Sunday, July 24, 2011

Australian Shepherd

In the AKC, the Australian Shepherd is in the herding group. However, due to its high intelligence, the Australian Shepherd can do other jobs as well. Some are used as seeing-eye dogs, others are skilled search and rescue dogs. The breed is also used in agility.

The Australian Shepherd's coat is weather-resistant and medium in length, and comes in several colors. The two most common colors are red merle an blue merle. The one in this image is a blue merle. The breed is also known for its naturally bobbed tail. This was meant to be in the breed so cattle wouldn't step on its tail while being herded. In fact, many other herding breeds have this trait as well.

There many theories about this breed's origin. However, most say that the Australian Shepherd's relatives came from the Pyrenees Mountains, despite the dog's name. There they may have been bought to America by herders and their flocks of cattle. When this breed came to America, it was mixed with other herding and working dogs to create today's Australian Shepherd.

Although it is a fairly healthy breed, several health issues, including hip dysplasia, epilepsy, and eye problems. The breed is easy to train, as they are intelligent and eager to please. However, if you don't give them enough exercise, the breed may become a wrecking ball as one might say. This is why you need to give them vigorous daily exercise in a large yard. Grooming this breed isn't that complicated. Give them a weekly bruskhing to prevent matting and tangling.

But overall, nothing says amazing like an Australian Shepherd!

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