Dog Breed

Australian Shepherd

Primary image of Australian Shepherd dog breed
Full Name
Australian Shepherd
Alternate Names
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Life Span
12 - 16 years
35 - 65 pounds

An excellent farming dog, that is medium in size and has a cool temperament, making them a great family dog as well. Despite the "cool temperament", they need a heavy amount of exercise, since they have a high amount of energy, and a home with a backyard is certainly preferred. They can participate in rodeos, herding, or other farmwork, or just be a good part of the family if their owner is willing to commit to giving them the exercise they require.

Bred For
Sheep herding
    Family Considerations
    Child Friendly

    Is the Australian Shepherd good with children?

    Yes, the Australian Shepherd is very friendly with children. We still recommend introductions to children while they are young so they get used to them, but the Australian Shepherd naturally loves children.
    Stranger Friendly

    Is the Australian Shepherd friendly with strangers?

    The Australian Shepherd is about average in how friendly they are with strangers. They can be timid or protective, but with proper training and socialization can be fine for any household.
    Dog Friendly

    Is the Australian Shepherd friendly with other dogs?

    Yes! The Australian Shepherd naturally loves other dogs. As always, socialization is always important, but the Australian Shepherd typically gets along with every dog it meets
    Likes to Cuddle

    Does the Australian Shepherd like to cuddle?

    The Australian Shepherd likes to cuddle up every once in a while. They appreciate physical affection, but probably won't stay in your lap for extended amounts of time.

    Does the Australian Shepherd like to play?

    The Australian Shepherd will almost always be ready for play! The Australian Shepherd is great for a family with children, or otherwise, an environment that is always ready for play.
    Service Dog Ability

    Does the Australian Shepherd make a good service dog?

    The Australian Shepherd would not be a great fit as a service dog for several reasons.
    Overall Ease of Breed
    Ease for Novice

    Is the Australian Shepherd good for first-time owners?

    The Australian Shepherd is not the easiest breed for first-time owners, but can certainly still work out if the owner is willing to put the time into training and exercise.
    Training Potential

    How well can the Australian Shepherd be trained?

    The Australian Shepherd can be trained very well. With discipline and a routine training program the Australian Shepherd can be incredibly well-trained.
    Amount of Shedding

    Does the Australian Shepherd shed a lot?

    The Australian Shepherd sheds a lot! They may still shed less than a few other breeds, but be prepared for dog hair throughout the home and on your clothes.
    Ease of Grooming

    Is the Australian Shepherd easy to groom?

    The Australian Shepherd requires an average amount of grooming. Taking your Australian Shepherd to the pet salon will make your life easier, but its possible to groom a Australian Shepherd on your own as well.
    Exercise Need

    Does the Australian Shepherd need a lot of exercise?

    The Australian Shepherd has a lot of energy and getting daily exercise is very important, both for their well-being and for their focus, which is important when you train them.

    How smart is the Australian Shepherd?

    The Australian Shepherd is one of the smartest dog breeds. Having a very smart dog is fun, but it is also demanding- they require mental challenge and stimulation just as much as physical exercise.
    Amount of Barking

    How much does the Australian Shepherd bark? Does the Australian Shepherd bark too much?

    The Australian Shepherd barks an average amount. It can vary widely between Australian Shepherds - some may be much more expressive than others.
    Guard Dog Ability

    Is the Australian Shepherd a good guard dog?

    The Australian Shepherd would not make a good guard dog. They can be alert, but typically do not have the desire or instinct to take on "guarding" as their job.
    Tolerates Being Alone

    Is the Australian Shepherd good at staying alone? Is the Australian Shepherd independent?

    The Australian Shepherd does not enjoy being left alone for extended periods. They can do well for a couple of hours alone, but may have anxiety for time beyond that.
    Home and Environment Considerations
    Good for Apartment Living

    Is the Australian Shepherd a good apartment dog?

    The Australian Shepherd is not a good dog for apartment living for several reasons. It is still possible to make it work if the owner is dedicated to plenty of training and daily exercise, but it may be challenging.

