The Australian Shepherd is the ultimate working dog.
Did you know that the dog known as the Aussie isn't actually from Australia? And that Native Americans called these dogs "ghost eye" at consider them sacred. Or that these dogs came to fame as Rodeo trick dogs?
The Australian Shepherds are very lively, vivaciousn and immediately recognized breed. The Australian Shepherd's ancestors are thought to have originated in the Basque region of Europe.
From there they may have traveled to the early American West by way of Australia. With Basque herders and their flocks in the 1800. Once in the US they were bred with other working dogs to create what is now known as the Australian Shepherd.
Aussies are best known for their Merle coat color, a patchwork of light and dark areas. Most recognizable are blue and red merle. Aussies do come in many color combinations. Breeders once tried to create Australian Shepherds exclusively with Merle coats but it was discovered that puppies with two Merle parents had a one in four chance of being born blind and deaf.
Now, litters of Aussies are welcome in all colors. Nicknamed the "ghost eye dog" it's striking eye coloration is it's second most notable feature. Some Aussies have solid brown blue or Amber eyes but others might have two lines of different colors or even eyes of split or swirled color combinations.
The subject of a popular children's book called "Henry, the dog with no tail" the Australian Shepherd is born with a naturally bobbed tail which may disappear under a long coat.
When they were herding it was safer for them not to have a tail that might sort of getting away or get stepped on. Although best known for their herding skills the Aussies take all kinds of jobs both on and off the ranch. Because they're so intelligent they're really great for other types of work, seeing eye dogs for the blind,
they are search and rescue dogs etc...
In addition to their working versatility Aussies are exceptional at sports
and agility competitions. Australian shepherds are among the most athletic of all breeds, are excellent leapers as they can jump so high in the air.
This working breed is eager to please and learns new skills quickly. When they are not exercised properly it can lead to boredom. Because they are really intelligent dogs which can also lead to behavioral problems.
Aussies are great with active families that devote time to exercise and play. But my one real reservation is having the Australian Shepherd in the home with children is that if they don't have cattle or sheep to heard they might end up with
herding your children.
Like other herding breeds Aussie suffer from diseases of the eye. The dense doube coat of the Australian shepherd can hide ticks and parasites so you need to brush, you need calm, you need to get that dead hair out and you need to keep that coat thumb free of knots and tangles.
Also that's what helps this coat breathe. Aussies can handle any climate but it's there hurting history that tells us they need plenty of exercise and room to run. So in general Australian Shepherds prosper in all climates.
They are prone to eye problems, their beautiful dense coat need frequent brushing to keep them free of parasites and debris.Their exceptional intellect makes this breed easy to train and Aussies prosper with active families.
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