Australian Shepherd Information & Dog Breed Facts

Collection of all the general dog breed info about Australian Shepherd so you can get to know the breed more.

Group Pastoral / Herding Dogs
Popularity Rank17
Reviews5
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Australian Shepherd dog profile picture
OriginUnited States flagUnited States
Other Names
What other names does the Australian Shepherd have?
Little Blue DogAussie
Breed Type
What type of dog breed is it?
Purebred

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Australian Shepherd Price and Availability

Price
How much does the Australian Shepherd puppy cost? What is the price range of this puppy? What is the average price of this dog in the United States? How much money is an Australian Shepherd?
$600-$800
If you choose to purchase the Australian Shepherd, you should know that the mentioned amount of money is an average of the collected data from breeders’ sites and puppy finder places. If you have a Australian Shepherd for sale, please advertise it on a reliable website to make sure the Australian Shepherd gets to a happy place.
Availability
How easy is it to get a Australian Shepherd? How many Australian Shepherd are there in the world?
Very frequent: The Australian Shepherd is quite easy to get. There is a risk of overbreeding, as it is an extremely popular breed.

Inbreeding is common because of its popularity. A new study suggests that inbreeding contributes to the incidence of disease and health problems.

So be careful, buy from a trustworthy place or kennel and seek the help of an experienced person, a professional, to make the right decision.

Australian Shepherd Size

Size
Is an Australian Shepherd small, medium or large dog?

How big do Australian Shepherd get?

Large
Weight
How much does the Australian Shepherd weigh? How much should the Australian Shepherd breed weight? What is the normal weight of an Australian Shepherd?
Male: 50-65 pounds (25-29 kg), Female: 40-55 pounds (18-25 kg)
Average Weight
What is the average weight of an Australian Shepherd?
Male: 57.5 pounds (27 kg), Female: 47.5 pounds (21.5 kg)
Height
How tall is the Australian Shepherd? Australian Shepherd height:
Male: 20-23 inches (52-58cm), Female: 18-21 inches (46–53 cm)
Average Height
What is the average height of an Australian Shepherd?
Male: 21.5 inches (55 cm), Female: 19.5 inches (46–53 cm)

Australian Shepherd Grooming, Hair and Care

Coat / Hair Types
What type of coat does the Australian Shepherd have? What does this canine coat/fur look like?
Feathered
Colors
What color is the breed's coat? What color is a proper Australian Shepherd's coat?
RedBlue MerleBlack
Grooming
How to groom the Australian Shepherd and how often?
Average: The Australian Shepherd requires average grooming effort. Cutting the dog's hair by a professional groomer isn't essential.

Brushing the dog's coat is useful to reduce shedding. Ears and eyes should be cleaned regularly to avoid infections.

Don't skip the seasonal flea treatment too. Dog nail trimming and dog bath can be helpful sometimes.

Check the local pet store for dog grooming supplies and find the best dog shampoo to keep its coat healthy and give your dog a pleasant experience of a dog bath.

If you don't have the time, skill, or money to take care of your Australian Shepherd, search for a dog groomer or clipping service in your area and book an appointment.

Maybe you're lucky to have a dog boarding service that includes grooming or walk-in dog bath places nearby.

Shedding Level
How much do Australian Shepherd dogs shed? How to control, reduce and prevent the shedding of the Little Blue Dog?
Australian Shepherds shed moderately. It's a natural process of the hair growth cycle. Regular brushing reduces the amount of hair that sheds. It mostly depends on their health status and breed type.
Bath Time / Bathing Frequency
How often does the Australian Shepherd need a bath? How often should bathe this dog? Can I bathe my Australian Shepherd every day?
6-8 weeks
Rarely. Bathing your dog is beneficial to them in more ways than just one. It’s also a good time to look for unusual scratches, bumps, fleas, and other irregularities. When their hair is wet and flat against their body, these details are more visible.

For example, short-haired dog breeds can go a very long time in between baths. These short-haired breeds shed regularly and that shedding works to naturally remove excess dirt and oil. So unless your weenie dog got into the garbage can, you can probably hold off on a bath for a while.

