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  • Kristin Kodenski

Breed Spotlight: The Australian Shepherd



OVERVIEW

The Australian Shepherd, often called "Aussie", is a smart and intelligent working dog. They are known to have strong herding and guarding instincts. If you are thinking about adopting an Aussie, make sure you give them a job. These dogs are the most loyal companions when their energy is channeled into an activity.


BUILD

Most Aussies are medium-sized dogs with males ranging from 55-70 lbs and females from 35-55lbs. They average a height of 18-23 inches. Without the right diet and exercise, they have a high potential of packing on some pounds so make sure to limit treats and get them busy for several hours a day.


TEMPERAMENT

This breed is very easy to train and are often eager to please their owner. Due to their history of herding, they are quick to make associations between prompts and actions. This is great if you need a service dog but, if not given activities such as obedience training, games, or dog toys, Aussies are known for creating their own entertainment by digging and chewing.

They are on the louder side considering howling and barking so we'd consider this when thinking about your lifestyle: Do you have sound restrictions or are you looking for a guard dog? Does barking bother you or do you need them to be vocal often?


ADAPTABILITY

Due to their need to be active, this isn't an ideal breed for someone living in an apartment or somewhere without a lot of room to move. When bored, Aussies can become destructive and gain behavioral issues.


They are highly sensitive which makes them great for training and family life. They are affectionate with family, children, strangers, cats, and other dogs. Even if you want your pet to be a guard dog, it's recommended to socially train your Aussie.


HEALTH

Overall, the health of Australian Shepherds can be low as they are prone to various health conditions. We recommend getting your Aussie checked out often for the top 10 risks this breed faces:

  • Epilepsy

  • Hereditary Eye Diseases

  • Hip Dysplasia

  • Heart Disease

  • Chronic Allergies

  • Hypothyroidism

  • Drug Sensitivity

  • Deafness

  • Osteochondrosis Dissecans

  • Skin Infections

SOURCES

https://www.petfirst.com/breed-spotlights/australian-shepherd/

https://dogtime.com/dog-breeds/australian-shepherd#/slide/1



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