Australian Shepherd

Published: Last updated: by Kyle J. Larson Multi-color Australian Shepherd laying in the grass

The Australian Shepherd is a working breed who has a lot of energy. They're excellent at agility and obedience training.

Average size and lifespan

chihuahua silouette
great dane silouette
Height: 1ft 6in - 1ft 11in
Weight: 40-65lbs
Lifespan: 12 - 15 Years

Behavior

  • Affection5/5
  • Kid-Friendly4/5
  • Stranger-Friendly2/5
  • Dog-Friendly3/5
  • Barking Amount3/5

Care

  • Grooming Difficulty2/5
  • Shedding Amount3/5
  • Easy to Train4/5
  • Can Be Alone2/5
  • Exercise Need5/5

Environment

  • Cold Tolerance4/5
  • Heat Tolerance3/5
  • Apartment-Friendly2/5

Australian Shepherd Information

The Australian Shepherd is all about working hard. After all, it was bred to do a very important job: herd livestock on ranches and farms. Intelligent and diligent, Aussies do well in agility and obedience events. If you’re going to bring one home, just make sure you are in a position to give him the exercise he needs.

In addition to their work ethic, Australian Shepherds are also known for their thick coats, which can be black, blue merle, red or red merle, and may have tan or white markings. This breed is easy to train and good with kids and other pets.

Australian Shepherd History

It’s unclear how the Australian Shepherd got its name. The breed was officially developed on the West Coast of the United States. It’s possible that it was brought from immigrants that migrated through Australia, named for the sheep imported from Australia that it herded, or had a similar coat color to dogs from Australia.

The breed was used as a sheep herder in the Rocky Mountains because it worked well at high altitudes. It’s possible that these dogs descended from Spanish breeds as many of these settlers inhabited the West Coast.

Australian Shepherd Training & Temperament

It’s very important to expose the Australian Shepherd to early socialization and obedience training. They need to have a good outlet for their energy, companionship, and boundaries. They can become overly aggressive about their property if not properly trained and socialized.

They have a strong loyalty to their owner and intelligence that makes them easy to train. They do great on ranches or other similar properties.

Australian Shepherd Breed Photo

Australian Shepherd Exercise

Australian Shepherds require a lot of exercise on a daily basis. They need a fenced-in area to run around in for at least an hour or two. They do good running, walking or hiking. If not exercised properly, they can become destructive.

They do a great job with work as well. This can include herding, obedience, agility, or diving.

Australian Shepherd Grooming

Australian Shepherds require some brushing to keep their coats in good shape and help remove shedding hair. They need occasional baths when dirty and their nails trimmed regularly. Their teeth should be brushed, and ears checked for buildup and cleaned.

Australian Shepherd Health

Australian Shepherds are generally a healthy breed. Things to watch out for are vision problems and Epilepsy (they are the most common breed to have Epilepsy).

Sources: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Australian_Shepherd, https://www.akc.org/dog-breeds/australian-shepherd/

All dogs have their own personality and unique training, causing them to differ slightly from these breeds stats. However, please let us know if we made an error in the stats, we appreciate your help!

Breed FAQs

Can Australian Shepherds be apartment dogs?

The Australian Shepherd needs room to run and play. This makes them difficult to keep in small spaces like an apartment.

Can Australian Shepherds be left alone?

Australian Shepherds don't like being left alone for too long. They tend to show some symptoms of seperation anxiety when left apart from their owners for long periods of time.

Are Australian Shepherds good with kids?

Australian Shepherds do well with kids. As with any dog they should be monitored closely, they're unlikely to become aggressive.

Are Australian Shepherds friendly with strangers?

Australian Shepherds tend to be uncomfortable with strangers. They will require extra training effort to socialize them with those outside their family.

Do Australian Shepherds get along with other dogs?

Although Australian Shepherds will mostly get along with other dogs, they may have some issues. They can typically be dealt with by socializing them with other dogs.

Do Australian Shepherds bark a lot?

As far as dogs go, Australian Shepherds bark an average amount. You can expect them to bark to alert you, get your attention, or when there are strangers or other dogs.

Do Australian Shepherds shed a lot?

Australian Shepherds shed a medium amount. They will have seasonal shedding, but aren't terrible to clean up after.

Do Australian Shepherds need a lot of grooming?

Australian Shepherds don't require very much effort for grooming. You'll just need to provide typical maintenance and baths.

Do Australian Shepherds need a lot of exercise?

Expect Australian Shepherds to have high energy levels and need a lot of exercise. You'll need to find options to release this energy or they may exibit bad behavior.

Are Australian Shepherds easy to train?

Typically, Australian Shepherds are easy to train. They enjoy the bonding process with their owner and are quick to learn.

Can Australian Shepherds handle cold weather?

Australian Shepherds do well in cold weather. You may need to protect their paws, but they'll do well in colder climates.

Can Australian Shepherds handle hot weather?

Although Australian Shepherds can tolerate hot conditions, be careful not to expose them for too long.

View All Breeds