Australian Shepherd Dog


A medium sized Australian Shepherd Dog
Australian Shepherd Quick Summary
Also Known As
Height (at withers)Varies
Hair Colour(s)Varies
Lifespan12-15 years
Energy LevelMedium
Litter size6-9
Barking TendencyMedium
Exercise requirements
Ease of trainingMedium
Suitability for kids
Animal compatability
Aggression levels
Distress if left

The Australian Shepherd comes in two sizes: miniature and standard. The miniature version is small-medium in size at about 14-18in (35-46cm) tall and weighs between 20-40lbs (9-18kg); the standard version is medium-large in size at about 18-23in (46-58cm) tall and weighs between 40-75lbs (18-34kg). Both share the same physical and mental traits. The medium length double coat can be straight or slightly wavy, and can sometimes be feathered and more difficult to manage. The colouring of the coat varies and includes red, red merle, black, or blue merle, and may have white and tan markings.


Australian Shepherds are agile dogs with bags of personality and versatility. These are clever and responsive dogs, can be very fast and energetic, and love any form of physical activity. They are suited to more experienced owners as they can be quite demanding. They crave attention and also need to be mentally stimulated and kept busy, otherwise they can become a nuisance as a companion. Provided they are trained and exercised regularly, this breed tends to be very loyal, obedient, affectionate and alert. Australian Shepherds will get along with children they have been raised with, and also other animals, although they may express their herding tendencies by nipping. They are aloof with strangers and fairly protective of their families, making them decent watchdogs.

History & Skills

Despite the misleading name, Australian Shepherd Dogs were actually developed in the USA by ranchers, where they worked as herding dogs. They were developed from various crosses to make the breed more suitable for working on the harsh terrain of western America and Australia. The breed became popular as trick dogs in rodeos in the 1950s. These days, they are known to do well as watchdogs, as well as in competitive obedience, agility, conformation, retrieving, guarding, herding, and performing tricks. They are also known for their ability to assist in police work, narcotics detection, and search and rescue operations.

Breed Specific Ailments

Australian Shepherd Dogs tend to live between 12-15 years. Some of the health problems associated with this breed include cataracts, glaucoma, epilepsy, heart problems, allergies, skin problems, and cancers. Some dogs may also be susceptible to blindness or deafness, as well as spinal deficiencies. The breed is noted to be sensitive to ivermectin, so handlers must follow a prescribed safe dosage.


Australian Shepherd Dogs are average shedders and easy to maintain, but they do shed heavily twice a year and so are not suitable for allergy sufferers. Their grooming requirements can vary depending upon the coat but brushing twice a week is recommended, with bathing only as required. During periods of heavier shedding the coat will need to be brushed and groomed more regularly.

Exercise & Environment

Australian Shepherd Dogs need a daily physical workout, and a mental one too, preferably in the form of a job or a set task. They live well outdoors in temperate climates but are generally happier sharing space with their owners indoors.


FCIFCI - Federation Cynologique Internationale
KCThe Kennel Club (UK)
AKCAKC - American Kennel Club

Breed Clubs

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Owners Gallery

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