A Guide to the Australian Shepherd

 Tuesday Jan 11,2022
By  Lancaster Puppies

Loyal, intelligent, and athletic, the Australian Shepherd is a breed like no other. If you are thinking about adding an Aussie to your family, keep reading! We’ve put together an informative guide on all things Australian Shepherd.

History of the Australian Shepherd

Lancaster Puppies Australian Shepherd breed infographic: intelligent, good with kids, affectionate, energetic, good with other dogsThe Australian Shepherd dog breed did not originate in Australia, despite its name. Rather, it was developed in the United States by Basque shepherds who immigrated to the country after settling in Australia for a short period of time during the 1800s. The Australian Shepherd was (and continues to be) renowned for its abilities as a farm and ranch dog, herder, and tracker. However, it wasn’t until the 1950s that the breed became more popular in America, after appearing in films and rodeos. 

The Australian Shepherd was first recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC) in 1993, and the breed is now well-known for its versatility and stellar herding abilities. 

Australian Shepherd Characteristics

Appearance and Coat

Australian Shepherds are medium-sized dogs, typically standing around 18 to 23 inches tall at the withers. A healthy weight for the breed is about 40 to 65 pounds. An Aussie’s coat is coarse and medium-length. It varies in color but usually includes a mottled pattern with various shades of blue or red.


Australian Shepherds are clever, even-tempered, and protective by nature. They have a strong desire to please and are easily trainable, but they require early and persistent instruction. These pups are excellent with children, but their protective instinct makes them apprehensive of strangers. Socializing is critical during puppyhood, otherwise, the breed may grow aloof as an adult. 


The Australian Shepherd is generally a healthy dog, but like all breeds, they are prone to certain health conditions, such as hip dysplasia and epilepsy:

  • Hip dysplasia: an irregular formation of the hip socket that can lead to painful arthritis and difficult mobility.
  • Epilepsy: This breed can suffer from epilepsy, which causes them to have seizures on occasion. While not curable, epilepsy can be treated with medication.

Caring for an Australian Shepherd

An Aussie’s Ideal Home

Did you know Australian Shepherds are not actually Australian. They were bred by Basque shepherds who briefly lived in Australia before moving to AmericaFor an active owner, the Australian Shepherd is a delight. They form strong bonds with their families and get along well with children and other dogs. When given a job to do, this breed is quite adaptable, but if they do not receive enough physical and mental stimulation, Aussies can become hyperactive and destructive out of boredom.

Unless they have frequent access to a location where they can run around, Australian Shepherds are not a great choice for apartment or city living. It is essential that they have a secure area to expend their energy at all hours of the day or night.

Training an Australian Shepherd

For this breed, proper training is essential. Australian Shepherds are smart and eager to learn, making them great students. These dogs will need help overcoming their territorial and overprotective tendencies and must learn how to channel their energy in productive ways. Because they love spending time with their owners, Aussies will view training as a bonding opportunity.

Australian Shepherds typically respond best to positive reinforcement and reward-based training methods. With these dogs, it’s important to keep training sessions interesting, as too much repetition can cause them to lose interest.

Exercise Needs

Australian Shepherds are high-energy, athletic dogs who require daily exercise in order to thrive. They should have a spacious yard to run around in for a few hours every day, and they like going on walks and runs with their owners. They’ll also appreciate regular trips to the dog park. Aussies are at their best when they are given a task, whether it’s herding animals or participating in dog sports and agility competitions.

Grooming and Hygiene

Australian Shepherds have a waterproof double coat that has to be groomed on a regular basis. An Aussie’s coat should be brushed at least once a week to remove loose hair, with more frequent brushings during the spring and fall shedding seasons. Grooming an Australian Shepherd should also include regular nail trims and ear cleanings. Routine dental care is also a must for this breed.

Is the Australian Shepherd the right breed for you? If so, find your new furry friend on Lancaster Puppies today!