Australian Shepherd Personality / Temperament

Temperament
What kind of personality does the Australian Shepherd have? What characteristics or traits does the breed have?
ActiveFriendlyIntelligentLovingAffectionateGood-naturedProtective
Intelligent Rank
How smart is the Australian Shepherd? Is the Australian Shepherd breed dumb or smart?
Smart: Australian Shepherd's has great intelligence. They understand and memorize new commands in 15-25 repetitions.

The Australian Shepherd is among the smartest dogs in the intelligence ranking.

Trainability
Are Australian Shepherd dogs easy to train? Do they go well on dog training?
Australian Shepherds are very easy to train. They easily find out the association between commands and actions.
Playfulness
How playful is this breed?
The Australian Shepherd is a highly playful breed. Excited barking and sometimes nipping will alert you to play.
Sensitivity Level
How sensitive are they? Australian Shepherd sensitivity:
Sensitive: Australian Shepherds don't like an irregular daily routine, noisy household, and frequent guest visits.

This breed's emotional level reflects their owner's feelings and they don't handle punishments well.

Affection Level
How affectionate are they? Is an Australian Shepherd a good family dog?
Average to High: Australian Shepherds are highly affectionate dogs. They like being involved in the family's life. This breed isn't considered an aloof dog.
Social Needs
How much social interaction does the Little Blue Dog need? Australian Shepherd social needs:
Australian Shepherds are a social breed. They enjoy being around people or other animals. This breed doesn't tolerate being left alone.
Barking
Do Australian Shepherd dogs bark a lot? Are they barkers/noisy? Why does my Little Blue Dog bark?
Low to Average: The Australian Shepherd rarely barks. This breed could be a good choice if you're looking for a quiet breed. They don't bark unless there is a good reason.

Top reasons for barking: protection, alarm, fear, boredom, attention-seeking, greeting, separation anxiety, compulsive barking.

Watchdog Ability
Is Australian Shepherd good as a watchdog? Are they alert at night?
Australian Shepherds are one of the best watchdogs. Their main job is to observe and they're very consistent in their effort. The best vocal cords and sense of hearing belong to them. Usually, they're very territorial and protective about their property, so the Australian Shepherd dogs will alert you if they sense something different.
Guarding Behavior / Territorial
Do Australian Shepherd dogs have aggressive behavior to protect their home/house/territory? Do they have guarding instincts?
Australian Shepherds are extremely protective guard dogs. This breed doesn't hesitate to protect its territory so the Australian Shepherd can be a good choice if you want an excellent guard dog. Keep calm and the Australian Shepherd will take care of unwanted people or animals.
Biting Potential
Do Australian Shepherd bite humans? How likely are you to get bitten from the Little Blue Dog? What are the odds of getting bitten by a Australian Shepherd? Why do dog bites happen?

Low 🔽

The Australian Shepherd has a low chance of biting somebody. Top reasons for dog bite: protection, pain, excitement, herding instinct, being provoked. (Data based on the available online bite statistics.)
Bite Force
Does the Australian Shepherd has a hard bite? What is the bite force of an Australian Shepherd? How much bite force does an Australian Shepherd have?

Between 200 and 400 PSI

Australian Shepherd bite force: Ordinary. Average dogs have a bite force between 200 and 400 PSI.

The Australian Shepherd, and many others, have a fearsome presence because they have significant jaw strength, so it is important not to anger the dog and have it around strangers until it is fully trained.

However, they are usually quite calm and good companions, they work well in families and are easy to care for.

