5 Things To Know About Australian Shepherds

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They’re not from Australia

The Australian Shepherd is descended from a line of Europe’s finest herders. Australian Shepherd ancestry include farm collies of the Iberian peninsula and German herding farm collie types, with possible connections via travel to Australia. The Aussies were further refined and perfected in America, and they have been an iconic part of cowboy culture ever since. Many are still happily herding in the American West, others earn their feed as rodeo performers, and still others of this exuberantly versatile breed work as therapy dogs, drug detectors, service dogs, and search-and-rescue dogs.

They have high energy levels

the Australian Shepherd is a highly versatile dog. Aussies are very active dogs that need a great deal of exercise on a daily basis to prevent them from becoming bored or frustrated and consequently developing destructive habits. Because of their high energy level, combined with high intelligence, Aussies need to be given a “job” to perform, be it shepherding the children, protecting the house, herding livestock or competing in dog events. Running, jumping, and rough-housing are all a part of being a normal Aussie.

Their colors and markings come in an amazing variety of combinations

The wide variety of color combinations comes from the interaction between the color allele, which is either black, red and merle. Unfortunately, the merle gene can cause some health issues such as eye deformities and deafness.

They often have two different colored eyes

The Australian Shepherd is one of a few dog breeds that commonly have two different colored eyes, called heterochromia. Aussies might have any combination of brown, blue, hazel, amber, or green eyes. Some Aussies even display more than one color within the same eye.

Many have naturally short tails

Aussies have a one-in-five chance of being born with a naturally bobbed tail. Ranchers purposely bred Aussies that had these naturally short tails because they are safer when it comes to herding.

Source: PetCoach, AKC

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