This site uses cookies to analyze traffic and for ad measurement purposes. Learn more
Your Subtitle text
Australian Shepherd Facts
General Australian Shepherd Facts & Stats


This breed was bred to herd and be a work dog and many Australian Shepherds are still used for this purpose, while many work on farms and are family pets at the same time. They have excellent abilities to herd livestock.

The nickname for this dog is Aussie.

Despite the name, it is thought that this dog originated in the Pyrenees Mountains which are located in an area between the countries of Spain and France.  The breed that we know today were perfected in the United States.

It is an Australian Shepherd fact that this dog had many names in the past, including the Spanish Shepherd, Pastor Dog, Bob-Tail, California Shepherd. Blue Heeler and New Mexican Shepherd, although almost no one uses those names today.

They were recognized by the AKC in 1991 and not surprisingly were classified into the Herding Group.

Life span is 13 years on average, with many living in to the middle teens.

The average sized litter is 7, with normal range being between 3 to 10 puppies.

They are excellent performers in agility events.

Due to their active nature and need for a lot of exercise, they are not apartment dogs, they do best in homes with large yards. 

Color and Appearance

Purebreds are found in the following colors:  Black, blue merle (a marbling of gray/silver and black, often creating a blue effect), red merle (a marbling of red and silver or buff) or red. Each color may be solid or may have white markings.

The fur is very soft and thick.

Black and blue merles have black noses, eye rims, and lips. All red and red merle Australian Shepherds have either liver or brown noses, eye rims, and lips.

They range in height from 18 to 23 inches from floor to shoulder.

Weight will be between 50 to 60 pounds (23-29 kg)  for males and between 40-55 pounds (18.25 kg) for females.

Tails may be docked in countries in which this practice is legal.  Per AKC standards, a docked tail is not a necessity.   Some are actually born with short bobbed tails already and some are born with long tails.

The feet are oval with arched toes.

Dewclaws on the back legs should always be removed (this is done at a very young age, usually at 1 week) and the dewclaws on the front are usually removed.

The coat is of medium length and may be straight or wavy.  It is short around the head, ears and front of legs.

They have a reasonably sized mane that is more apparent in females.

Eye color is interesting.  They may be any shade of blue or brown.  It is not uncommon to see a dog with bi-eyes (2 different colored eyes) or to have what is known as split eyes (a ½ brown and ½ blue iris).  Those that have merle coats (a swirled mixture of colors) may have merle eyes in which case the iris is a swirl of 2 or more different colors.

Aside from the standard Australian Shepherd, there are also smaller varieties: the Miniature and the Toy.  


Behavior and Temperament

This dog has amazing stamina and loves to run around outside and have a task to do.

They are very loyal and obedient.

They make outstanding watchdogs.

They are very good with children, as they will play with them and guard over them.

While they are extremely active and have lots of energy, they are also known for being very attached and bonded to their human family members. They like to have physical contact and to follow a person like a shadow. They love to cuddle and be close.

They are excellent jumpers, jumping 3 to 4 feet is not uncommon…For this reason an owner must be careful when placing the dog outside in a fenced in yard…the dog may jump the fence and escape.

Most do very well when riding in a car.

They are known for being easy to house train.


They have a double coat (an inner and outer layer) that sheds most often twice a year, in the spring and in the fall time.

Brushing should be done with a firm bristle brush.

Australian Shepherd Facts on Health

Overall, they are a very healthy breed.

This breed is prone to back, hip and vision issues that include red eye, conjunctivitis, and cataracts.   They are also prone to epilepsy.  Merles should never be bred together, and if this is done it can result in dogs who are born deaf and/or blind.


For those who are not used for work on a farm and are family pets only, offering enough exercise is very important.

2 walks per day is needed for optimal health, it usually works well to offer 1 in the morning and 1 in the evening. Aside from walks, this breed will be happy and will be able to vent out pent up energy if allowed to run around in a large enclosed area or taken for trail running.  They will also enjoy playing  catch with a ball or Frisbee…any cardio activity will keep them happy.

Without enough interaction with the family and without enough exercise, they can become frustrated and have destructive behavior…this happens only if they are not given the means to release pent up energy.



Facts by Breed:
Akita Facts  |  Alaskan Malamute Facts |   Basset Hound Facts  |  Beagle  Facts | Bloodhound Facts  |  Boston Terrier Facts  |  Boxer Facts  |  Bull Dog Facts  |  Chihuahua Facts  |  Chow Chow Facts  |  Cocker Spaniel Facts  |  Collie Facts  |  Corgi Facts  |  Dachshund Facts  |  Dalmatian Facts  |  Doberman Pinscher Facts  |  French Bull Dog Facts  |  German Shepherd Facts  |  Golden Retriever Facts  |  Great Dane Facts  |  Greyhound Facts  |  Havanese Facts   |  Labrador Retriever Facts  |  Maltese Facts  |  Mastiffs Facts  |  Miniature Schnauzer Facts  |  Pitbull Facts  |  Pomeranian Facts  |  Poodle Facts  |  Pug Facts  |  Rottweiler Facts  |  Shetland Sheepdog Facts  |  Shih Tzu Facts  |  Siberian Husky Facts  |  St. Bernard Facts Yorkshire Terrier Facts  |

Web Hosting Companies