The German Australian Shepherd is a designer dog, an intentional cross between two different types of popular shepherding dogs, the German Shepherd and the Australian Shepherd. The German Shepherd breed was developed initially in the late 1800’s in Germany, and they were designed to be able to return sheep to the fold without nipping at the heels and to trot for long distances beside them to keep them safe from predators. German Shepherds were initially bred for structural efficiency, a stable temperament, and intelligence, and you will still find these traits in German Shepherds from responsible breeders still today. Modern German Shepherds do vary somewhat from German Shepherd dogs of the late 1800s and early 1900s as breeding choices have resulted in a canine that is more streamlined and thinner-boned than the original German Shepherd, often with an obvious slope to the back. German Shepherds were recognized by the AKC in 1908 and have risen to become the 2nd most popular breed in the United States. The Australian Shepherd that we know today is also a newer breed, one that was developed in the farmlands of the United States in the late 1800s rather than in Australia, as is suggested by the name. This breed was developed to herd cattle and sheep. Thought to be descended from Basque shepherding dogs that traveled from Australia in the early 1800’s, these capable herding dogs are believed to be the foundation stock for the modern Aussie which was then crossed with other hard working stock dogs once they reached America, creating an agile and enduring herding animal with an incredible work drive. German Australian Dogs make good herding dogs, family companions, and even therapy dogs.