Australian Shepherd: Dog Breed Profile

Country of origin: USA
Shoulder height: 46 – 59 cm
Weight: 28 – 32 kg
Age: 11 – 14 years
Colour: blue-merle, red-merle, black, red with or without white markings and brand
Use: Companion dog, working dog, guard dog

Australian Shepherd is a lively, intelligent herding and guard dog. With sufficient, meaningful employment and loving, consistent training, he is also ideal as a family companion dog.

Origin and history

The Australian Shepherd’s ancestors came to the United States with European immigrants. The name Australian Shepherd comes from the belief that Basque shepherds brought these dogs with them when they immigrated from Australia to America around 1800.

In the 1950s, the eclectic mix of Collie types, Australian Shepherds, and Pyrenean Sheepdogs quickly became popular through their performances at rodeo events. The first breed standard was set by the Australian Shepherd Club of America in 1977. In 1991, the American Kennel Club opened a studbook and developed its standard in 1993. Australian Shepherds have only been found in Europe since the 1970s, but have become more common since then.


The Australian Shepherd is a well-proportioned medium-sized dog with an agile, lean body that is slightly longer than it is tall. The coat is medium long, smooth to slightly wavy, and has a more or less dense undercoat depending on the climatic conditions. Characteristics of the Aussie are the many color variations of the fur. These range from blue merle to red merle, red with or without white markings, and/or brown markings to black.

The ears are triangular, set high on the head, and tilted forward. The tail is naturally long or docked (in countries without docking bans). A natural stumpy tail can also occur.


The Australian Shepherd is an even-tempered, active, and hard-working herding and herding dog. He is hardly quarrelsome but has pronounced territorial behavior and a strong guard and protective instinct. He is reserved or defensive towards strangers. The persistent Aussie is very intelligent and docile and can therefore be used in many different ways, such as a herding, guard and protection dog, or rescue dog. The Australian Shepherd is also ideal for dog sports (such as flyball, agility, or popular sports) due to its agility and speed.

With a consistent and loving upbringing, the Australian Shepherd is quite willing to subordinate, but he needs clear leadership and close family connections. Attending a dog school is always advisable for this breed of dog to steer its innate instinct to guard and protect in the right direction.

The Aussie loves to be outdoors and needs a lot of exercise and meaningful activities. This breed of dog is not suitable for lazy people and couch potatoes. If not exercised enough, the lively working dog can also become problematic.

Mary Allen

Written by Mary Allen

Hello, I'm Mary! I've cared for many pet species including dogs, cats, guinea pigs, fish, and bearded dragons. I also have ten pets of my own currently. I've written many topics in this space including how-tos, informational articles, care guides, breed guides, and more.

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