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Also Known As
The Cowboy’s Dog
Area of Origin
Western United States
Breed Birthday
Early 1900s
Breed Type
Herding Group, Working Dogs
Personality Traits
Smart, Exuberant, Hard-Working, Loyal
Related Breeds
Australian Cattle Dog, Collie, Border Collie, Shetland Sheepdog
Best Breeds For
Anyone interested in competitive dog sports like flyball, agility, herding, Treibball, or obedience training. It’ll keep your Aussie happily employed and they’ll easily be a top contender.
They love to learn and are eager to please, so training an Aussie is usually awesome. They’re super responsive to positive feedback and praise.
Aussies need a yard to go out and play around in. They do need to unleash their energy regularly so they’re really not suited for apartments.

Breed Popularity

Siberian Husky
Australian Shepherd
American Staffordshire Terrier
Based on DogVacay data

Top Australian Shepherd Name

Based on DogVacay data
History of Australian Shepherd


Bred in the Western U.S. to herd livestock, many Australian Shepherds still hold that job today. Some think the Aussie name was earned because the dogs were bred from a shipment of dogs including Collies and Shepherds that came to the U.S. from Australia. Others think that the herders who owned the dogs were Australian. They’ve been called New Mexican Shepherds and California Shepherds at times, too, to reflect their true geographical origins and there was a time when people tried to get North American Shepherd and American Shepherd to catch on, but neither ever did. In just the past few years, though, Australian Shepherds finally made their way to Australia after all.
Facts about Australian Shepherd

Good To Know

Aussies are sometimes called the “ghost-eye dog” because completely white eyes aren’t uncommon. You’ll also find Aussies with bi-colored or split eyes, as well as pups with eyes in every other color possible: piercing blue, hazel, green, amber, or brown. Also, their noses match their coats.
If they don’t have the exercise and stimulation they need, they’ll become destructive and bark loudly for long periods of time. Aussies really need 30–60 minutes a day of a more intense exercise like Frisbee-playing and some type of job to do. Something like obedience training or agility training works if you don’t live on a ranch.
Australian Shepherd health and care

Health & Care

Height: 18” to 23” at the shoulder
Weight: 40 to 65 pounds
Lifespan: 12 to 15 years
Most Australian Shepherds are healthy dogs, but some may face joint and eye issues. Deafness and epilepsy are also both fairly common among the breed.
Australian Shepherd personality


A super smart dog with an eye-catching coat and striking eyes, the Australian Shepherd once exclusively herded livestock. After WWII, though, the breed really took off—capturing the attention of dog lovers who spotted these exuberant and beautiful dogs in televised rodeos and Westerns. Today, some Aussies are still working ranch dogs, but there are also many who do other jobs, too—they serve as guide dogs, hearing dogs, therapy dogs, drug detectors, search-and-rescue dogs, and, of course, plenty are simply active family pets.

Top Australian Shepherd DogVacay Hosts

Jay V.
2 miles from you
6 Reviews
Why Jay is a great sitter:
Kaitlin W.
2.9 miles from you
Why Kaitlin is a great sitter:
Joan M.
3.9 miles from you
171 Reviews
Why Joan is a great sitter:
Remember, adopting is always an option, even if you’re looking for a particular breed (or a classic mutt). If you can rescue a pup and give him a loving home, why not? There are breed-specific rescues all around the country. Search for rescues near you here.
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