red merles and reds must have a liver colored nose. Most Australian Shepherds have their tails docked, but they can be left naturally bobbed. The Aussie has a double coat and is weather resistant. He does not have a long coat, but does have a dense coat. The undercoat will shed out usually in the spring or summer. Intact females will shed after each heat cycle. The outer coat should be straight but it is acceptable to have a slight curl.

Eye Color Possibilities
Nose Color Possibilities
Coat Color Possibilities
Coat Length
Short Medium Long
Coat Density
Sparse Normal Dense
Coat Texture
Straight Wiry Wavy Curly Corded

Australian Shepherd Breed Maintenance

The Australian Shepherd is not hypoallergenic is an average shedder. Their coat is easy to maintain and groom using a natural bristle brush and/or a comb. Simply brush and/or comb him a couple of times a week. When you are brushing check for burrs and other debris that could have snagged in their coat while outdoors. An Australian Shepherd should only be bathed on an as needed basis. Over-bathing can cause dry skin and hair loss. The undercoat will shed out once or twice a year depending on climate. Intact females will shed their undercoat after each heat cycle as their hormones fluctuate. When an Aussie is shedding, grooming will need to be done more often to remove the loose hair. Generally, the undercoat will come out in clumps of hair. Nails should be trimmed or a grinder can be used when needed. Generally, Australian Shepherds need to have their nails attended to every 2-3 weeks. Ears should be cleaned weekly to prevent infection.

Brushes for Australian Shepherd
Pin Brush
Nail Clipper
Brushing Frequency
Daily Weekly Monthly

Australian Shepherd Temperament

The Australian Shepherd was bred to be dominant with livestock and they will try to take the pack leader role in a family home. The Aussie can be a great family companion when training is consistent and he understands his role within the family unit. Keeping the Australian Shepherd occupied can be a battle if he is unable to get enough exercise and keep his brain actively engaged. Aussies do extremely well when engaged in agility, water diving, obedience and herding. He can also be kept active by learning new tricks and going for long walks within their neighborhood. A fenced yard is required for an Australian Shepherd to keep them from trying to herd cars, children or other animals in the neighborhood. Australian Shepherds are loyal to their family and by nature are a little standoffish with strangers and other dogs. Early socialization is necessary to make sure the Aussie is able to adjust to new situations.

Activity Level
Low Medium High
Rec. Walk Mileage Per Week
14 miles
Minutes of Activity Per Day
90 minutes

Australian Shepherd Popularity

Popularity ranking
Popular Hybrids
Boston Terrier
Australian Shepherd
English Bulldog
Australian Shepherd
English King
English Cocker Spaniel
Australian Shepherd
English King
Australian Shepherd
Border Collie

Australian Shepherd Food Consumption

Cups Per Day
2.5 cups
Daily Cost
$1.2 - $1.4
Monthly Cost
$34 - $45

Australian Shepherd Height & Weight

6 Months
Height: 14 inches Weight: 28 lbs
Height: 12 inches Weight: 19 lbs
12 Months
Height: 19 inches Weight: 52 lbs
Height: 17 inches Weight: 37 lbs
18 Months
Height: 21 inches Weight: 62 lbs
Height: 19 inches Weight: 45 lbs

Top Australian Shepherd Breeders

Check out who made our list for the most reputable Australian Shepherd breeders of 2017.
Pine Springs Aussies
Mineral, Virginia
Nitania Aussies
Port Matilda, Pennsylvania
Samilyn Aussies
Whitmore Lake, Michigan
Bunkhouse Aussies
Albertville, Alabama
Ranch Mott
San Tan Valley, Arizona
Hatch Horses and Aussies
Snowflake, Arizona
Envy Aussies
Scottsdale, Arizona
Rocking Diamond Ranch
Phoenix, Arizona
Aussie for Me
Santa Maria, California
JnD's Australian Shepards
Slinger, Wisconsin

Australian Shepherd Owner Experiences

2 Years
2 People
Go to Beach
High Five
Ruby is lovable Red Tri Mini Australian Shepherd who enjoys spending time in the great outdoors (beaches, mountains, parks or lakesides). She has little patience for things she does not appreciate and is very vocal when she feels disrespected or teased. She greatly dislikes riding in cars, close proximity to feet, being gifted with stuffed animals and regularly cries under these circumstances. With this being said, we love her and she uniquely works her way into the hearts of the people she meets.
1 month ago
2 Years
3 People
House & Yard
he's amazing so gud like I love him
2 weeks ago