All About: Australian Shepherds
The Aussie, as it is known, is a medium-sized, robust, well-balanced, rustic dog. The ears are set high at the side of the head, triangular and slightly rounded at the tip. The coat is of medium texture, straight to slightly wavy, weather resistant, of moderate length with an undercoat. The quantity of undercoat varies with climate. Hair is short and smooth on the head, outside of the ears, front of the forelegs and below the hocks. Backs of the forelegs are moderately feathered; breeches are moderately full. There is a moderate mane and frill, which is more pronounced in male dogs than females. The Aussie has a natural or docked bobtail. The AKC standard states the tail should not exceed four inches in length; tails that are longer are docked. The dog’s body should be slightly longer than its height at the withers. The chest is not broad but is deep with the lowest point reaching the elbow. The front legs are straight, perpendicular to the ground. The feet are oval, compact with close knit, well arched toes. The front dewclaws are sometimes removed, but back dewclaws are almost always removed. The overall size of the head should be in proportion to the body, with the muzzle being equal or slightly shorter than the back skull. The stop is moderate to well-defined. The teeth should form a scissors or level bite. The eyes are oval in shape and medium in size. Eye colors include brown, blue, amber or any variation or combination including flecks and marbling. The ears are set high on the head, triangular in shape and slightly rounded at the tip. When the dog is at full attention the ears break forward and over, or to the side as a rose ear. Coat colors include blue merle, black, red merle (liver), solid red with or without white markings and/or tan (copper) points, with no order of preference. The coat is medium texture, straight to wavy, weather resistant and of medium length. There should be feathering on the back of the legs, the mane and frill around the neck.
- Males 20 – 23 inches
- Females 18 – 21 inches
- Males 50 – 65 pounds
- Females 40 – 55 pounds
- Minis: 20-25lbs
This energetic working dog needs plenty of vigorous exercise to stay in shape, mentally and physically, or better yet, some real work to do. Very intelligent and craving a good challenge, they need to be taken on a daily, brisk, long walk, jog or run alongside you when you bicycle. If under-exercised, this breed can become restless and destructive.
The coat is easy to groom and needs little attention. Brush occasionally with a firm bristle brush and bathe only when necessary. This breed is an average shedder.
Herding, AKC Herding