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Have you been thinking about getting a new puppy, but can’t decide what kind? Read on to learn more about Australian Shepherds, and see if it’s the right breed for you! (And enjoy some adorable puppy pictures while you’re at it!)Date Published: June 3, 2014Date Updated: June 3, 2014
According to the United States Australian Shepherd Association, Australian Shepherds actually evolved in the United States, contrary to popular belief since "Australia" is in the breed's name.
The breed gained popularity after WWII, and in 1990 the United States Australian Shepherd Association was established.
The American Kennel Club recognized the Australian Shepherd breed in 1991, and accepted them into the Herding Group in 1993.Date Published: June 3, 2014Date Updated: June 3, 2014
Australian Shepherds, or “Aussies,” have a herding and guardian instinct. The versatile dogs are known to be farm dogs, herding dogs, seeing-eye dogs, utility dogs to the physically handicapped, rescue dogs and hearing aid dogs.
Australian Shepherds are very intelligent and have a lot of energy. They need to perform duties or “jobs,” whether it’s herding livestock, protecting the house, or playing with children.Date Published: June 3, 2014Date Updated: June 3, 2014
Height and weight
Male Australian Shepherds usually grow to be 20 to 30 inches at the shoulder, and weigh between 45 and 60 lbs.
Females average 18 to 21 inches at the shoulder, and weigh between 34 and 45 lbs.
The average lifespan of an Aussie is 12 to 15 years.Date Published: June 3, 2014Date Updated: June 3, 2014
Aussies can be red, black, blue merle or red merle.
Marks on an Aussie's red or black coat can distinguish it as a red bi, red tri, black bi, or black tri.
If the Aussie is red with white marks it is considered a red bi, and if it is red with white marks and copper points it's a red tri.
The same goes for black Australian Shepherds. If the Aussie is black with white marks it is a black bi, and if its coat color is black with white marks and copper points, then it’s a black tri.Date Published: June 3, 2014Date Updated: June 3, 2014
Australian Shepherd owners and breeders, Brenda Korthaus (mom) and Cody Korthaus (son), have experienced raising and selling approximately 12 litters of Australian Shepherd puppies.
“In the first week, the tails are docked and dew claws are removed,” said Cody.
Australian Shepherds have their tails docked to avoid infection and other injuries that can occur when working or herding.
“The puppies need to have their first round of shots, and be updated on dewormer before they are sold,” said Cody.
“Between six and eight weeks old is when their new owners can pick them up, and take them home.”Date Published: June 3, 2014Date Updated: June 3, 2014
Aussies in town?
“Australian Shepherds are bred to be farm and ranch dogs, but because they are a versatile breed they can be raised in town as well,” said Liz Palika, dog expert, trainer and author of “Puppy Love,” and “Australian Shepherd: Champion of Versatility.”
Having an Aussie in close-quarters is OK as long as you provide mental stimulation and make sure to play, run and take it for walks several times a day.
“Australian Shepherds are a very bright breed, and need mental stimulation,” said Palika. “Give them jobs to do, or they’ll create their own—which their owner usually doesn't like!”Date Published: June 3, 2014Date Updated: June 3, 2014
Picking a puppy
“Usually, people call us wanting a puppy with a specific color,” said Brenda Korthaus.
“Sometimes people change their mind when they come to visit if the personality of another puppy wins them over. It’s almost like the puppy picks the owner, instead of the other way around.”
(The puppy pictured stayed close by me when I was taking pictures, and loved being in front of the camera! Guess which one was my favorite?)Date Published: June 3, 2014Date Updated: June 3, 2014
What to ask
When buying a puppy, ask if they’ve had their first round of shots, and if they are up-to-date on dewormer.
Ask about the temperament and characteristics of the dam and sire of the puppies.
When you visit, play with the puppy and get a good feel for its personality-- see if the puppy is friendly and outgoing, or if it tends to shy away from strangers.Date Published: June 3, 2014Date Updated: June 3, 2014
For more information about Australian Shepherds, you can visit the United States Australian Shepherd Association at www.australianshepherds.org.Date Published: June 3, 2014Date Updated: June 3, 2014
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