    How big is the Australian Shepherd?

    The Australian Shepherd is a medium sized dog breed. They can range in size depending on genetics, and males are larger on average than females.
    Tolerates Heat

    How much does the Australian Shepherd tolerate hot weather? When is it too hot for a Australian Shepherd?

    The Australian Shepherd can do very well in hot weather. Owners should still be aware of over-heating as this is one of the most common reasons for dogs going into the emergency room, but overall the Australian Shepherd can do well in hot climates.
    Tolerates Cold

    How much does the Australian Shepherd tolerate cold weather? When is it too cold for a Australian Shepherd?

    The Australian Shepherd can tolerate some cold, but should not be over-exposed to cold weather. In general, they can live in cold weather climates, but may need clothing on particularly cold evenings or in snow.
    Potential to Run Away

    Does the Australian Shepherd try to run away?

    It is natural for the Australian Shepherd to run away. They are easily distracted and excited, so the urge to run away should be expected and prepared for- a fenced yard is important.
    Physical Characteristics
    General Health

    Is the Australian Shepherd a healthy dog? The health of a Australian Shepherd should be measured not just by how many years they live, but also by how many health issues they've had. It is important to know which health conditions your breed is prone to- hip problems, eye problems, bloating, and arthritis are all common dog health problems.

    The Australian Shepherd is one of the healthiest breeds. Exercise and a high-quality diet are still high priorities, but overall the Australian Shepherd has excellent health.
    Energy Level

    How energetic is the Australian Shepherd?

    The Australian Shepherd has a lot of energy and this needs to be considered before bringing the Australian Shepherd into your home. Can you give your Australian Shepherd enough exercise? They will need several small daily walks, or a large dog park trip to get all of the energy out.
    Amount of Drooling

    How much does the Australian Shepherd drool?

    The Australian Shepherd drools very little, typically to where it's never a concern.
    Prey Drive

    Does the Australian Shepherd have a large prey drive? Does the Australian Shepherd like to chase birds, cats, and other small animals?

    The Australian Shepherd has average prey drive. They will probably enjoy chasing after birds and other small animals at the park, and it may be an issue at the home if you have small animals, but with some training and introduction can usually learn to live with them.

    Is the Australian Shepherd atheltic?

    The Australian Shepherd is very athletic and would be well suited for a family that frequently works out or goes on adventures.

Breed Variations

  1. Herding
  2. Shepherd / Sheepdog
  3. Australian Shepherd
The Australian Shepherd is a purebred dog that belongs to the Shepherd / Sheepdog sub group, which falls under the larger Herding dog breed group.
Herding group: The Herding group dogs all share an instinctual ability to control the movement of other animals. They have traditionally been raised on farms to help herd and protect valuable livestock. They are intelligent, and have been bred to treat each day like they have a "job" they must do. Their innate herding ability is such a big part of who they are, that they are known to even "herd" their owners, children, or other small dogs. Some can seem stubborn and even obsessed with their herding, since they take it seriously! They have high expectations, and must be stimulated mentally just as much as physically. The reward to these "high expectations" is that they can be trained very well, and are oftentimes used in competitions. Certain breeds such as the well known German Shepard are also used by Police forces, because of their discipline, intelligence, and ability to be trained.
Shepherd / Sheepdog sub-group: Shepherd dogs are the super performers of the dog world. For many generations they have served their owners by performing their job of helping in the farm- guarding, protecting, and herding. Shepherds were bred based off intelligence and temperament, and willingness to serve their families. Today they are excellent family dogs, but also excel as military service animals, emotional therapy dogs, and in competitive obedience competitions. They are highly trainable and intelligent, but that does not necessarily mean they are an easy dog or optimal for first time owners. With this potential comes greater responsibility from the owner. They need a firm owner who is willing to stimulate them both physically and mentally from an early age. They need a leader. If they have one, you will be rewarded with one of the friendliest and most intelligent dogs in the World.

Australian Shepherds for adoption

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