The Australian Shepherd, or Aussie, is a breed of working dog that is actually more American than Australian. Much controversy surround the breeds origin, but one thing is certain; the Australian Shepherd has been fundamental in shaping America’s farming and ranching history for centuries. What made the Aussie indispensable to farmers and ranchers, also make it a go to choice for families and dog lovers around the world and in Los Angeles.
Australian Shepherd Breed Characteristics
The Australian Shepherd personality.
All dogs have their own unique personalities, even within a specific breed, but Australian Shepherds exhibit distinct characteristics which are rooted in their herding and guardian lineage. The Australian Shepherd Club of America describes the Aussie as “primarily a working dog of strong herding and guardian instincts. He is an intelligent, exceptional companion… versatile and easily trained: performing his assigned tasks with great style and enthusiasm. He is reserved with strangers but does not exhibit shyness… Although an aggressive, authoritative worker, viciousness toward people or animals is intolerable.”
Do Australian Shepherds need a lot of Grooming?
The Australian Shepherd is equipped with double layered coat consisting of a water-resistant outer layer, and a functionally insulating undercoat. The Aussie’s coat packs a 1-2 punch against harsh weather, helping to keep him warm and dry in the most inclement of weather. The effective undercoat is “blown” during the early summer months and requires grooming to prevent matting and promote the growth of a fresh undercoat when temperatures begin falling near winter.
The unique personality traits of Aussie’s are rivaled only by the uniqueness of their colors and marking. Colors range from and can include variations of the following:
- Solid Black
- Solid Red
- Blue Merle
- Red Merle
- White Patches
- Tan Patches
Additionally, the Shepherds can also have eye color variations including blue, brown, amber; or any variation of color. In fact, it’s not uncommon for an Aussie to have two separate color eyes altogether.
Do Australian Shepherds need a lot of exercise?
Originally bred to round up and herd cattle or sheep, the Aussie is nimble, hearty breed. Males should grow to about 22 inches at the back (withers) and females should measure about 19 inches. Proportion is a more important factor than weight, as Aussie’s should be a bit longer than taller and may weigh in between 40-65 pounds, according to the American Kennel Club.
As with most dogs, exercise is an important factor to their health. The Australian Shepherd is no different. If living in a Los Angeles apartment, getting in daily walks, dog park visits, and/or regular jogging will be imperative to their physical and mental well-being. Exercise in any breed will help reduce destructive behavior, stress, barking, and boredom. With the Aussie’s “Type-A” personality and seemingly endless supply of energy, exercise will help alleviate many of the struggles in any dog/owner relationship.
Are Australian Shepherds good family dogs? Are Aussies good with kids and other pets?
When deciding whether to add an Australian Shepherd to your family, research the lineage of the dog. An Aussie from a working bloodline is probably not the best choice to LA apartment living, unless you can devote significant time to the pups physical and mental stimulation. They do well when socialized properly and they crave their owners attention, eager to please and easy to train.
As with all dogs, obedience training will dictate how well an Aussie interacts with children and other pets. Understanding the pack mentality of dogs will lead to a happy, healthy, strong, and rewarding dog ownership experience. Contact Hello Puppies to learn more about training.
If you’re considering adding an Australian Shepherd to your pack in the Los Angeles area, take our Perfect Puppy Quiz to make sure Aussies are a good fit for your lifestyle.