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The Australian Shepherd is not only a highly intelligent, energetic breed but also one that requires and enjoys regular contact with people. These animated and active dogs are extremely loyal, and their temperaments and talents see them regularly succeeding in AKC agility, obedience and herding competitions.
They thrive on being with their families, and are good with children once they are taught not to try to ‘herd’ them. They are excellent watchdogs and are very affectionate, providing for an excellent companion to an active person.
This breed, like many other herders, require an active and purposeful lifestyle, and the happiest and most content will be dogs that get regular, high activity exercise and is made to feel like one of the family.
Australian shepherds require regular exercise, but they also need to be made to feel like part of the family. They truly enjoy and cherish their relationships with their families, and are not suited to being left in the yard alone.
Their thick coats require at least two good brushings a week, and it’s important to have them tested for hip dysplasia and eye issues.
This breed will be happiest if challenged mentally and physically every day.
Even though the Australian shepherd suggests that this breed came from Australia, it really didn’t. This breed originated in the US, although its ancestor is one which originated somewhere between Spain and France and traveled with their owners to Australia for a time before coming to the western US.
It was once thought that these dogs were best suited for herding sheep, but many today use them for herding their cattle as well.
After being recognized by the AKC in 1991, they can be seen in competitions that allow them to showcase their agility, obedience and competitive herding skills.