Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Breed of the Month--Australian Shepherd

Australian Shepherd

Color:  Black, red, blue merle, red merle.  May have white markings.
Height:  Males:  20-23 inches/ Females:  18-21 inches
Weight:  Males:  50-65 lbs/ Females:  40-55 lbs
Life Span:  12-15 years

Breed Health Concerns:  Allergies, cancer, osteochondritis dissecans, patent ductus arteriosus, dental problems, corneal dystrophy, Collie eye anomaly, patellar lunation, iris coloboma, and persistent pupillary membrane.

Coat:  Double coat.  Undercoat is moderate mane and frill but varies with climate.  Outercoat is medium length and texture, weather resistant, straight or wavy.
Country of Origin:  United States

Visit the American Kennel Club for breed standards and more information.

Breeds such as the Pyrenean Shepherd, Collie, Smithfield, and Border Collie contributed to the breed known as the Australian Shepherd.  This breed was actually created in the United States by sheep and cattle herders, not in Australia as the name may suggest.  Although the breed was initially intended for herding and guarding, the Australian Shepherd has become adapt at many helpful tastes.  The Australian Shepherd has remained the breed of choice for many farmers and ranchers.

The Australian Shepherd is friendly, smart, and enthusiastic.  He is intelligent and agile and excels at many things from participation in competitive sports to becoming a therapy dog.

The Australian Shepherd must have LOTS of daily mental and physical exercise!  This is a very high energy breed and needs a job to do.  He will not be happy sitting on the couch and lounging around at home.  This breed excels at many activities including agility, flyball, and obedience.

The coat of the Australian Shepherd needs regular brushing and care to keep the control shedding.

Using positive reinforcement training is a must for this breed.  They are intelligent and very eager to learn new things.  As long as you keep your Aussie mentally and physically challenged, there's not much this breed won't do for you.

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