The Australian shepherd is an european breed who got perfected in the US. Associated with cowboys they originated in 1840 around the time of Gold rush. These hard working dogs were able to herd even the most stubborn of bulls. It made them into valued shepherd dogs and even today their work gets appreciated. It is not a dog for the beginner as they have a really high work drive.
Average lifespann: 13-15 years
Looks and characteristics:
Aussies are lean and well-balanced. To be able to do their job they have a firm and muscular body underneath their thick and fluffy coat so that they can stay agile. Their fur is of medium lenght and is longer around their shoulder and neck part to create a mane, as well as longer on the back of their forelegs. An aussie with a typical and correct coat shouldn't require more than a combing once in a while and more so during shedding. It is possible for the Australian shepherd to have a natural bobtail.
Blue merle, black, red, red merle, all with or without white markings and/or tan points.
History and origins:
Despite its name, the Australien Shepherd is a breed from the US. They descended from a line of Europe's finest herders between France and Spain. They were refined by being crossed by brittish imported Collies and Border collies in Australia before they got picked up and developed in California. On the ranches of California they came to be valued for their very after-sought attributes and were misstakenly assumed to be an Australian breed - thus their name. The Australian Shepherd with its fine herding ability and intelligence had a great influence on cowboy culture, as they were used as herders as well as Rodeo performers.
The Australian shepherd is a stable dog with a friendly personality, they're easily trained dogs who can also possess some guarding instincts. They are reserved dogs and should never exhibit aggression, fearfulness or shyness. A pretty versitale dog with quick reflexes and a extreme need of a lot of physical, as well as mental stimuli. They are known for having stamina to work for days.
Australian Shepherds are very healthy dogs. The recommended Health test from the national breed clubs are: