The Australian Shepherd is a working sheep and farm dog that might do quite poorly in an apartment. They are vigorous dogs with high intelligence that were bred to think and work. They require at the least, a properly fenced in enclosure and at the best, a farm to run and work. They form strong bonds with their family and demand a great deal of attention and time. They will follow their master from room to room in a house and want to ride in the car, help with chores, etc. If left alone for long periods of time, they may invent their own entertainment which can include destroying the furnishings or garden. They need to be properly socialized with children and pets and may nip at the heels of children. She is a very protective dog of both body and property.

*Approximate Adult Size. The approximate adult size (two years old or older) of the male Australian Shepherd is 20 to 23 inches to the withers (highest point of the shoulder) and from 50 to 65 pounds. The female should run about 18 to 21 inches to the withers and 40 to 55 pounds.

*Special Health Considerations. Some heartworm medications may be toxic to this breed due to a gene mutation.. Your veterinarian can test for this. She can suffer from canine hip dysplasia (genetic based looseness in the hip joint that can lead to arthritis pain and lameness), hereditary eye problems, hypothyroidism (sluggish thyroid gland which can result in weight gain), discoid lupus erythematosus (an autoimmune disease), cleft palate, seizures, von Willebrands disease (a problem with blood clotting), and patent ductus arteriosis (a circulatory abnormality).

*Grooming. Brush this breed often with a firm bristle brush and wash when necessary. She will shed quite a bit. Brushing will help keep your pets coat clean and healthy, help avoid tangles and help keep your house more free of shed hair. Brushing will also help you keep a closer eye on your pet health and strengthen your emotional bond with her. Her coat is of moderate length and medium coarseness. Be prepared to become real friendly with your vacuum cleaner if kept indoors. Her teeth should be brushed at least twice a week with toothpaste and toothbrush designed for dogs. Brushing removes the accumulation of plaque and tartar which can cause cavities (rarely) and periodontal disease. Dog periodontal disease can lead to pain, loss of teeth, bad breath and other serious disease.

*Life Span. The Australian Shepherd can live between 12 and 15 years with proper nutrition, medical care and excellent living conditions.

*History. The only working livestock breed actually developed in the western portion of America, although she does have some roots in Australia. She was developed from sheep dogs that were imported with flocks of sheep from Australia, France, Spain, New Zealand, Latin America and England during the late 1800 and early 1900 period, especially during the California gold rush. Australian Shepherds were popularized, especially in California, after World War II by horse shows, rodeos and movies.


ASCR Australian Shepherd Club of America

UKC United Kennel Club

NKC National Kennel Club

CKC Continental Kennel Club

APRI Americas Pet Registry Inc.

AKC American Kennel Club

*Category: Herding group.

*Terms To Describe The Breed: Intelligent, good natured, even disposition, good stamina, agile, muscular, balanced and devoted.


He is a loyal companion.

Easy to train.

Excellent farm dog.

Easy to housebreak.

Eager to please.

Wants to be with their master constantly.

Makes a great family dog.

Her pretty coat comes in amazing colors.


Needs lots of exercise.

Needs a job to do.

Wants to be with their master constantly.

Can be very territorial.

May bark at neighbors too much.

May become destructive if bored.

Can have health problems.

May shed copiously.

Can by shy, especially with strangers.

*Other Names Known By: The Aussie, wiggle-butt

8 thoughts on “Is An Australian Shepherd Puppy The Right Choice For Me And My Family?

  1. JAnabellE

    Dog’s Systemic and Discoid Lupus?
    I just got this 2 years old American Pitbull. He first diagnosed with food allergy. But didn’t cured for a very long time. Lately, he been diagnosed with Lupus, his SLE test which taken from blood test is positive. But since vet in my country is still didn’t know what to do, so i search in internet. And found that my dog doesn’t have any symtomps similar with SLE, but mostly DLE. Because it only affect his skin. And he still like to run and nothing wrong with his joint. Is it possible that the blood test is wrong? Any conclusion? and what i have to do? MR Vet gave him 7,5 mg of Prednison everyday. And it reduced the red rash.

  2. band

    How do I know if my dog has DLE or SLE?
    Hi, my dog’s nose is crusty and recently turning pink.
    How would I know if my dog has Discoid Lupus or Systemic Lupus?
    I have a vet appointment in 2 days time but I’m anxious to find out more so I can ask the vet questions.
    Please help.

    Thank you.
    I brought her to the vet once, it was suspected discoid lupus. However, she just gave me something to apply on her nose. No further test or whatsoever. So I’m going to another vet. I’m afraid it might affect her kidneys, because recently she’s been pee-ing very frequently however water intake is still normal.

    1. Julie D.

      Well, first of all, DLE affects mostly the facial area, including the nose. SLE usually affects the whole body. The Vet is the one who is suppose to teach about this to begin with. Since you haven’t had your dog to the Vet yet, how do you even know that it’s Lupus at all? It might be something totally different, and many times Autoimmune Disorders are not easy to diagnos at the begining.

  3. mama woof

    Steroids would be the best treatment. Eventually he will have to be euthanized simply out of mercy because longterm steroid use has issues too. Some things you just can’t fix.

    One good idea would be to use a lot of homecooked meals with rice as the only grain.
    One thing I want to suggest is to avoid grains, (cow) dairy products, eggs, and anything that could tax his immune system that is so much already out of wack. Rice and lamb are the safest foods when it comes to allergies along with goat’s milk. Think of other hypoallergenic foods like goat’s milk, some veggies, few fruits (not many) etc. I would also avoid anything that could enhance an immune response like antibiotics (if possible), molds, some plants, bees…… You just want to try to protect the immune system from being so active, so keep him away from anything that will cause it to react. You already know sunlight can cause a problem.

    When all is said and done, some things cannot be fixed. Steroids are the only reliable way to suppress the immune system even though they come with their own set of problems. This dog probably doesn’t have a good life ahead of him no matter what they do for him. Sorry.

  4. Jessica A

    My dog has COLLIE NOSE and her hair won’t Grow Back How Can I Get It to Grow?
    My dog has collie nose (she is a border collie) she was put on predinisone for a few months as it is a discoid lupus situation or as I am told it is auto-immune. I pulled her off the prednisone and have been treating it homeopathically or naturally with immune system builders. She is doing well physically but the hair on her nose will not grow back…I can’t let her out in the sun until it grows back and it has been months…anyone get their dogs collie nose to grow the hair back?

    1. Jennifer M~ Got the Giggles

      My german shorthair has lupus which has made her nose dry and crusty and she does have some hair loss. The only thing you can do until the hair grows back…if it ever does…is put sunscreen on it. Unfortunately, the DO try and lick it off. If it is rubbed in well, it helps. You can find a few brands that are considered non toxic.

  5. radio_flyer_04

    our family has always dreaded this sort of situation. But what we look at is quality of life. Is the dog happy? are they going to stay happy? are they in constant pain? is it going to get worse? these are all questions that you have to ask yourself. you also have to think of your baby. as they get older they are going to want to touch and play with the dog. will it hurt her to have a baby pull on her fur, or grab for her ears?
    I would talk to your vet, and see what they recommend. You don’t have to do what they say, but that can give you an informed opinion.

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