Australian Shepherd or Aussie with its popular name is a herding dog breed mostly lives in western United States ranches. It’s a wrong common belief that Australian Shepherds come from Australia and main reason they are called as Aussie is their herd ability for Australian sheep in 1800s. They have a very big athletic ability and after World War 1, they became stars of TV shows, Disney movies and circuses. Australian Shepherd is one of the most trainable dogs in the world. Their look is very similar to Border Collie breed. Australian Shepherd has various genetic problems like vision problems. How many years an Australian Shepherd lives?
Most of the health problems of Australian Shepherd come from merle to merle breeding. When a puppy takes two merle gene copies at once; they mostly had born deaf or blind. An Australian Shepherd lives averagely 12.5 years and there are only a few breeds passing to 14 years. Australians Shepherds living in USA have a longer life span because dogs living in UK have a 9 years life span only.
Eye problems are the main health problems for Australian shepherd. Especially cataracts, epiphora, red eye and conjunctivitis are very common on all dogs of breed. Also respiratory and dermatological problems are very common.
Today nearly all Australian Shepherds are checking for hypothyroidism, Elbow and Hip Dysplasia after born. Also some clinics are applying DNA tests for common mutations. Some Australian Shepherds with mutated gene may give reaction about common drugs.
When a Australian Shepherd doesn’t have an illness which affects her lifestyle, she is one of the most active dogs in the world. In America, they are stars of dog sports. Also they are using as herd in West American ranches. Catching Frisbee and fly ball are their favorite games.
Also they can be used in dog races because they have a unique back and front legs synchronization that they can run “on the edge.” They can also jump higher than other dogs and best score an Australian Shepherd made officially is 1.3m.
They like trainings and they learn easier than various dog breeds. Also they can learn in the older ages. A dog owner taught some rules to an Australian Shepherd while its 15 years, 5 weeks and it’s the record for dogs.
It’s a phenomenon that Australian Shepherds never affect from altitude. Various ranches like the ones in the Rocky Mountain use them as a sheep herder when herd needs to go high places. They are known as tireless and they can run very long distances without stopping.
Temperament of Australian Shepherds is very energetic and loyal but they need to develop their skills with exercise and games. They enjoy learning tricks and even dog owner don’t give any new tricks for a long time, they can create their own games and tricks. They become very protective if their owner gives a duty. They can attack intruders but rarely bites. Australian Shepherds may also bark when they see problems in neighborhoods but they stop after some barking.
Aussie become destructive and may attack their owners if owner insist to get them stayed in their kennels for a long time. They need to run several laps around the house before going to rest. Also they try to be the best for a good human companionship but sometimes it can be problematic if owner is making another thing or playing with a child. They need at least two or three hours of running and play. They always wait from owner to teach new tricks and they can also be destructive when owner is careless for a long time.