Australian ShepherdDid you know that the Australian Shepherd is not from Australia? How could the Australian Shepherd not be an Australian dog breed? Keep reading to find out!

Australian Shepherds can make good family dogs and will play with older children for hours, although you have to be careful with younger children as they will tend to “herd” them.


The Australian Shepherd that we know today was developed in the United States but probably originating in the Basque region of the Pyrenees Mountains between France and Spain.

The name, Australian Shepherd, came from the association with the Basque shepherds who did come to the United States from Australia. They were officially recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1991.


The Australian Shepherd is a member of the American Kennel Club’s herding group of dogs.


The Australian Shepherd dog breed can be 18 to 23 inches tall at the shoulder and they can weigh 35 to 70 pounds.


There are 4 standard colors and 3 markings for the Australian Shepherd. The colors are black, blue merle, red, and red merle. The markings are tan points, white markings, and white markings with tan points.


Australian Shepherds are smart, lively, adaptable, good with children and other pets, and independent.

They have a herding instinct that will not be desirable if you have young children as they tend to herd small children and they may nip them in the process.


Australian Shepherds are very active as herding dogs are and they love to have a job to do as these are working dogs. They will enjoy running through an agility course to release their physical and mental energy.


The lifespan of an Australian Shepherd is 12 to 15 years of age. They tend to be prone to epilepsy, eye diseases, hip and elbow dysplasia, heart disease and allergies.


You can expect seasonal shedding from the double coated Australian Shepherd. This is when they will need brushing more often. You will need to brush their hair regularly to remove tangles and loose hair.

Other Grooming

You will need to clean your Australian Shepherd’s ears once a week and trim their nails as needed. To prevent tartar and gum disease, brush their teeth several times a week.


Australian Shepherds are very eager to please which makes training an enjoyable experience for both of you. Use positive reinforcement rewarding with training treats and praise. Training them to do jobs will make them very happy.

Separation Anxiety

Australian Shepherds are not the dog to leave alone for long periods of time. They want to be with their families and enjoy activities with there families.  You will need a dog walker, dog sitter or a doggie day care if you will be away for long periods of time.

Australian Shepherd sitting in snowRescue

If you have an interest in the Australian Shepherd dog breed, please consider adoption. There are many purebred dogs and puppies that are available for adoption.

You can search for a Australian Shepherd rescue group in your area by starting here at PetFinder or searching at

What do you think about the Australian Shepherd dog breed? Share a story about your dog or leave a comment below. The information on this website is not intended to replace the advice of your own veterinarian, dog trainer, or dog behavioral specialist.