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Australian Shepherd Dog Dog Breed Profile

General
Other Names
Aussies 
Dog Group Kennel Club
Pastoral 
Breed Classification
Australian Shepherd Dogs belong to the pastoral group and are used for sheep-herding, as companions and seen in the show-ring. 
Cost of Ownership
Average Food Cost
£4-7.50 per week
Feeding Requirements
This breed does like its food and can become overweight if it does not get enough exercise.  
Other Expenses
The initial cost of a puppy is from £500 upwards. 
Lifespan
9 - 15 years
12 to 13 years would be an average lifespan for this dog. 
Average Litter Size
The average litter size ranges from 6 to 9 puppies. 
General Physical Description
These medium sized dogs are slightly longer than they are tall. They are solid and muscular. Their gait demonstrates the agility and stamina that a sheepdog would need.

Height Min Max
Bitch 46cm (18") 53cm (21")
Dog 51cm (20") 58cm (23")
Weight Min Max
Bitch 16kg (35lbs) 32kg (71lbs)
Dog 16kg (35lbs) 32kg (71lbs)
Size Category
Medium 
Weight Height Range
Dogs ideally measure between 51-58cms at the withers, and bitches between 46-53cms. They should weigh in the region of 16-32kgs, the dogs at the top end of the scale and the bitches at the bottom. 
Ailments
The Australian Shepherd has inherited some eye diseases, among them Coloboma, an abnormal development of the eye and microopthalmia, an abnormally small eye. Cataracts and retinal detachments. 
Common Ailments

Micropthalmia  
Susceptibility To Illness
Low 
Other
History
 
Intelligence
Australian Shepherds are eager to learn and please their owner. As a result, this is an easy to train breed, although they can be rather dominant. It is also a breed that must be trained, as it needs something to occupy its mind. Aussies were bred to work and without a purpose in life they become bored and can develop destructive behaviours.< 
Show Characteristics
An Australian Shepherd’s head should have a flat skull or moderate dome. Equal in length to the back of the skull, the muzzle should be neither massive or snipey but round, and only slightly tapered. A scissor or level bite is permitted. Colours for the eyes can be very interesting with blue, brown, and amber or combination, flecked or mottled, all accepted. Almond in shape, the eyes should be wide set and show an alert and intelligent expression. Noses also play the colour game with black nostrils asked for in the darker dogs, while red dogs can have brown noses. Merles can have pink spots on their noses, so long as the spots cover less than 25% of the nose. Triangular in shape and moderate in size, folding forward at the top. The neck is strong and slightly arched sporting a ruff above the finely boned shoulders, which create close-set withers. The chest is deeper than it is wide and the ribs are well sprung but not barrel shaped. There is a moderate tuck-up to the abdomen. Equal in size to the shoulder blade, the upper arm should be made of dense bone and appear perfectly straight in the front view. 
Country Of Origin
United States of America 
Famous Examples
 
Records Held
 
Characteristics
Energy
High 
Overall Exercise
80 - 100 minutes per day.
Long walks are essential but are still not enough. Roadwork and free running are both needed for the good of the dog. This dog will work well in obedience, agility, fly ball or herding, all areas where he will do himself and his trainer proud. 
Distress if Left Alone
 
Personal Protection
High 
Guard Dog Suitability
Medium 
Risk of Sheep Worrying
High 
Tendency to Bark
High 
High 
Level of Aggression
Medium 
Compatibility With Other Animals
Low 
Suitable For Children

Medium 

General Character And Temperament
It is recommended that you socialize Aussies early, as they can be a bit shy with strangers. It is also good for them to get used to children, other dogs and pets at an early age if one wants relations to go smoothly. The herding instinct is very strong in this breed and they must be taught that not all children take kindly to being herded. It is probably best to keep Aussies in a well-fenced yard and on leads when out for a walk as they may otherwise feel compelled to herd traffic, which can be fatal. This is a one person or family dog so they do make good protectors. They are very vocal and have a peculiar bark-howl combination that can be utilised in their guarding capacity. This is not the best breed for novice dog owners. 
Grooming
Coat Length
Medium/Long 
Grooming Requirement
< Once a week 
Trimming
 
Requires Professional Groomer
 
Grooming
Aussies do shed and it is advisable to comb with a coarse, double toothed comb during moulting season. 
Colour
Coat colours include, black, blue merle, red and red merle. Merle is a mottled colour that darkens as the dog ages.  
Shedding
Little 
Suffers From Allergies
 

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