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Description of Australian Shepherd

´╗┐The Breed History

This cattle herding breed was primarily developed in California in the 1900s, but their origins trace back to the immigration of Basque shepherds. In Australia, there are similar dogs called German Coolies, but the Australian Shepherd is considered a separate breed, and was developed in the United States not Australia as the name might imply. Collies and Australian Sheepdogs figure most prominently in the ancestry of the Australian Shepherd. The Australian Shepherd Club of America was established in 1957. First AKC registry dates to 1991.

Breeding for Function

The breed excels at watching large herds. Their "eye" for scanning the herd and reacting only when necessary gives them an edge as the herder's aide. Their sensible herding judgment allows them to manage a herd with a reasonable energy outlay, resulting in the capacity to work long days. Because of their intelligence, their trainability and personality makes them suited for guide dog work, drug detection, for search and rescue missions and as companions.

Physical Characteristics

Height at Withers: female 18-21" (45.5-53 cm), male 20-23" (51-58.5 cm).

Weight: 35-70 lb (16-32 kg).

Coat: The coat is moderate in length and density, wavy or straight and moderate feathering is present on the forelegs and britches; a mane and frill are developed. Colors include red, red merle, blue merle, and black. These may be combined with markings of specified size and distribution including white and copper.

Longevity: 12-13 years

Points of Conformation: These dogs are medium in build and slightly longer than tall. The tail is either naturally bobbed or is docked to about 4" in length. A moderate stop divides the rounded muzzle from skull. An alert expression emanates from almond shaped eyes. Iris pigment is variable and can include brown, blue and amber. Ears are triangular and moderate in size, and break in a fold hanging forward or backwards. The nose is black for all but red or red merle dogs, where a liver nose is evident. Neck is moderate in muscling. The topline is level, ending in a moderately sloping croup. The thorax is deep and the ribs well sprung, and abdomen is moderately tucked up. The limbs are straight boned, feet compact and well knuckled up. Rear dewclaws are always removed. Gait is agile, and appearing effortless.

Thanks for description - Animal life club

Photo Gallery of Australian Shepherd