The Australian Shepherd, also known as Aussie or Australian Shepherd, it is a very versatile dog. It is as good at its sheepherder’s job as practicing dog guide for the Blind and the deaf, detecting drugs or as a search and rescue dog. And, above all, they can be family companions.
The Australian Shepherd breed, as we currently know it, was exclusively bred in the United States. The Australian Shepherd received his name due to its association with sheepdogs of Basque sheep which arrived in the United States from Australia around the year 1800. The popularity of the Australian Shepherd increased steadily with the rise of the horsemanship in the West after the Second World War, being known to the general public by means of rodeos, equestrian competitions, films and television shows.
His versatile and easy-to-train personality allowed it to be considered a valuable complement to American farms and ranches. The American ranchers continued the development of the breed, maintaining its versatility, sharp intelligence, strong herd instincts and its attractive appearance that originally won its admiration. Although each individual is unique because of its color and brand, All Australian Shepherds show an unsurpassed devotion to their families.
The Australian Shepherd is a balanced dog, something longer than tall, sturdy, solid and muscular, without becoming coarse, and with medium bones and size. The head is broad, with triangular ears, set high on the head. Its tail is straight and short. It has a long and slightly rough coat, straight or wavy, with variable colors such as: Gray blue, merle blue, black, red and merle red.
The Australian Shepherd is a medium-sized breed. The standard requires the Australian Shepherd to have a height of 45-58 cm to the withers; the females are 45-53 cm tall and males 53-58 cm.
El pastor australiano es un inteligente e infatigable perro de trabajo de pastoreo acostumbrado conducir al ganado ovino y bovino y cuidar de los ranchos. Hoy en día sigue cumpliendo esta función y otras muchas; de hecho se ha convertido en una raza de fama mundial como perro de búsqueda y rescate. Por sus características requiere actividad intensa y necesita mucho ejercicio, paseos, actividad, ocupación, correr y jugar. Son aptos para entornos rurales; y menos propicios para una vida urbana con sus limitaciones, prefiriendo familias activas amantes de la vida al aire libre, aunque se adapta fácilmente a todas las situaciones.
As a working dog is always alert, tenacious, and tireless; it is resistant to inclement weather. Besides, it’s relatively easy to train. In the family they are highly valued for being affable, affectionate, active, cheerful, loyal and protective with the children. Despite their docility they should be educated from a small firm and perseverance. Finally, if they are bored or remain alone, they can become very destructive, compulsive, nervous and barking.
Regarding its maintenance does not require many attentions except those veterinarians common to all dogs. To keep a physical and emotional balance it needs space, daily outings, exercise and constant occupancy. Finally, the maintenance of its coat requires a regular brushing with horsehair comb to remove the dead hairs and prevent it from getting tangled and solid. It is also recommended to control its fleas. It also needs to be bathed every once in a while.
The Australian Shepherd is a rustic and quite healthy breed that does not present outstanding health problems, nor of congenital character except the fact that there can be cases of hip dysplasia, gastric dilatation volvulus, hypothyroidism and eye diseases. It is also suggested to check their ears to prevent infections and fungi, as well as their eyes.
In the case of being a working dog, or doing many activities in the countryside, it is recommended to have a periodic inspection of the coat in order to discover possible nailed thorns, fleas or other parasites in the skin or hairs. Masters should especially check the legs and the inner part of the ears. It is important to pay attention to ticks as they can transmit the babesiosis, ehrlichiosis or Hepatozoonosis, among others.
You can download the FCI (International Cinological Federation) standard at the following link: http://www.fci.be/Nomenclature/Standards/342g01-en.pdf