Australian Shepherd

A talented and hard-working member of the Herding group, the Australian Shepherd often likes to be busy and usually wants to be a part of whatever you’re doing. Learn more about this dedicated dog and whether he might be the right breed for you.

They’re usually devoted to their humans.

The Aussie is a dog who tends to love his people. Expect him to be as close to you as possible — you may find him sitting on your foot, leaning against your leg or trying to curl up in your lap.

They’re generally super-smart.

Considered one of the smartest dog breeds, the Australian Shepherd usually responds well to training and is capable of learning tricks, commands and games. But you’ll also need to pay attention to him unless you want to find yourself outsmarted. Keep him occupied by giving him jobs to do, such as bringing in the paper.

They’re often energetic.

Most Aussies need an active lifestyle to be happy. Keep him busy with dog sports like agility, flyball, flying disc games, herding trials, obedience and tracking. Or, take him for daily walks, jogs or hikes, provided your vet gives the OK to the exercise regimen.

There are two types of Aussies.

Some Australian Shepherds are bred strictly for their herding talents. Others are bred for the show ring and AKC performance events. The herding dogs tend to be smaller and thinner than show dogs and have shorter coats. Those traits can make them more agile as they move stock, and the shorter coat is less likely to snag on brush.

They can be protective.

If you’re looking for a watchdog, the Australian Shepherd can be a good choice. Like many Herding breeds, the Aussie tends to be wary of strangers. And If he sees anything out of the ordinary, he’ll usually alert you with a bark. But keep in mind that he may not be friendly with everyone he meets, even if he’s had plenty of socialization.

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