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Australian Shepherd

Country/Date of Origin: United States/1800s

In spite of its name, the Australian Shepherd did not originate in Australia. It was "made in the USA" from stock that immigrating Basque sheepherders brought with them. First and foremost this is a working animal and indeed the majority of Australian Shepherds are worked with stock today. The breed became stabilized in the early 20th century and was recognized first by the Canadian and Mexican Kennel Clubs and finally by the American Kennel Club in 1993.

Other Names Body Type Personality Coat Health Concerns

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AKC Group: Herding

Breed Club: United States Australian Shepherd Association

Rescue Club: Aussie Rescue and Placement Helpline, Inc; Second Time Around Aussie Rescue, Inc

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Body Type:

  • A medium sized herding dog of the collie type
  • Height: 18-23 inches (at shoulder)
  • Weight: 35-70 pounds
  • Has a bobtail - either naturally or by docking
  • The ears hang close to the head and are not altered
  • Eyes may be brown or blue or one of each


    Uncannily smart
  • Loyal and devoted to owner but wary of strangers
  • Strong herding instincts
  • Independent in nature, very much like the Border Collie


  • Medium texture, weather-resistant coat is of moderate length
  • Four colors are permissible: blue merle; black; red merle; and all red. All can be with or without white markings and / or tan points. White markings are not permitted on the body between the withers and the tail, on the sides between the elbows or the back of the hindquarters. A white collar is permitted
  • Moderate grooming
  • Seasonal shedding

Health Concerns:

  • Generally robust
  • Possible eye diseases especially progressive retinal atrophy and collie eye anomaly
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Tasty Tidbits:
  • A top choice for obedience competition
  • Agility makes it a great Frisbee dog too

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