The Australian Shepherd is, confusingly, an American breed; originally from the Basque region of Spain he was taken to Australia by his shepherding owners who then moved on to North America at the end of the 19th century with their dogs. The Australian Shepherd was first officially recognised in the United States in the 1950s and is a fairly new arrival in the UK.
A herding dog with guarding instincts, the Australian Shepherd is protective of the space he considers his own and has a tendency to be reserved with those he does not know and benefits from early socialisation. Very intelligent and agile he is devoted to his own family and is very keen to work, so ways must be found to occupy him. He will not be happy being a lazy housedog and agility and obedience both suit him well.
The Australian Shepherd is naturally bob-tailed, or is docked and comes in an unusual range of colours; blue, blue merle, black or red merle, all with or without tan points. All these colours may have white in addition according to strictly defined patterning. His eyes add to the unusual colouring - they can be brown, blue or amber or any combination including flecks and marbling. First sight of an Australian Shepherd is quite startling as so many aspects of him are unexpected.
In the fairly short time the Australian Shepherd has been in the UK he has acquired considerable popularity although a limited gene pool has restricted breeding to a degree; however with the Pets Passport scheme it has become much easier to import new lines. Not a dog for the novice, they require an owner who can dominate him and offer him challenges for his considerable intelligence.
Click here to read the Australian Shepherd Dog Breed Standard.
Australian Shepherd Dog Breed Club
Australian Shepherd Dog Rescue and Rehoming
Contact the Breed Club. They should be able to give you information about dogs requiring homes and procedures for re-homing; if you are in the unfortunate position of having to re-home your own Australian Shepherd, please go through breed rescue. They will not be judgmental and are best able to find the right permanent home for your dog.
Australian Shepherd Dog Breeders
Puppies and dog breeders have moved to our newly re-designed Puppyfinder website where we have full page advertisements for puppies and the opportunity for breeders to have their own profile pages and blog. No designer breeds or puppy farmers, just breeders who care about their dogs as much as you do.
Ethical breeders are invited to register their kennel on Puppyfinder for just £10pa. This allows you to list litters, litters planned and stud dogs