Mouthiness
How much mouthing/nipping/play biting does the Australian Shepherd do?
Australian Shepherds have a higher than average tendency to nip, chew, play-bite, or herd people. It's a common habit during puppyhood, not aggressive behavior. These "bites" don't hurt, but Australian Shepherds need to be taught for a good attitude.
Impulse to Wander or Roam
How likely is the Australian Shepherd to run away? Does this breed explore or wander a lot? Does Australian Shepherd roam?
Australian Shepherds are not the biggest explorers. They have low wanderlust potential. Low chance of escaping from home with this breed.
Prey Drive
Do this canine have a strong prey drive? Does Australian Shepherd have high prey drive?
Australian Shepherds have a higher impulse to chase and catch something than other dog breeds. Cats or any other small animals might be in danger. It's a natural instinct, doesn't necessarily mean that Australian Shepherds are aggressive. Better to keep this breed on a leash.
Apartment Friendly
Is Australian Shepherd good as an apartment dog? Can they live in a flat?
It is not the best choice if you want to keep them indoors, however, with careful exercise and several walks a day, they will tolerate the indoor environment, so it is possible to keep Australian Shepherd indoors.
Adaptability
Are they adaptable and easy-going?
Australian Shepherds adapt very well to lifestyle changes and basically all living environments. They don't mind moving from one place to another with their owner.
Tolerates Being Left Alone
How long can an Australian Shepherd be left alone?
Australian Shepherds do best when a family member is at home during the day or if their workplace is dog-friendly so they can take the dog at work.

Australian Shepherd Good With

Stranger Friendly
Are they aggressive or friendly towards/with strangers? Australian Shepherd temperament with other people:
Australian Shepherds are not the most stranger-friendly dogs.
Pet Friendly
Are they pet-friendly dogs? How well do Australian Shepherd dogs get along with other pets? Are Australian Shepherd dogs good with pets? What is this canine temperament with other pets?
Australian Shepherds are generally with other pets.
Child Friendly
Are Australian Shepherd dogs kid-friendly? Are they good with young children? Australian Shepherd temperament with children:
Australian Shepherds are very kid-friendly dogs. This breed enjoys being surrounded by children.
Cat Friendly
How well do Australian Shepherd dogs get along with cats? Are they good with kittens? What is this fido's temperament with cats? Can they be good with cats? Can the Australian Shepherd breed live with a cat?
Australian Shepherds are average friendly towards cats.
Dog Friendly
Is Australian Shepherd good with other dogs? Are they dog-friendly dogs? How well do Australian Shepherd dogs get along with other dogs?
Australian Shepherds are average friendly towards other dogs.
Good For First Time Owners
Is Australian Shepherd breed good for first-time owners? Do they make a good dog for novice owners? Is Australian Shepherd breed suitable for first-time owners?
Yes
Australian Shepherds are good for novice owners, due to their easy-going personality.
Office Friendly
Are Australian Shepherds good office dogs? Do Australian Shepherds make good office friendly dogs? Can Australian Shepherds be office dogs?
No
Australian Shepherd is not the best dog breed for office environment.
Senior Citizens Friendly
Are they senior citizens friendly dogs? How well do Australian Shepherd dogs get along with the elderly people? What is the Little Blue Dog temperament with senior people? Are Australian Shepherd dogs good for elderly owners?
Australian Shepherds are one of the best breeds for elderly people.

Australian Shepherd Health

Health Issues
Is it a healthy or unhealthy breed? Do Australian Shepherd dogs have health problems or genetic diseases?
The Australian Shepherd is a healthy breed, but there are certain health issues that you should check with your vet regularly.
Health Problems
What genetic/health problems does the Australian Shepherd breed have? What are the health issues and concerns of the Australian Shepherd breed? Most common health risks of Australian Shepherd:
AllergiesCancerCataractsCollie Eye AnomalyDeafnessDetached RetinaDistichiasisDrug SensitivityElbow DysplasiaEpilepsyHip DysplasiaHypothyroidismNasal Solar DermatitisOsteochondrosis DissecansPersistent Pupillary MembranesProgressive retinal atrophy (PRA)
Veterinarian Visits
How often does the Australian Shepherd breed need to go to the vet? How often should you take your dog to the vet? How often should the Australian Shepherd see the vet?
Average
The Australian Shepherd should have a complete physical check-up at least once per year. If your dog shows any symptoms, call your veterinarian.
Life Expectancy
How long do Australian Shepherd dogs live? How old can a Australian Shepherd be? What is the age limit of the Australian Shepherd? How many years can the oldest Australian Shepherd live?

What is the average life expectancy / lifespan of an Australian Shepherd?

