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Australian Shepherd Breed Profile

Full of energy and eager to please, these shepherd dogs are a growing favourite across the US due to their beautiful coats and temperament.

Jump to Australian Shepherd information

Do Australian Shepherds shed?

Yes, Australian Shepherds are well known for the amount they shed, which occurs all year and is especially bad during spring and summer.

How big do Australian Shepherds get?

Male Australian Shepherds are usually around 20-23 inches tall and 50-65lbs in weight. Female Australian Shepherds are often smaller, around 18 -21 inches and 40-55lbs.

How long do Australian Shepherds live?

The average life expectancy for this breed is around 12-15 years when fed on a nutritious diet and given daily exercise.

How much are Australian Shepherd puppies?

Often the most important thing for buyers is that their Australian Shepherd puppy is coming from a breeder with a good reputation, selling healthy dogs that have been well tested for any congenital conditions or illnesses. For a pup like this you can expect to pay anywhere upwards of $1,000 with a higher range of around $2,000- $2,500, dependent of the dogs age, sex, pedigree and location.

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Are Australian Shepherds good with kids and are they good family pets?

Being extremely intelligent and high energy means this breed will fit well into any home with kids As with all working breeds, make sure to socialize the Australian Shepherd around children from when they are puppies.

Are Australian Shepherds hypoallergenic?

Unfortunately no, Australian Shepherds are not hypoallergenic as the breed sheds a large amount, particularly in the spring and summer months. Sadly this breed is not recommended for individuals with allergies to dog hair.

Are Australian Shepherds smart?

Like many herding breeds, Australian Shepherds are a smart dog that will require time and patience to train correctly. Their instinct leads them to natural herd groups, however they have good obedience and ability to learn other commands.

Are Australian Shepherds aggressive?

The breed is not known as being particularly aggressive, however caution should be applied when around small children as with all dog breeds. Australian Shepherds are working dogs, and like many working dogs they can be fairly territorial, and for that reason they can be hostile to strangers.

How to groom an Australian Shepherd?

These dogs are moderate to heavy shedders meaning its important to groom your Australian Shepherd at least once a week. Brushing through your dogs coat with a slicker brush as well as a long tooth undercoat rake seems to be the recommended combination for this tricky coat, which will get rid of dead hair and keep the skin properly oiled and healthy. 

Australian Shepherds have an under coat that keeps them cool in hot weather, but doubles as a warm blanket of air during colder months. As such, its extremely important not to shave the coat of this breed.

How to train Australian Shepherds?

One of the key things to remember when training Australian Shepherds is that they must be socialised from a young age, as this breed can sometimes be quite shy and wary of strangers, especially as a puppy. Starting slowly, let your dog accompany you when you leave the house, helping your Australian Shepherd get used to you being around other people and dogs, learning that not everyone is a threat to their pack.

 

Being a smart and energetic breed means that Australian Shepherds should be challenged during their basic training as a puppy. Use a positive reinforcement tone with this breed as they’re eager to please, adapting the training lessons to make the most of the traits they breed for, using both mental and physical tasks.

Do Australian Shepherds have a tail?

Traditionally this breed would have their tails docked by farmers as this reduced injury risk, with the farmers also looking to breed dogs with naturally short tails, for the same reason. This has led to 1 in 5 Australian Shepherds being born with a naturally bobbed tail. In the US, the practice of docking the tail is prevalent, except in New York and Vermont where it is illegal. For this reason, it’s common to see Australian Shepherd with naturally bobbed tails, surgically docked tails, and also naturally longer tails.

Australian Shepherd health conditions

As an active breed, these dogs are seen as a fairly healthy dog breed, however, as with many pedigree dogs there are a few hereditary conditions that Australian Shepherds are prone to.

  • Hip dysplasia is a common issue for the breed, a painful condition affecting the hip socket and leading to arthritis.
  • Similarly, Australian Shepherds are prone to elbow dysplasia, which again can be a painful condition for the dog and leads to arthritis.
  • Eye problems are also unfortunately extremely common with the breed, with conditions such as cataracts, Collie eye defect (a.k.a Collie eye anomaly) and distichiasis. 
  • Fortunately the majority of these health conditions can be tested against using a dog DNA kit, and ensuring your dog is from a respectable breeder who screens their dogs.