Blog # 5 The Australian Shepherd and interesting facts and History

Australian Shepherds

The Australian Shepherd is a breed of herding dog from the United States. The name of the breed is technically a misnomer, as it was developed in California in the 19th century, although it has its origins in Asturias, in the northwest of Spain; the breed was unknown in Australia at the time. It is claimed that Australian Shepherds descend from a variety of herding breeds, including collies imported, alongside sheep, from Australia and New Zealand; the breed reportedly took its name from this trade. Originally used solely as a herding dog, the Australian Shepherd has become one of the most popular companion dog breeds in North America.

The Australian Shepherd is a medium-sized, athletic breed; they typically stand between 18 and 23 inches and weigh between 35 and 70 pounds

Australian Shepherd
Australian Shepherd​​

“Love is a four legged word.”

– Unknown

Appearance

The Australian Shepherd has a moderately long and wavy double coat that has a dense undercoat and coarse topcoat; the coat is short on the face and well feathered on the rear of the legs.The breed is known for its unique colorations and variable coat patterns, it being said no two dogs sharing a coat. The breed standard allows for blue merle, red merle, solid black or solid red, with or without white markings and with or without tan points.


In general, weekly brushing sessions will keep the Australian Shepherd's waterproof, double-layer coat looking its best. During shedding season, though, more work will be required. During this period an undercoat rake can be used every two or three days to remove the abundant dead hair, followed by a cleanup with the wire brush. Aussies often work and/or play outdoors, so it's not unusual for them to come in dirtier than they left. But unless they've gotten into a particularly messy situation, they require a bath only occasionally. As with all breeds, the Australian Shepherds nails should be trimmed regularly


Examples of the breed can be born with long or naturally bobbed (short) tails; traditionally long tailed dogs had their tails docked, although some countries outside of the United States do not allow docking and so some long tailed and partial bob tails are allowed to be exhibited in those countries.

Australian Shepherd
Australian Shepherd​​

Temperament

The Australian Shepherd is described as intelligent, active, loyal, protective, playful, and adaptive. The modern breed is predominantly bred for pets; despite this, many retain a strong herding instinct and it is not uncommon for companion dogs of the breed to try to herd children or other pets. A very active breed, the Australian Shepherd is known to become destructive if it does not receive adequate exercise


Like other herding breeds, these dogs excel at many dog sports, especially herding also known as stockdog, dog agility, dock diving/dock jumping, obedience, rally, tracking, disc, and flyball. Herding instincts and trainability can be measured at noncompetitive instinct tests. Aussies that exhibit basic herding instincts can be trained to compete in ASCA stock dog trials or AKC herding events.

The dog has a stride in which its front and back legs cross over, making for an appearance of "on the edge" speed. The dogs instinctively use a "pounce" position to deal with cattle trying to kick them. They also have strong hips and legs, allowing for fast acceleration and high jumping, sometimes as high as 4 ft 

An Australian shepherd named Pockets is credited as being the oldest dog to earn a title in AKC history, having earned the Rally Novice title at the age of 15 years, 5 weeks.


History

The Australian Shepherd descends in part from pastoral dogs brought to herd Spanish flocks in North America as early as the 1500s. There is some speculation that these dogs included the Carea Leonés, a mountain sheepdog that can display the eye color and merle coat found in many contemporary Australian Shepherds.It is sometimes claimed that the Basque Shepherd Dog and the Pyrenean Sheepdog were also among the ancestors of the breed.The breed as it is known today developed in California in the 19th century, as a sheep herding dog for Californian shepherds. The Australian Shepherd is believed to have developed from a variety of herding dogs imported to California with sheep imports, including collies from Australia and New Zealand. It was from these ancestors that the breed took its name.


The Australian Shepherd spread from California throughout the Western United States where it became extremely popular with ranchers who valued the breed’s sheep working qualities, as well as their ability to handle cattle and other livestock. A purely working breed for over a century, the Australian Shepherd was virtually unknown outside of the livestock industry until the mid-20th century when the breed was popularised by Jay Lister, a rodeo performer, at rodeos across the western states with his Australian Shepherds performing all manner of tricks. 


A breed club was soon formed to promote the breed, the Australian Shepherd Club of America, and kennel club recognition followed in 1979 when the breed was recognised by the United Kennel Club.The breed was subsequently recognised by the American Kennel Club in the 1990s.


From the late-20th century the Australian Shepherd has increasingly been seen in conformation shows and it has become an extremely popular companion dog, in 2019 it was ranked by the American Kennel Club as the 15th most popular breed of dog in the United States.

Here is a short video with information about the Australian Shepherd.  Be sure to check out the wide assortment of Australian Shepherd products on our website: https://doggydaddyshop.com

Australian Shepherd Product at Doggy Daddy

We have over 90 different breeds to choose from now and growing. I just added more Australian Shepherd items such as mugs and notebooks and have more items on the way. The collection will continue to grow in other categories as well suchs as backpacks, laptop sleeves and tote bags. Join the email list to be notified of new styles. Here is an example of some of the Australian Shepherd items we have live:

Australian Shepherds blog 5


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