11-15 years
The average lifespan of Australian Shepherd: 13 years
Hypoallergenic
Is the Australian Shepherd breed hypoallergenic?
No
Australian Shepherds don't do well with allergy sufferers by causing allergic reaction. Some of the dog breeds are even considered to higher the possibility of an allergic response. Coat type isn't necessarily relevant, because most people are allergic to dander (flakes on the dog's skin) or saliva, not actually to dog hair.
Energy Level
How much energy does the Australian Shepherd have? What is the activity level of the Australian Shepherd?
Australian Shepherds are high-energy dogs. An active lifestyle makes them happy.
Activity Requirement / Exercise Need
How much exercise does an Australian Shepherd need? How much exercise do Australian Shepherd dogs require per day?
Australian Shepherds need a lot of exercises. Long walks should be on a daily schedule. If you live an active life, this breed can be a good choice for you.
Sleeping Need
How much sleep does the Australian Shepherd breed need?
Australian Shepherds don't need too much sleep. They are energetic and desire to live an active life. If you think naps are overrated, this breed can be the best choice for you.
Average daily food consumption
How much food does an Australian Shepherd need? What dog products should I buy? How much food does an Australian Shepherd breed eat per day? What is good dog food for Australian Shepherd? How much food should I feed my Australian Shepherd?
1.5 to 2.5 cups of high-quality dry food a day, divided into two meals.
Weight Gain Potential / Prone to Obesity
How easy to gain weight for this dog? Australian Shepherd risk for obesity:
Average to High: If you don't pay attention to the Australian Shepherd's weight, he can easily gain weight. More than one daily walk should be on schedule. To make your dog happy and fit, feed him with quality dry dog food and live an active life together. Try to find the happy medium between exercise and feeding.

If you notice any weight gain, consult your veterinarian and make a diet plan. Reduce unhealthy food and snacks, and measure the Australian Shepherd's weight regularly.

Weather and Climate
Which weather condition is preferred by this dog? Can they tolerate hot or cold weather and climate?
Prefers average to cold weather conditions
The Australian Shepherd can adapt to well to cold weather conditions, some dogs even can be a good mountain dog.
Stinkiness
How stinky is this dog? Why does it smell bad and how to get rid of the smell?

Medium

The Australian Shepherd has an average chance of bad smell. Top reasons for dog stinkiness: infection of bad tooth/ear/skin folds, gas attacks.
Drooling Tendency
Does the Australian Shepherd drool?
The Australian Shepherd is a perfect example of a very low drooling tendency. If you're disgusted by slobber spots on your clothes, the Australian Shepherd could be a perfect choice for you. Drooling is the unintentional saliva flowing outside of the mouth. It can be completely normal or a sign of a health problem. Certain dog breeds drool minimum compared to others, just like the Australian Shepherd.

If you notice any change in your dog's drooling habit, you should contact a vet as soon as possible.

Australian Shepherd As a Working Dog

Service Dog
Are they good as service dogs? Can Australian Shepherd be a guide dog? Are they used as seeing-eye dogs?

Not really

This breed generally not used as a service dog. A service dog is a term used in the USA to refer to any type of assistance dog specifically trained to help people who have disabilities, such as visual impairment, hearing impairments, mental disorders, seizures, mobility impairment, and diabetes. Service dogs are protected under the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act).

Australian Shepherd is not the best breed for service purposes.

Therapy Dog
Are they good as therapy dogs? Can Australian Shepherd be a therapy dog? Are they good anxiety dogs? Can a Australian Shepherd be an emotional support animal?

Not really

This breed is generally not used as a therapy dog. A therapy dog is a dog that might be trained to provide affection, comfort, and love to people in hospitals, retirement homes, nursing homes, schools, hospices, disaster areas, and people with anxiety disorders or autism.

Australian Shepherd is not the best breed for therapeutic purposes.

Detection Dog or Sniffer Dog
Are they good as detection dogs? Can Australian Shepherd be a sniffer dog?

