To begin with we will give you some basic info on the breed and them move on to other areas of this excellent dog.
Breed group: Herding
Weight: male: 50-65; female: 40-55 lbs
Height: male: 20-23; female: 18-21 inches
The Australian Shepherd has its origin in North America were it was developed during the nineteenth century. It is not entirely sure where the “Australian” came from. The English Shepherd, Dorset Blue Shag, Cumberland Sheepdog, Scottish Collie, Glenwherry Collie, Bouvier des Flandres, and the Welsh Sheepdog were all breeds that were used to develop the Australian Shepherd. Most of the dogs that used to develop this breed came from Great Britain and Scotland. After the Second World Ward these dogs were often used in Western movies, in rodeos and on television shows. They also became very popular companions on farms and ranches.
Anatolian Shepherds are extremely loyal dogs that are also used as guard dogs. This breed is extremely intelligent, and also very easy to train. They will also pick up new skills very quickly, and are not ideal for people with no previous dog ownership experience. Owners of these dogs should be natural leaders that will dominate so that the dog can learn appropriate behaviours. The Anatolian Shepherd is also a very courageous, calm and watchful dog – self-assured, but not aggressive. They can however be a bit wary of strangers. You will find these dogs to be very loving toward their families, but people they don’t know should be gradually introduced to them. In general these dogs will get along well with everyone, unless there is a reason for them to be suspicious of someone. This breed can however be tough on itself, and somewhat stubborn.
Australian Shepherds are average to heavy shedding dogs, and will not be well suited to those suffering from allergies. This breed should be brushed on a weekly basis with a firm hair brush, and a thorough brushing is suggested every 6-8 weeks. It is also advised that these dogs are brushed just before they are bathed to prevent further matting. After these dogs are bathed, they should be blow dried until they are completely dry. If their coats are left damp, skin problems might be created.
It is advised that training for these dogs begin at a very early age. Motivational training methods should be used on a consistent basis. These dogs will also do best in a loving, safe and fair training environment. This breed is very patient toward their owners, and very loyal toward their families. Australian Shepherd is natural protectors and will not need extra protection training. These dogs should get obedience training at a very young age as they will follow what they have learned early on in their lives. The Australian Shepherd should also be socialised as they tend to mature fairly slowly.
Some of the major health concerns this breed has trouble with includes Cataracts, Collie Eye Anomaly, autoimmune disorders and hip dysplasia. These dogs are also at risk for some genetic eye defects such as ocular coloboma, iris coloboma, juvenile and senior cataracts and a detached retina. The Australian Shepherd is also very sensitive to ivermectin which is used in used in heartworm medicines.
* The Australian Shepherd is a versatile, adaptable and energetic dog breed known for her intelligence. Her name is deceiving, though -- the Aussie is not from Australia and was, in fact, developed by Basque shepherds in the United States. Keep her busy with dog sports like agility, flyball, flying disc games or herding trials. Learn more at http://www.vetstreet.com/dogs/australian-shepherd.
Dog Breed Spotlight: Australian Shepherd
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