The Australian Shepherd
Although the name suggests that this is an Australian breed the Australian Shepherd as we know it today is an American based breed.
The Australian Shepherd has been developed primarily as a Ranch dog in America, not only to work livestock but to be a companion and guard dog to its owners.
The Australian Shepherd is a highly intelligent working dog with strong herding instincts. He is an exceptional companion, he is versatile and easily trained, and performs all his tasks with enthusiasm., he should never be shy or aggressive.
The Australian shepherd is an active dog and needs regular exercise, and are exceptionally good at Obedience, Agility etc also when raised in an environment with children they quickly become good playmates and love to play ball, Frisbee, swim and of course as with all children occasionally get into trouble !!!
If you are looking for a dog with an intense desire to please who is loyal to you and your family then an Aussie is for you. But remember any dog is only as good as the environment you bring him up in, it is important as with any dog to socialise and train your Aussie.
There are four main colours of the Australian Shepherd these are Black, Red, Blue Merle and Red Merle ALL can be with or without white trim, and /or copper points. In General appearance the Aussie should be well balanced, slightly longer than he is tall, of medium size, with an alert, keen and friendly expression. The head should be clean cut, with a moderate well defined stop, with the muzzle tapering slightly towards the nose. Eye colour can be Brown, Blue or amber or a combination of these, they can also have flecks or marbling too. Ears should be triangular and of moderate size and break forward when attracted. The Aussie should have well laid shoulders a firm level topline, with well defined stifles and neat oval shaped feet. His movement should be agile and free with good forward reach and driving rear movement which when viewed from the front may converge at speed. His coat is of moderate length with feathering down the front & rear legs a moderate ruff around the neck which will be more pronounced in the dogs than in bitches. Because the Aussies coat is of Moderate length a light brushing 2 - 3 times a week will keep your Aussies coat clean and healthy and will prevent matts from developing behind the ears , in the Ruff or in the Feathers on the legs.
Size :- Dogs 51-58 cm's ( 20-23 inches) Bitches 46-53 cm's (18-21 inches)
We do have incidents of Hereditary Cataracts in this breed it is therefore advisable when looking at puppies to ask the breeder if the Father and Mother of the litter both have current Eye Clear Certificates, these eye checks should be done yearly, also at the same time check if the parents have also been hip scored. If the breeder is a reputable one then they will not object to you asking for copies of these certificates , and will be willing give you copies of these certificates.