Not really

They are not typically employed for this type of work, but there may be exceptional cases. A detection dog or sniffer dog is a dog that is trained to use its senses (mostly its smell) to detect substances such as explosives, illegal drugs, wildlife scat, currency, blood, and contraband electronics such as illicit mobile phones.

Australian Shepherd is not the best breed for detection purposes.

Search and Rescue Dog (SAR)
Are they good as SAR dogs? Can Australian Shepherd be a search and rescue dog?

Not really

This dog breed is not typically used as a search and rescue dog. The use of dogs in search and rescue (SAR) is a valuable component in wilderness tracking, natural disasters, mass casualty events, and locating missing people.

The Australian Shepherd is not the best breed for SAR purposes.

Boat and Sailor Dog
Are they good as boat dogs? Can Australian Shepherd be a boat dog?

Not really

Australian Shepherd breed usually doesn't like being on a boat.

Boat dogs were typically bred for their strength, stamina, and water resistance, as they were often required to perform tasks such as pulling in fishing nets, and jumping into the water to retrieve ropes or lines, or helping to move cargo.

Sailor dog is a type of dog that was bred to accompany sailors on their voyages. They were typically used for three purposes: as a working dog, a watchdog, and as a companion. A boat dog is a term used to describe a type of dog that was traditionally bred and used as a working dog on boats.

Cart Pulling or Drafting Dog
Are they good as cart pulling dogs? Can Australian Shepherd be a drafting dog?

Not really

A drafting dog or draft dog is a dog bred and used for cart pulling. Dogs bred for this work have strong builds and qualities that are needed, strength and determination.

Australian Shepherd is not the best breed for drafting purposes.

Fighting Dog / Military Dog
Where Australian Shepherd dogs used as fighting / military dogs in history?

Not really

In history, this breed was not really used for combat dog.

Australian Shepherd Reproducibility

Gestation Length
How long is an Australian Shepherd pregnant?How long does it take to have puppies? How to tell if the Australian Shepherd breed is pregnant?

60-64 days

Reproductive cycle of the female Australian Shepherd: The first period called Proestrus lasts for about 9 days.

During this time the females start to attract males. You can notice by swelling vulva and bloody discharge.

The second part is the Estrus when the female is receptive for the male. It lasts for about 3 to 11 days.

The sign of the proestrus part is the soft and enlarged vulva. The discharge decreases and lightens in color.

The third part is the Diestrus. Normally, it occurs around day 14. In this period the female’s discharge changes for vivid red and coming to its end. The vulva returns to average, and she will no longer permit mating.

The fourth part called the Anestrus. The time frame between heat periods normally lasts about six months.

Litter Frequency

Once a year.

More frequent breeding is not healthy. It is very important not to buy a dog from a puppy mill, where the needs of the pups and their mothers are ignored. It's an inhumane high-volume dog breeding facility, where puppies born several times a year.
Litter Size
How many puppies can the Australian Shepherd have in a litter? How many puppies can the Australian Shepherd breed have for the first time? How many puppies does an Australian Shepherd have? How many puppies can an Australian Shepherd give birth to?
6-9 puppies, average 7

Australian Shepherd Recognition

AKC Group
Is Australian Shepherd recognized by the American Kennel Club?
Recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1991 as a Herding breed.
FCI Group
Is Australian Shepherd recognized by the Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI)?
Recognized by FCI in the Sheepdogs and Cattledogs (except Swiss Cattledogs) group, in the Sheepdogs section.
Breed Recognition
What kennel clubs and organizations recognize or register the Australian Shepherd breed?
American Canine RegistryAmerican Kennel ClubAmerica's Pet RegistryDog Registry of America Inc.North American Purebred Registry, Inc.American Canine Association, Inc.Continental Kennel ClubNational Kennel ClubNew Zealand Kennel ClubUnited Kennel ClubAustralian Shepherd Club Of America

Australian Shepherd Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Intelligent Rank: Smart: Australian Shepherd's has great intelligence.
  • Trainability: Australian Shepherds are very easy to train.
  • Drooling Tendency: The Australian Shepherd is a perfect example of a very low drooling tendency.
  • Watchdog Ability: Australian Shepherds are one of the best watchdogs.
  • Impulse to Wander or Roam: Australian Shepherds are not the biggest explorers.
  • Adaptability: Australian Shepherds adapt very well to lifestyle changes and basically all living environments.
  • Child Friendly: Australian Shepherds are very kid-friendly dogs.
  • Senior Citizens Friendly: Australian Shepherds are one of the best breeds for elderly people.
  • Good For First Time Owners: Australian Shepherds are good for novice owners, due to their easy-going personality.
Cons
  • Hypoallergenic: Australian Shepherds don't do well with allergy sufferers by causing allergic reaction.
  • Weight Gain Potential / Prone to Obesity: Average to High: If you don't pay attention to the Australian Shepherd's weight, he can easily gain weight.
  • Mouthiness: Australian Shepherds have a higher than average tendency to nip, chew, play-bite, or herd people.
  • Tolerates Being Left Alone: Australian Shepherds do best when a family member is at home during the day or if their workplace is dog-friendly so they can take the dog at work.
  • Office Friendly: Australian Shepherd is not the best dog breed for office environment.

Australian Shepherd History

The Australian Shepherd, contrary to popular belief, is not indigenous in Australia. The breed finds its origins in the United States of America dating back to the early 1800s. The breed is thought to be developed first in the State of Colorado around the time of the Gold Rush.

There are many existing theories about the breed’s exact breeding process. The most likely is that the Australian Shepherd is descended from a long line of European herding breeds, brought to the United States by immigrants. It is widely believed that the Collie, the Border Collie, the Pyrenean Shepherd, and other shepherd types of dogs contributed to the Aussie’s early development. During the 1840s, there were many Australian shipments arriving in the United States, bringing flocks of sheep. The ranchers and farmers working with these sheep saw the abilities of the Aussie and started to put more emphasis on enhancing their herding ability. Consequently, this is where the breed got its name after. The Aussies were developed surrounded by harsh climate conditions, which changed frequently and by high altitudes of the Rocky Mountains, which made the dogs very athletic. The breed has always been a well-esteemed and favored farm dog, in the central parts of the United States, for their obedience and extraordinary herding capabilities which applied to a wide range of livestock. The Aussie’s innate intelligence to herd sheep, cattle, and farmed rabbits with equal efficiency and skill.

The Australian Shepherd gained immense popularity among both the farmers and ranchers, but among others too. They enjoyed their popularity boom during the Second World War, which went hand-in-hand with a renewed interest in Western-style horseback riding. The dogs were showcased on rodeo and horse shows where the audiences of western movies and TV shows were astonished by the breed’s athletic yet elegant physical appearance. Moreover, the crowds were wowed by the Aussie’s remarkable intelligence, and by the way how smoothly the dogs could work alongside the farmers and the horses. After their well-established working role and its popularity in the entertainment industry from rodeos and riding appearances in Hollywood blockbusters, the breed got in the eye of the general public. Thanks to the breed’s appearance on the screen, many famous people got Australian Shepherds as pets, including Stephen Spielberg, who became fond of the breed, after working with one in a film.

Despite the huge public interest, the major kennel clubs registered this pure-bred breed relatively late, in the 1990s. The AKC (American Kennel Club) only recognized the Australian shepherd in 1993 in their Herding Group. Nowadays, the breed is still very popular, it is currently ranking 16th among the AKC members. The Aussie’s work today mostly concludes agility, hiking and simply being a family companion. Nevertheless, thanks to the breed’s versatile nature, and intelligence, many Australian Shepherds are being employed as drug detectors, therapy dogs for children and the elderly, rescue dogs, service dogs, search-and-rescue dogs.

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Australian Shepherd Comments, Reviews and Questions

  • Nia

    Feb 25, 2022, 6:51:44 AM:

  • Selena

    Jan 19, 2022, 9:32:15 PM:

  • Sydney

    Jul 16, 2021, 9:14:49 PM:

    Excellent multi-purpose friend. Loyal, and a real character! Sometimes bossy with other animals, but never mean.

  • xc v<s

    Apr 18, 2019, 5:42:31 AM: