- Height: 20-23 inches (male), 18-21
- Weight: 50-65 pounds (male), 40-55 pounds (female)
- Life Expectancy: 12-15 years
- A high-energy, athletic dog, the Aussie needs a great deal of
exercise on a daily basis.
- That loyalty combined with the
breed’s keen intelligence and high
energy makes them very easy to
- Not all Australian shepherds have
blue eyes: they can also be green,
amber, hazel or brown, or two
- Most of them have merle coats.
- They often have no tails.
There are a number of different theories regarding how the breed came to be associated with Australia, but there is no consensus. They are similar in appearance to the popular English Shepherd and Border Collie breeds, and research has found that Australian Shepherds and Border Collies are closely related to each other; both the Border Collie and Australian Shepherd are slightly more distantly related to other kinds of Collies and to Shetland Sheepdogs.
Australian Shepherds rose in popularity with a boom in Western riding after World War II.They became known to the general public through rodeos, horse shows, and Disney movies made for television.
For many years, Aussies have been valued by stockmen for their versatility and trainability. While they continue to work as stock dogs and compete in herding trials, they have earned recognition in other roles due to their trainability and eagerness to please and are highly regarded for their skills in obedience. Like all working breeds, Aussies have considerable energy and drive and usually need a job to keep them occupied. They often excel at dog sports such as dog agility and frisbee and are also highly successful as search and rescue dogs, disaster dogs, detection dogs, guide dogs, service dogs, and therapy dogs. They are considered the 17th-most popular dog breed in the United States.
Recently, Australian Shepherds have been selectively bred in favor of size to develop Miniature and Toy Aussies. The American Stock Dog Registry (ASDR) now recognizes three sizes. The above description is considered a Standard Aussie (height 18 to 23 inches for males and females). Miniature Australian Shepherds (or Mini Aussies) stand 14 to 18 inches tall, while Toy Aussies stand between 10 and 14 inches.