The Australian shepherd is classified as a herding breed and recognized by the American Kennel Club. These dogs are easily identifiable with their trademark black, white, brown and gray coats that are usually mottled or spotted. Their hair is long and fluffy and requires regular brushing to keep tangles and shedding at bay. They may have brown or blue eyes, and some have one of each. They generally grow to be 18 to 23 inches tall and weigh between 40 and 65 pounds. They became famous as ranching dogs and were a big part of the rodeo circuit.
Australian shepherds are one of the most intelligent breeds and live up to the herding dog stereotype. They are high energy and need a lot of daily exercise and training to keep their brains and bodies tired, and they do best in a household where they can have a “job,” even if that’s just carrying water bottles in a vest during a walk. Like most herding dogs, they can be a bit nippy as puppies and adolescents and need firm training to ensure this behavior doesn’t continue, but they are very easy to house train and tend to do well in homes with active owners.
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