The Australian Shepherd or Aussie can be a working sheep or cattle dog as well as a family dog. The Aussie is a solid and muscular member of the herding dog breeds.
This dog breed is attractive with a medium to long-haired water resistant overcoat that has varied coloration. This Shepherd’s coat colors can be blue merle, black, red merle, or red – with or without white or tan markings.
Male shepherds range from 19 to 23 inches and female shepherds from 17 to 21 inches at shoulder height. This breed’s weight can vary from 40 to 60 pounds.
These dogs often have different colored or multicolored eyes – e.g. one blue and one half brown and blue.
Australian Shepherds are members of the American Kennel Club (AKC) Herding Dog Group.
Despite the name, Australian Shepherds were fully developed in the United States. Spaniards probably brought these dogs to America in the 19th century, along with Australian sheep and cross-bred them with collies.
Later they were further developed from sheep dogs to become cattle dogs and today American cowboys still use them to drive cattle.
The dogs are also trained for police work and competitive obedience.