The Australian Shepherd, or in other words the Aussie, is a beautiful and rather rare breed that attracts more and more admirers every year. Its become, proportional and bright exterior, expressive eyes cannot leave anyone indifferent.
Despite the name of the breed, dogs were bred in the 19th century in the United States. Used for these purposes, some breeds of Shepherd dogs – Collies and Pyrenees, which were brought by settlers from the territories of France and Spain.
The name itself is associated with one of the ancestors of the breed – the Baskak Shepherd dog, which just arrived in the States from the Australian continent. Local farmers appreciated their unsurpassed qualities, and the idea was born to breed their own breed with similar, but improved characteristics.
After painstaking work, a new breed was born – the Australian Shepherd. The peak of the breed’s popularity came in the post-war years. It was then that a real boom in equestrian competitions, exhibitions, and rodeos occurred in the United States. Sheepdogs entertained visitors during breaks at public events. Easy-to-train dogs easily attracted people and were surprised with their skills.
However, this breed is quite common in the US today and puppy prices are quite high. But this nuance is unlikely to stop true connoisseurs of the breed.
At home, many still use Australian Shepherds in agriculture and grazing. Outside the country, the breed mainly serves as a companion dog.
Only by the beginning of the XXI century, the breed received the recognition of the International Cynological Federation and was assigned to the category of herding dogs.
The Aussie definitely has an outstanding appearance that sets these dogs apart from other breeds. Representatives acquired their complete modern look only at the beginning of the 20th century, at the same time an accurate description of the Australian Shepherd breed was made and the necessary standards were determined. According to the generally accepted standard, the pet looks like this:
- The pet has a large head with a shortened muzzle, which is crowned with semi-erect ears of a triangular shape and medium length.
- The nose of the Australian Shepherd depends on the color of the coat and can be black or red.
- The eyes have an interesting almond shape and a variety of colors. The iris can be brown, greenish, blue, have marbling or blotches. Often there are representatives of the breed with different eyes.
- The Aussie’s coat is harsh, straight or wavy, and of medium length. The density of the coat is moderate, the density of the undercoat directly depends on the climatic conditions. In the area of the head and ears, forepaws, the hair is shorter.
- The coat can be of various colors, in most cases, it is a combination of several colors. The most common are the following colors with the obligatory presence of marbling – blue, red, black.
- A distinctive feature of the breed is the docked tail.
The Australian Shepherd is a medium-sized breed. Their height at the withers varies in the range of 45-60 cm, and their weight can range from 15 to 35 kg.
The main qualities of thoroughbred pets are hard work and responsibility. They have an affectionate disposition, friendliness, and a desire to always please the owner. They need long walks with the owner, the attention of a person is important to them.
They have increased activity, therefore, their content in a confined space is not recommended. To show its qualities and feel good, the Australian Shepherd needs freedom and space.
Fans of the breed are impressed by their dedication and loyalty. In addition, Australian Shepherds are intelligent enough. It definitely makes the training process easier. And the pets themselves like to learn, they are happy to carry out commands and various tasks.
The Australian Shepherd Aussie is a great family dog. They get along well with children, being nannies and companions for play.
Nature has made sure that the pets of this breed are excellent guards. And they, knowing their territory, can show aggression while defending it. If you do not teach your pet the correct behavior, such instincts can significantly complicate the life of the owner. Although most dogs are friendly enough to all people, they are often alarmed when strangers appear. Excessive aggressiveness, or, conversely, cowardice, are considered abnormal behavioral abnormalities in the breed.
Possessing excessive energy, without sufficient walking and intense exertion, pedigree puppies can become sad and begin to bully or show their negative qualities.
Therefore, it is worth paying more attention to the animal, in addition to walking, training, loading it with various tasks, be it guarding the house, grazing cattle, or running after the owner’s bike. This is the only way the Australian Shepherd can spend energy peacefully. By the way, Australian Shepherd’s herding instincts are very strong.
Representatives of this breed are successfully used as service dogs, guide dogs, assistants for people with disabilities. Often, Shepherd dogs are involved in the work of police and rescuers, and in the northern regions, they often perform the duties of sled dogs.
Australian Shepherd Care Rules
If we talk about the rules of feeding, then Australian Shepherds need a balanced diet. And it is more possible when feeding a pet with natural food.
In the diet, without fail, the following foods must be present:
- lean meat, various offal;
- sea fish;
- dairy products;
- a variety of cereals;
- fruits, berries, vegetables.
You can alternate foods, mix or set aside certain days for a particular dish. Among the prohibitions are pork, raw eggs, bread, flour, sausage and confectionery products, smoked meats. You can replace natural food with dry food, but only taking into account age characteristics and weight category, and be sure to provide access to clean water. For an adult pet, two meals a day are enough, which it is desirable to carry out regularly, at the same time.
Taking care of a dog of this breed will take a lot of time because the Australian Shepherd needs long walks, regular training, and active games. It is best to keep them in an open-air cage with the possibility of free movement.
Hygiene procedures include regular cleaning of the coat – at normal times this should be done daily, during shedding periods – several times a day. Frequent bathing is not recommended, it is enough once every 2-3 months, as needed, make a haircut, wipe your ears 1-2 times a week.
Observing the health of the dog, it is necessary to pay close attention to the organs of vision and kidney function. Most representatives of this breed, and most often dogs with a red color, do not tolerate scorching rays well, so the best conditions for walking are in the shade.
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