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Australian Shepherds

Life Expectancy:                       Australian Shepherd Breed Guide
13 - 15 years  
Dog Breed Group:  
Herding Dogs  
Weight:  
45 - 65 lbs.  
Height:  
18 - 23 inches  
 

Where Do Australian Shepherds Rank?

See where this beloved breed ranks in comparison to other breeds in 7 key categories.
 
Trainability
Dog Breed Ranking - 9
The Aussie desires to please you which makes them a relatively easy-to-train breed. 
 
Shedding
Dog Breed Rating - 8
The Austalian Shepherd is a moderate shedder. Their coat requires weekly brushing to remain healthy and prevent matting.   
 
Grooming Needs
Dog Breed Rating - 4
Your Aussie does not require a significant amount of grooming. Weekly brushing is often sufficient. If you notice your Aussie’s coat becoming tangled or matted, you may decide to maintain a shorter coat to keep their coat looking presentable.
 
Health
Rating- 6
Like many active, medium to large breed dogs, the Australian Shepherd has a propensity for hip dysplasia, but also prone to joint issues, cataracts, epilepsy, deafness and drug sensitivities.
 
Exercise Needs
Rating - 10
The exercise needs of the Aussie are extensive. This is not the breed for you if you are searching for a dog who enjoys relaxing for the majority of the day. Your Aussie needs several hours of activity each day to stay happy and healthy.

Good with Children
Dog Breed Rating - 10
The Australian Shepherd is very good with children and quickly becomes part of the family. 

Barking
Dog Breed Rating- 2
Barking is generally not a problem with this breed. 
 

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What You Need to Know About The Australian Shepherd

Behavior:
The Australian Shepherd is an extremely hard-working, intelligent dog who thrives in an environment where he is permitted to expand his body and mind. He must be kept busy as he is an extremely busy dog. He is not the type of dog to sit around the house and lounge. One brief walk per day is not sufficient for this breed to keep a healthy body and mind. If he lacks activity, he will often become extremely destructive and develop other severe behavioral problems.

If you are interested in canine agility, this may be the breed for you. The Australian Shepherd not only has a significant amount of energy but is extremely agile as well. Aussies are also known to help with chores around the house including bringing their pet parent various items and helping them clean.
The Aussie is a great family companion as well and will be protective of your home. If they hear a suspicious noise, they will alert you immediately. Even if you want your Aussie to be protective, it is important to socialize her with friends and family as well as strangers to improve her social skills. 

Training:
Aussies are extremely intelligent and eager to please their pet parent. This results in successful and relatively easy training. 

Grooming:
The Aussie is a moderate shedder and will require weekly brushing. 

Health Problems:
  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Epilepsy: The Aussie sometimes suffers from epilepsy which results in occasional seizures. Epilepsy is not a curable condition; however, it can be treated with medication.
  • Deafness: Deafness is somewhat common in this breed.
  • Osteochondrosis Dissecans (OCD): OCD in dogs is an orthopedia condition which is caused by the cartilage in the joints growing improperly. This can result in painful stiffening of the joints. OCD is often detected when an Aussie is between four and nine months of age.
  • Cataracts: Cataracts, the opacity on the lens of the eye, is fairly common in this breed. Cataracts in this breed are generally not seen until later in age.
  • Drug Sensitivity: This breed is known to have a drug sensitivity, as seen in many herding breeds. This means a drug can become toxic sooner in this breed than others. Signs of drug sensitivity include depression, incoordination, hypersalivation and/or coma. Drug sensitivity may even be fatal in some situations.

Top 10 Most Common Health Issues for Australian Shepherds

  1. Gastritis - inflammation, irritation, or erosion of the stomach lining
  2. Colitis
  3. Conjunctivitis - pink eye
  4. Dietary indiscretion
  5. Incontinence
  6. Laceration/Cut
  7. Otitis - middle ear infection
  8. Arthritis
  9. Bite Wounds
  10. Dermatitis - inflammation of the skin

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