Australian Shepherd Dog Breed Information

If there is one word for these pups, it is "smart." As the late night infocommercials promise, that isn't all there is to like when it comes to these dogs. The following Australian Shepherd breed information details the facts you need to know regarding this breed loved by millions of pet owners. Not sure if the pup with the name from down under is the best breed for you? Visit our puppies for sale page to use our free "Find Your Best Friend" App to find out.

The protective and intelligent Australian Shepherd has a life expectancy of 12 to 15 years.


Little is known about the true origins of the Australian Shepherd. The breed is believed to have been developed to some degree in the Basque region of the Pyrenees Mountains. Basque shepherds and their dogs later migrated to Australia, then to America. Once in America, farmers and ranchers further developed the dogs and eventually created the breed known as the Australian Shepherd. The Australian Shepherd was used extensively to round up cattle, herd, carry and pull.


The Australian Shepherd is a medium-sized dog that weighs 35 to 65 pounds and measures 18 to 23 inches. The Australian Shepherd’s body is slightly longer than it is tall.

Grooming Needs

The Australian Shepherd has a thick, weather-resistant double coat appearing in black, red, blue merle and red merle. Australian Shepherds are average shedders that shed more heavily during the spring and fall. They should be brushed weekly and bathed only when necessary. Australian Shepherds should also be blow dried following each bath due to their thick coats.


Australian Shepherds are deeply loyal dogs that want to be as close to their family as possible.


The Australian Shepherd is playful and active. Australian Shepherds have lots of affection for their families and crave their attention. They are best suited to families who have time to devote to them. Australian Shepherds can develop separation anxiety if left alone for too long.

Australian Shepherds have natural protective instincts. They make great guard dogs and are always on the alert. Australian Shepherds tend to be wary of strangers and will act quickly to defend their home and family.

Training Needs

The Australian Shepherd is highly intelligent and eager to please. As such, the Australian Shepherd is generally easy to train. They respond well to commands and are quite athletic, making them ideal for advanced training. Australian Shepherds do need early socialization to help them overcome any shyness or aggressive behavior. Australian Shepherds also have to be taught not to nip or herd children.

Activity Level  

Australian Shepherds were bred to be working dogs and love a task to perform. They have lots of energy and need plenty of exercise and stimulation to be healthy and happy. Australian Shepherds should have long daily walks, jogs or hikes as well as time to run around and play. With proper training and socialization, Australian Shepherds can do quite well at agility, obedience, flyball and herding trials.

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