Australian Shepherd - Information and NZ Breed Standards

Membership ID

Australian Shepherd

General Information - Australian Shepherd



12-15 years

Very high


Very high

Watchdog Ability:
Very high

Protection Ability:

Area of Origin:
United States

Date of Origin:

Other Names:

Original Function:
Sheep herding


The entire history of the Australian Shepherd is yet to be determined. The early formation of today's Aussie is credited to a people known as the Basques. They began to emigrate to Australia and to the United States with their sheep and dogs in the early 19th century from the Basque Mountains of Spain. As Australian wool became more in demand, Basques sheep herders emigrated from Australia to the western United States. Americans imported boatloads of Australian sheep in the late 1800s and early 1900s, accompanied by their Basque shepherds and their dogs. It was at that time that the "little blue dogs" began to be noticed. The Basque dog adapted to the ruggedness of the western ranges. Over time, Basques' dogs were bred to other good working dogs of Australia and the United States, and they continued to reproduce true to their type. Because the dogs accompanied their Basque herdsmen from Australia, they came to be known as Australian Shepherds, even though they were bred in America.


The Australian Shepherd is an intelligent, clever and devoted dog breed who is eager to please and easy to train. Affectionate and active, the Australian Shepherd makes an excellent children's companion.


This breed needs a good workout every day, preferably combining both physical and mental challenges. Even though it is physically able to live outside in temperate climates, it is a breed for which human contact is so vital that it is emotionally unsuited for a life in the yard. Its coat needs brushing or combing one to two times weekly.

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