Basics of Dog Breed : Australian shepherd

Posted on September 21 2018

Basics of Dog Breed : Australian shepherd

The Australian Shepherd is a dog that does not lack character. It has a body with beautiful proportions and a medium frame. It is an affectionate, even invasive breed that needs to indulge in sports to be happy. In recent years, this breed is very successful in the hearts of the French.

Breed Information:

Other names: Aussie, Australian Shepherd
Origin:  United States
FCI Group: Sheepdogs and Cattle Dogs (except Swiss Cattle Dogs)
FCI number: 342

Race history

Contrary to what its name implies, the Australian Shepherd is not native to Australia . Rather, it was American farmers who developed the breed in the 1900s to have a dog capable of gathering livestock. Even if many theories contradict each other, the true origin of this race would be Basque .

In the 19th century, in the region of the Pyrenees between France and Spain, many (including pastors) would have had to move and leave the area, for lack of work. Some would have gone to Australia at the time when the country was becoming a big producer of wool and therefore of sheep. These pastors had dogs very similar to the Australian Shepherd and their skills were highly appreciated for herd management. They would then have taken the road to the United States. The standard of the breed was established in the United States in 1957.

Physical characteristics

His hair : straight, sometimes slightly wavy, he does not fear the weather. 
Its color : Australian shepherd blue, red, black or red merle may carry tawny or white spots. 
His head : crown of the skull flat or barely rounded. The length of the muzzle and the width of the skull are almost the same. 
His ears : triangular and drooping, they are tied up. 
His eyes : almond-shaped, they can be amber, brown or blue, even an association of these colors including speckles. 
His body : he is less tall than long. The ribs are curved, the rump slightly inclined and a high chest. 
Its tail : right, it should not measure more than 10 cm.

Weight and size

Weight Cut
Female Between 19 kg and 26 kg Between 46 cm and 53 cm
Male Between 25 kg and 34 kg Between 51 cm and 58 cm

An Australian Shepherd dog is classified as a large dog .

Behavior and character

This race is made for action although it is not quarrelsome by nature. The Australian Shepherd is rather facetious and curious. Instinctively, he is quite capable of leading or keeping a flock. Not very fragile, he easily endures long days. It has no trouble adjusting to family life as long as it can be activated.


It can begin at the age of 2 months if you want to properly discipline to make a pet. On the other hand, it is very important to offer him an education that is both firm but without violence . The brutality is unbearable. His permanent activity and his strong character require a good socialization. It is also recommended to share with him a canine activity (agility, canicross, etc ..) To ensure its development.


The Australian Shepherd often presents eye defects (called MOHC: Hereditary Canine Ocular Diseases). Among these eye diseases , it is important to be screened annually for Progressive Retinal Atrophy (RPA), Colley Eye Disease (AOC), and juvenile cataracts. He is also subject to  dysplasias of the hip and elbow and epilepsy . Skin diseases have also been noted on several individuals.

Regarding deworming , it is recommended to do it 3 times a year . Beware, ivermectin (substance present in some deworming) represents a real poison for the Australian Shepherd.


Major concerns
Colley eye abnormality (AOC)
Minor concerns
Anomaly of Pelger-Huët
Coloboma of the iris
Hip dysplasia
Occasional concerns
Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA)
Distichiasis in dogs
Willebrand disease
Persistence of the arterial duct (PCA)
Lumbosacral syndrome
Suggested tests
Hypoallergenic race
Scope size
Between 3 and 10 puppies - 7 puppies on average

Maintenance & Hygiene


The Australian Shepherd requires some attention. Of deworming every 4 months are recommended in addition to a valid vaccination. His nails should be cut regularly to avoid any risk of cracking. Ears also need frequent cleaning to prevent wax from building up and teeth to be brushed to prevent tartar build-up.


Bath ...
Its self-cleaning hair does however require only one bath a year, it is recommended to use a shampoo for dogs to prevent drying of the hair and skin. 

Brushing ...
The  Australian Shepherd  is subject to 2 moults a year that of the spring is stronger. During these periods of moulting, regular brushing is essential to avoid knots. It is advisable to use a soft bristle brush (iron or plastic), also called "slicker", to release his hair of plant debris after a walk for example. Its thick fur coat fits perfectly to this type of brush.

Physical activity

The  Australian Shepherd  needs space. A daily walk could be sufficient as long as it lasted 30 minutes minimum. It is also recommended to share with him a canine activity (agility, canicross, Frisbee, game of obedience, etc.) to ensure its development. 

Of course, puppies have a lower need for physical activity compared to adults. An Australian Shepherd puppy  should not jump or play too hard surfaces to avoid poor skeletal development and any adverse effects it may have on his health.

Living conditions

The Australian Shepherd is not really made for an apartment life. He prefers houses with gardens to give free rein to his sporty temperament . It is a breed that appreciates the company and that requires as much affection as action. It is therefore necessary to think of taking it out often enough and avoid leaving it alone for too long. If he needs authority, it must be served gently.


Industrial brands offer foods that are age, size and weight of the Australian Shepherd  with different levels of quality. Of course, we must focus on quality using premium diet products  

In terms of rations, it is said that generally an Australian Shepherd needs 320 grams of kibble per day for the male against 280 grams for a female . These amounts are to split into 2 daily meals and to adapt according to the activity and the metabolism of your dog.

Price and budget

The  average purchase price of  an Australian Shepherd is around 1000 to 1200 euros  for a puppy registered in the LOF (called purebred).

Regarding the annual cost , take care of an Australian Shepherd and ensure good health requires a budget of about  1000 euros . For food , with mid - range products, it will cost you a little less than 600 euros . The cost of veterinary fees (vaccination, vermifuge, annual review) will amount to nearly 170 euros . Regarding hygiene (shampoo, grooming, etc.) and accessories (including candies), you will need to pay about  240 euros. For all these major expenses (others may be added depending on the case), the assurance of good health of your Australian Shepherd will require a monthly envelope of  about 85 euros .

Minimum Maximum
Buying price 700 € 1500 €


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