See a particularly striking dog: bright blue eyes, unusual color patterns and a particularly smooth and enthusiastic walk. This is the Australian Shepherd, one of the most beautiful and elegant dog breeds in the world. The dog is extremely popular in Australia shepherd dog and the US and is also gaining popularity in Europe. Here you will find 11 nice facts about the Australian Shepherd who make clear why this is such a popular dog breed.
The history of the Australian Shepherd is nowhere really clear. In general, it is assumed that the dog comes from the Basque region of the Pyrenees, but that can not be said with certainty. The story goes that the shepherds from this region went to America and possibly even made a stopover in Australia. Whatever the case, the dogs of the Basque shepherds look little like the famous Australian Shepherds. The real origins of this breed will always remain shrouded in mysteries …
2. American Australians
Although the Australian Shepherd is generally accepted as an Australian dog, the breed has been perfected in America. Hundreds of shepherds from different countries came together to build a new future, each taking their own dogs. This led to a great mix, where the dogs were bred on qualities such as alertness, intelligence, speed and adaptation to terrain types. Four dog breeds are seen as the basis of the Shepherd: the Scottish Collie, Border Collie, English Shepherd and the Australian Collie. Together they result in a great dog with a good character.
3. The rodeo dog
The Australian Shepherd is actually best known when the dog after the 1st World War also had other chores to do besides sheep herding. Especially the rodeos, where the beautiful dogs ran around to drive bulls or horses. In addition, the dogs became more and more familiar with different roles in films and series, such as Run, Appaloosa, Run!
4. Australian Shepherd are real eye-catchers
Especially the blue eyes of the Australian Shepherd are particularly striking. Even so striking, that the indigenous people see the dogs as sacred and they prefer to avoid them. The dogs can stare you with insistence and even win a match of a cat!
5. Uneven eyes
Many Australian Shepherds have eyes in different colors. Although many dogs of the breed have blue eyes, there are also between them with brown, gray or speckled eyes. A special fact: there are also Shepherds with two different eyes: a blue and a brown eye.
6. Color patterns
The Australian Shepherd is recognized by the color, although many different colors are accepted. The most characteristic color is ‘merle’, where the dog has a pattern of dark pigments and in the white areas between the light spots of gray or brown. From black and brown to brown merle and blue merle are accepted by the studbook, although you find more color variations.
In the past, many shepherds removed the dogs’ long ears and tails, so that they did not suffer any injuries while shepherding the sheep. Because the tails were not necessary anyway, they were bred from the breed in the course of time. One in five Shepherds is now born with a short tail.
8. Working dogs
Although the Aussies used to be bred for sheep only, they are now used in many more areas because of their excellent qualities. They are used as guide dogs, assistance dogs and for therapy. In addition, they are deployed by rescue workers to find victims and help save them.
The Australian Shepherd has a very strong instinct and a lot of energy. That is why it is necessary to constantly challenge the dog and keep it active. If you do not do that, the dog will start looking for chores. They can try to “shepherd” other animals but can also show annoying behavior if they get bored.
This dog breed is still gaining in popularity. It is even the 18th most popular dog breed in America, which means that it even rises above the Chihuahua. Because the dogs are so striking in appearance and behavior, there are more and more people who also want an Australian Shepherd as a pet.