Australian Shepherd

Breed Group: Herding
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The exact origin of the Australian Shepherd is not known. The breed that is cherished and loved today was developed exclusively in the United States. The Australian Shepherd has an innate versatility that makes them useful on ranches and farms as a herding dog, retriever, and watchdog. They are typically referred to as "The Aussie".

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The Australian Shepherds most identifiable characteristic is the natural or docked bobtail. Their eyes are one of this breeds most commented on feature. Their eyes come in a variety of colors or color combinations and include blue, amber, hazel, and all shades of brown. The Aussie is a vigorous and athletic breed.

Does your Australian Shepherd bark, howl, and cry whenever you leave the house? Separation anxiety is extreme anxiety experienced by your dog when you are away from him.
Australian Shepherds are intelligent, delightful, and loyal. They are highly energetic and thrive on being given something to do. The Aussie has a high degree of intensity and a "no-quit" attitude. Their herding instinct may be problematic or annoying to their family, as this breed will often attempt to perform this task on everyone or anything that moves. They are reserved and cautious with strangers until the Aussie decides about them. They are confident and protective. Human companionship is crucial to this breed. They get along well with active, considerate older children. The Aussie is not typically aggressive to other dogs.
The Australian Shepherd requires minimal grooming. An occasional brushing with a firm bristle brush will suffice. It is important to do more in depth grooming when they are going through their seasonal shedding. Bathing should only be done when absolutely necessary. The Aussie is susceptible to a myriad of health issues and concerns. Their merle coloration carries a blind/deaf factor. Natural bobtails may have serious spinal defects. They are also prone to epilepsy, hip dysplasia, and cataracts.

If your dog is displaying behavior uncharacteristic of his normal actions, call the Vet.
The Australian Shepherd has a striking and varied coat. It is of moderate length, straight to wavy, and weather resistant. The under coat is shed twice a year; with moderate shedding between these periods. The coat comes in four accepted colors: black, blue merle, red, and red merle. A variety of white and tan markings may appear on the face, chest, front, and rear legs.
Australian Shepherds are easy to train. They benefit from early socialization and very basic obedience. It is important that they know who the master is or they will attempt to take control. The Australian Shepherd requires firm, fair, consistent, and effective direction. Their high intelligence and keen learning ability make repetitive training boring. Teaching your dog to sit, lie down, and stay is vital to the training of your new puppy. There are several accepted methods of house training your new Australian Shepherd puppy. Consider crate training if you need to adapt your dog to a safe and confined environment for various safety and comfort reasons.
The Australian Shepherd requires an inordinate amount of exercise. A mere walk is not sufficient. They thrive on running, herding, playing, and all family activities. They are at their best when they are given a great deal of social interaction and a task to do. Australian Shepherds are not recommended for apartment dwelling. They are moderately active indoors and require a non-sedentary owner and a large securely fenced yard or safe open area. Socialization is one of the single most important things you can do for your puppy.
Male: 50-65; Female: 40-55 lbs
Male: 20-23; Female: 18-21 inches
blue merle, black, red merle, or red, all with or without white markings and/or tan points



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Australian Shepherd Questions

I just got my Australian Shepherd puppy around 6wk old and he has this issue when he bites, he bites so hard even though we tell him no he just brushes us off and keeps biting. It’s not aggressive yet it’s more in a playing puppy way but we worry if we can’t stop it he will turn aggressive. Any suggestions?

First off, the reason why your puppy is biting and ignoring you is that you got your puppy too early. Puppies are weaned at 6 weeks old, but should stay with their litter mates and mother until they are 8 - 10 weeks old. During this time, they learn what Bite Inhibition is, which is learning how hard they can play with another animal or person before they should stop. Once they learn this with their litter mates, it is very easy to teach a puppy not to bite by mimicking what the litter mate would do in the situation. However, since your puppy never got to socialize properly with their litter mates, you are going to have more trouble. Contact your local Positive Reinforcement trainer and have them work with you to stop the biting. The best thing to do is to replace your skin with something appropriate. Yelp when the puppy bites you too hard and then replace it with a toy and praise.

I purchased a 6wk Aussie. Little did I know how sick he was. He was so malnourished due to worms that he was emaciated. After treatment from a vet he is now growing. He is now 9wks. I don't have any problems controlling his herding instincts, but he has quite a temper. I now know he was taken from his mother too young. My question is how to I bring his temper under control? Simple things like grooming brings on an aggressive biting.

The main problem with getting a puppy at the age you got him at is that he did not have enough time to learn from his litter mates what is called bite inhibition. What bite inhibition is, is the way a puppy learns how hard he/she can play/nibble on their litter mates or mother until they get a negative reaction. When a puppy is properly socialized with bite inhibition by his/her litter mates and mother; the puppy learns quite quickly how to assess bite inhibition with you and other people. But because your puppy has not learned this, you've run the risk of having a dog with no bite inhibition. That is extremely dangerous as he is already showing aggressive tendencies at 9 weeks old. The best thing is to first and foremost, socialize your puppy. Get him to get in contact with as many dogs as you can. I try to strive for my puppies to meet 30 new dogs a month. Whether that be at the pet stores, dog parks, or even in my neighborhood. I will even stop while driving, ask them if my dog can meet theirs if they are walking down the street; pull over and let them meet. Then, contact your local positive reinforcement dog trainer and set your pup up for puppy classes a.s.a.p. Working with creating a bond and curbing the aggressive biting is key to helping your pup learn bite inhibition.

Is it rare to have multiple Australian Shepherd pups blue eyes in a litter?

No, it is not rare. The blue-eyes gene in the Australian Shepherd breed of dog comes from the Merle and White Trim gene of the breed. It just simply means that the dam and sire of the litter of puppies both had one or both recessive genes and they came out in the litter of puppies that was produced.

My Australian Shepherd has seizure's. What should I do for this issue?

If your dog is experiencing one or multiple seizures; it is time for you to take your dog to the vet. It could be a genetic reason, or it could be that your dog has a brain tumor or even epilepsy. Your vet is the only one you should be discussing treatment with for your dog. Your dog may need to be on anti-seizure medication for the rest of his/her life; or he/she may even need surgery. Again, this is only something your vet can answer for you.

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